Summertime! The word itself conjures up images of pure fun – swimming, sunning, playing outside, picnics and barbecues – so many awesome things to do! But let’s face it, baking isn’t one of them. When the temperature soars into the 90s or higher, who wants to be pulling sheets of cookies or pans of cupcakes out of a hot oven, especially when she could be lounging by a refreshingly cool pool? But does this mean no goodies until the fall? Not at all! Enter the simple square.
In an era before Pinterest and AllRecipes and Food.com made finding the perfect recipe a quick click away, one of the things my grandmother and I enjoyed sharing with each other was the discovery of an amazing recipe. Because we lived almost 400 miles apart, we had to share these finds originally by photocopying and mailing, and later by attaching to an email. But she always held onto a special recipe or two until I visited so we could make it together. My gram’s lemon square recipe was one such treat, a recipe so simple but so delicious, it remains one of my top go-to summer recipes to this day.
Squares and bars are the perfect summer dessert. Super easy to whip up, only one pan to dirty, requiring minimal oven door opening. Cover the pan and you’ve got your brownies or lemon squares or cheesecake bars ready to go for the perfect ending to any picnic or cookout. So imagine my delight when I came across this recipe from, believe it or not, food network.com, for Tequila Bars! Light, citrus-y, easy enough to toss together, and with a generous helping of tequila, definitely B.U.I. worthy. I had to give them a try, and I’m so glad I did. A new summer go-to recipe, I’m pretty sure my Gram would approve.
TEQUILA LIME SQUARES
1 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
5 large egg yolks
2 egg whites
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse wafers and pine nuts in food processor until well ground.
Add butter and blend until mixed. Set aside 1/4 cup of crumbs.
Press remaining crumbs evenly into a 13 x 9 pan.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tequila, lime juice, egg yolks and condensed milk. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat egg whites and sugar with electric mixer until they hold soft peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites into the tequila mixture.
Spread the filling over the prepared crust and bake for 25 minutes. Cool.
Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top.
Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight before cutting.