Dangerous Lime Bars

by moderndomestic on April 26, 2010

Lime Bars 1

These lime bars are all gone now. All gone.

I haven’t made a lot of bar cookies on this blog, and I’m not sure why. They’re easy, delicious, and comforting, which describes a lot of the things I bake. But I’ve been a little obsessed with this bag of limes that I picked up on a whim at Giant last week (some of which have already appeared in my lime scones), and I decided that it was bar cookie time. Specifically, lime bar time.

I’ve been mulling over the idea of lime bars for quite awhile – a sweet and tart, creamy filling spread over a crunchy graham cracker crust sounded incredibly enticing. I looked through many lime bar recipes before settling on this one from Cook’s Illustrated, which uses sweetened condensed milk and a little bit of cream cheese for the filling. While the recipe originally calls for key limes, I substituted regular limes, and still found these lime bars absolutely delicious. The recipe also calls for animal crackers for the crust, which I thought was simply wrong – I used graham crackers instead.

The only bad thing about these lime bars is that I couldn’t stop eating them, which is a testament to their deliciousness. Usually I don’t have this problem with things that I bake – tasting and testing them kills my desire to eat them. But the salty, sweet, crunchy, citrusy combo of these lime bars defied all my will power. Needless to say, they’re all gone now. I don’t need to tell you how.

Lime Bars 2

So dangerously addictive.

Lime Bars
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Makes sixteen one-inch squares

For the crust
5 oz graham crackers
3 tbs packed light or dark brown sugar
pinch salt
4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the filling
2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tbs grated lime zest
pinch salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (do not use bottled)

Preheat your oven to 325 °F.

Butter a 8 by 8 inch square baking pan and line the bottom with a strip of well-buttered foil (use enough foil so that it overhangs the sides – you will use the overhang to lift the finished lime bars out of the pan).

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are ground into fine crumbs. Add the brown sugar, salt, and melted butter and pulse until combined and all the crumbs are moistened. Pat the crumb mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crumbs are golden brown.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with lime zest and salt until combined. Add the condensed milk and beat until incorporated- there should be no lumps of cream cheese remaining. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined. Add the lime juice and mix until evenly combined.

Pour the filling over the crust, using a spatula to spread the filling evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is set. Let bars cool in the pan on a rack until room temperature – about 1 hour. Place in fridge and let chill for 2 hours before serving. To serve, lift the bars out of the pan using the foil and cut into 16 squares.

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April 26, 2010 at 11:27 pm

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen April 26, 2010 at 10:19 am

What’s up with all the citrus lately?


moderndomestic April 26, 2010 at 10:27 am

Well, I bought a giant bag of limes, and I needed to use them up. And I really love desserts with citrus – like, love them. As soon as we start getting berries and fruits and stuff then I’ll start using them but, for now, it’s citrus and rhubarb time!


Olga @ MangoTomato April 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

I like how the color of the tablecloth matches the lime zest :) They look delicious…too bad they are all gone.


Becca April 26, 2010 at 11:06 am

How many limes make a half cup of lime juice? I’ve been having serious trouble juicing lately…


amy April 26, 2010 at 11:35 pm

i got all caught up in collecting free things from craigslist on sunday and forgot about my plan to come collect a lime bar. dang. maybe i will take a stab at them myself. i bet they would make me happy!


mary April 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

I don’t know how anyone could resist these. Lime. Yum. I think you should make lemon bars next.


amy April 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm

ok. i caved and made the lime bars. holy crap! at first i thought, not enough lime juice. but then after baking and hanging out in the fridge for a bit, OMG. perfect. hooray!


Tracy May 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I also decided to bake these. I’m not a huge fan of citrus deserts, but I had everything on hand necessary and a pot luck party at work to bring something to, so I figured, “What the hell? Why not?”.

I have to say I was shocked out how much I liked these. The consistency is really creamy and wonderful and the lime taste is not overwhelming at all. A huge win. I will make these again because they are simple to whip up and damn tasty as well.

Thanks for sharing this recipe!


Jen January 18, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Okay, these are delicious! I made these last week and ate half the batch. They were so delicious in fact that I bought the ingredients to make them again tonight! Thanks!


moderndomestic January 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Awesome! I love introducing people to this recipe – it’s the BEST.


Jen February 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I have a recipe for you. I read your post regarding cardamom. I love cardamom and have been making chai snickerdoodles. The recipe is at Baking Bites website. These cookies are FANTASTIC!!! My family loves them.


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