Let the sunshine inFebruary 9, 2010
Super Bowl Sunday in loveyland turned into a baking marathon. It started out with a loaf of bread, and all of a sudden it was six recipes and seven hours later. Almost as long as the game! I kid, I kid. I’ll be doling these out one at a time, like the tasty treats are. Each one deserves to be savored.
First up, a taste of citrus. Maybe it was a mid-winter craving for sunshine, or a latent ancestral scurvy-avoiding instinct, but we needed some serious tartness. Happily, earlier in the week I discovered a cookbook devoted to cookies and bars that I had completely forgotten about. Browsing through led me to a promising recipe for lime bars, but I was not at all pleased at the suggestion to use refrigerated cookie dough for the base.
“Not I!” said the little red hen! So I made my own base recipe, and then tweaked the heck out of the filling. By the time I was done, the original recipe was more of a suggestion than anything, and we were smacking our lips over some majorly tart lime delights. The white chocolate, pistachios, and coconut help to balance out the sourness without being overly distracting. Sunshine accomplished!
WHITE CHOCOLATE LIME BARS
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour milk*
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pistachios
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
14 ounces (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cream together shortening and sugar until smooth, then add sour milk and vanilla and beat until well combined. It will look curdled, but that’s fine.
- Add nutmeg through salt and beat until you’ve got a cohesive dough.
- Add pistachios and coconut, and mix until well blended.
- Grease a 9×13 pan, and press the dough mixture evenly into pan. Sprinkle one cup of the white chocolate chips on top of the dough and press them lightly into the surface.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. While the crust is cooking, beat together condensed milk, lime juice and zest, and egg yolks until smooth.
- Remove crust from the oven, and pour the lime mixture evenly on top. You may want to smooth it out with a spatula to make sure it’s spread evenly, and that it reaches the corners.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until filling is set.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, place remaining chips and vegetable oil. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir until smooth. If needed, microwave another 15 seconds until completely melted. Drizzle white chocolate mixture over warm bars.
- Cool at room temperature on a rack for one hour, then transfer to the refrigerator for an additional hour. Once completely cool, cut into 24 bars. Store in refrigerator.
*1/4 cup milk plus 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice. let sit for at least 5 minutes