About 5 years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Belize and stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach that had the most delicious coconut lime bars as a treat for guests. I was determined to get the recipe, but because the main chef was on vacation (I wonder where one vacations from the paradise of Belize?) all I was able to get was just a rough list of ingredients and some estimates. I'm proud to say that after many trials, I was finally able to recreate the magical Coconut Lime Bars. But, I really try to only make them on special occasions...they're so addictive and it's impossible to just have one!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
You will need:
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 and 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 and 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Zest from 3 limes
Step 2: Preheat Oven and Prepare the Pan
Preheat oven to 375.
Butter a quarter sheet pan (or half sheet pan if making double)
Cover with parchment paper, folding in the corners and leaving a 2 inch overhang on 2 sides
Step 3: Melt Butter
Melt 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter in microwave or in a small pan
Step 4: Grate Zest
Using a fine grater, grate the zest from 3 limes
Step 5: Add Ingredients to Mixer
Place the melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, the 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 egg in the bowl of a standing mixer
Step 6: Mix
Mix for a couple of minutes on low
Step 7: Add Zest and Flour
Add zest from 1 lime and 1 cup of flour
Step 8: Mix Again
Mix on low until incorporated, 30 seconds or so
Step 9: Spread the Batter
Spread the batter with a spatula into the prepared sheet pan
Step 10: Spread Evenly
Try to spread the batter as evenly as possible
Step 11: Bake the Crust
Bake until the crust is just golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, leaving the oven on.
Step 12: Make Coconut Topping
Meanwhile, wipe the bowl of the mixer and add 2/3 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla and zest from 2 limes
Step 13: Mix
Mix on low for a minute or so, add 3/4 cup flour
Step 14: Mix in Flour
Mix with a whisk or in the mixer just to blend the flour with other ingredients
Step 15: Add the Coconut
Then add 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut and mix in with a spoon or spatula
Step 16: Spread the Coconut Topping
Spread the coconut mixture on the baked crust, spreading as evenly as possible
Step 17: Sprinkle With More Coconut
Sprinkle with another 1/4 cup shredded coconut
Step 18: Bake the Bars
Bake for about 25 minutes until coconut flakes are slightly brown
Step 19: Don't Burn!
Watch closely to not burn…it can happen very quickly towards the end of the cooking time
Step 20: Cut the Bars
And now it’s time to cut them!
Step 21: And Time to Taste Them!
As you can see, there’s a whole row missing already and I haven’t even cut them yet!