Celebration lime cheesecake bars

Published 8:50 pm Monday, July 10, 2006

Throughout its long history, condensed milk has served as the secret ingredient in many decadent desserts. This recipe combines two of the oldest and most popular recipes — Key Lime Pie and Cheesecake — to bring you something modern and versatile — perfect for any occasion.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Makes 18 to 20 bars

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1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

7 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 egg yolk, beaten

1/3 cup flaked coconut, packed

2 (8-ounce) packages plain cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

(NOT evaporated milk)

2 eggs

1/2 cup lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. With mixer fitted with flat paddle, combine flour and sugar; add butter and egg yolk; blend until combined. Mix in coconut. Press dough evenly into bottom of greased 13×9-inch glass baking dish.

2. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edge of crust is golden brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

3. With mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs; mix until just combined. Stir in lime juice. Pour batter over baked crust. Once oven has cooled to 350°F, bake 17 to 22 minutes or until center is set.

4. Cool. Cover and chill 2 hours. Serve with toppings (optional, recipes follow). Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.