Lime Squares

These delicious treats add a little citrusy zip to dessert or snack time. They can be prepared whenever you have time, then tossed in the freezer and pulled out when you need them, which makes them perfect picnic fare. They can be made with lemons, but I always substitute limes — the taste and color is more interesting, and somehow it just seems cooler to use lime juice.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 3 hours
Yield: 16 squares

Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups unsifted flour
    1 stick unsalted butter, cut into slices
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
    Pinch of salt
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    2 large eggs
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Blend 1 cup flour, butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon lime zest, and salt with a pastry blender until mixture forms a loose paste. Turn out into the baking pan and pat evenly onto the bottom, forming a 1/2-inch edge along the pan sides. Bake until the crust is pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Cool crust 10 minutes.
  3. While the crust cools, whisk together remaining flour, sugar, and lime zest along with lime juice, eggs, and baking powder. Pour the filling onto the partially cooked crust, then bake until filling is set, 25 minutes.
  4. Cool completely, then chill at least 2 hours before cutting into 16 squares. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. To freeze, wrap individual squares in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. (Don't worry about defrosting these completely; lots of folks think they taste even better frozen.)

What's Good for You
Justification for eating half these bars yourself: Citrus zest is packed with limonene, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of skin cancers.

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