April 15, 2009

"Sugar, Sugar"

When life gives you lemons....make Coconut Lemon Bars!
My husband absolutely loves the flavor of lemons, probably more than I do. This recipe comes from a friend who used to work with me. (Thank you Jennifer!) Whenever "Mr. Grumpy" is feeling blue, you can be sure that any dessert involving lemon will cheer him up. Try this and you'll see what I mean. (Be sure to use real lemons, and not the "squirt bottle" type. Let's get back to basics here!)

Golden Coconut Lemon Bars

For the crust:

2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (if desired)

For the topping:

4 large eggs (room temp)
1 and 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups flaked coconut (preferably sweetened)
(Make the crust first, so you'll know what measurements to use.)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the pan with foil. (Be sure to extend the foil over the sides of the pan; you will be using this to lift out the cooked bars.) Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray as well.

Make the crust:

In a large bowl, beat together until fluffy: butter, confectioner's sugar, salt.

On low speed, gradually add the flour (and nuts, if you'd like). Press mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan onto the foil. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Combine the topping:

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a mixer until frothy (they will look foamy and airy). Beat in the granulated sugar until well combined. Combine the flour and baking powder, gradually add while beating on low/medium speed. Add the lemon zest and juice; mix well. Fold in the coconut by hand.

Spread topping evenly over warm crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are golden in color.

Cool completely after baking. Lift up the foil with the bar mixture and lay on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar.

Store in the fridge. And hide one for later....

Thought for the day:
"We are living in a world today
where lemonade is made from artificial flavors,
and furniture polish is made from real lemons."

- Alfred E. Newman (ficticious mascot/MAD magazine)

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