For as long as I can remember, I served him desserts made of chocolate
This dear friend of ours
Until, as fate would have it, a birthday dinner in his honor. Wanting something he’d remember, a 14-layer chocolate cake was born. It took the better part of two days to construct, an awful lot of head-scratching and turned out as beautiful and delicious as a sugary masterpiece could be
Not long after, in casual conversation with his wife. “Chocolate really isn’t his thing. “ As a quiet look of dismay washed across my face, “Wait, you knew that, right?”
“But I made the cake. “ She smiled,
“And he ate it.” She smiled some more
“Come to think of it; he’s eaten all of the chocolaty desserts I’ve baked over the years.”
“So if he doesn’t like chocolate, what DOES he like?”
Life lesson #3975 – Never assume. Ask the question
As the years passed, we caught a groove he and I. New desserts crossed his plate: gingerbread, oatmeal-raisin cookies, and homemade vanilla ice cream. Life was good
Until I caught the bug for healthy cooking
It went unsaid. The fear of unfortunate desserts
Turns out, this lover of pretty much anything, as long as there are sugar and half-and-half involved, has become my litmus test. If I can please someone with a sweet tooth, I’m probably on to something
The official thumbs-up has been given to the lemon bars
This is a recipe for lemon lovers if there ever was one
A filling that’s nice and thick with great flavor and a beautiful, silky texture. The custard sits on top of a crust similar to a coconut macaroon, sweetened with maple syrup and pre-baked. It’s perfectly sticky, sweet, and gooey. Although substantial enough to hold its own without turning soggy.
A few thoughts. I upped the original custard recipe by about half, toasted the coconut, and used fresh lemons for the juice. It’s not a massive commitment to citrus fruit and worth it for a flavor that needs to shine
Ours were served plain, although I imagine they would also be great with some roasted balsamic strawberries and a few extra sprinkles of toasted coconut sprinkled on top
~ Adapted from The Little White Kitchen
Lemon Bars with Coconut
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted, but not hot, divided
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- 1 cup almond flour
- pinch salt
- 2 egg whites (save the yolks to use in the filling)
- 4 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup lemon juice around 3 lemons
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- ½ cup almond flour
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar (for dusting)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper
- In a small saucepan, over low heat, toast the shredded coconut in one Tbsp coconut oil, until lightly browned
- Make the Crust
- Melt the remaining 5 Tbsp coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat.
- Add maple syrup, toasted coconut, almond flour, and salt. Stir until combined. Remove from the heat.
- Add the two eggs whites to the coconut mixture in the pan and keep stirring for about a minute.
- Spread the coconut mixture into the prepared baking dish, using the back of a spoon or spatula. Press it down firmly, so it becomes quite compact.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (or until lightly golden brown) and remove it from the oven.
- Prepare the Filling and Assemble
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs + the 2 egg yolks with an electric mixer until frothy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for two more minutes.
- Pour the mix over the baked crust in the baking dish. Bake for around 16-19 minutes or until edges are light brown and center is set.
- Let the pan cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing the bars.
- Dust with coconut flour, powdered sugar, or a few extra toasted coconut flakes
- Serve at room temperature.
- The bars can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.