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!
Notes: The bars will keep in an airtight container outside of the fridge for 5 to 6 days.
Instead of a mixer, you can easily use a bowl and a whisk to mix everything. Just do so vigorously. —Jenya | BlueGalley
Preheat the oven to 375. Butter a quarter sized sheet pan or a pan that is approximately 9 x 13 inches (you can also use a half sheet pan, just double all the ingredients) Cut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the pan and place it in the pan, leaving a 2 inch overhang on 2 sides. It helps to fold in the corners like in the photo below.
Melt the butter in a microwave or in a small pan and transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the brown sugar, 1/3 cup of the white sugar and 1 egg. Blend using the paddle attachment on low speed for 1 minute. Add zest of 1 lime and 1 cup of the flour. Mix another 20 seconds or so to combine until thick enough to spread. Use a spatula to transfer dough to the prepared sheet pan. Spread as evenly as possible and bake until the crust is lightly golden 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven (leaving it on) and let cool slightly.
While crust bakes, wipe the mixer bowl clean and add: 2/3 cup sugar, 2 eggs, zest of 2 limes and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix on low for a minute. Add 3/4 cup flour and mix just to combine. Remove bowl from the mixer, add 2 cups shredded sweet coconut and mix with a spoon or spatula.
Spread the coconut mixture over the crust as evenly as possible. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup shredded coconut over the top. Bake until coconut flakes are lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Watch closely towards the end so the coconut does not burn. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. I know it's tempting...but the bars will taste and cut better if they are completely cool!
Using the parchment overhang, lift the cake from the pan and cut into squares or desired size. You can anywhere from 16 to 24 bars.
And now...I dare you to only have one.