Whenever I’m feeling kind of meh, I have a few options. A nap isn’t usually possible (there are small children about), so I can either try to sneak episodes of whatever TLC show is new on Netflix without the li’l ones noticing, or I can make a pie. It’s hard to hide what my iPad is doing, so I think the pie wins this one.
I know, I know. Key lime is a summer thing, right? But I’m a summer girl stuck in the tail end of the winter from hell. I need to do something to ease the pain.
And since it’s my week to bake green stuff (yay, St. Paddy’s Day!), I figured it sorta kinda works. Lime zest is very green. See?
These bars are special. I adapted this recipe from Becky Bakes and it’s one of my favorites. Instead of working like a traditional lemon bar, these have a consistency like a brownie, but with citrus. Super brilliant. All I did was substitute key limes for the lemon, so I can take credit for very little here. And I am forever indebted to Becky’s genius.
Anyway, onward. These bars come out very sticky and delicious, dripping with a tangy and sweet glaze. They’re impossible to resist. When I brought them into work, everyone from sweet fiends to sour lovers ate them up. Usually, someone’s not into it. You know, they don’t like peanut butter, or chocolate is not their thing, or mint is best left for toothpaste and all that.
Not these. Everyone eats them. So be forewarned.
They’re so incredibly ooey gooey. It’s really important not to overbake them. When the edges are brown, they’re done. It’s the same art you use when baking brownies. If they’re just a tad on the sticky side, they’re at their best. Too much baking equals a drier product. No no no.
When you take them out, let them cool for a few minutes before glazing, and don’t move the pan after you glaze the bars. You want the top to be shiny and call to you with all of its seductive tanginess.
So go forth and lime it up! Do it for the summer we know is coming. Hey, a margarita on the side wouldn’t be overkill, would it?
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 can (14 oz.) condensed milk (I used fat-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons key lime juice (freshly squeezed or from the bottle)
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest
Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a separate bowl and combine. Set aside.
Mix the cooled, melted butter with the condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, key lime juice and key lime zest until smooth.
Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture until the batter is fully combined.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden.
Take the bars out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, key lime juice and key lime zest in a bowl and make sure all the infredients are evenly mixed. Pour the glaze over the bars, spreading it out gently to cover as much surface area as possible.
Let the bars finish cooling. Slice and serve!