These bars came out with just the creamy texture I was looking for, unlike some of the pasty, gummy bars I’ve tried in testing. As I suggested in my post about searching for the right buttermilk bar, I think most recipes use too much flour in the filling. I had thought about cutting it out completely, but just went for less in the end. Why coconut? Well, I was out of vanilla and needed something to flavor the filling, so I added a half cup of unsweetened flaked coconut. The coconut turned out to be a lucky choice, adding a nice bit of texture and flavor without affecting the creaminess of the filling.
- The crust has an interesting sandy texture, but I might add a little liquid to it in the future so it’s more like a flaky pie crust, and omit or seriously cut down the amount of sugar in the crust, especially because there is so much sugar in the filling.
- I really never wanted a lemon flavor in these bars from the beginning, so I didn’t add any zest to this recipe, but if I am ever looking for lemon bars, I will start with this recipe and add the zest of two lemons for this size dish.
- I made my bars in a 13″ x 9″ dish; you could halve the ingredients for an 8″ square.
Buttermilk Coconut Bars
Preheat oven to 350°
For the crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
- Mix the ingredients well until it is sandy-textured, with no large clumps of butter.
- Press the fine mixture in the bottom of an ungreased 13″ x 9″ baking dish.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes to set.
For the filling:
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups buttermilk (I used whole buttermilk, not low-fat)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked or shredded
Optional: 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
- Mix the sugar, eggs, and flour until smooth.
- Add the buttermilk and melted butter, mixing in well.
- Stir in the coconut and/or optional vanilla.
- Pour over crust and return to oven for about 25 minutes or until the center is just set. Like any custard filling, it can be a little wobbly in the center and will set up on cooling. Better to take it out a little underdone, than to wait for it to crack and dry out.
- Cool thoroughly on a rack, then finish chilling in the refrigerator. Cut into bars or squares.