Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mojito Bars

There are many stories of how the mixed drink the Mojito came about. The one that I chose to believe is that it started in Cuba as a way to curb the harshness of straight rum. However, even without the rum, the blend of lime and mint is nothing but tropical and refreshing.

These bars mimic that wonderful flavor. There is the tartness of the lime and the butter pecan flavor of the crust, followed by a subtle cooling mint. The little squares are just the thing to pull out of the fridge when you need a break from the hot, humid weather.

Mojito Bars
adapted from State Fair Recipes

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup or 2 sticks butter (room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup key lime juice
1 tbs mint (snipped into fine pieces)
2 tbs key lime zest
2 tbs milk
1/4 cup rum (optional)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
Powdered sugar and mint leaves (for topping)

Prepare a 9x13 inch baking pan by lining the interior with foil, leaving some over hang on the longest sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, pulse together the nuts, sugar and flour in a food processor. Then cut the butter into 1/4
inch cubes. Drop the butter cubes into the dry mix and process until mixture forms a mixture that can be compressed into a dough.

Empty dough into prepared pan and press down, evenly covering the bottom interior of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork to keep crust from bubbling up when baking. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

During the baking process, the filling is to be made. Start by sifting together the baking powder, flour and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (less the items listed for topping). Then stir in the sifted ingredients.

Once the crust is baked, remove and pour the filling mix into the pan. Place pan back in oven and bake until edges start to brown. The bake time is 20-25 minutes.

Place pan on rack to cool completely. To serve, lift foil edges and pull out of pan. Pull foil away from sides of bars. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar and mint leaf (if desired).

Store bars in refrigerator until ready to serve.
                          **LAST YEAR: Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake**