Key Lime Bars

INGREDIENTS:

20 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed in a food processor
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter, cold
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T flour
1 T lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 T lime zest

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of the foil extending over sides of pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a bowl, combine Nilla Wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and then cut it into the crumb mixture with a pastry cutter. Break up the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press crumb mixture firmly into the prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.

While the crust is cooking, beat the cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, vanilla,  2 Tbsp. flour, and baking powder; mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp. lemon zest and lemon juice and then pour the mixture over the prepared crust.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes. or until the center is set and is no longer jiggly. Let the bars cool completely.

Sara at Our Best Bites suggests covering and refrigerating the bars for AT LEAST 2 hours before serving and I follow this rule every. single. time.

Just before serving, remove the foil from the pan and gently pull the foil from the Nilla Wafer crust. Garnish with fresh lime zest, cut into squares, and serve!