Coconut Key Lime Bars take my favorite classic pie and twist it with toasty coconut. The best part is they are easy to make and serve as squares.
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If you love a tangy and sweet lime dessert, topped with fluffy whipped cream, with a toasted coconut crust, have I got the dessert for you!
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If you have an affinity for Key Lime Pie, you know what I’m talking about. That smooth, creamy curd filling baked into a graham cracker crust is close to heavenly. Have you ever had it as they do in the Florida Keys, dipped in chocolate?
I have had Key Lime Bars before and they make me just as happy as a pie. Essentially the exact same thing, made in a square pan, it’s easy to slice and serve. Another of my favorite recipes baked untraditionally in a pan are these One Pan Sugar Cookie Bars!
I took this tropical treat to the next level by adding toasted coconut to the cookie crust.
For starters if you’ve ever wondered about Key limes versus regular limes, here’s the deal:
What are Key limes?
Key limes, also called Mexican or West Indian limes, are smaller in size than regular, or the Persian variety you typically see in the store. They’re prized for their flavor which is super tart due to higher acidity.
Their aroma is much stronger and almost floral. It’s a flowery lime aroma with that pungent sour taste–so fun to cook with! Key lime skin is thinner and the flesh is more yellow and often full of seeds. It takes a lot more of these little limes to get enough juice for a pie, or for these pie bars.
Is juicing all those tiny limes worth it? Sure! If Key limes are available I say try them. Will your pie bars turn out delicious using regular Persian limes? Absolutely! You still get a lime flavor and tangy zing.
The crust is a classic graham cracker situation made absolutely fabulous with toasted coconut! The more tropical, the better, I say. Plus the coconut gives the crust a lighter texture with the perfect crunch.
Coconut Key Lime Bars are a cinch to make and even easier to cut and serve. No fussing with a pie tin!
A dollop of sweetened whipped cream balances out the flavors. Sure, you can use cream from a can or even classic old Cool Whip–but I dare say real whipped cream is absolute perfection here.
For more out-of-this world desserts check out what’s been cooking on other pages of Tara Teaspoon:
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- 1 pkg graham crackers 9 to 10 sheets
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut toasted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter melted
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- ⅔ cup fresh Key lime juice 25 to 30 Key limes
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Key limes thinly sliced for garnish
- Toasted coconut for garnish
Heat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square pan or baking dish with parchment. I like to cut a long parchment strip to fit inside the edges of the pan and let it hang over two sides. That way I can pull the bars out to cut them.
In a food processor blend the graham crackers until they are very fine crumbs. Add the toasted coconut, sugar and butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Press the crust mixture evenly onto bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until dry and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. (Leave oven on)
Make filling: Mix egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.
Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula. Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).
For topping: Put cream and confectioners' sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
Remove bars from pan using overhanging parchment and cut into squares. Garnish bars with whipped cream, a slice of lime and toasted coconut.
Swap Key limes for regular or Persian limes in this recipe.
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