Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweet and Wonderful

In my opinion, the easiest dessert in the world is the bar cookie. There is no individual spooning. There is no frosting. There is rolling or kneading. You just whip up a batter, pour it in a baking pan, bake, cool, slice and voilĂ , you've got a tasty little dessert on your hands.

This weekend, Alex and I visited his mom and dad for Easter Dinner. I wanted to bring along something from the Bon Appetit cookbook that she gave me for my birthday. I looked in my cabinets, checked out the index, and decided on these Lemon-Coconut Bars. They turned out fabulous; crunchy, sweet, tart, and just a little bit savory. I was a little unsure of the flavor pairing, but I definitely will be combining lemon and coconut again. The only improvement I might make to this recipe next time around is doubling the lemon filling. It was so tasty, I just wanted more.

Lemon-Coconut Bars (From Bon Appetit Desserts)
Makes 16

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread a thin layer of coconut flakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat baking sheet. Place coconut in the oven and toast for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool. Line an 8x8" metal baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang on 2 sides of pan. Butter or spray foil with Pam baking spray and set aside. 

Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add coconut and butter and blend with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine meal and begins to clump together. 

Gather dough into a ball. Press dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. 

Bake crust until golden at edges, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon peel, flour, baking powder, and salt in processor or a blender. Remove crust from oven. Pour filling evenly over hot crust. 

Return to oven and bake until filing begins to brown at edges and is just set and springy to touch in center, about 30 minutes. 

Transfer pan to rack; cool lemon bars completely. Using foil as aid, transfer lemon bars to work surface. Fold down foil sides. Cut into bars. Sift powdered sugar over.


  1. Yum bar cookie. I need one square of these right about now...

  2. I love making bar cookies... they are definitely so much easier. These look great!

  3. and now my mouth is watering... I LOVE lemon bars! Thanks for the this recipe!