Easy dessert of lemon-coconut shortbread bars for a casual nibble or throw in the picnic basket.
Yes, I know I promised another recipe for my Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes next. But I’ve been thinking about posting desserts on Fridays, and here we are at Friday already. I swear yesterday was Monday, but somehow I slammed through TuesdayWednesdayThursday in the time it takes to make an omelet.
When I was in school, Friday was dessert day. It was one of the only days we weren’t on a strict schedule with dishes due up at specific times for judging. Instead, Fridays were spread out like a blanket for a picnic, and the pace was, relatively speaking, more leisurely with excited chatter in the kitchen sprinkled with plans for the upcoming weekend.
Each Friday had a focus. We might all make a variety of custard dishes one week, and candies the next. Piping meringues to make baskets for strawberries was a very fun day; my first attempt at constructing and decorating a sad-looking Princess cake a little less successful. At the end of the day, our projects were placed on a long wooden table to loud swoons. Finally, soaring on a sugar high from all the tasting, we split up the desserts to share (or hoard) over the weekend. For me, it was a great way to end a stressful week of trying to keep up with all the students who were soooo much younger than I.
Ever since, Fridays conjure up images of dessert. And it’s so practical, when you
rationalize think about it. It gets you all set up for any weekend plans you might have with friends and family, or just by yourself. So I’m kicking off this little Friday Desserts series with these little lemon shortbread bars I recently created for Ask Miss A magazine. They’re a great ending for a casual dinner or BBQ, or the perfect addition to a picnic you might have planned for this holiday weekend. If you don’t want them right away, just cut them into squares and freeze them. When you’re ready to eat one, or all of them, just thaw on the counter for 30 minutes, or zap in the microwave for 20 seconds (depending on the strength of your microwave).
Tomorrow, without fail, I promise to post another recipe for my Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes. But for today, I just want to relax with these little lemon treats and a great book I’m reading.
For the recipe, it’s located here on Ask Miss A, an on-line magazine that is the intersection of style and charity.
A Few Cooking Notes:
The recipe calls for baking the base first, but I’ve done it several times now without doing it. The consistency is a little more tender if you don’t do a little prebaking, but it will definitely work.
I added 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves sprinkled over the lemon curd in my recent versions, with great success.
The best way to know it’s done is to watch for a slight darkening of the crust around the edges. When that happens, I pull it from the oven. It will firm up as it cools. I don’t remove the bars from the pan until they cool. This helps to retain their shape.
It might not seem that there’s a great deal of coconut oil in the recipe, but the lemon and thyme is very easily overwhelmed by the coconut flavor, and I was looking for a hint of coconut while allowing the lemon to shine through.
I used a jar of lemon curd for this recipe, but you can absolutely make your own!
I hope you enjoy these, and have a wonderful holiday weekend!!