Lemon Macaroon Bars

With lime zest and coconut crust

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I've been wanting to make a lemon dessert lately for my friend Molly who loves all things lemony-sweet. I saw this recipe in the latest Sunset Magazine, and thought I'd give it a whirl.  I'd give it a thumbs up, the filling is very tart and sweet and loaded with flavor from the lime zest.  And even though I'm not a huge fan of coconut I did like the addition of texture to the crust.  I am a little embarrassed to admit that I broke the number one rule of baking and didn't read the recipe all the way through...  I missed the part where it said to toast the coconut first.  I feel I'm only partly to blame though.  I mean, can't they just put that line in the directions?  Anyway, since I had already mixed all the ingredients, I figured I'd just see how they turned out and I have to say these are pretty darn good my way.  So it's up to you, you can pre-toast the coconut or not.  They probably have a nuttier flavor if you do.  

 

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Lemon Macaroon Bars

Recipe By: Stephanie Spencer, Sunset, May 2013
Serving Size: 32

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CRUST:
2 cups coconut — shredded, sweetened, toasted*
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cold butter — cut into chunks
FILLING:
1/4 cup flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
Powdered sugar (optional) for sprinkling on top

Note: I used unsweetened, organic coconut which is in smaller shreds than the traditional. I added about 1/4 cup more powdered sugar to the crust mixture to compensate. When toasting it took only 4 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Make crust: Pulse all ingredients except butter in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until crumbly and butter is in small pieces.
2. Grease a 9- by 13-in. baking pan. Press crust into bottom and slightly up sides. Bake until light golden, 25 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.
3. Make filling: Whisk together flour and granulated sugar in a medium bowl, then whisk in eggs and citrus zest and juice just to blend. Pour over crust and bake until only slightly jiggly in center, about 22 minutes. Let cool, chill several hours or overnight, and cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar if you like.


*Toast coconut at 350° on a rimmed baking sheet until light golden, about 5 minutes.

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images by Ashley/ Meadow at Dusk