Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8×8″ baking pan by lining it with two layers of parchment paper or aluminum foil, so that the ends overhang on both sides. Tip: Lightly coat the pan and between layers with baking spray to prevent the parchment from shifting. Set aside.
Whisk together 1 cup of flour and confectioners sugar in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the butter into the flour mixture, until you have coarse crumbs. Pour the crumbs into the baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a very light golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside while you make the filling. Keep the oven on.
Make the filling
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons flour, lime juice, and lime and lemon zests using a hand-held mixer or whisk by hand until well blended. Pour into the freshly baked crust. Sprinkle the coconut on top.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the center is just set. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
Transfer to the refrigerator and chill, ideally overnight. This will make it easier to cut clean slices.
Dust with confectioners sugar and carefully remove from the pan using the parchment/foil sling. Slice into squares and serve.
Recipe adapted from Lulu’s Margarita Bars, InStyle Magazine, January 2001.I love the idea of cocktails in dessert form, don’t you? The original recipe, as featured in the January 2001 issue of In Style Magazine, called for store bought liquid margarita mix. In an effort to make it a little more wholesome, I have made it with homemade margarita mix, but found the bars to be far too sweet. This adaptation calls for fresh lime juice and much more zest, for that perfect balance of sweet and sour, just like a real margarita. Now you’ll just have to have the tequila on the side!
Margarita Bar Tips/FAQs
What kind of coconut should I use? I use unsweetened shredded coconut, and find the bars to be the perfect amount of sweetness for me. But if you want a sweeter, more decadent margarita bar, then you can use sweetened shredded coconut!
How long do they need to chill before slicing? Ideally, the longer the better. I recommend letting it come to room temperature on a wire rack, then transferring to the refrigerator to chill overnight. The main reason for this is that chilled bars are easier to slice into neater squares. If looks aren't important (or you just can't wait, and I don't blame you) then, you can certainly slice the bars sooner after they have cooled completely.
How should I store Margarita Bars? Store your sliced bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator.