Mango Coconut Bars

From my new book, Sassy Cookies. These gluten-free Mango Coconut Bars were inspired by the Latino coconut candies from Anastasia. The sweet mango puree, combined with the sweet coconut, accented by lime and chocolate are a truly decadent treat.

Mango Coconut Bars
Makes 16 cookies
8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
1 cup mango puree, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups (about 14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sweetened coconut, finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated lime zest
2 large egg whites, at room temperature, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Cut parchment to fit bottom of pan.

In the top of a double boiler, over gently simmering water, melt the chocolate. Spread the chocolate evenly in the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until set, at least 10 minutes. While the base is chilling, prepare the filling.

In a medium saucepan over a low heat, stir together mango puree and sugar. Heat about 1 minute, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth (mixture should not come to a boil). Remove from heat. Cool about 5 minutes; stirring constantly. Stir in condensed milk, coconuts, and lime zest. Add lightly beaten egg whites and mix thoroughly. Mixture should be evenly moist.
Pour the mixture over the hardened chocolate, spread evenly. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan and then refrigerate until chocolate base sets, at least 2 hours or overnight. Using the foil overhang, lift cookies out of pan, and cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.

Baker’s Note: To make your own mango puree, place 2 cups fresh or thawed fruit in food processor and blend until smooth.