Sunday, April 8, 2018

Lemon Coconut Bars

A nice twist on the traditional lemon bar with the addition of coconut.  I made these bars for a luncheon and had more than enough to share with my bookclub that evening.  They are so easy and so delicious.  They are perfect for Spring - should it ever get here!

Lemon Coconut Bars
adapted from Sweet Gratitude by Judith Sutton

Shortbread Crust
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
grated zest of one lemon
scant 1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix, or all purpose flour

Lemon Coconut Filling
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose gluten free flour mix, or all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 3/4 cups (7 ounce package) sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper with opposite sides hanging over the pan.  Butter all 4 sides of the pan, but not the bottom of the pan.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners sugar on medium speed until well blended.  Beat in the lemon zest and salt.  On low speed, add the flour in two additions and beat until just mixed.  Press the crust mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the crust is golden around the edges.
While the crust is baking, make the lemon coconut filling.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light.  Add the flour and baking powder, then beat in the lemon zest and juice.  Stir in the coconut.  Pour the topping over the hot crust and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the topping is lightly colored and no longer jiggly, and the outside edges are golden brown.  Cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled.
Pull the bars out of the pan by pulling gently on the parchment overhang "handles".  Carefully peel off the parchment and place on a cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.  Uneaten lemon bars can be refrigerated for a week or frozen up to one month.

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