Creative outlets in the Kitchen, Garden, Home and On the Road.
Sunday March 26th 2017

Holiday Treat: Lemon Coconut Bars

Lemon Coconut Bars I’m glad I got one before they were all gone!

When I got the call that I’d be doing a full 26 minutes on the TV show Robin’s Nest, and it would be broadcasting in the preparation time for the holidays, I set to work pulling a few of my favorite and easy go to recipes. This recipe was shared with me by a woman named Alice. We met briefly and I’m happy to be able to share this tasty treat that she shared with me. I don’t know where she got it from.

I cut the pan of these at the taping and the staff of the show fluttered right to them. I sent Robin home with half of what remained and this plate held the rest… which lasted less than 24 hours around The MacKay Way!

Let’s get to it!

Lemon Coconut Bars

CRUST:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
3/4 cups toasted flaked coconut (see toasting info below)

FILLING:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)

Toasting coconut in a toaster oven.

TOASTING THE COCONUT: Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread the coconut in a thin layer. I love a toaster over for this job, which is what I’m using in the photographs. I set a toaster over to toast/broil and watch it carefully, pulling it out to stir often so the toasting is even. If doing this in a regular oven, set oven o broil and drop rack down one level from highest. Watch it VERY carefully under the broiler as it can go from toasted to burned in moments.

Coconut, toasted.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8″ square with foil and grease/butter the foil. I use a baking spray.

CRUST: Combine flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until well mixed. Add the butter and toasted coconut and process until the mixture resembles a fine meal.

Crust, ready for baking.

Transfer this mixture into the foil covered greased pan, pressing down well to form the crust.

Bake until lightly browned, about 35 minutes.

NOTE: I used a slightly larger pan for the batch photographed as all of my 8″ pans were already full! This resulted in thinner layers. Because of this, I reduced the cooking time by 8-10 minutes as not to dry out the crust and make it too tough.

 

Zesting a lemon with my favorite Microplane grater.

FILLING: While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. First zest the lemon (as shown above), grating off only the yellow skin. Don’t add the white pith portion or it will add bitterness.

Filling ingredients

Wash out your food processor and clean that metal blade and add all of the filling ingredients. Process until smooth.When the crust is ready, pour the filling onto the crust. I prefer to do this right in the oven. I pull out the rack and pour the lemon mixture right on top.

NOTE: My oven is slightly crooked so one edge of my bars was a little thicker than the other. Because of this, I rotate the pan half way through cooking.

Bake until the filling just begins to brown around the edges and is springy to touch, between 28-35 minutes.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Life the foil out of the pan and cut into squares. Sieve confectioners sugar evenly over the tops if you choose.

Lemon Coconut Bars

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or in our cold kitchen on the counter for less than 24 hours as they will all be gone!

Let me know how these go over in your house!!

Happy holidays!!

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