Key Lime Pie Bars
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You need less than 10 ingredients to make my Key Lime Pie Bars. These squares are zesty, filled with lime juice, and are the perfect springtime dessert!
Something about spring time just makes me CRAVE desserts that are citrusy and tangy. These key lime pie squares are always the first desserts I crave come spring time. Here is proof. Around the same time last year, I made these ‘not key lime squares’, and if you’re looking for an explanation as to what in H-E-Double hockey sticks that means, well, let me explain. Basically it’s key lime with regular limes.
So this is the part where you ask me if I’m repeating recipes on you and I’m going to say um.. yeee-as, kinda. I highly urge you to give these lime bars a try — disappointed, you won’t be. <– We’ve been watching ALL the Star Wars movies with some friends and that’s my inner Yoda coming out. (side note: I didn’t really think i’d like Star Wars at all, but it’s not soo bad. I may even say, I kinda like it. But not like you’ll see me at a sci-fi convention anytime soon or anything like that.)
Have you ever had a food craving that lasted you a week? That’s what it’s been like for me. Just torturing me. At one point I even purchased some key lime pie flavored white chocolate. Which btw, was totally gross. Chocolate should taste like chocolate and not key lime pie. Or frozen yogurt. I tried this greek frozen yogurt that was key lime pie flavored. Oh. Ew! Yuck. This was a craving that would only go away with the real deal.
The first time I made these bars last March, I took one bite and told Anees that these absolutely, hands down, had to be the BEST thing i’ve ever baked. And though Anees had a hard time believing that something that didn’t contain chocolate could be the ‘best’ anything, upon taking a bite, he was nodding along that these would definitely make the list of top 5.
What really makes these key lime pie bars outstanding is the crust:
Raise your hand if that’s your favorite part! Okay, well don’t. Because your boss may walk by and give you a peculiar look as to why you’ve got your hand up in the air. The crust on these key lime pie bars is a few simple ingredients. We’re using graham crackers, sugar, butter, and here’s the shocker — cinnamon and ground pecans.
Okay, so before you hit the little X at the top window, let me say that cinnamon and ground pecans are going to take these bars to the next level. The Cheesecake Factory uses nuts in their classic cheesecake crust to make the flavor so unique, along with a pinch of cinnamon. The cinnamon flavor isn’t noticeable if you’re worried about that. Just a quarter teaspoon makes the crust so delicious but keeps the eater guessing what it is that makes these key lime pie bars so addicting.
These key lime pie bars are quick and easy to make.
They’re the perfect spring/summer dessert to serve at any gathering. Nobody wants to slave in the kitchen when the heat hits, these bars are your answer to a quick dessert. They require a quick 30 minutes of hands on time, just 9 simple ingredients, and they taste like a million bucks. No, really, they do.
Creamy, cool, smooth, and so much flavor. After baking the bars, they need a couple of hours to chill in the refrigerator. This had to be the hardest part of the whole process. I couldn’t wait to dig in to these key lime pie bars. That first bite, it makes it alllllll worth it.
Happy Friday, y’all!
P.S. If you like this recipe, you might also want to check out my creamy lemon squares – equally delicious with a lemony twist!
- 12 large graham cracker rectangles
- 2 tablespoons ground pecans
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 4 teaspoons lime zest (about 3 limes)
- 1/2 cup key lime juice (regular limes are fine too)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8x8 square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Make sure all the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, leave oven on.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the yolks for 2 minutes. Add the condensed milk and continue to whisk for another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, add the lime zest. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the lime juice, let mixer run for 2 minutes once added. Pie mixture will be slightly thicker when done. Pour the filling into crust and bake for 15 minutes.
- Cool completely on rack. Filling will set as it cools. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Slice and serve chilled.
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