Pink Lemon Coconut Bars

Remember the cute pink lemons? They're making their way into lemon coconut bars today. Because the pink  of the lemon is only a hint of pink, the color doesn't translate to the bars. However, if you're looking for pink, adding a little bit of strained, pureed strawberries or raspberries could do the trick! I didn't do that for this batch but may try it for a future round.... Feel free to make this recipe with Meyer lemons as well (really I can't taste the difference between a pink or yellow lemon if given a blind taste test ... but the pink ones are just so cute!).

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs
4 tablespoons pink lemon juice
2 tablespoons pink lemon zest
2/3 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350F. If using non-stick 9x9 ceramic baking pan, no need to line with foil and butter, otherwise, you might want to be able to pull it out and cut in serving squares for fanciness (versus eating the squares right out of the pan).

I used a food processor for the whole recipe, made it easy for clean-up! To make the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Process briefly, just until mixed. Add the butter and coconut and process until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Transfer to the pan and press into the bottom and up a little on the sides to form a crust. I got a little carried away and made my crust too high; in hindsight, I recommend going up no more than 1/2 inch up the sides (on the other hand, if your favorite part is the nutty crust, having the extra crust above the filling gives you something to crumble over the top of your finished product for extra crunch!). Bake until light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.

While your kitchen is filling up with the smell of toasted coconut, make the filling. Rinse out your food processor and combine the sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest, baking powder, and salt. Process until smooth. When the crust is ready, pour the filling in and hear it sizzle on the hot crust. Put back into the oven and bake until the edges begin to brown and the middle springs up with a light touch, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Top with powdered sugar if desired before serving.


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