¡Olé! It’s #MargaritaWeek! This is not a drill, friends! In the week leading up to Cinco de Mayo, my friend Kate Ramos of the vibrant food blog holajalapeno.com hosts a virtual party celebrating all things Margarita and I look forward to it every year. In the past I have contributed my Margarita Cupcakes and this Grapefruit Margarita Tart with Pretzel Crust, which happen to be two of my favorite recipes on the blog. I’ve been pretty obsessed with hibiscus lately, hello Glazed Hibiscus Shortbread Cookies! So my #MargaritaWeek contribution this year features my current beloved ingredient in these Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust.
I’m not a big fan of most holidays, Christmas induces anxiety and Valentine’s Day can just go ahead and suck it. But Cinco de Mayo is way up at the top of my list and I attribute that mostly to my main squeeze, the Margarita. And a bit to the copious amounts of guacamole I consume that day.
These Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust feature all of the festive margarita flavors – lots of lime, tequila and salt! But I took it one tangy and refreshing step further by bringing in a splash of tart hibiscus tea, which not only tastes delightful but also gives the bars a pretty pink hue. The easy, press-in shortbread cookie base features finely shredded coconut giving it a chewy texture and naturally sweet flavor. I add a bit more of the dried hibiscus tea to the coconut shortbread cookie dough to bright an earthy brightness to the sweet base. The crumbly cookie base also features a welcome saltiness that compliments the smooth and creamy, tart and tangy hibiscus lime filling harmoniously. The bars are basically 50% crumbly cookie base and 50% luxuriously creamy, hibiscus margarita flavored heaven with the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
These Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust are easy to make but if you really want to snazz them up, it’s fun to get creative with the topping. I cut a cute scalloped template from a piece of cardboard, then held it halfway over each bar as I sprinkled on downy soft, powdered sugar to create the adorable adornment on top. You could keep it simple and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top completely or give the Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust a slash of shredded coconut across half like I do on my Grapefruit Coconut Bars. I love expanding on a simple recipe and taking inspiration from the season, my friends or even something I have lying around the house. Kate’s #MargaritaWeek inspired the flavors of these Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust, the little peeks of sunshine coming through my window got me dreaming of warmer days and thinking of coconut and I had my hubs craft me a template from a piece of cardboard that would otherwise have been recycled.
These Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust are sure to bring the fiesta to #MargaritaWeek and any Cinco de Mayo celebrations happening this weekend.Print
Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 24 bars
These Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust have the classic salty lime margarita flavors with an extra tart tanginess from hibiscus tea, mellowed with a couple shots of tequila in the lusciously creamy hibiscus margarita filling atop a textural & chewy coconut shortbread crust.
COCONUT SHORTBREAD CRUST
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup shredded coconut (- unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried hibiscus tea (- finely chopped)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (- at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
HIBSICUS MARGARITA FILLING
- 6 large eggs (- at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (- 10-12 limes squeezed)
- 2 tablespoons lime zest
- 4 teabags hibiscus tea (- or 2 tablespoons loose leaf)
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (- sifted)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or sea salt
COCONUT SHORTBREAD CRUST
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper or grease the pan with melted butter of cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour, shredded coconut, dried hibiscus tea and salt together in a bowl.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Add the vanilla and mix until just incorporated.
- Reduce the mixer to a low speed and add the dry ingredients. Mix util the dry ingredients are just incorporated, it will come together quickly. You don’t want to over-mix, the dough should be crumbly so it’s easier to press into the pan.
- Pour the crumbly dough into the prepared pan and evenly distribute over the bottom. Lightly press the dough into the pan until even and smooth. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the dough evenly into the pan. Then bake for 25-ish minutes, until the crust is golden and toasty.
HIBISCUS MARGARITA FILLING
- While the crust bakes, prepare the filling. Start by brewing the hibiscus tea bags with 1/2 cup, boiling water. Allow to steep for a few minutes, then remove the tea bags, squeeze out the tea and allow to cool.
- Lightly beat the eggs. Then whisk in the sugar and flour until smooth. Add the lime juice, zest, milk, 6 tablespoons of cooled hibiscus tea, tequila and sea salt flakes and whisk together until blended.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 325°F. Whisk the filling once more just before carefully pouring it over the warm crust.
- Bake for 25-30-ish minutes until the filling feels firm when lightly touched. It should be barely jiggly when you shake it but not runny.
- Allow to cool at least 45 minutes – 1 hour at room temperature. Slice into a grid 6 x 4 grid for 24 squares and carefully transfer from the pan to a cooling rack or baking sheet.
- To create the straight edge design with the powdered sugar, fashion a fancy decorative edge with cardboard or keep it simple and use a bench knife or something with a straight edge. Then hold it just above one bar at a time, at an angle from corner to corner, while sprinkling powdered sugar over the exposed side of the bars. Repeat with each bar. Just like a margarita, serve salted or unsalted up on request. 😉
*This recipe makes 24 bars in a 9″ x 13″ pan.
*Don’t sprinkle the powdered sugar on until just be serving the bars. After a while it will steep into the surface and you want those babies to pop when you serve em up!
*Use parchment paper to line the pan to keep the bars from sticking and for easy removal from the pan.
*You must allow the bars to cool completely before cutting to achieve sharp, square edges.
*You can swap in any citrus juice for the limes, grapefruit would also be amazing with this combo.
*Store the bars covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Bars
Keywords: #MargaritaWeek, Dessert Bars, Hibiscus Margarita Bars, Hibiscus Margarita Bars with Coconut Crust, Margarita, Margarita Bars, Margarita Dessert