Friday, May 23, 2008

Key Lime Bars

As Easy As Key Lime Pie...
Only Easier!

I have been in a limey mood lately. First I made the Coconut Lime cake for Easter, then I made a boxed mix of lime bars (a sticky mess) and last but certainly not least, these delicious key lime bars.
The original recipe is from America's Test Kitchen (Cooks Illustrated Magazine). It is a really simple, yet elegant bar recipe. I decided, as I usually do, to go low-fat with it. And you really can't tell the difference, I promise. If you like tangy...these bars are for you!!

Seeing that this recipe is made with low-fat cream cheese and fat-free sweetened condensed milk, which are both rich in calcium, I am sending it to Susan at Food Blogga for her Beautiful Bones Osteoporosis Food Event. It is a great event for a very important topic that surely needs more attention and thanks to Susan, we can learn a lot about the causes and prevention and not to mention her fabulous calcium rich recipes. Check it out!

Key Lime Bars

(Reduced-fat, but you'd never know it)

adapted from Cooks Illustrated

5 ounces animal crackers
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark)
Pinch table salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 tablespoons margarine, melted and cooled slightly

2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (1/3 less fat), room temperature
1 tablespoon grated lime zest, minced
Pinch table salt
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, either Key lime or regular, about 3-4 limes
Garnish (optional)
3/4 cup natural unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted until golden and crispAdjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fit an extra-wide heavy-duty piece of foil into bottom and up sides of 8-inch-square baking pan. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

For CRUST: Place animal crackers in a food processor and pulse until broken down and until evenly fine. Add brown sugar and salt; process to combine, (break up any large sugar clumps with your fingers). Drizzle in butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumbs evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Keep oven on same temperature.

For FILLING: In medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zest, and salt until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk until smooth; whisk in egg yolk. Add lime juice and whisk gently until combined.

TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Pour filling into crust; spread evenly to corners. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least one hour. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.

Lift foil with bars out from baking pan; cut bars into 16 squares. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired.


Swati said...

So so delicious and tempting ..beautiful pictures too :))

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hey Annie,
I love that you made this low-fat. And it looks remarkably creamy--I've got to start used sweetened condensed milk more often. And how did you get the coconut shreds to look pink? They're so pretty!

Thanks a bunch!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Just came across your blog. Very nice! I love key lime and this looks great.

Annie said...

Swati, Thanks and they are very tempting. I could eat the whole plate!

Susan, It is very very creamy. The texture is great. I love using fat-free sweetened condensed milk. It adds so much flavor and NO FAT!

I just toasted the coconut in the oven, the color may be a little off on the photo... sometimes the lighting in the house isn't the best for food photography :(

Lisa, Thanks for stopping by, I check out your site too!

Emily said...

I LOVE key lime flavored things. The bars look beautiful. Light is good. Very good.
And I love the toasted coconut on top.

Jen said...

packed with limey goodness