Saturday, February 20, 2010

Key Lime Bars in Coconut Crust

I tried very hard to get this recipe posted yesterday, as promised, but when I sat down at the computer at 10 o'clock last night, not only did I have trouble forming words into sentences, but I could barely keep my eyes open. Okay, enough excuses! This recipe is from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Cookbook. It combines the flavors of coconut and lime and makes a wonderfully refreshing bar cookie. A kind of sweet and tart combo that is so very good. As a matter of fact, everyone who tried it today just loved it, so don't just take my word for it!
I especially love the crunch of the toasted coconut in the crust. I made one small change to the filling, which was to add some lime zest to give it more "punch". I halved the recipe and used a 9" square pan.

Begin by combining all the crust ingredients in a food processor, reserving 1 cup for the topping and press into the bottom of your pan and bake.
Make the filling and pour onto the crust.

Bake the bars and sprinkle on the reserved crumbs. bake another 10 minutes and that's it! Let it cool 1 hour and chill.
Key Lime Bars in Coconut Crust
2/3 cup ( 5 3/8 oz.)brown sugar
1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 oz.)unbleached AP flour
3 cups ( 9 oz.) shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1/2 cup ( 1 stick, 4 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
One 8 oz. package cream cheese ( reduced fat, Neufchatel, or full fat), softened
1 3/4 cups ( 12 1/4 oz.) sugar
Pinch salt
3 tbsp. ( 3/4 oz.) unbleached AP flour
4 large eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup ( 2 3/4 to 4 oz.) Key lime juice or fresh lime juice, to taste
zest of half lime ( this is my addition)
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch, 11 x 11 inch or similar sized pan.
1. Combine all the crust ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Mix or process til mixture is crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of the crumbs and press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
2. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, til it's golden brown.
1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese til soft. Add the sugar and salt and beat til well blended.
2. Stir in the flour, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Stir in the lime juice ( and zest if using) mixing til smooth. Pour onto the crust.
4. Bake the bars for 15 minutes.
5. Sprinkle top with reserved crumbs and bake an additional 10 minutes or til set around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the middle.
6. Remove from oven and let cool at room temp. for 1 hour.
7. For easiest slicing, refridgerate for several hours.
* To toast coconut, place in a shallow baking pan and spread in a single layer. Bake in a 325 oven for 8 to 10 minutes or longer if needed til nice light golden brown . Check toward the end to be sure coconut doesn't burn.*

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