Coconut Graham Lime Bars (Gluten Free)
Hi everybody! So, I totally meant to bake and share this recipe with you last week. It just didn’t happen. I worked the rest of the work week after getting back from Florida and by the end of the day, all I wanted to do was nap. In other words, I apologize for not getting this recipe out earlier because it’s darn good.
A few years ago when I went to visit my grandparents on the east coast of Florida, we went to this tavern-like restaurant. Well, dessert came with the meal and I decided to try something new to me. Key Lime Pie. Holy moly. I fell in love with the tartness of the custard and the sweetness of the graham cracker crust. Love at first bite if you will.
Since that first taste, I haven’t turned back. I’ve tried a bunch of different lime pie desserts and manipulated the variables with each attempt. In my opinion, coconut and lime blends perfectly together. Have you ever smelled the Coconut Lime Yankee Candle? That’s a high ranking candle scent in my library of favorites!
When I first started working at the high school as a student teacher, I was asked to join the Birthday Buddy Club. You pick a name of a teacher from the English Department and buy them a card and make (or buy) a treat for them on his/her birthday. It’s actually wonderful. Most weeks, we get dessert at lunch! Who doesn’t love that?
I picked the name of a teacher who had Celiac’s disease. It’s always a little tricky make desserts for people who have allergies, but I wanted to make her day special. I asked her what flavors she liked and she definitely wasn’t opposed to lime and coconut. My fellow teachers were impressed by the flavor and consistency of these lime bars and many asked for the recipe. The recipe that I’ll be sharing today has an additional topping that was not on Amy’s Birthday treats. Coconut buttercream aka heaven. I think most desserts are frosting worthy or at least whipped cream worthy.
As I see the days of August flashing before my eyes, I will do whatever I can do to savor the last days before bells, lesson plans, and a hundred new students! Why not celebrate with a lime bar?
- 1 box gluten free graham crackers (I use S’morables brand)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 14 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 can low fat sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup lime juice
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 3 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once oven has reached temperature, place coconut flakes on cookie sheet and bake for two minutes or until toasted. Watch carefully as coconut has tendency to burn. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine graham crackers, coconut flakes and oil. Process until crackers are crumbly like a meal.
- Spray a 9x13 dish with nonstick spray. Press coconut graham crust firmly into dish. Place into oven and bake for five minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool.
- In large-sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until whipped and creamy. Add in sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Beat for another minute or until mixture comes together and is smooth. Pour on top of coconut graham crust. Place in oven for 12-14 minutes or until lime batter starts to create small bubbles. Remove from oven and let cool. Place in refrigerator for another three hours or until completely cool.
- While waiting for bars to cool, make coconut buttercream. In a large-sized mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy and smooth. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and beat until sugar dissolves and becomes frosting. Add cream, coconut extract, and salt. Beat again for at least thirty seconds.
- When bars are cooled, use a pipping bag and frosting tip and place a dollop of frosting on top of each bar. Add extra toasted coconut for garnish.