Wednesday, March 23, 2011
1-1/4 cups crushed animal crackers (about two and a half of the little 2 ounce boxes)
3 Tbs. brown sugar
pinch of salt
4 Tbs. butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbs. grated lime zest, minced
pinch of salt
1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted until golden and crisp
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 8x8-inch baking pan with foil , folded and hanging over the sides (so that the overhang can later be used as handles in removing the bars from the pan). Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. (NOTE: recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch baking pan if desired)
For making the crust: In a large bowl (or in the blender jar if a blender was used to crush the animal crackers), add the crushed animal crackers, brown sugar, salt and stir well. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb/butter mixture evenly and firmly into bottom of foil-lined pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool, while you prepare the filling.
For making the filling: While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream cheese, lime zest, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk vigorously until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain; whisk in egg yolk. Add lime juice and whisk gently until incorporated.
Pour filling into baked crust; spread to corners and smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake at 325 degrees until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15- 20 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
Loosen edges with knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil "handles"; cut bars into 16 squares. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if using, and serve. Store in refrigerator. Makes 16 bars (or 9 if you want them to be big).