Lemon Curd Bars with coconut and pecans

This recipe, from the 2010 Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie magazine, was the surprise star of my cookie trays. My husband, who is not all that fond of lemon desserts, had to admit he was WRONG about these being "gross." Something he declared after finding out that not only were these lemon, they had coconut and nuts as well. I ended up having to hide them from him to save enough for the trays!

The coconut makes these chewy. I haven't tried making these with almonds, but they're delicious with pecans. I use Trader Joe's lemon curd. Because I'm lazy. You could probably make your own if you're an overachiever ambitious.

Lemon Curd Bars
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 10-12 oz jar lemon curd
2/3 cup flaked coconut (I used sweetened)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds or coarsely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil, set pan aside.

2. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in flour and baking powder until combined. (Mixture will be crumbly). Remove 2/3 cup of crumb mixture; set aside. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom of prepared baking pan.

3. Bake crust in oven for 5-8 minutes or until top is golden (that's about 10-11 minutes for me up here in the mountains). Remove from oven. Spread lemon curd over hot crust to within 1/2 inch of edge. (Try to avoid having lemon curd touch the edges of the pan, because it can scorch). In a medium bowl, stir together reserved crumb mixture, coconut and nuts. Sprinkle coconut mixture over lemon curd.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or  until edges are golden and topping is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using edges of foil, lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into 32 bars.

Store in a single layer in covered, airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

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