I love spring. There's no better feeling than the warm sun on your face and a cool breeze blowing through your hair after months of depressing, gray and cold days. And witnessing trees bud, bloom and turn green always gives me hope for the future.
I would say that by far it is the bright colors that can help make life seem better again. I always thought that a gorgeous bunch of daffodils was one of the most happiest sights in the world. What better way to celebrate the lemony yellow of the flower that signals that Spring has finally arrived than with a lemony dessert?
I've never been a huge fan of lemon bars or tarts. I find most recipes either too sour or too sweet. And then I happened on a recipe from Budget Bytes (this is becoming my favorite place to discover recipes) for lemon coconut bars. It seems Beth (the blog's author) has happened upon the best way to mellow out and balance the sour without overpowering it with sweet. A perfect compliment to the balance of warmth and coolness that is embodied in the ideal Spring day.
Lemon Coconut Bars
Don't forget Beth's helpful breakdown of cost. Her estimate puts the total at an amazing $2.38.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flower and powdered sugar. Mix until evenly combined.
- Let the butter come to room temperature and then just work it into the flour mixture with your hands. Mixture will look like lumpy sand.
- Lightly spray a 9x13 inch glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. Pour the flour/butter/sugar mixture evenly into the dish and press it down with your hands until it is compacted. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice and baking powder in a bowl. Mix it well until the sugar is dissolved. The baking soda will react with the acidic lemon juice and begin to foam, don't worry.
- When the crust is finished baking, quickly re-whisk the filling then pour it over the crust. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and bake the whole thing for 20 more minutes or until it is golden brown on top. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
The squares were a hit with my future in-laws (it's been way too long since we got to see each other!). And they fit almost perfectly with the strawberry pie that was served as the other half of dessert. It was lovely to scoop up the leftover strawberry filling with the lemony squares.