I’m a bitter person. Not the jealous, sullen, begrudging type. I enjoy bitter things. Like coffee, Campari and witty wry humor. It's a much more pleasant side of bitterness. I am sure I have plenty of valid reasons to hold grudges against people who’ve done me wrong over the years. But why? Especially when you can reserve the bitter for something sweet, like these Grapefruit Coconut Bars. I just don’t have space in my life for that. I’d rather move forward, share a cup of coffee and be rid of the weighty feelings that harbor bitterness altogether.
They're like lemon bars but better!
Sourness needs sweetness. In life and in baked goods. These grapefruit bars are a testament to the balance between the bitter and the sweet. Blurring the lines between puckering-ly tart and severely saccharine. I lean bitter but for these Grapefruit Coconut Bars I was focused on the sweet side instead of allowing my bitterness to get the best of me.
That bittersweet Ruby Red Grapefruit is irresistible.
I was able to find sweetness within the bitter and round out the more astringent edges with the natural sweetness that comes from shredded coconut. The crust for these citrus bars bakes up in a 9" x 13" cake pan. It's a simple press-in buttery shortbread base with naturally sweet shredded coconut for texture. And a little tickle of warmth from ground ginger. The shortbread crust bakes up first making a sturdy base for the light and airy, tart grapefruit filling on top.
All of the ingredients work together to make a dynamic bar layered in flavor & texture.
- Grapefruit brings the bitterness but also the brightness.
- Coconut adds a chewy textures and natural sweetness.
- Ginger grounds the bars in earthy warmth.
- Butter gives the shortbread base it's rich, comforting flavor.
- Eggs enrich the filling creating that smooth custardy layer.
The base of these Grapefruit Coconut Bars is a simple shortbread crust with chewy shredded coconut and a little punch of warming ground ginger. When mixing the shortbread dough, you don't want to over-mix. It should be crumbly and just start to stick together so when you turn it out into the pan, it's easy to spread out and press into the pan. For a press-in shortbread dough with an even thickness and smooth top, use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the dough in evenly.
Once these bars have baked up and the zingy grapefruit filling has set, I like to add a bit of texture to that smoothness by sprinkling on some more shredded coconut.
When mixing the grapefruit filling for the Grapefruit Coconut Bars, you want to first whisk together the eggs, flour and sugar until smooth, then pour in the zest, grapefruit juice and a bit of salt. Pour the grapefruit filling right on top of the par-baked coconut shortbread crust and bake it all together. Once the Grapefruit Coconut Bars have baked, allow them to cool in the pan before slicing them neatly into squares. Transfer those cutie Grapefruit Coconut Bars to a baking sheet with a cooling rack for the final step in garnishing greatness!
Just as we want the sweet with the bitter, we need a little texture to break up all of that smoothness.
Texture adds depth, keeps things interesting and adds a story. Things can't always be smooth and glossy, my Grapefruit Coconut Bars certainly weren't, but the texture is where the magic lies.
For a finishing touch and a tad more texture, I use a bench knife to block off half of the bars and sprinkle some shredded coconut giving them a gorgeous garnish! These Grapefruit Coconut Bars, a dream team of bitter and sweet, Which way do you lean, bitter or sweet? These citrusy bars are pulling me in both directions.
These Grapefruit Coconut Bars are easy to make but full of complexity. They bring brightness, bitterness, sweetness, texture and heart. Like the memory of an old friend you've been meaning to call but your pride has been standing in the way. Letting go of bitterness and letting in a little sweetness can be cathartic in life and in baked goods. So bake up a batch of bright bars, make that call and break through the bitterness by sharing something sweet, you’ll be so glad you did.
Balanced in bitter and sweet with a creamy grapefruit filling, a sturdy shortbread crust and a just enough coconut to add some chewy texture These Grapefruit Coconut Bars are so damn pretty, they belong on a pedestal. The 1:1 ratio of crumbly coconut shortbread crust to the delightfully creamy grapefruit filling is the perfect mix of flavor and texture. Elegance, sophistication and fun! These bars have it all. This recipe makes 24 perfectly square Grapefruit Coconut Bars so there are plenty to share.
This recipe for Grapefruit Coconut Bars was developed in collaboration with a super talented crew of food bloggers friends. Be sure to check out the #greatfruitgrapefruit hashtag on Instagram for all kinds of grapefruit inspo and visit the hot links to this big ol’ blogger collab & their lovely instagram accounts at the bottom of this post.
#GREATFRUITGRAPEFRUIT COLLABORATOR RECIPES
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- Baking The Goods - Grapefruit Coconut Bars
- Suburban Pie and Treats- Grapefruit Custard Pie
- Farm & Coast Cookery -
- Gobble The Cook - Incredibly Moist Grapefruit Cake
- Jessie Sheehan Bakes - Pink Grapefruit Bars
- Betterfoodguru- Sweet Grapefruit Vinaigrette
- Candied Pomelo - Chocolate Covered Grapefruit Peels
- The Capsule Kitchen - Grapefruit Margaritas
- Foodsoulutions -refined sugar-free grapefruit rosemary soda
- The Healthy Sins - Grapefruit Curd Tartlets with Roasted Meringue
- Bappy Girl -Grapefruit Basil Marmalade https://bappygirlyum.blogspot.com/2019/02/grapefruit-basil-marmalade.html
- This Healthy Table - Spicy Thai Grapefruit Salad
- Always Eat Dessert - Grapefruit Tart
- For the Love of Gourmet - Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake
- Whatcha Cooking Good Looking? - Grapefruit Creamsicle Bars
- Pie Girl Bakes - Grapefruit Donuts
- Clean Plate Clb - Grapefruit Curd Tart with Champagne Whipped Cream
- Olive & Mango - Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
- Crumb Top Baking - Grapefruit Salad with Cilantro and Goat Cheese