Normally I keep things under control around here and normally we have elegant but not necessarily decadent desserts. But, this last birthday, I wanted something over the top that wasn't a pie or cake and a layered treat like these Coconut Brownie Cheesecake Bars is what I came up with and now they're in regular rotation around here!
at room temperature
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a 2-quart baking dish with parchment paper and cooking oil or butter. Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until evenly melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Combine 1 whole egg, 2/3 cup of sugar, cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and briefly stir until just evenly incorporated. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until uniform in color. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated (no white streaks should remain).
To quickly warm up the eggs place them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. Bake until brownies are just set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare cheesecake batter.
Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, and remaining 2/3 cup sugar in in bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the processor then add the remaining 2 whole eggs and the 1 large yolk and pulse until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pulse until blended.
Pour the mixture over the brownies, top with remaining coconut flakes, and bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean and the center of the cheesecake is just set (it will look like custard), about 30 to 40 minutes.
Turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the cheesecake cool for 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Coat a butter knife with oil or butter (or run it under very hot water) and then run it around the perimeter of the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours before cutting.
The key to cutting the bars are using a sharp knife dipped it in very hot water. To do so, fill a shallow dish or glass with very hot water, dip the knife, then quickly wipe it clean, and cut away. I found using a slicing or serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion works best.