Welcome To My Gluten Free Website!

Welcome To My Website!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Golden Coconut-Lemon Bars

If you are a lover of  lemon and coconut then these are for you! The topping is just the right sweet-tart and so creamy, flecked with tender strands of sweetened shredded coconut. And the crust? My buttery-rich Gluten Free Scottish Shortbread crust is the ultimate compliment to the creamy filling. I just know that you're going to love them!

I find it extremely comforting knowing that I can convert all of my favorite recipes
to gluten free. In fact last night we took my youngest daughter out to dinner for her birthday. She wanted to go to The Macaroni Grill. Her choice. Okay. I'll make this work for me. Hmmm. 

The hardest part of the evening for me I knew was not being able to enjoy their incredible freshly baked magnificently fragranced delectable bread. I sure hope i've described how good their bread is! Of course then you pour a little EVOO onto a saucer, then pour some Balsamic vinegar into the middle of that, add a few dashes of salt and pepper and you are good to go. Tear a chunk of bread off the beautiful loaf, dip into the EVOO mix, close your eyes and slip that gorgeous dipped concoction into your mouth, savoring every tiny molecule of delicious-ness! 

So, I said to myself, I need to cut a few pieces of my own bread and take it with me. so I did just that. I cut three half inch slices, dropped them into a baggie and stuffed it into my purse. When the plates and accoutrements were brought to the table, I felt almost giddy!
I calmly waited until THEIR bread was brought, took my little baggie out of my purse, removed a slice and placed it onto my bread plate. I then (it was almost as if I  was in slow motion) took a small chunk of my OWN bread, dipped it and put it into my mouth. Oh good gravy it felt and tasted absolutely divine. 

I felt so good to be able to participate in just this tiny one family-community event. Literally; to break bread with everyone else, (which has more convoluted meanings than I have just described). It was wonderful to feel a part of it all. Just in that one action. Okay Deb, I'm sure you are all saying, where's the Lemon-Coconut Bar recipe?!

Oh yeah...here it is:

Golden Lemon-Coconut Bars

Buttery Crust:
1/2 cup butter plus 2 Tablespoons, room temp but still cool, you don't want it "melty"
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Lemon-Coconut Topping:
1/4 cup Jeanne's GF AP Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking powder 
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 teaspoons lemon zest, fresh is always best
1/2 cup lemon juice, again fresh is always best
3 cups sweetened coconut, shredded grated, flaked whichever your have


Buttery Crust:

Pre-heat oven to 325°F. 
You will need a 9" x 13" baking pan.

1. Spray non-stick cooking spray lightly onto your baking pan , and line with parchment paper leaving "handles" as shown in the photo. These are really helpful with removal of the slab from the pan, making it easier to cut.

#1 Prepared pan with parchment paper handles.
2. Mix the butter and sugar on medium high until well incorporated, turn speed down to medium low and slowly add in the flour. Mix well. The crust should feel moist but not soggy so when you pinch some it will stay together nicely, and not so dry that when you pinch it, it crumbles. 

3. a.) I like to use a cooking fork to break the dough into clumps for easier distribution. 
#3 a.)  Gently breaking the dough up.
3. b.) Pull the dough onto the prepared baking pan and distribute the crumbles evenly over the surface. Firmly push and pat the dough into place and as smooth and even as possible. 
#3 b.) Crust crumbles.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes only. Do not try to brown the crust or it will be over baked in the very end, as it is cooked twice. Remove from the oven.

#4 Par-baked crust ready for fruit topping.
Lemon Coconut Topping:
5. In a medium bowl sift together the gluten free flour mix together with the baking powder, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
6. In your mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and coconut, mixing well. Turn the mixer down to low speed, scrape the sides down, add in the flour mixture and be sure that everything is mixed well.
7. Pour the lemon-coconut mixture over the par-baked crust and smooth it with a rubber spatula or offset knife.
8. Bake at 325°F. for 35-45 minutes. The crust edges should be a light golden brown, and when wiggling the pan it should be set. If you think it needs to cook a bit more, add in 5 minute increments. The top crust should be light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Cover cooled bars with saran wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
9. When bars are sufficiently cooled, grasp the parchment paper "handles" and gently but firmly lift the confection out of the pan and straight away onto your cutting surface. Cut into bars, or triangles, and keep them refrigerated until ready to serve.

Wrap in clear cellophane and give as gifts!