{Food Dish} Best Dessert Bar Contest 1st Runner-up + Recipe

Next week we'll reveal the very best dessert bar recipe we found, courtesy of you, our readers.

This week, meet the second favorite recipe chosen by our tasters: De Lime in de Coconut Bars, by Leona S. Patteson of San Diego, California.

These bars were packed with fruity flavor, and although they were distinctly a dessert, they were still light and refreshing. No surprise they came from sunny San Diego!


De Lime in de Coconut Bars 

Crust Ingredients
1/3 cup brown sugar
7/8 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Filling Ingredients
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1/2 cup key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
zest of a lime 

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x9 or 8x8 square pan with parchment paper using two long pieces criss-crossed with a couple of inches of over-hang. (This will allow you to easily lift the bars out.)

1. Combine all the crust ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Mix or process until mixture is crumbly. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumbs and press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
2. Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft. Add the sugar and salt and beat until well blended.
2. Stir in the flour, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Stir in the lime juice and zest mixing until smooth. Pour onto the crust.
4. Bake the bars for 15 minutes.
5. Remove bars from oven and sprinkle top with reserved crumbs and bake an additional 15 minutes or until bars are set around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the middle.
6. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
7. For easiest slicing, refrigerate for several hours. 

*To toast coconut, place on a cookie sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake in a 325 oven for 8 to 10 minutes or longer until the coconut is golden brown. I'd recommend checking it after 5 minutes and stirring it a bit so the edges don't burn.)

Other winning recipes from this contest:

Fourth Runner-up: Strawberry Limeade Bars

Third Runner-up: Chocolate Orange Bars

Second Runner-up: Butterscotch Nutella Bars

WINNER: Super Yummy Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

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