If your Valentine doesn’t like chocolate, these might do the trick to show your love. Forget the heart, my love is in my stomach most days. These tart, rich, buttery bars are a perfect dessert. The lemon juice comes right out and you and says, “pow, here I am…” right away. The shortbread crust is the perfect compliment to the cold, creamy lemon filling. I added coconut to the crust for added decadence and to break up the buttery crust a bit. You may not like coconut in your crust, so just leave it out and you still have one heck of a lemon bar on your hands.
The hardest part of these bars is waiting for them to cool. I recommend letting them set up over night or you’ll have a goopy mess on your hands. This will also help you practice a smidge of self restraint. This might be my favorite lemon bar recipe to date. Second to my homemade lemon curd.
an hour + cooling time
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 9×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Make the crust.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest.
- Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture.
- Blend in with an electric mixer at low speed until mixture forms coarse, sandy crumbs.
- Fold in coconut.
- Pour into pan and press mixture down (with your fingers or the back of a spoon) into an even layer.
- Bake for 16-19 minutes, until just lightly browned around the edges.
To make filling:
- While crust is baking, make filling.
- Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl.
- When the crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
- Cool completely before slicing.
- Top slices with confectioners’ sugar to serve.
Makes about 24 bars.