Coconut Amaretto Layered Brownies

I love almonds. Amaretto-flavored coffee? Oh yum. I’m in heaven. I also have a serious addiction to coconut, and most of all, chocolate. My 11 year old brother knows these addictions well.

So well, in fact, that when Duncan Hines sent me a box of their new Frosting Creations for being a Very Important Baker, he knew exactly what I should make upon hearing I got a Chocolate Almond frosting mix.

First, let me tell you about these awesome new frosting creations. You know when you’re in a pinch and looking for the perfect frosting flavor? You could always go to the store and get vanilla, or chocolate… OR, you could punch it up and get something fun. What about Bubblegum or Cotton Candy flavored frosting for yummy kids cupcakes? Or a decadent cinnamon roll flavored icing for a brunch? There are 12 amazing flavors of Frosting Creations (chocolate marshmallow, chocolate almond, mocha, cinnamon roll, mint chocolate, strawberry shortcake, caramel, orange cream, cherry vanilla, white chocolate raspberry, cotton candy, and bubblegum). You purchase the tub of Frosting Starter, which seems like your typical frosting container, but it’s specially made to work with the packets of frosting flavor! You also buy a packet of the flavor, in whichever flavor works with your special creation. They seriously look like little packets of Kool Aid, and they’re super cute.

The frosting creations are SO easy to use, and I’ll tell you all about it when I get to that part of my recipe, but for now (drumroll) the recipe.

I swear to you, it isn’t as complicated as it looks or sounds.

Part One: Yeast Mixture

The yeast mixture is important for the first two layers below, so you’ll need to make some of it.

1 package active dry yeast (0.25 ounce)
1/4 C warm water (110 degrees F)
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C white sugar
1 C milk

In a small bowl, dissolve your yeast into water. Let this stand for 10 minutes. While you’re waiting on that, get a glass bowl and combine the flour and sugar. At the end of the 10 minutes, go ahead and slowly mix in your milk and your yeast mixture. Cover this loosely and let it stand until it’s bubbly (overnight is a fair amount of time, but if you have less time, it still should work with no problems).

If you happen to have some Amish Friendship Bread starter stashed away, or know someone who has a cup of it they can give you, it’ll work just as well for this recipe instead of the yeast mixture. It’s my sweet bread starter of choice! The reason I don’t have a picture of the yeast mixture is because I did simply use some Amish Friendship Bread starter– why not? Yummy!

Okay, now to Step 2. The layer-y goodness! Now is when you’ll want to pre-heat your oven to 325. Spray a 9×13 pan. Or butter/flour. Or, do what I do for brownies, and spray it with some Pam, then sprinkle a packet of hot cocoa on the bottom in lieu of flour. It just adds that extra boost of chocolate awesome.

Bottom Layer: Chocolate Almond Brownie-ness

1/2 of your yeast mixture (or 1/2 C friendship bread starter, whichever one works)
1 egg
1/2 C oil
1/4 C milk
3/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C flour
1/8 cup cocoa
1 box instant chocolate pudding
just under 1/2 C slivered almonds

Mix all of your ingredients together in the order listed. When using a yeast starter, I recommend avoiding metal utensils because they can react poorly, but that’s just a suggestion. When they’re all mixed up, they should look like a thick brownie mix.

Pour it into your greased pan.

 

Layer Two: Coconut Blondie Goodness

The rest of your yeast mixture (or 1/2 C friendship bread starter if you’re using that)
1 egg
1/2 C oil
1/4 C milk
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C flour
1 small box instant JELL-O Coconut Cream pudding
2 small handfuls of shredded coconut (fresh is good, but I couldn’t find it at my local supermarket, so I just grabbed some sweetened shredded coconut from the baking aisle)

Mix all of the above ingredients together, the same way you did the first layer. Easy as pie. It’ll be a nice thick mixture.

Pour this on top of your brownie layer and spread it out so it covers all of the brownie goodness. Sprinkle with an extra tablespoon of sugar, and a little bit of the shredded coconut.

Bake for 55 minutes, until the edges are starting to turn golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

This is where the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations come in. What could be better for an amaretto inspired treat than a Chocolate Almond frosting? Instead of going to the trouble of inventing the perfect chocolate almond frosting recipe, I just grabbed my can of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations frosting starter, and my packet of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Chocolate Almond frosting mix.

Open your frosting. Make a deep hole in the middle of the frosting starter with a butter knife. Pour in your frosting creations flavor mix. Stir the flavor mix into the frosting starter until it’s thoroughly blended throughout. Make sure you mix it really thoroughly. The first time I tried this, I didn’t mix it nearly well enough, and it left a few “spicy” patches throughout, where the powder wasn’t quite mixed in. Because the powder is kind of concentrated, it gets a little intense if it’s not fully mixed in.

When the awesome baked treat is cool, go ahead and frost it with the frosting creations. Top it with some additional slivered almonds and shredded coconut.

Easy. Delicious. Best. Dessert. Ever.

I sampled it and I was in amaretto coconut chocolate heaven. It combined my true loves when it comes to tastes in the best possible way. My mother agreed that it was delicious, but also that it was rich. I had cut the bars into a large brownie-sized piece rather than a small bar-like piece, and she ended up only eating half the piece- good, but very rich. My dad dug in and said it was incredible- truly amazing. He complained that my slivered almonds were “too frou-frou” but that the dessert was awesome. We also had a houseguest staying the night, and she said “Oh. My. Gosh. You made this all like… tonight? It seems really complicated. But it’s delicious. It’s incredible. I may have another piece with breakfast!”

I’ll never tell her how truly easy the dessert was to make. The hardest part was letting it cool before I frosted it.

 

 

 

 

Fine print: I was mailed the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Starter and Flavor Mix for free, as a part of my participation in the Duncan Hines Very Important Baker program. All opinions above are my own (or when applicable, the opinions of those I shared my creation with). The recipe above is my own, and Duncan Hines did not require a blog post, nor did it require that I provide a positive review… the opinions above are my honest thoughts about the product. I believe in transparency with my readers above all else!

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