Key Lime Shortbread Bars: A Zesty Dessert Delight
Prepare to embark on a tangy and tantalizing journey with our Key Lime Shortbread Bars. These delightful dessert bars are a burst of sunshine in every bite, perfectly balancing the sweetness of shortbread with the zesty zing of key limes. Whether you’re seeking a sweet treat for a summer gathering or a zippy pick-me-up, these bars are sure to brighten your day. Let’s dive into this delightful recipe and unlock the fresh flavors of the Florida Keys!
For the Shortbread Base:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
For the Key Lime Filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Zest of 2 key limes
- 1/2 cup key lime juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- Additional confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
Prepare the Shortbread Base:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt.
- Add the cold, cubed unsalted butter to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Press the mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan to create an even layer.
- Bake the shortbread base in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until it’s lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the key lime filling.
Create the Key Lime Filling: 6. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, key lime zest, key lime juice, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. The mixture should be well combined and slightly frothy.
- Pour the key lime filling over the cooled shortbread base, spreading it out evenly.
Bake and Finish: 8. Return the baking pan to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the filling is set and the edges are lightly golden.
- Let the bars cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least an hour to chill and set.
- Once fully chilled, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board and slice into squares or bars.
- If desired, dust the tops with a light sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar before serving.
- If key limes are not available, you can use regular limes for a similar flavor. Key limes are smaller and typically more tart.
- Ensure that your shortbread base is fully cooled before pouring the key lime filling to prevent any unwanted sogginess.
- These bars are even more delightful when served with a dollop of whipped cream or a garnish of additional key lime zest.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and zesty.
Key Lime Shortbread Bars offer a delightful balance of sweet and tangy in every bite. They’re the perfect way to bring a slice of tropical delight to your dessert table. Whether you’re enjoying them as a refreshing summer treat or a year-round indulgence, these bars are bound to brighten your day with their zesty goodness.