Saturday, August 18, 2012

Coconut Lemon Lime Bars

So far this weekend is looking pretty similar to most summer weekends around here...lots of poolside BBQs, meals filled with garden veggies and beers by the fire at night. So, I'll spare you all the details and share this summertime dessert recipe with you instead.

Today we had a family reunion to go to with family from Matt's dad's side (most of whom I'd never met, even after 11 years of knowing him, crazy!), and we were asked to bring a veggie side dish. I had that covered no problem, but also wanted to bring a fun summer dessert.

I'd seen a few recipes a while back for coconut bars, and thought they sounded perfect. The addition of lemon and lime made these taste even more summery. They are sweet and citrusy, with a flaky crust and a little crunch from the toasted coconut and walnuts. Perfect for a Labor Day barbecue if you ask me!

Coconut Lemon Lime Bars

Serves 12-15

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. lime zest
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, confectioners sugar and 1 Tbsp. of the lemon zest. Cut butter into the mixture with a pastry blender (use two butter knives if you don't have a pastry blender), until mixture is crumbly. Press mixture into an ungreased 13x9 baking pan to make a crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle coconut evenly over the baked crust and set aside. In another mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, remaining lemon zest, lime zest and lemon juice. Spread evenly over the coconut, using your fingers to spread if necessary. Sprinkle the walnuts on top, pressing down lightly so they stick to the milk mixture. Bake again for about 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is set and the coconut starts to brown. Remove and let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

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