Good news! I submitted my book manuscript last Tuesday!
I should probably celebrate with a beer, but we’ll save that for later this weekend. I felt much more like celebrating with some baking.
If you had asked me two weeks ago if I was sick of cooking and baking I would have said, “YES.” But the past several days have been all editing with my butt planted at the computer. I’m ready to be back in the kitchen.
And what better way to celebrate than with a recipe by mistake!
These bars turned out nothing like I had envisioned. I modified a classic lemon bar by using coconut oil and blood orange juice. Silly me. I was expecting a pretty pink-orange center. Instead, you can barely see any color in the filling at all.
Completely bummed, I took a bite. I knew right away, that it made no difference what color these are (or are not).
They are some of best I’ve made. Seriously.
The coconut oil adds an incredibly rich flavor for a firm, but crumbly crust. To be clear, they don’t have any coconut in them. All the flavor comes from the coconut oil. Not too much citrus comes through the filling so if you want to make it more intense I’ve added the option of tossing in some zest.
I also decided not to call them blood orange bars. Considering I modified a lemon bar and used blood oranges you can really use any type of citrus you want. I still want to give them a try with lime, so if you do that, let me know. I expect the more tart the juice, the more the citrus will be evident. Sweet oranges blend right in, but this is in no way a bad thing.
I had to quickly put them in a storage container for fear of eating them all. It’s not a bad quality for a dessert. It’s also not a bad way to celebrate the big finish!
More details to come about Food on Tap as I get them. Publication is still set for this fall with Countryman Press so stay tuned!
Coconut Orange Bars
Makes 9 bars
What you’ll need:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, consistency of softened butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon citrus zest, optional
3 tablespoons citrus juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
2 large eggs
Confectioners’ sugar to garnish
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the flour, coconut oil, confectioners’ sugar, and almond extract to the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium until dry and crumbly, about 1 minute. Press the dry dough into the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
While the crust bakes, add the sugar, zest (if using), juice, baking powder, and salt to the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium until combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the eggs until all ingredients are blended, about 1 minute.
When you remove the crust from the oven, let sit for about 2 minutes to cool slightly, then pour the filling over the crust. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until firm in the center and the top is browned.
Let cool for 15 minutes, cut into bars, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.