I’m always up for making a new bar cookie recipe. As much as I like regular drop cookies, bar cookies usually take even less time to make because everything goes into one dish. I suppose that you have to wait longer for them to cool (unless you don’t mind the first piece or two crumbling apart) than with individual cookies, but when I’m pressed for time, it’s the prep that I want to cut down on and not the cooling. That said, these Lime and Coconut Crumble Bars are well worth making whether you want to bake something in a hurry or have a whole afternoon to spend in the kitchen.
These are very delicious, and even more so if you are a fan of key lime pie, since they really remind me of the flavors of that dessert. The bars have a crumbly, shortbread-like bottom layer and a crispy streusel topping. Both start with the same crumbly dough mixture that contains butter, brown sugar, oats and shredded coconut. The middle layer of these bars is made with sweetened condensed milk and fresh lime juice. It has the same tangy flavor and creamy texture as a key lime pie does! The oats and coconut toast up beautifully as these bars bake, so the finished dish is a great combination of flavors and textures.
These are good at room temperature, but if you’re making these during the spring or summer when it’s hot, they can actually be quite refreshing if you chill them before serving. Plus, they store a little better in the refrigerator when it’s very hot outside, although they do just fine when stored at a normal or cool room temperature.
Lime and Coconut Crumble Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup rolled oats, whole or quick cooking
1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and grease lightly.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until everything comes together in a crumbly mixture and flour is evenly distributed. Mix in oats and coconut. Mixture will be somewhat dry and sandy.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and lime zest.
Put 2 cups of the oat mixture into the bottom of prepared baking dish and press firmly into an even layer. Pour lime mixture on top and spread evenly. Crumble all remaining oat mixture over the top of the lime mixture, covering it completely.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Makes 25 squares.