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My moderate success making semolina pudding with a ginger vodka sauce inspired me to continue my forays into baking with booze. In this edition, I used my old friend, tequila, to make what I hoped would be sort of like a coconut margarita in baked good form. Although there are plenty of recipes that incorporate mezcal into desserts, like cupcakes, I wanted something lighter, tarter in flavor yet creamy in texture.
The citrus fruit usually paired with tequila in bar recipes is, of course, lime, in a nod to the traditional margarita, but I was feeling like something sunnier and sweeter. Using this terrific recipe as a guide, I made some alterations to produce some very lemony, very coconutty tequila bars. The recipe:
Tequila Coconut Lemon Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 9×13 glass baking dish with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over the sides. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
Combine 1-3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Mash in tablespoon-size chunks of butter with a fork.
Press mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 18 minutes.
While the crust is cooking, combine 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
In a separate, larger bowl, whisk eggs. Add in the coconut, lemon juice, tequila.
Add contents of smaller bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour over the hot crust.
Bake for 25 minutes or until filling is set and crust edges are slightly brown. Cool for 1 hour and serve. Or eat straight out of the pan right away and burn your tongue.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups chopped toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons tequila (I used leftover Hornitos)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For once I actually let my baked goods cool before sampling them (the ambient heat must be ruining my taste for hot sweets). The bars were cool with a light sweetness, though not tart enough for my liking so next time I might increase the lemon juice and ease up on the coconut. And while you could never get drunk on these bars, I swear I got the slightest buzz after three samples. Or maybe that was just the power of suggestion.
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