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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lime Mojito Bars



I know.  You're saying to yourself, "Self.  If only I could eat that screen!"  And, yes.  Believe it or not, these Lime Mojito Bars do taste as good as they look.  Velvety smooth, sweet lime cure nestled on top of a short bread cookie crust.  The colors just pop in this easy lime curd bar based on the traditional summer cocktail, the Mojito.

The Mojito translates to "something a little wet."  It is a traditional highball cocktail, served in a tall cooler with ice.  Cuba is the birthplace of the Mojito, which consists of 5 simple ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, mint and sparkling water.  Sound refreshing doesn't it?  

I've tried to make a Mojito, once.  It didn't go so well.  I'm not sure why, perhaps it was the mint and lime.  I just couldn't wrap my cocktail taste buds around that flavor combination.  I have always imagined it might have gone much better if only I had an authentic muddler, which is used to mash up the mint leaves into the sugar.  

Maybe I need to try this mojito cocktail making one more time as the weather changes from winter to spring...

In the meantime, I can enjoy these luscious and not too sweet Lime Mojito Bars.  There isn't a whole lot of rum coming through in these bars, and the mint is very subtle.  Next time I may experiment with a darker rum or a spiced rum, both of which might allow the rum flavor to come through.  

These Lime Mojito Bars are smooth...Just don't know how else to describe them.  The lime curd is soft yet holds its shape.  An interesting addition to the curd is a wee bit of milk.  I've never seen that in any of the similar lemon bar recipes I have tried over the years.  Might just have to make that a new "secret" ingredient in my favorite lemon bar recipe.

I've had this recipe for Lime Mojito Bars on my BIWB baking bucket list for quite some time.  It really is a great change up to traditional lemon bars that we've all been making for years.  I'm very sure I'll be making these again and sharing them with friends in the years to come.  

Give this one a try as I'm certain you'll be pleasantly surprised!



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Step-by-Step


Begin with infusing the light rum with the mint leaves.  In a small bowl, combine rum and chopped mint.  Press down the leaves a bit, or use a muddler.  Set aside.

Preheat your oven and get your pan ready.  In the bowl of stand mixer, mix the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together on medium speed. 

Mix in 1 3/4 cup of the flour on low speed, just until well combined. 

Press the dough in pan.  It's a really nice soft dough.  Very light.

Bake as directed or until set and lightly browned.

Zest and juice the limes.  Set aside these aside.



Meanwhile, in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the eggs and sugar. Add the remaining flour and salt and mix with whisk until blended. 

To the egg and sugar mixture, mix in the lime juice, green food color and milk.

Place a small strainer over the mixing bowl and pour the rum-mint mixture into the strainer. Press the mixture with back of spoon through strainer to drain the liquid from the leaves.  Discard the leaves. Mix the strained liquid into egg mixture until well combined. 

Mix in the lime zest.  I always mix in the zest at the end as I don't like how it sticks to the whisk.  Just much easier than all the zest gunk.  

Pour the velvety green lime mixture over partially baked crust. 

Bake as directed until the center is set.  It's important to bake the curd all the way or the middle will be too jiggly and it won't set correctly.

Let this cool completely, about 2 hours.  For 24 bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.  I always cut these type of bars before I sift on the powdered sugar.  I find that it makes for a cleaner look to the edges of each bar.  Sorta just something I'm trying out on the food decor aspect of blogging and it does help.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Store bars in the pan until ready to serve, tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

I have a very heavy hand on the powdered sugar sprinkling concept.  Yeah, just that...A heavy hand.  

I am amazingly in love this color.  So vibrant.  And, this curd is really, really smooth and silky.  I think it just might be the addition of that wee bit of milk...  



Lime Mojito Bars
Adapted from Gold Medal Flour
  
Ingredients
3 tbsp Bacardi light rum 
16 fresh mint leaves, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
2 cups flour, divided
1/8 tsp fine salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp grated lime peel (zest before juicing the limes)
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 6 limes)
2 to 3 drops green food color, if desired
2 tbsp milk

Directions
1.  In small bowl, combine rum and chopped mint. Set aside.
2.   Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly spray 13" x 9" pan with cooking spray.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar together on medium speed.  Mix in 1 3/4 cup of the flour on low speed, just until well combined.  Remove from the bowl and press the dough with your hands into the pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  Remove from the oven.
3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the eggs and sugar.  Add the remaining 1/4 cup flour and salt and mix with whisk until blended. Mix in the lime juice, food color and milk.
4.  Place a strainer over the mixing bowl and pour the rum-mint mixture into the strainer. Press the mixture with back of spoon through strainer to drain the liquid from the leaves.  Then discard leaves. Mix the strained liquid into the egg mixture until well combined.  
5. Mix in the lime zest.  Pour the lime curd over the partially baked crust. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes longer or until the center is set, with no jiggles.
6.  Cool completely, about 2 hour.  For 24 bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Sprinkle with the remaining confectioners' sugar (to taste) using a sifter.  Store bars in the pan until ready to serve.  Tightly cover the pan and refrigerate.

These bars are sure to please and they really are light and bright...Something yummy to welcome in the unseasonably warm weather.  

Happy Spring!

Ellen


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2 comments:

  1. These look really good. I've never had a mojito that I enjoyed; I'm not sure if it's the mint that I don't like or that they were just badly made cocktails. I would definitely like one of these on a hot sunny day (fingers crossed for the summer...)

    Nice to see you posting again too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would eat that screen if I could! OMG, I'm drooling.

    ReplyDelete

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