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Tangy and rich Coconut Key Lime Bars!
Coconut Key Lime Bars: sweet, tart, tangy and luscious. This is what summer tastes like!
These coconut key lime bars are rich and creamy and practically melt in your mouth. Each bite is a tropical extravaganza you won’t soon forget. If you love lemon bars, you’ll love this flavorful twist on the classic.
Fresh key limes are not just for dessert.
Each and every summer I make at least one luscious dessert recipe using key limes. It’s a family tradition! My son always wants my Key Lime Pie, and my husband adores our Key Lime Pie Gelato. After making our family favorites, I usually have leftover key limes in my fridge but that’s ok because they are a great addition to so many recipes, both sweet and savory.
I started adding key lime juice to salad dressing, marinades and often squeeze a little on grilled chicken and fish. I’ve also made key lime butter with juice and zest for a terrific topping on grilled salmon. Oh yes I did!
Don’t stop using your key limes after you make a pie, bars and gelato; take the tangy flavor to your favorite savory summer recipes too.
We’ve added a little shredded, toasted coconut to the shortbread crust.
These bars have just a hint of toasted coconut flavor which combines beautifully with key lime. I don’t know about you, but the coconut and key lime combo transports me to the beach with warm sand between my toes, a big floppy hat and the aroma of suntan lotion smeared all over. The toasted coconut also adds a little chewiness to the crust, which I love.
Serve your key lime bars with a pretty garnish.
If you’re having company and want to fancy-up these simple key lime bars, add some key lime zest, a dollop of barely sweetened cream, toasted coconut curls and key lime wedges. I love adding the not-so-sweet whipped cream as it cuts the richness of these bars.
The chewy toasted coconut really adds to the tropical vibe and the little key limes give it that big pucker-factor you won’t soon forget.
Enjoy this quintessential summer dessert for your next gathering!
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Coconut Key Lime Bars
For the crust:
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the filling:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup fresh key lime juice (about 12-14 key limes)
For garnish (optional):
- lightly sweetened whipped cream
- toasted coconut
- key lime wedges
- lime zest
- powdered sugar
To prepare the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper long enough to create a sling, coming up and over the sides of the pan.
- Place the coconut in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the coconut, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Remove the coconut from the skillet to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Process just until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Do not over-mix or allow the mixture to come together like dough. Pour the crust mixture into the bowl with the toasted coconut and mix to blend. The mixture will be dry.
- Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Press the mixture firmly compressing the crust. Place the unbaked crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and bake until light golden brown, about 20 - 25 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
To prepare the filling:
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs until blended. Add the sugar, flour and cornstarch and whisk until combined. Add the key lime juice and whisk again until smooth. Pour the filling over the warm baked crust and immediately place in the 300°F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center does not jiggle when tapped. Cool completely on a wire rack then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Remove the coconut key lime bars from the pan using the parchment to lift onto a cutting board. Run a very sharp, thin knife under hot running water then carefully dry the blade. This will give you razor sharp cuts for a beautiful presentation. Repeat until the bars are cut.
- Garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or a dollop of lightly sweetened cream, toasted coconut and key lime wedges and serve.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
- Makes 9, 12 or 16 bars, depending on how you cut them.
Here are a few more key lime recipes you might like:
Key Lime Pie – this summer classic has a creamy smooth, tart filling and a sweet graham cracker crust. Use fresh key limes and plenty of zest for the best flavor! Click HERE for the easy recipe.
Creamy, bright, tangy and luscious, this Key Lime Pie Gelato has all the flavors we love in a great key lime pie…in a scoopable frozen treat! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Coconut Key Lime Meltaways – a light and buttery bite-sized cookie with a big tropical flavor. Click HERE to get the recipe.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia