I made up this recipe in my head for the most part, and knew that it would have to pass muster with Tricia, my blogger partner, before we would publish. I was nervous….cut her a bar…and waited…. Finally she pronounced “These bars are so good I would eat them until I threw up”. High praise, so that tale regarding bodily functions you probably could have lived without hearing leads us to where we find ourselves today: sharing this recipe with you. These bars are tart, sweet, and addictive. Add a crispy shortbread crust with tons of toasted coconut and they are irresistible. To top that all off, they are super easy to make. The crust and filling can both be put together in your food processor if you happen to have one laying around. The Candied Limes are just something fun to horse around with, and are certainly optional for this recipe. Sprinkle these guys with powdered sugar right before serving and you’re home free….unless you are like me and then you will grab the whipped cream and smother the top of the bar with it. The creamy sweetness of it just kind of makes the world a better place, if you know what I mean.
Toasting the coconut brings a lot more of coconut flavor to the party, so I’d recommend not skipping that step. While the bars are in the oven, whip up the filling. Just bake until the filling doesn’t jiggle when you shake the baking dish. You can forego the old test of slipping the blade of a sharp knife in the center to see if it comes out clean to make sure they’re done – it doesn’t work with these guys, so just jiggle.
The candied limes are fun to play around with, and really dress the bars up. They taste good too – but you have to work your way around the rind which happens to be super bitter. I know this because I ate one, and lived to regret it.
You can also serve them with a little lime zest with some fresh limes and more toasted coconut if you want. Powdered sugar is good too, but be sure to wait until right before serving to sprinkle it on. These bars and sugar sponges and much of it will soak right in before you get a chance to get them to the table.
Or…you can be like me and grab the whipped cream. I confess this is my very favorite way to go.
Something about limes just has summer written all over it, don’t you think? We hope you enjoy these tropical beauties as much as we do. Happy summer, and thanks so much for reading the blog!! xoxoxo
- FOR THE CRUST
- 2-½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1-cup (2 sticks) butter
- FOR THE TOPPING
- 8 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 10 fresh limes)
- 4 tablespoons grated lime zest
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- FOR THE CANDIED LIMES
- 1-cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 fresh limes, very thinly sliced
- FOR THE CRUST
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray with kitchen spray, a 10x15 inch-baking pan. (Or one 13x9 inch pan and one 8x8 inch pan).
- Spread sweetened coconut out on the bottom of the largest baking pan you will be using (no need to get another pan dirty, especially if you’re the one washing it), and bake in the oven until just starting to brown and turn fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and remove coconut from pan. Set coconut aside.
- Respray the baking pan you just used with more baking spray, and set aside.
- NOTE: These guys can be difficult to get out of the pan, so you might want to line the pan with foil, overlapping a couple of inches on sides and ends. When your bars have cooled, just lift out the foil, bars and all – much, much, easier to slice that way.
- For the crust: combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl or food processor. Pulse or cut in the butter only until large crumbs are formed.
- Add the browned coconut, and just pulse a couple more times to incorporate into the mixture.
- Press the crust mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm to the touch and slightly browned.
- FOR THE LIME TOPPING
- While the crust is baking, prepare the topping: In a food processor, pulse together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the eggs, lime zest and lime juice. Process just until smooth until smooth.
- Pour topping mixture onto the hot crust as soon as it comes out of the oven, return to the oven and continue baking for between 20-30 minutes, or until the topping is firm and doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pan.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- FOR THE CANDIED LIMES
- In a skillet, combine granulated sugar and water. Stir together until mixed.
- Heat over medium heat until mixture is hot and sugar has dissolved.
- Place lime slices in one layer into hot mixture, and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, flipping each slice a few times.
- Remove lime slices from liquid and let set up on a cooling rack you have sprayed with kitchen spray. It’s a good idea to put a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper until the rack so your counter doesn’t get covered with sticky lime drips.
- When cool, slices can be refrigerated until ready to use.
- TO SERVE
- Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar right before serving, if desired. If you sprinkle ahead of time, the sugar will disappear into the topping so it’s best to wait.
- Decorate with candied lime slices.
- Pass the whipped cream and additional toasted coconut if you have a mind to.
- Dive in headfirst.