Sunday, May 2, 2010

Key Lime Bars

Any Dexter fans in the house? Gosh I love that show, it's got all the elements I love in entertainment, humor, romance, mystery, serial killers, I can't get enough!

But another thing I like about Dexter is that it's based in Miami, and every once and a while they'll throw bits and pieces in about the culture and the food! One particular episode highlighted the Key Lime Pie and a woman's search to find the perfect one. In it she mentioned that it needed sweetened condensed milk to make it the best. Well, after that I became obsessed, must. make. key lime. pie!

I didn't make an actual pie, but I did find a recipe for some great Key Lime Bars to take to a party. They were delicious, tart, creamy and I do have to agree with the character on Dexter, the sweetened condensed milk did make them great!

Key Lime Bars
Adapted from Recipezaar


5 ounces animal graham crackers
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 pinch table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon grated lime zest, minced
1 pinch table salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted until golden and crisp (I didn't do this, but I have no doubt it would be delicious!)


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325°.

2. Cut about 12" length extra-wide heavy duty foil; fold cut edges back to form 7 1/2" width. With folded sides facing down, fir foil securely into bottom and up sides of 8" square baking pan, allowing excess to overhang pan sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

3. In work bowl of food processor, pulse graham crackers until broken down, about ten 1 second pulses; process crumbs until evenly fine, about 10 seconds (you should have about 1 1/4 cups crumbs). Add brown sugar and salt; process to combine, ten to twelve 1 second pulses (if large sugar clumps remain, break them apart with fingers). Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter, about ten 1 second pulses.

4. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Do not turn off oven.

5. While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zest, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk vigorously until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain; whisk in egg yolk. Add lime juice and whisk gently until incorporated (mixture will thicken slightly).

6. Pour filling into crust; spread to corners and smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.

7. Loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil extensions; cut bars into 16 squares. Sprinkle with toasted with toasted coconut and serve. Can refrigerate for up to 2 days, crust will soften slightly. Let refrigerated bars stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.

8.Can make triple citrus bars using 1 1/2 teaspoons each of grated lime zest, lemon zest, and orange zest (mince zest after measuring), and using 6 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tablespoons orange juice.


Erica said...

My husband LOVES Dexter...and key lime! I have made similar bars before using two peas and their pod (Maria's) recipe- fantastic! yours look like they turned out perfect as well :)

Rebekah said...

we aren't dexter fans but we are of key lime!! these look yum!!!!!! perfect for a hot summer afternoon! (which unfortunately starts early in AZ)

Heidi said...

These bars look wonderful!

Cristine said...

My husband and I LOVE Dexter... counting down the months until the season premiere! :)

Your bars look great!

Melody said...

Well now I'M obsessed!

Jenn said...

Dexter's a good show. :) Awesome bars. It's fun turning pies into bars. makes them more fun to eat in some way.

♥peachkins♥ said...

these are fantastic bars.I used to wanna make key lime pies but now, I wanna make these bars..

blowing peachkisses
The Peach Kitchen
peach and things

Anonymous said...

These look and sound delicious! Key lime is my favorite kind of pie. YUM!

We don't have the premium channels so we watched the first couple seasons of Dexter but haven't seen the more recent seasons. I was a little put off by all the blood though I do think it's a good show.

Lara said...

I've never seen Dexter before, but key lime pie is a favorite at our house. These look amazing!

Burp and Slurp~! said...

I've heard of animal crackers, and I've heard of graham crackers, but I don't think I've ever heard of animal graham crackers! Where can I find them? I'm so intrigued now! The key lime pie looks amazing, by the way. I've never tried that, either! Man, so many things to little time and tummy space!

theUngourmet said...

I love you animal cracker crust! Such yummy bars! Great minds... I've never seen that show. Where can I find it?

Julie said...

Those get a big yum from me!

Barbara said...

Love this idea! They would give you some sweet and then the tang of the lime...without going to the trouble of making a big pie!
I really do like bars; they are so portable!

Mary said...

Teresa, these key lime bars look very, very tempting. They are such a refreshing treat you can't help but love them. Yours look delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary.

Sook said...

Your keylime bars look so delicious! I love the flavors of keylime. :)

jscardon said...

Aaaahh! I'm screaming out loud! If I can't have chocolate, my go-to dessert is key lime pie. These look great! I actually have a great recipe that is only sweetened condensed milk, Cool Whip, and lime juice, which sounds too simple but it's AMAZING.

The Blonde Duck said...

Perfect for summer!

Lynn said...

Funny post, Teresa. Your recipe quest slash food obsession sounds a wee bit familiar ;) These bars look yummy! Glad you found something to fill the bill.

JG said...

Your Key Lime Bars look yummy! I do not watch Dexter, but the Key Lime really got my attention!

Ingrid said...

I've never seen that show but I have had yummy key lime! I love tart and tangy.

Donna-FFW said...

Key lime desserts are my hubbys favorite.. I will have to try this one.. sounds fantastic and I love the thickness of the crust!

Pam said...

Yum, yum, yum. They look and sound fantastic. I love key lime anything!

Joanne said...

Whoa do these sound good! I like anything that involves key limes. Or just limes. Especially in bar form.

My roommate and her BF love dexter! I hope to get into it this summer.

Cathy said...

I looked at key limes yesterday at the market. I was amazed by how small they are. It must take forever to squeeze them. But these bars looks fantastic and well worth the effort.

Megan said...

I just printed a coconut lime bar using sweetened condensed milk. I was a ittle worried about it couse I was thinking it should be more of a curd but now I can wait to try it. I cusious to see how close it is to your recipe. Your bars look delicious and your inspiring me to get those made. Big thanks! :)