Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
Updated: Sep 3, 2021
When you live alone, you often find yourself in deep reflection. The stillness of the independent lifestyle easily allows for these moments and while some may perceive them to be lonely, I personally yearn for them. It allows time to understand who you are and who you are becoming. They are the vital moments of self reflection.
Upon many of these reflections, I assess the pockets of my life — one of those pockets being my friends. Why do I surround myself with so-and-so and do they give me energy or drain me of it?
One thing I've come to learn is that the friends who uplift my energy are the same people that have layers to their personality. They keep things lively, fun, unexpected. They don't fixate on just one aspect of life — they embrace all of it, and they are truly the ones living. My favorite humans have layers and I, as their friend, have the fun job of unravelling those layers and getting to know why those elements formed someone I hold near and dear.
I find this true in the dating world as well. Nobody wants to date a piece of Wonder Bread when there's 7-grain, Multigrain, or Seeduction (my favorite from Whole Foods) that have much more to offer. Life is too short to waste your time on the Wonder Bread boy, ya know?
I've found that similar to my affinity for finding and exploring layers in people, I take the same approach in my baking endeavors. Food rich in texture and full of surprise is fun to make. Giving folks a bite worth talking about normally involves various elements, or in the case for these cheesecake bars, four different layers: a buttery graham cracker crust, creamy key lime filling, a crumb topping, and zesty lime glaze.
Straight up. These key lime bars were banging. End summer on a tangy note and dust off that baking apron because you need to experience the layers of love in these bars.
Lastly, I'm not sure who needs to hear this but if you're dating a piece of Wonder Bread, dump him. There's a thick ole piece of Seeduction out there if you're patient enough.
As always, may the inspiration found here find light in your kitchen.
for the crust...
2 packs (14 sheets) graham crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup shredded coconut
pinch of salt
for the filling...
2 8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup key lime juice*
1 Tbsp lime zest
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
for the crumb topping...
1/2 cup flour
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
for the glaze...
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp milk
How to make it happen:
1. In a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sugar on high speed for about 1 minute. Then, add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and lime juice. Beat for another 2 minutes on a medium speed. Add the cornstarch and lime zest and mix until evenly combined.
2. In a blender, pulse 2 packs of graham crackers and coconut. Add into a separate bowl. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and add pinch of salt. Evenly toss ingredients together.
3. Put the crust mixture into a parchment-paper-lined 13x9" pan and press firmly into the bottom of the pan with a flat measuring cup (or any cup with a flat bottom). The crust should be evenly distributed throughout.
4. Bake the crust at 350°F for 8 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, at least 15 minutes. Once cooled, pour the filling into the pan.
5. Cube cold butter for the crumb topping. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for the crumb topping with your hands until it forms small balls and makes a crumble. Pour crumble on top of the cheesecake filling.
6. Bake at 350°F for 45 mins. Cheesecake should hold slightly firm when lightly shaken in oven indicating it’s ready to come out.
7. Once cooled, chill cheesecake in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before consuming.
8. Before serving, mix the powdered sugar, lime juice, lime zest, and milk in a bowl. Use the head of a spoon to drizzle on top of bars.
9. Cut into square shapes of your choosing and enjoy!
*If you cannot find key lime juice, regular limes will do the trick—they are less tangy but effective.