Saturday, August 1, 2009

Key Lime Bars

I'll let the picture speak for itself.....

Key Lime Bars (adapted from Cooks' Illustrated)


10 ounces animal crackers (please don't gasp - animal crackers make a much sturdier crust than graham crackers)
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted


4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
2 tablespoons grated lime zest, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1 cup fresh lime juice (you will totally regret your decision if you cheat and use bottled juice)

Optional Garnish
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted until golden

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil, leaving some overhang to use as handles when lifting the cooked bars from the pan. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Crust: Pulse the animal crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add brown sugar and salt, pulsing again to combine. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and process one more time just until butter is combined. Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake about 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow crust to cool while preparing the filling.

Filling: Process cream cheese, zest, and salt in a food processor until thoroughly combined and very smooth. If you don't have a food processor use either a stand or hand mixer. Or, if you are patient, just stir by hand. Add sweetened condensed milk and process until smooth. Add egg yolks and process again until smooth. Add lime juice and process one last time.

Pour filling into prepared crust and bake (still at 325 degrees) for about 20 minutes or until the sides of the filling just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool for an hour or two. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

Lift bars from the pan by using the foil overhang. (This is best achieved with two lifters). Place on a flat surface and cut into 32 squares, more or less, depending on your mood. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve. Leftovers will keep about two days, although they start getting a little soggy after the first day.

1 comment:

  1. love the tablecloth. i'm sure sarah did too? COLOR.