Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coconut Lime Bars

One of my favorites, Terri, had sent me a recipe for these Lime Bars that she insisted "you HAVE to make!".  I had to endure listened with interest to her raving about these for days.  I'm not joking.  Days.  She had gone to a Cinco de Mayo cooking class at her library in North Canton, Ohio with the creator of this recipe,  Chef Sarah Mentzer, and was just so excited about it!

Last week I was trying to gear up for a Memorial Day party for 9 adults, 7 children and 2 infants. Alright the infants don't count, but I got some much needed snuggle time!  Whatever.  The amount of food that I cooked for that party was insane (status quo) but I needed some easy desserts that were both kid and adult friendly.  Oh and did I mention that after all the cooking I did, every guest then also brought a dish or two?  I hang with a great group of people!  I was searching high and low for something...but I was coming up blank.

So here I was in the throws of making those adorable little jello shots I saw on Pinterest that look like tiny watermelons (you know exactly which ones I am talking about if you're on addicted to Pinterest!  If not, check these out!) and while coring out the lime halves it occurred to me that I was going to have a load of lime juice and nothing planned to do with it.  Balls.  Then it hit me...I guess I will be making those damn bars after all.  Perfect!  I had already gone to the stores to get everything I needed to cook for the party but figured I probably had everything on hand to make them.  How wrong I was.  Double Balls.  I was in stress mode at this point for sure looking at everything I still had not checked off of my list and now I was adding another dish?  Sure!

I took a sip of my cocktail and pulled up my big girl panties and it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Mind you I was being a bit dramatic for about 4 seconds but really the only thing I was missing was the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough!  No worries!  I make a delicious lemon square and thought why not just use that base for these bad boys?  Now you should know it's rare for me to try out a new recipe on people coming over for a party.  I do have my "go to's" that are always so willing to be my guinea pigs (thank you my bitches!), along with my little family, but this was out of my comfort zone.  So I did what I think any of you would do in my position...I made them, cooled them, cut them and the children and I ate the edges!  I had to stop everyone from eating too much, these were for the party you know!  I promise you that you won't be disappointed making and devouring these scrumptious little squares...and what a great change from it's lemon sister.

Here's what you need for the crust:

  • ½ pound UNSALTED Butter, Softened
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup toasted sweetened coconut
Here's what you need for the filling/topping:
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 5 large Eggs (size matters!)
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon each grated Lime and Lemon Zest
  • ⅓ cup Flour
  • Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Before you start anything just preheat your oven to 350℉ and then line a pan (13x9 please) with enough tin foil to extend beyond the ends of the pan.  This makes for easy clean up and removal from the pan.  Make sure you spray a bit of your favorite non-stick spray on the foil before adding the crust to the pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar really well, don't be afraid to let the mixer rip for 5 minutes.  Pretty sure I've said that before?  While that's doing it's thing measure out the flour and salt in a separate bowl.  Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl halfway through and when it's light and fluffy add in half of the flour mixture.  Mix quickly then add the rest.  It will be loose and not come together like a traditional sugar cookie dough but fear not...just mix it for a minute (don't forget to scrape down the sides again!) then add the coconut.  Remember that you don't want to over mix anything once you add flour.  Thirty seconds after adding the coconut should be plenty to get you to the stage you need to be at.  Take your bowl and just dump the whole thing into your prepared pan!  If you are following my directions right now you will be cursing and saying things that I don't think should necessarily be in print.  HA!  Press the "dough" into the pan as evenly as you can...look at it coming together now huh?  Place the pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it's a light golden color.
In the original recipe from Chef Sarah she used the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (that I didn't have!) and kneaded in the toasted coconut and ½ cup of flour then pressed it into the pan and baked it for 15 minutes.  I love this idea too!
While the base of the bar is happily baking away you can get the filling/topping together.  It's really simple too, which I love!  Take the eggs, sugar, lime juice, zests and flour and whisk them together in a bowl until there aren't any lumps and it's silky smooth.  Chef Sarah had suggested using 1-3 drops of green food coloring at this point as well.  I didn't use it so mine looked quite a bit like a lemon square but tasted much different.  Pour this mixture over the base once it comes out of the oven and throw it right back in to bake for 20 minutes until it's set.  Mine was in the oven for 23 minutes because it was still moving at 20.
Cool it on a rack and once it's cooled you can lift the whole lot right out of the pan and onto a cutting board.  Cut the bars any way you'd like...squares, rectangles, diamonds, big or small.  Make sure once they are cut that you dust them with some powdered sugar and try to share!
Thanks to Chef Sarah for letting me share her recipe my way!  And a special thanks to my girl, Terri, for sharing it with me in the first place!  Mwah!!!
Bon's time to eat!


  1. yea for me checking out a library class! it was awesome, so is Chef Sarah and so you are!

  2. Oh Yum, these do sound wonderful. I love keylime pie, so know I would love these too.
    blessings, Nellie

    1. Nellie key lime pie is one of my all time favorites and these bars are a huge hit wherever I bring them. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Seriously?!? You posted ANOTHER great link at the FFF party! My neighbor has a lime tree and I may have to ask for some fresh limes to make this delicious treat! :)

    1. Lindsey I would die for citrus trees! Fresh limes would make these absolutely mind blowing! Let me know how they turn out ;-)

  4. Dear Kathi, you had me at coconut and lime! My two favorites together in a dessert- I'm in food heaven. These look so delicious, I could almost taste them. I found your site via Foodie Friday. I do hope you come visit me soon! Blessings to you, Catherine

  5. Love both coconut and lime so I know this will be a great recipe. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday and remember to come and vote tomorrow.