Tuesday, July 12, 2011

~Lime Bars With Macadamia Nut Crust~

For the Fourth of July, I wanted to make something light and refreshing...as in taste, not in calories because, we all know, dessert dishes for the holidays do not have calories.  Well, at least not very many of them.  Not very many that we want to acknowledge anyway.

I thought about my Lemon Bar recipe, but wanted something a bit different and found this dish on Tasty Kitchen's website and, boy, did it make my mouth water!  Preparing the dish is so ridiculously easy but tastes so, so good!  Be prepared for rave reviews...my family loved it and I hope you love it, too.!


For the Crust:                                                       For the Filling:                       
2 cups all-purpose flour                                        4 whole eggs
1-1/2 cups macadamia nuts (chopped)                  2 cups white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar                                          1/3 cup flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces                  1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt                                                               (about 3 large limes)
Green food coloring, if desired

NOTE:  I couldn't find a large enough bag of macadamia nuts, so I got a can of salted macadamia nuts and omitted the salt from the recipe.  Turned out just fine.
I started chopping the nuts in my handy, dandy little food chopper when I realized that I got a handy, dandy food processor for Christmas and opted to use that instead of doing it in the mixing bowl.

TIP:  Put your dry ingredients in the food processor first and then put your nuts on top.  By doing this, you don't run the risk of everything sticking to your chopping blade.  Pulse until it is all combined and almost to the fine crumb stage...just about the time it starts to come together like a pie crust.  Yes, I'm messy in the kitchen when I'm cooking.  Why do you ask?

If you go the mixing bowl route, be sure to chop your nuts fairly fine before mixing your ingredients but not too fine or the oil from the nuts will turn your crunchy nuts into pasty nuts!

Pour your crust mixture into the 9 x 13-inch baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Using a spatula, press the dough into a really firm crust.  Poke a few holes across the crust to release steam while par baking the crust (this was something I never knew...learn something new every day.  Well, almost every day.)

Place into a preheated 350-degree oven.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until just starting to turn a light golden color.  When you take it out of the oven, press the crust down with a spatula to release any steam bubbles that have formed and to make a more compact crust.  In other words, to keep your crust from being crumbly when eating.   (Learned something else new!)

While the crust is baking, make the filling.  Squeeze the livin' daylights out of your limes to get your half cup of juice.  If you don't have quite enough, you could add some of the refrigerated kind.  I don't think anyone will notice a little dab of that stuff and I won't tell if you won't!  I bought a couple of extra just in case and then used the "unsqueezed" ones (??) to grate some of the peel on top of the finished product for extra color.

In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy.  Add the sugar.  When the eggs and sugar are well combined, add the flour and mix well.  Finally, add the lime juice and whisk to combine.  If you want your filling to be a beautiful green color, add a few drops of food coloring.  I opted not to add the food coloring and, as you can see, the filling is an extremely light color.

Pour the filling over the hot crust when it comes out of the oven.  Return to the oven to bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes.  When done, the filling should just be set...not jiggly...and the top should have a bit of golden color to it.

I like for my filling to be slightly brown around the edges.  That way I know that it is nice and done....I hate jiggly surprises in the middle!  Let the lime bars cool completely before sprinkling with additional powdered sugar.  A sifter or or shaker works best in getting a nice soft, even sprinkling over the crust.

Grate some of the lime peel over the top to give a little bit more color.  See those little green specks?
Tip:  Did you know that the rougher the peel on your citrus fruit, the better it will grate?  Smooth-textured peels just don't grab the teeth of your grater well enough. Cut into bars and enjoy!

I cut some fresh mint from my itty, bitty herb garden to give this plate of heavenly goodness even more color.

Oh my...doesn't this just make your mouth water?

Have a great day ~

Update:  It is now possible for you to print out the recipe instead of having to copy my instructions...yay!!
Just an idea....print the recipe on cardstock type paper, cut in half, put the half sheets back to back and adhere with double-sided tape and...voila!!! You now have a cute little recipe card to add to your stash recipe collection.
To access the recipe, click on the recipe title....Lime Bars with Macadamia Nut Crust


Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Oooo Velma those look absolutely delicious! Hello neighbor way down there in Oklahoma:) I'm going to have to put limes on my grocery list now that I've seen how good these look....I bet they smell heavenly. Thanks for stopping by today...it's awfully nice to meet you. I'm going to have a little look around your blog when I come back from moving the sprinkler...I hope you're not melting down there. We're sure going through a drought in our part of Kansas ..it's all I can do to keep the veggie and flower gardens alive! Keep cool.....Maura :)

My Cottage Charm said...

Velma! You made my mouth water so much I had to keep swallowing while reading your post~! :) Now I NEED some of those! lol
So glad you liked my drawer idea, it sure did help with my son's storage issues. :) I'll be showing some of the other things I got out of the old house...it wasn't a ton of stuff, but it was definitely good stuff! :) I hate that they tore down the house too, but it was going to cost over $400,000 to fix it up and that's a LOT of money. It belonged to our church and a church just doesn't have that kind of money. (and it was full of asbestos) Yikes!
I'll talk to you later
Missy :)

Brittney said...

Soooo yummy!! When are you going to make me some more?


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