Coconut Lemon Bars

These are a favorite between my friends and family, and hopefully they will be for you too! Just so you can see how amazingly easy and delicious these are, I’m going to give you a step-by-step photo demonstration on how to make these. They are worth it, trust me.

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You’ll never want to try a different lemon bar again. I’ve tried many lemon bars in my twenty-one years of living, and I will tell you, nothing beats these. The coconut adds a great flavor and texture to these beauties. The freshly squeezed lemon juice also makes a huge difference, and it’s worth the extra work! They have the perfect ratio of crust, filling, and icing. Look how gorgeous they are.

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I remember the night I made these. It was New Year’s Eve, and the year was about to turn 2015. I recall being very excited; my boyfriend and I were going to our friend Laura’s house to celebrate the evening with friends. There was going to be lots food and music. I decided I was going to bring dessert, and that’s how these came about. I also made cream cheese brownies, which were pretty dull compared to these.

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We arrived, desserts and my dulcimer in hand. I remember smelling something sweet, savory and delicious coming from her kitchen; my friend Meyer had made delicious swedish meatballs. I think I ate about thirteen of them that night. We played music, talked, laughed, and enjoyed all of the delicious food.

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At one point, when I walked back into the kitchen, I noticed there were only two coconut lemon bars left, and about 10 brownies. My friend came up to me and said, in her exact words, “These are one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Can I please order some from you in the near future?”

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They were gone by the end of the night, and I was happy. I felt very proud of myself, and I will never forget that night. That’s where it all began. People seriously raved about these for a long time. I made them constantly for friends and family, and also for paying clients. I even made them for a local coffee shop. I love that something so tasty can hold so many wonderful memories for me. I hope these will do the same for you.

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Now, let’s begin the step by step process on how to make these beauties. If you would like to just view the simple instructions, skip this and scroll down. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the bars themselves, this is not including the glaze on top:

DSC_2404Simple enough. Flour, sugar, and butter to create the shortbread crust. Then, flour, sugar, salt, eggs, lemon juice, baking powder and coconut for the coconut lemon layer.

 

Add all of your dry ingredients into your bowl: flour and sugar. Cut your cold butter into small squares like shown above, and add to your dry ingredients, mixing with your hands.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture with both of your hands. This should take about 4-5 minutes, tops. The end result should be a crumbly mixture, like above. You want the butter pieces to be about the size of a pea, if there are some bigger pieces that is fine.

Add the mixture to a 9 x 13 in pan, lined with parchment paper. Using your hands, press the mixture firmly into the pan, as shown above. Now, put the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, at 350 degrees.

While the crust is baking, make your filling. Freshly squeeze your lemons into a Pyrex, or something similar. You are going to want at least 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

Mix together the filling ingredients: the lemon juice, eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. You’ll notice some fizzing in the picture above, that is the baking powder reacting with the lemon juice. (The pink in the mixture is Himalayan salt, we don’t use white salt anymore).

Add in your coconut, and stir!

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When the crust is finished, it should look something like this, and yes – it is normal for it to be cracked.

You are going to add the lemon mixture as soon as the crust is out of the oven. Spread it around evenly, making sure to get every corner! Put back in the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes or so.

This is how it should look when it comes out of the oven, but all ovens are different. If yours happens to come out not so appealing, not to worry, we’ll be slathering on a delicious lemon glaze anyways!

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There they are, cooling on the windowsill… (I can’t open my windows all the way, or my cats will jump out. Or attempt to.)

Here’s how to make the glaze:

Use more freshly squeezed lemon juice, about another 1/4 cup, and also add a few drops of water.

 

Add about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar (less or more depending on your desired consistency). I added a bit more to mine after this photo, I like my glaze thick!

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This should make about 1 cup of lemon glaze.

Once the lemon bars have completely cooled, it’s time to add your lemon glaze! Pour it over, and spread around evenly. If you want a thicker topping, make more! Do what your heart desires. Put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour so the glaze sets before you cut them into squares.

Take out of the pan, and cut into squares. Serve, and enjoy!

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Coconut Lemon Bars

Prep time: approx 10 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Total time: about 50 minutes

Delicious bars with a shortbread buttery crust, layered with a coconut lemon filling, and topped with a lemon glaze. The perfect spring or summer treat, but can be enjoyed any season.

Author: The Pearly Baker



Ingredients

For the shortbread crust
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

For the lemon filling
2 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (don’t substitute bottled lemon juice)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut

For the lemon glaze
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons of water
3/4 cups, or more of confectioners sugar


 

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, and lining a 9 x 13in baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl, add your flour, sugar and cubed butter together. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles course crumbs, as shown in the photos above.

Press firmly into your baking pan, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the crust is baking, start making your lemon filling.
Add all of your lemon filling ingredients together, minus the coconut. Mix until combined, and then stir in the coconut.

Once your crust is finished baking, take it out of the oven.
Immediately pour the lemon filling on top, and spread evenly over the crust. Put back into the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the middle of the filling is cooked, and not wiggly.

Now, make your icing. Combine all of the icing ingredients below in a Pyrex cup or a bowl. Add more or less confectioners sugar to reach your desired consistency.

Once the coconut lemon bars have cooled, pour it over and evenly distribute it.

Place in your fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour before cutting them into bars.

Cut, serve and enjoy!

*these bars will last about 4 days if put into a sealed container. they will last even longer if put in the fridge.

*if you want thicker bars, use a smaller 8×8 baking pan or something similar. i prefer mine to be thinner.

 

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