Key Lime Bars


O.K……. I know it’s officially fall here in the northeast, with the beautiful leaves and all, but it has been pretty warm- topping 80 degrees this past weekend. So I figured I sneak in a recipe for these amazing key lime bars and anyways, If you ask me, these bars are great for any time of the year! I do promise a great fall recipe next, one including some delicious apple cider.


These key lime bars are absolute perfection- with a buttery crunchy crust and the perfect sweet lime combo for the filling. The crunchy toasted coconut on the top just adds a perfect amount of sweet crunch to round it out. This recipe used animal crackers as the crust and I have to say I really like them in this recipe. I don’t usually buy animal crackers but if you look, you can find some better, even organic, brands. This recipe can also easily be doubled to a 9 x 13 pan.

Key Lime Bars
yields about 16 - 2 inch bars
For the Crust
  1. 5 ounces animal crackers
  2. 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark)
  3. pinch table salt
  4. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the Filling
  1. 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 1 tablespoon grated lime zest, minced
  3. pinch table salt
  4. 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  5. 1 egg yolk
  6. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice from regular or key limes**
  7. Garnish (optional but delicious)
  8. 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted until golden and crisp
For the Crust
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with foil allowing excess to overhang pan sides to allow for easier removal later. Lightly grease foil.
  2. In a food processor, pulse animal crackers into fine crumbs. Add the brown sugar and salt and process until combined (you should have about 1 1/4 cups crumbs). Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
For the filling
  1. While crust cooks and cools, in a medium bowl, stir cream cheese, lime zest, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk until incorporated and there are no lumps of cream cheese. Whisk in the egg yolk. Gently whisk in lime juice until incorporated (mixture will thicken slightly).
  2. Pour the lime filling into crust and spread it to corners with a rubber spatula.
  3. Bake until filling is set and the edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, around 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Cool on wire rack until they reach room temperature, 1 to 2 hours. Cover pan and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours.
  5. Loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil hangover.Cut bars into squares and sprinkle with toasted coconut (optional)
  6. Leftovers can be refrigerated for several days- the crust may just soften.
  1. The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 pan. You should double the foil and You may just have to add a few minutes on to the baking time.
  2. **you probably need a good 20 key limes or about 4 regular limes for this recipe- both kinds work great.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Amy Kay's Kitchen

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