I’m a creature of habits, and I’m OK with that.
Going through Amanda Hasser’s amazing compilation of recipes, my heart stood still when I read the words “lemon” and “bars”; I immediately thought that you’ve already seen enough lemon bars around here, but I went on and read the recipe anyway. I’m so glad I did: these were not regular lemon bars. These were a match made in heaven of a chewy, nutty filling – packed with pecans and coconut – and a delicious, lemony icing – the one I love spreading over cakes and such. Did I tell you there is a buttery, shortbread-like base, too? :)
I grabbed one of the bars and munched away while watching “Rope” – too bad I was so tired I fell asleep in the middle of the movie. :(
Pecan, coconut and lemon bars
slightly adapted from the amazing The Essential New York Times Cookbook
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup (175g) light brown sugar, packed
½ cup (55) pecans, finely chopped
½ cup (50g) shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups + 2 tablespoons (261g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20x30cm (8x12in) baking pan, line the bottom and the sides with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sites; butter the foil as well.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and mix in low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, pecans, coconut, vanilla and eggs until smooth. Pour over the partially baked base and spread it evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is firm. Remove from the oven.
Mix together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth. Spread it evenly over the topping, then let cool completely. Carefully remove from the pan using the foil handles. Cut into bars.