Lemon Coconut Cream Squares

Lemon Coconut Cream Squares:

These delightful Lemon Coconut Cream Squares are a tantalizing fusion of bright citrus flavors and creamy coconut goodness. With a buttery, crumbly crust as its foundation, each square is a symphony of textures and tastes that dance across the palate.

At first bite, you’re greeted by the zesty freshness of lemon, its tangy notes awakening the senses and setting the stage for the culinary journey ahead. The smooth, velvety coconut cream filling follows, its richness balanced by a hint of sweetness that lingers on the tongue.

As you sink your teeth into the luscious layers, the contrasting textures come alive – the crispness of the crust giving way to the creamy indulgence of the coconut filling. Each mouthful is a harmonious blend of flavors, with the tartness of the lemon complementing the tropical sweetness of the coconut in perfect harmony.

The finishing touch comes in the form of a delicate dusting of shredded coconut on top, adding a subtle crunch and an extra layer of coconut flavor to every bite. It’s a symphony of taste and texture, a dessert that delights both the palate and the senses.

These Lemon Coconut Cream Squares are more than just a dessert – they’re a celebration of flavor, a testament to the beauty of simplicity and the joy of indulgence. Whether enjoyed as a sweet treat after a meal or as a pick-me-up during the day, each bite is a moment of pure bliss, transporting you to a tropical paradise of sunshine and sweetness.

Servings: Makes about 16 squares, give or take, depending on how generous you are with that knife.

Ingredients

– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup powdered sugar
– 1/2 cup cold butter
– 2 large eggs
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
– Zest of 1 lemon
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, your preference)

Directions

1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish generously with butter or line it with parchment paper.

2. Mix the flour and powdered sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press this mixture into your prepared baking dish, creating an even layer.

3. Slide it into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until it’s just turning golden. You want a firm base, not overdone.

4. While that’s baking, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well blended. Stir in the vanilla extract, then gently fold in the coconut.

5. Pour this mixture over the baked crust—no need to let the crust cool—and return the pan to the oven.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is lightly golden brown.

7. Once done, let it cool in the pan on a wire rack, then dust with additional powdered sugar if you’re feeling a little fancy.

8. Cut them into squares (I like to make a little prayer before cutting into any baked good, just seems right) and serve them up to your heart’s content.

Variations & Tips

– If you want a bit more of a tropical feel, try mixing in 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple (well-drained) to the filling.
– For a gluten-free option, your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour blend should work just fine in place of all-purpose flour. I’ve learned you’ve got to be flexible in the kitchen.
– Always use real butter, darlin’. It makes a difference in taste that’s as clear as day versus night.
– When life gives you lemons, not all are created equal. The best ones for juicing are heavy for their size and give a little when you press them; they’re practically begging you to turn them into something delicious.

Remember, sweet ones, cooking is like life—it doesn’t have to be perfect to be absolutely beautiful. Enjoy every little square inch of these squares, and don’t forget to share them with your neighbors. That’s what true Midwestern hospitality is all about, after all.

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