With an easy graham cracker crust and a creamy three-ingredient filling, easy key lime bars are rich, sweet, and perfectly tart.
Last summer, I had this crazy idea to take three MBA classes over an eight-week period and, oh yeah, I decided to have a baby right in the middle. It quickly became clear to me that I was in over my head in my economics class because of pregnancy/new mom brain, sleep deprivation, and the fact that economics is really freaking hard.
Luckily for me, I have a smart and patient tutor living right next door: my father-in-law. He gave up plenty of evenings and weekends to help me understand the material and, without his help, I likely wouldn’t have passed the class. But I did pass, and I decided to celebrate and show my appreciation in the best way I know how: through food. My father-in-law loves all things key lime, and I’d already been toying with the idea of tweaking my lemon dream bars recipe, so the decision was made.
Unlike my economics class, these bars are easy. That creamy key lime filling has only three ingredients, and the graham cracker crust is simple to make. The resulting bars are equal parts light and rich, a combination that isn’t usually so easy to achieve, and the key lime flavor is perfectly tart without being overpowering. It may only be January, but these easy key lime bars are worth making any time of year.
Easy Key Lime Bars
2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup key lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
key limes for garnishing (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and vanilla extract; set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well-combined and then stir in butter. Press two-thirds of the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Spread the key lime filling evenly over the crust and sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over that.
Bake for 23-28 minutes, or until top crust is lightly browned and filling doesn’t jiggle when the pan is moved. Cool completely before slicing and serving.