My maternal grandmother was a Home Economics teacher in the 1960’s, and was a wonderful cook. I remember many delicious holiday meals at her home, and to this day, I still associate several specific holiday dishes with her. My mother is an amazing cook as well, and most of my basic baking and cooking skills were taught to me by my mom. It’s hard to even guess the number of delicious meals these two women have made over the years. In addition to preparing countless healthy, balanced meals, both my mom and grandma have (and had) incredible baking skills. From bread to pies to cookies, each woman had a library of delicious recipes they prepared for holidays, pot-lucks, and just for our family to enjoy. One of those memorable treats were these Lemon Coconut Bars.
I have never had any other dessert similar to this recipe. These Lemon Coconut Bars have a delicate, crumbly crust, a rich chewy coconut and walnut layer and a tart lemon icing on top. This recipe came to me from my grandmother, but I would guess it’s actually originally from her mother. There is something about these bars that seems quite old fashioned (in the best possible way). These sweet and tart bars are perfect for a pot-luck, ladies luncheon, or tea party.
Dispite the name of these bars, they are not at all similar to traditional lemon bars, they are a different treat all together.
I know it makes (made) my mom and grandma proud to see me making recipes that have been in our family a long time. I get a special joy from preparing recipes that have a history in our family.
Is there a special recipe you remember from your mom or grandma?
How to Make Lemon Coconut Bars
Lemon Coconut Bars
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, room temperature.
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 325*F.
- Prepare a 9"x9" baking pan by lining it with parchment paper (along the bottom and up two sides). Grease the unlined sides with butter.
- Prepare the crust by beating the butter (with an electic mixer) until smooth. Add flour and powdered sugar (slowly) and cream together just until well combined. Press mixture into the prepared pan. It may be helpful to occasionally wet your fingers with a bit of water so the mixture doesn't stick to them.
- Bake crust at 325*F. for 12-15 minutes.
- Prepare the filling by mixing all of the dry filling ingredients (coconut, brown sugar, walnuts, flour, baking powder, salt) together in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, the pour eggs into the bowl of dry ingredients. Add vanilla and still all ingredients until combined (can easily be done by hand).
- Spread filling onto the pre-baked crust, and bake an additional 20-25 minutes.
- Once the bars have baked, prepare lemon glaze.
- In a medium bowl combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, lemon juice and zest. Stir with a whisk until smooth and well combined. Pour glaze on top of baked bars. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes.