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Coconut Dragonfruit Blondies

Coconut Dragonfruit Blondies are a tropical twist on a classic batch of blondies. The buttery bars are packed with shredded coconut and bright pink dragonfruit, giving them a wonderful look and flavor while retaining the chewy texture that blondies are known for.

Dragonfruit is also known as cactus fruit, is a melon-like fruit that grows on the cactus. There are multiple varieties of cactus fruit and dragon fruit tends to be the most widely known due to its exotic, scaly look (hence the name) and its vivid magenta color. Since its texture is similar to that of a melon, fresh dragonfruit is not a great option for baking. I used freeze dried dragonfruit in this recipe because is easy to chop up and add to a recipe, bringing in some tropical dragonfruit flavor and plenty of color!

You can find freeze dried dragonfruit at some specialty stores, including Trader Joe’s, and it is also available online. Once you have it, you can use it in recipes like this one, enjoy it as a snack or add it to ice tea and lemonade to give them a pink hue!

The batter for the blondies is very straightforward, using melted butter and no additional leavening to create bars that are dense and chewy. They include a generous amount of sweetened, shredded coconut, which adds to the overall texture of the bars. I think that coconut pairs particularly well with dragonfruit in this recipe because it adds a subtle extra sweetness that makes the dragonfruit really pop. Make sure to crush or chop the dragonfruit into pieces no larger than a chocolate chip before stirring them into the batter.

The bars will keep for a couple of days after baking when stored in an airtight container. They’re not too sweet on their own and they could be topped with a bit of frosting or glaze (coconut glaze made with a splash of coconut rum or lemon glaze with fresh lemon juice would both be good choices) if you want to dress them up.

Coconut Dragonfruit Blondies
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1/3 cup crushed/chopped freeze dried dragonfruit

Preheat oven 350F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch square baking pan or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar. Blend in eggs, vanilla extract and salt.
Stir in flour and shredded coconut, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain, then stir in the dragonfruit until evenly distributed. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until blondies are set and have turned golden around the edges of the pan.
Allow blondies to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 16-20 bars.

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