We’re comfort baking more than ever now – hope everyone is safe and sound.
Coconut, graham crackers, and citrus make for a lovely winter treat!
A bit of sunshine in bar form? Leave your links here!
Next up on the schedule: bars with creamy citrus curd on a crisp coconut-graham crust! Posting date is December 1.
- For the graham-coconut crust
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15-17 crackers)
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- For the lemon lime filling
- 11 large egg yolks
- 3 large eggs
- 1¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coconut. Put the baking sheet in the oven and toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss the coconut, and return it to the oven for 3 more minutes.
- Put the graham cracker crumbs in a large bowl, add the toasted coconut and the brown sugar, and toss with your hands until combined. Add the melted butter. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.
- Put the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.
- Increase the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Put the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon and lime juices, and lemon and lime zests in a large, clean metal pot. Whisk until combined. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 180 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to press the curd through the sieve.
- Make sure the curd is evenly distributed. Tap the pan gently against the counter to make a level layer.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is just set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Wrap the pan in plastic (do not let the plastic touch the filling) and put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.
- The bars will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for 2 days.
It’s no wonder these have been a long-time favorite at the bakery. Thumbs up all around!
Better than traditional Rice Krispy treats?
Honeycomb bars – delicious, and best for dessert! Plus Little Baker Bunny went rogue with the amazing s’more nut bars, and Kat classed it up with cherries and maple in hers.
Breakfast or dessert – what’s the verdict?
Next up on the schedule is a recipe that works as well for breakfast as it does for dessert — Honeycomb Bars. Posting date is May 19.
- FOR THE SWEET TART DOUGH
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- FOR THE HONEYCOMB BAR FILLING
- ¾ cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/3 cup diced candied orange peel (see page 28)
- 2 tablespoons cake flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup honey
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Shot of brandy or bourbon
- 2½ cups sliced almonds, toasted
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until combined.
- In a small bowl whisk together the heavy cream, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add this to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the flour and salt until just combined.
- Turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and form into an oblong disk. Wrap the disk tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle roughly the shape of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, and press into the bottom of the pan (do not press up the sides). Don’t worry if you aren’t able to roll out a perfect crust. The dough is quite forgiving and can be pressed, in pieces, into the pan by hand. Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper (see page 95). Place dried beans or pie weights over the dough and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Transfer from the oven to a cooling rack. Keep the oven on while you make the filling.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the dried cherries, orange peel, cake flour, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, heavy cream, honey, and butter. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the mixture to the soft ball stage, approximately 240 degrees F. Do not stir the mixture while it is coming to this stage.
- Once the mixture reaches 240 degrees F., add the brandy and remove from the heat.
- Fold the dry ingredients and the almonds into the hot sugar mixture and pour the mixture into the sweet tart crust. Spread the filling evenly, and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the bar is golden and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.
- Bars can be stored at room temperature, covered and sealed, for up to 4 days.
Accolades all around for luxury shortbread, no surprises here!