LEMON COCONUT BARS
Tangled, tousled and hand-shaped coconut macaroons charm and delight. But these Lemon Coconut Bars with Candied Kumquats thicken the plot for a more complex, chewy, sweet and sour experience. Lemony zest and lemon juice balance the lightly sweetened coconut. The poppy seeds and kumquats add surprise. A big bowl and spoon make these treats easy to mix, plus there’s no gluten or fat, so they’re guilt-free.
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- Makes 12 bars or 24 cookies
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup kumquats, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch fine salt
LEMONY COCONUT BAR INGREDIENTS
MISE EN PLACE LEMON COCONUT BARS
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Set out your silicone rectangle mold.
- If your not baking with a mold, line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
- Measure the sugar and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
- Zest a lemon and add it to the sugar and salt (see how to zest citrus here)
- With your fingers, crush the lemon zest into sugar.
- Separate the eggs and set the egg whites aside. (see how to separate eggs here)
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla to the egg whites.
- Measure the unsweetened shredded coconut and set aside.
- Add the egg white mixture to the sugar and lemon.
- Whisk vigorously to combine.
- Add the shredded coconut and poppy seeds and mix well, using your hands if necessary.
FILLING THE MOLD
- Distribute the coconut mixture evenly over the 12 molds, , using two spoons or two very small spatulas.
- Once the molds are filled, tamp down the coconut mixture until it is firmly packed. The firmer you pack the coconut, the easier they will be to eat in small bites. If they aren't packed tightly enough, they might break coming out of the mold and will crumble when you try to bite into one.
MAKING TRADITIONAL MACAROONS
- Using a one inch scoop, fill a parchment parchment lined baking tray with 12-16 cookies, packing them a little so they won't be fragile when you remove them from the tray.
BAKING THE BARS
- In a 350ºF oven, bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating mold or sheet halfway through baking.
- The bars or macaroons should be golden around the edges.
- Garnish each macaroon with some candied kumquats (recipe below) and more poppy seeds.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Store in airtight container up to 1 week.
- In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat until water and sugar has simmered down and kumquats have become slightly translucent and tender, about 8 minutes or so.
- The sugar should glaze each slice.
- Serve with macaroons or refrigerate in an airtight container up to two weeks.