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From the Kitchen: Lemongrass Bars with Coconut Shortbread Crust

March 4, 2011

I think I’ve professed my love of lemony desserts a couple of times here on the blog, but incase you didn’t know…I LOVE all tart, lemony confections. Lemon merengue pie and lemon bars are my absolute favorites! I even went as far as foregoing the traditional wedding cake for lemon merengue pie at my wedding (which coincidentally happens to be my hubby’s favorite too!). This lemongrass bar recipe came from the March issue of Bon Appetite and I have to say, as a self-proclaimed lemon bar connoisseur… this lemongrass bar with coconut shortbread crust is insanely good! Definitely in my top 3.

I had never worked with lemongrass before this so it was fun to use a new ingredient. It looks and cuts a lot like a small leek but smells exactly like a lemon. While the lemongrass curd was absolutely delicious, I think what set this bar apart from other lemon bars was its coconut shortbread crust… a-freaking-mazing! I think it would make a great crust in many other desserts or by itself as a cookie. I followed the recipe exactly. My one bit of advice is to cut after chilling for at least an hour. Loosen all of the sides with a knife or spatula and remove from the pan whole before cutting so that you get nice even slices. A sharp butcher knife is best. Also, don’t dust with powdered sugar until you’re ready to serve. The sugar will sort of melt right into your bars if you add it too early. Definitely try this recipe at home, you won’t be sorry!

 

Ingredients

crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

filling

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, bottom 4 inches only, tough outer layer removed, finely chopped (scant 1/2 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar

Preparation

crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat flour, coconut, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl until well blended, 30 seconds. Add butter; beat on low speed until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Bake crust until golden (edges will be darker), about 25 minutes.

filling

  • Meanwhile, place sugar and lemongrass in processor; pulse until lemongrass is finely ground, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice; process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add eggs; process to blend, 10 to 15 seconds. Add flour and pinch of salt; pulse until smooth.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Pour filling over hot crust; bake until filling is firm, 22 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
  • Cut lemongrass bars lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 pieces. Dust bars with powdered sugar and serve.

Enjoy!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2011 8:15 am

    Oh I love lemon desserts too! These lemon bars look awesome! Wish I could have one right now! I have never tried baking with lemon grass before, I need to get my hands on some so I can give these a try! Yummy! :)

  2. Mert & Jerry permalink
    March 4, 2011 11:45 am

    Paola, these look and sound fabulous! My mouth is watering, and they aren’t even chocolate! Were these lemons from your little tree?
    Love you, Mert

    • March 4, 2011 12:00 pm

      They were sooooo good!! Sadly, I did not use our homegrown lemons for this recipe but we did use them a few weeks ago in something else. xoxo!

  3. Shar permalink
    September 21, 2011 4:03 pm

    I cam across your site whilst looking for something else, I was wondering, do you think that this crust could be used in the bottom of a cupcake form, and baked that way? I wouldn’t want to go all the way up the side, and I wouldn’t want it to get really crunchy either…

    • September 21, 2011 8:57 pm

      I think that would work just fine. Would you be topping it with something else? Just make sure you pre-bake the crust before adding any filling. I’d love to see the outcome!

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