I think that cilantro and lime are a perfect fit for each other, so I was really excited to try this idea. A lot of the lime bar recipes that I found called for graham cracker crusts, but I love the shortbread crusts that lemon squares usually have, so I decided to do a shortbread crust. These turned out great! The cilantro is subtle, just a nice burst of flavor now and then that makes the lime more lime-y tasting somehow. Try them this weekend!
CILANTRO LIME DESSERT BARS
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. With a mixer on high, mix the butter and powdered sugar together until well combined and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Press the dough into the pan and bake until lightly golden, about 25 minutes (in my weird oven it took about 30 minutes).
While the crust is baking, prepare the lime mixture. Beat the egg yolks and lime zest on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes (a stand mixer with the whisk attachment works great here). Turn the speed down to low on the mixer and add the condensed milk in a slow stream, mixing constantly; then, raise the speed back up to high and mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and cilantro, and mix until just combined.
Once the crust is done, take it out of the oven and spread the lime mixture on top. Bake until the filling is just set, about 10-15 minutes. (Again, this took way longer in my oven than I suspect it will in most. Mine took more like 25 minutes.)
Cool the bars completely and refrigerate at least 4 hours (really, truly, they are best cold). Cut into squares and enjoy!!
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg