Lime Bars with Toasted Coconut Shortbread Crust
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 48 bars
Tart, sweet, and addictive. Add a crispy shortbread crust with tons of toasted coconut and these bars 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 one of Martha Stewart’s creations, and I’ve added her recipe just in case you want to fancy these up some. You can even eat them – but beware of the rind, which is very bitter, so it’s best to skip that part. Sprinkle 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 cover the top of the bar with it. The creamy sweetness of the cream kind of makes the world a better place, if you know what I mean. This recipe makes a lot, so there are two pan options to choose from. You can also cut the recipe in half and use a 9x9 inch or 11x7 inch pan.
  • 2-½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1-cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 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
  • 1-cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 fresh limes, very thinly sliced
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Spray with kitchen spray, a 10x15 inch-baking pan. (Or one 13x9 inch pan and one 8x8 inch pan).
  4. 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.
  5. Remove from oven and remove coconut from pan. Set coconut aside.
  6. Respray the baking pan you just used with more baking spray, and set aside.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Add the browned coconut, and just pulse a couple more times to incorporate into the mixture.
  10. Press the crust mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until firm to the touch and slightly browned.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  16. In a skillet, combine granulated sugar and water. Stir together until mixed.
  17. Heat over medium heat until mixture is hot and sugar has dissolved.
  18. Place lime slices in one layer into hot mixture, and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, flipping each slice a few times.
  19. 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.
  20. When cool, slices can be refrigerated until ready to use.
  21. TO SERVE
  22. 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.
  23. Decorate with candied lime slices.
  24. Pass the whipped cream and additional toasted coconut if you have a mind to.
  25. Dive in headfirst.
Recipe by Bird's Nest Bites at