Oh boy where do I begin with these. These are lets just say amazing especially if you want a cool dessert for the summer. These babies are way better than any key lime pie I have every had. If you love Key Lime Pie you must give these babies a try. I have seen the recipe for these on many of the recipe sites that I enjoy looking at so I can't take the credit but I did change them up a little bit because I don't like using only a 2 oz of cream cheese and then I have leftover cream cheese but usually not enough for another recipe so I added the whole 8 oz in and loved it.
Key Lime Bars
5 cups animal crackers
6 T. packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 T. grated lime zest
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cup fresh lime juice(about 6-8 regular limes or 40 key limes)
3/4 cup toasted coconut
or more crumb crust
or Whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
For the crust process the animal crackers and sugar in a blender or food processor until really fine. Place in a bowl and mix with the melted butter and mix till well combined. Press in to the pan and bake until fragrant and golden, about 15-18 min.
For the filling, mix the cream cheese and lime zest together. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk untill smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and lime juice until combined. Pour the filling evenly over the baked crust. Bake the bars until the filling is set and the edges are just slightly pulling away from the edges of pan, 15-17 minutes. I baked mine for 16 exactly and they were perfect.
Let the bars cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours. Then cover pan and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Garnish as desired.
Note: I have made these twice in the past couple of weeks and one of the times I was pressed for time and didn't have time to zest the limes so I didn't add it in and I prefered them without the zest but do whatever suits your fancy
Note: Store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge!!