Friday, January 11, 2013

Coconut Key Lime Pie Bars...a little taste of summer in the winter

I am currently clicking my ruby slippers...I wish I was still in Scotland, I wish I was still in Scotland...damn that totally didn't work.  Oh well time to jump into 2013.  My weird planner self has already made plans, plans for running, for visiting friends, for welcome back parties, for baking and moving.  Planning ahead is totally just my personality, I won't deny it, or shy away from it.  I love a good to do list.  This weeks list included baking the first office birthday dessert of 2013.  

The request coconut key lime bars.  A little summer in the cold DC winter.  The bars have great crunch along with a smooth creamy top.  They are a nice refreshing treat after all of the chocolate consumed this winter.  The coconut and key lime really ring summer in the dead of winter.  So, give them a try.  If you are going to be serving them at a party, I would recommend making them in a cupcake tin for easy serving purposes.  Enjoy!

A few fun pics from the place I wish I was...filled with lazy afternoons when life felt like a vacation.

A stroll through the park to the botanical gardens.

An afternoon beer at Brew Dog...with the best coaster...

"Listen up Punk!"
"It's a tough life being a beer mat.  Squashed under a glass, passed around like a gypsy.  Despite my killer looks, my life expectancy is should.  I am a beautiful life.
So it you're going to squash me, soak me and kill me, a least do me the G*d damn dignity of abusing me with an awesome BrewDog beer?
I am a willing martyr in the craft beer revolution.  
Now get back to drinking you beer b*tch."

Oh how I wanted to steal the mugs; I must find some!

And back to my favorite tearoom for a pot of chai tea with a very special boy.

A beautiful bridge, and a glance to show how much I didn't want to leave the next day.

Then down to the good stuff:

A little morning prep...I made the crust ahead of time so I would have less to do when I got off of work.

Yolk and lime zest are whisked until thick.

Lots of time spent juicing these little key limes.  You can totally use lime juice instead if you can't find key limes.

Filling ready for the crust, and then to be baked.

Fresh out of the oven.  Now time to let it cool.

Finish it off will a little whipped cream.

Coconut Key Lime Pie Bars: (recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 large egg yolks
3 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 46 Key limes total) or 1 1/3 cup lime juice
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)

Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

4-5 key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut toasted for garnish

1.  Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2.  In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs,toasted coconut, sugar and butter in a small bowl. 

3.  Press evenly onto bottom of an 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on.)

4.  Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. 

5.  Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. 

6. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.  

7.  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).

8.  Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars. 

9.  Put cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, mix until stiff peaks form. Garnish bars with whipped cream and a slice of lime and toasted coconut.

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