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Coconut-Lime Bars with Hazelnut Shortbread Crust

September 16, 2010

These lime bars have had the unfortunate effect of making me crave lemon bars, lemon tarts and all sorts of citrus

lime coconut bars

based sweets.  They are better than  your average lemon bar recipe because of the rich crust and the coconut topping.  I don’t love hazelnuts, so I substituted almonds, where are also cheaper and easier to find without skins.  And don’t make the mistake I did and toast the nuts, then immediately make the crust while they were still hot.  The heat from the nuts melted the butter, making the crust a massive blob of dough, rather than a crumbly mixture you press into the pan.  Be sure to cool them completely.  This recipe from Bon Apetit makes 24 bars.

Directions:

For the crust:

1 cup almonds or hazelnuts, toasted, husked

1/4 c sugar

1 1/4 c all purpose flour

1/4 t salt

13 T (1 1/2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the filling:

2 c plus 2 T sugar

5 large eggs

3/4 c fresh lime juice (from 6-8 large limes)

1/3 c all purpose flour

1 T finely grated lime peel

3/4 c (packed) sweetened flaked coconut (about 3 ounces)

Directions:

For the Crust:

Preheat to 350°F.  Blend nuts and sugar in processor until nuts are finely ground.  Add flour and salt and blend 5 seconds.  Add butter and process until well blended, then press dough evenly onto bottom of 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan.  Bake crust until golden brown, about 28 minutes, then cool completely in pan on rack.  Keep the oven on.

For the filling:

Whisk sugar and eggs in large bowl until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Whisk in lime juice, then flour and lime peel. Pour filling over crust in pan.

Bake lime bars 25 minutes (filling will not be fully set). Sprinkle coconut evenly over. Bake until filling is completely set, about 10 minutes longer.  Cool bars in pan on rack. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 2 hours.  When ready to serve, loosen the side of the bars around the pan and into squares and serve.

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