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Lime-Pecan Shortbread Bars

  • Servings: 36

A pecan cookie crust forms the base for this cool key lime topping. The base pre-bakes in a parchment-paper lined baking pan, ready for the vivid yellow key-lime layer that bakes until set. After chilled, use the parchment paper to lift the firm dessert out of the baking pan to cut into bars. To store, place bars between layers of parchment paper (to prevent sticking) and keep in an airtight, covered container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cut up
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
  • 1 cup Key lime juice or lime juice
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut up
  • 1 recipe Sweetened Mascarpone Cheese (optional)
  • Lime slices and/or wedges (optional)
  • Parchment paper


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, extending the parchment paper over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment paper; set pan aside.

Step 2

For crust, in a large bowl stir together flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the 3/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Press mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Step 3

Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium saucepan combine eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, lime peel, lime juice, and dash salt. Stir in the 1/2 cup butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat about 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Pour filling over hot crust, spreading evenly. (If desired, strain filling over crust through a fine-mesh sieve.)

Step 4

Bake about 10 minutes or just until filling is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Use parchment paper to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars. If desired, spoon Sweetened Mascarpone Cheese onto bars and top with lime slices and/or wedges. Makes 36 bars.

Step 5

Sweetened Mascarpone Cheese: In a small bowl combine one 8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whisk together until smooth.

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