Friday, May 24, 2013

Foodie Fridays: Lemon Coconut Bars

From My Baking Addiction

The design on the tablecloth I am using for our Memorial Day table setting is called "Capri", which made me think of the Giada de Laurentiis special I saw a few months ago about this beautiful island off the coast of Italy. The isle of Capri is known for its lemons, so naturally I got to thinking about lemon-flavored desserts (citrus-flavored sweets are my favorites!).  And what could be more lemony than lemon bars?  Searching for the perfect recipe to prepare for our holiday dinner, I found one for Lemon Coconut Bars, which I modified to make half the amount since there are only two of us.  These bars are  quick and easy, and packed with a citrus punch.  I did have to try just one before Memorial Day to make sure they were satisfactory (they are that and then some!), but I am determined to save the rest.  Of course, we are celebrating the holiday a couple of days early because my husband is going out of town on Sunday, so I think I will be able to manage!

Lemon Coconut Bars

3/4 C. flour
1/4 C. confectioner's sugar
6 T. cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 eggs
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. lemon juice*
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. shredded coconut**

Combine the flour and confectioner's sugar in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter until crumbly.  You can do this in a food processor, but I like to use my hands and rub the ingredients together because the warmth of your fingers will soften the butter enough to get the dough to blend more quickly (just be sure to do this fast or the butter will get too soft, especially if the day is warm).  Press the dough into the bottom of a lightly greased 8x8-inch baking pan which has been lined with foil (or do what I did and use a disposable aluminum one, lightly greased).  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Combine all of the remaining ingredients except the coconut in a bowl and beat until well mixed.  Pour onto the baked crust and sprinkle the coconut evenly over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden with just a hint of brown.  Cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars.  Makes 16 bars.

*The lemon juice is the only ingredient amount I did not cut in half because I prefer a very tart flavor.  I used four smallish lemons and zested them before juicing.  I put half of the zest into the crust mixture and half into the lemon filling.  Four lemons only gave me 1/4 C. juice, so I topped it off with some good quality bottled Meyer lemon juice I happened to have.  You can juice additional lemons if you do not want to use the bottled stuff, or just use less if you do not want a really tart lemon bar.

**I used organic unsweetened finely shredded coconut because that is what I had, but as you can see from the photo above, sweetened flaked coconut is fine, and actually much prettier.


I hope you have a beautiful Memorial Day, and don't forget to honor the memory of those who gave their lives for our nation.

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