I am definitely on a lime kick lately. I’m using them in guacamole, pasta, tapioca, water, and now it’s time for a yummy dessert. I really like key lime pie, so much it’s what I requested for my birthday, but I don’t eat a ton of dessert and somehow making bars seems less wasteful. They’re easier to take to a party or bible study, and much easier to cut into small servings. I looked at lots of different recipes but I couldn’t find anything I really liked so I made up my own. This is the first time I made a completely new baking recipe rather than simply subbing ingredients or changing amounts in another recipe. It was really exciting and I’m happy with the results.
I think part of why I’m liking limes so much is not just the flavor but also the color. It’s the color of spring which seems to finally be here. It snowed last weekend, but this weekend was sunny and I actually wore a short sleeved shirt to walk outside! So wonderful. Eric and I have had lots of fun being out and about during this sunny weather. But when the weather isn’t nice, one fun thing I do indoors is see what search words people use to get to my blog. I use Google Analytics and it’s a lot of fun seeing how people end up visiting me. I want to share two categories with you, the first is the popular searches. These are the topics that were the most common:
“miracle weight loss” (yes I’m sorry it is a scam)
“gourmet thighs” (Chicken thighs?)
“how to make a desk/How to make my own desk” (there were more than one of these!)
“Krystal Starbucks Ala Moana” (Uh-oh Krystal do you have a stalker?)
“poor man’s pasta” (you’ve come to the right place!)
“sick after chocolate m and ms“
“top 5 images of dianasaurs” (I take so many its hard to pick my top 5, here’s some)
“gruel” (yes! I do have a gruel recipe!)
“why does ginger cause a bruning in the back of my mouth?” (wasabi also bruns mouths!)
Anyway, back to limes. I decided to use key limes for the bars. Even though it took forever to squeeze enough juice out of 18 little limes, the taste was so worth it. They are more sour and have more flavor than the larger limes. Plus, when you cut them open, you get a butterfly! This recipe is also very economical (yes I mean cheap!). I got a bag of key limes for $1.50 (only used half) and with the other ingredients the filling was just under $2 to make.
For the crust I used my same recipe I made up for my Dark Chocolate Haupia Pie. I had made a double batch and froze half of the crust mix specifically for key lime pie. The crust is a little more expensive with Macadamia nuts ($2) or only about $1 if you exclude them. The bottom line is, you can make 25 key lime bars for under $5 total. Pretty cheap dessert with fresh ingredients and awesome results. Hooray! Oh yeah, the whip cream is totally optional, it just looks pretty with the lime and lime zest.
2 TBS key lime zest (about 4 limes worth)
1/2 cup key lime juice (about 18 limes worth)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
3 TBS cream cheese softened
3/4 cup flour
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 stick cold butter (6 TBS)
1/2 cup uncooked Quaker Oats
1/4 cup chopped Macadamia Nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 inch square pan. Mix flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts. Press the mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile mix filling ingredients well in a large bowl with a fork or whisk. When crust is done, remove from oven and pour in the filling. Bake in the oven for another 20 minutes until firm and pulling away from the edges of the pan. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool. Cut into 15-25 squares, rectangles, triangles (whatever you want!) and refrigerate.
Optional: Garnish with whipped cream, lime zest and slices
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.