Aug 8, 2012

Key lime Bars

key lime bars 1

When its hot – and this summer has been HOT – I crave citrusy desserts.  I’ve been meaning to make key lime bars forever.  And I don’t know what has taken me so long to finally make them.  They are so refreshing and the perfect summer dessert.  The crunchy toasted coconut on top – gives these the perfect tropical crunch.  Get yourself a margarita or pina colada and you will be all set for a perfect summer evening.  

key lime bars 3

yep – you really need to make these now!  Enjoy!

key lime bars 2


For the crust:

  • 5 oz. animal crackers
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • pinch table salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the filling:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest
  • pinch table salt
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (key or regular limes)


  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a 8 inch square baking dish with a foil sling and spray foil with baking spray.

2. In a food processor, pulse animal crackers until broken down – about 10 1-second pulses.  Add brown sugar and salt and continue to process – about 12 1-second pulses.  Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse to combine.   Press crumbs firmly into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake until golden brown – 18 to 20 minutes.  Cool on wire rack while making filling.  Do not turn off oven.

3. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, zest, and salt with a rubber spatula until softened and combined.   Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain.  Whisk in egg yolk and lime juice until incorporated.

4. Pour filling into crust and bake until set and edges begin to pull away from sides of the pan – about 15 to 20 minutes.   Cool on wire rack fro 1 hour then refrigerate until chilled – at least 2 hours.

5. Remove bars from pan and cut into 16 squares.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve.

Source: Cooks Illustrated

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  1. I love key lime! I made key lime truffles a while back and couldn't get enough of them. These look amazing!

  2. it's so nice to see keylime in the spotlight when lemon always seems to steal the light! these look perfect!

  3. I love bars in any form! These key lime ones look very yummy!