Monday, July 2, 2012

Lemongrass Bars

I still had some lemongrass left over from my last creation, so I decided to make these lemongrass bars.  The good thing about lemongrass is that it does last for about 10 days in the fridge.

This particular bar has a coconut shortbread base and a lemony topping.  The filling texture does resemble more like a key lime pie than a baked bar.  The usage of lemongrass does make these bars quite different from the standard.  It reduces the tartness of the lemon and adds hints of mint and ginger.

While I do like lemon bars, I am pretty picky.  I do not like them to be dry, nor do I like them to be too strong.  Some I have tasted have been pretty bitter.  These bars do not have those issues.  Also, the extra flavors do bump them up to more of a gourmet quality dessert.

Lemongrass Bars
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 cups sweetened coconut
1/2 cup plus 3 tbs butter (room temp)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 finely chopped lemongrass stalks (outer layer removed, bottom 4 inches only)
3 eggs
5 tbs lemon juice
powdered sugar (for dusting)
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 9x13 inch pan by buttering the interior.

To create the crust, mix together powdered sugar, coconut, salt and flour.  With an electric mixer on medium, beat in the butter until the mixture clumps.  Pour into your prepared pan.  Place waxed paper over the dough and flatten it evenly into the bottom of the pan as well as about 1/2 an inch up the sides.  Bake for about 25 minutes.  Crust will be golden brown with darker edges.  Remove pan from the oven and place on cooling rack.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Using a food processor, pulse together the lemongrass and the sugar.  The lemongrass should be finely ground with the sugar, which should take about about  a minute.  Add the lemon juice and process again for 30 seconds.  Put the eggs into the mixture and run the processor for about 10 seconds.  Lastly, pour in the flour and salt and pulse until smooth.

Pour the filling over the hot baked crust and place in oven.  Bake for about 22-23 minutes.  Remove and place on rack to cool completely.  Cut into pieces and dust with powdered sugar.
                                    **LAST YEAR: Austrian Apple Twists**