Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Margarita Bars

So, I enjoy cooking with alcohol. I think it's fun. It's even more fun to me to create desserts inspired by mixed drinks. So when I saw this recipe for tequila bars, I knew immediately that they would be turning into Margarita Bars. I mean, why not? You're halfway there already...I just took them to their logical conclusion. I added Triple Sec and used a pretzel crust to get that salty goodness. These were well-received by my friends! The filling layer is a little thin, so if you like it thicker, 1.5x or double it. Also, the crust will get soggy if you let these sit too long, so I recommend only chilling them for 2 hrs after they finish baking.

Margarita Bars (crust from Allrecipes.com, filling adapted from Foodnetwork.com)

  • 2 c. finely crushed pretzels
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. tequila
  • 1/3 c. minus 1/4 c. Triple Sec (see directions)
  • 1/2 c. lime juice
  • 5 eggs, separated, reserving 2 whites and all the yolks
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbl. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put 3/4 c. butter into a 9x13" baking dish, and put it in the oven for the butter to melt while the oven preheats. Meanwhile, finely crush pretzels using a rolling pin or food processor. Once butter is melted, remove pan from oven and add 2 tsp. granulated sugar and 2 c. pretzel crumbs. Mix it up, and pat down evenly covering the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees F. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Measure out 1/4 c. tequila. Pour into a 1/3 c. measuring cup. Add Triple Sec until total volume of mixture is 1/3 c. In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the tequila/Triple Sec mixture, lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. Feel free to add an extra splash or two of tequila and/or Triple Sec.

In a separate small bowl, beat egg whites and 1 Tbl. sugar with an electric mixer until the whites hold soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the filling. Spread evenly over the cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Cool, then chill in the fridge 2 hrs. to overnight before cutting. Top with grated lime zest for presentation, if desired.

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