My love for coconut comes from my Dad. Growing up, some of my favourite treats include hard coconut candies, coconut-covered marshmallows, kaya (coconut jam) on toast, curry enriched with coconut milk, voluptuous tapioca coconut pudding, and of course the simple macaroon. They were all introduced to me by dear old Dad. The coveted blue nugget in a box of Quality Street? I always tried to pick out the Coconut Éclairs before my Dad could get to them. Actually, I still do that except I have the whole box all to myself now that we don’t live together anymore.
This week I rekindle my love for coconut with two different treats. Melissa Clark’s Double Coconut Granola is a perennial favourite especially with the crispy caramelized coconut chips. A handful of dried pineapples gave the recipe a pleasant pina colada twist. I haven’t been able to stop snacking on fistfuls of granola in between meals. The other treat is a recipe I’ve been eyeing since Christmas. My holiday cookie extravaganza could not accommodate these Coconut Lime Dream Bite but it was the first recipe I bookmarked in America’s Test Kitchen Christmas Cookies 2012. Lucky for you, the recipe is currently available online for free!
What makes the Coconut Lime Dream Bite so dreamy? I cannot get enough of the sticky coconut walnut filling on top of buttery shortbread crust. The puckery lime juice glaze seeps into every crevice of the bar cookie and the lime sugar adds a fragrant crunch. The Dream Bite tastes like a tropical vacation.
It is so dangerously easy to make too. No need to soften the butter. No need to drag out the stand mixer. I would have swapped out walnuts with macadamia nuts for an even more tropical taste profile but I had none at home. The simplicity of the recipe did not prepare me for the harmonious and complementary way the four layers work together.
This is an unapologetically sweet treat that is best served in small portions. When I tasted it, I immediately thought of saving a piece for Dad. Alas, this is considered naughty food and it is in the interest of his health to stay away. Those carefree days when we would share a couple of freshly baked coconut tarts from the neighbourhood bakery is all but distant memory now.