I wanted to call these Mojito bars and that’s what I set out to accomplish but sometimes things go a little awry in the world of baking, at least in my world. My inspiration for these puckery bars came from finding a bag of key limes in our fruit bowl (random) after returning from camp last week. I thought about making cheesecake or pie, but I have a thing for bars and brownies probably even more than cookies….settle down, I’ll still be eating cookies!

Amazing citrus key lime bars with a buttery crust

I looked at recipes for key lime bars and most of them require sweetened condensed milk, which is cool but super sweet and with a graham cracker crust and a weird pudding texture (pass), I’ll take curd over pudding any day,  but wait up….limes are like lemons, right? Well apart from the size and the color and the texture slightly… lets not get picky here, but this  made me think about how many lemon bar recipes are out there and none of them use condensed milk so why can’t I just switch lemons for limes? Wow sometimes I blow my own mind.

Lots of key limes for my key lime bars

Lots of limes were used in this experiment and they were all harmed…sorry

The recipe I turned to was this lemon lavender bar from Joy The Bakers latest cook book. It’s a presidential example of a lemon bar which I’ve made before with lavender and also rosemary. Even if you have no lemons or limes, just make the biscuit base and be done, It’s buttery glee! This time my plan was to switch the lavender for mint and the lemons for limes, add some Captain Morgan rum and call it my mojito lime bar. This is where I have to fess’ up to you, my family of outstanding foodies. The rum didn’t shine through but this is not a post about mistakes or screw ups, no sirree! This ended up being a kick ass go to lime bar recipe which I highly recommend you to make. Try serving it alongside a true mojito of the liquid version.

Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker. Yield one 9×13 inch pan, about 12 good sized squares.

For the crust

2 Sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 Cup of granulated sugar
1/4 Cup of packed brown sugar
2 Cups of all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh mint

For the lime filling

4 Large eggs
1 1/2 Cups of sugar
6 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 Cup of fresh lime juice (I used about 23 key limes but regular limes would work, enough to make one half cup of fresh juice)
2 teaspoons of lime zest
1 Drop of green food coloring
Powdered sugar and fresh mint for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13- inch baking pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, salt and mint. Beat on low speed until the mixture just comes together.

Dump the crust mixture into the prepared pan and use your finger tips to spread it out evenly all over the base of the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until slightly browned on top.

To make the filling: While the crust is baking, In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and sugar until light and pale, about 8 minutes. Add the flour, lime juice, lime zest and green coloring. Whisk until completely blended.

Remove the baked base from the oven and immediately pour the filling mix over the hot crust. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until brown around the edges and set in the middle.

Cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar and more chopped mint. To store lime bars, place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.