Coconut-Lemon Bars

Is there any better way to end my summer stream of treats than with a lemon bar? This was one of the last goodies I made while in Boston and I needed to use up ingredients I couldn't lug back with me to the sunshine state. Opinions are fierce for the most ideal crust to custard ratio on a perfect lemon bar. I prefer a 50:50 divide because I strongly believe both the shortbread and lemon topping are equally essential and must be tasted in balance. To make it my own, I added almond extract instead of vanilla to the crust and topped the bright yellow custard with sweet shredded coconut. With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, get in your last summer squeeze with this citrusy lemon bar recipe!

Coconut-Lemon Bars

photo credit: Zac Wolf

Coconut-Lemon Bars
Inspiration from: Smitten Kitchen, My Baking Addition, Food52 

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Lemon Custard
1 + 1/4 cup sugar 3 eggs
2/3 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp flour

1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking dish

2. Combine crust ingredients until uniform

3. Press dough into bottom of baking dish evenly

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden brown

5. Let cool for 10 minutes and set the oven at 350 degrees

6. In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs with a hand mixer

7. Mix in lemon juice, zest, baking powder, and flour until combined

8. Pour lemon custard over the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

9. After 15 minutes, sprinkle the shredded coconut on top 10. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes 11. Dust with confectioners sugar and enjoy warm or cold!