One of my favorite desserts is Key Lime Pie. I knew I had to try this recipe from Cook's Illustrated. I love that website and magazine because they are very detailed and there is no question about how to make something. They have lots of illustrations of steps that might be confusing.
Key Lime Bars
5 ounces animal crackers
3 TBSP packed brown sugar
pinch table salt
4 TBSP unsalted butter - melted and cooled
2 ounces cream cheese - room temp
1 TBSP grated lime zest, minced
pinch table salt
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted until golden and crisp
1. Adjust oven rack to middle postion and heat oven to 325. Create foil sling for 8x8 pan. Spray foil with cooking spray.
2. Make Crust: In workbowl of food processor, pulse animal crackers until broken down, about ten 1-second pulses. Process crumbs until evenly fine, about 10 seconds. Add brown sugar and salt, prcess to combine, ten to twelve 1 second pulses. Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown. 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Do not turn oven off.
3. Make the Filling: While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream cheese, 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 (mixture will thicken slightly).
4. Assemble and Bake: Pour filling into crust; spread to corners and smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides. 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
5. Serve: Loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil extensions; cut bars into squares or triangle. Sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired.