You caught me. I’ve been working on a fun series for you guys featuring some delicious baked treats based on some of the best summer drinks I could find. And this, trust me, this recipe is a true winner.
I knew I wanted to make some sort of baked good recipe based off of one of my all-time favorite summer drinks, a Cherry Limeade. And there are so many recipe options, from cupcakes, to pies, and more. However, the second I saw the cherry limeade bar recipe from Brooke over at Cheeky Kitchen.
I made a few minor tweaks to her bar recipe, but overall, these bars are addicting. I’m not kidding, you really need to be warned if you try these out. They’ll fly out of the pan.
You’re going to want to start out by preheating your oven to 350. Grab a cup of flour, a half cup of butter, a quarter cup of powdered sugar, and a dash of salt. Make sure your butter is softened first. I also added a small spoonful of softened cream cheese to this step (I’d say around a teaspoon or so). Go ahead and press that into a greased 8×8 pan.
I won’t tell anyone if you decide to double the crust recipe, then eat half of it before it’s baked. The crust just has that… perfect flavor. It’s buttery, it’s rich, it’s lightly sweet. Mmmm.
Next, you’re going to take a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries and put about half of them into a blender or food processor (don’t even think about draining them! You want some of that juice!). I used this super cute food processor I got from WalMart for only $2 in a black Friday sale! In addition to the cherries, add a splash of grenadine syrup if you have it on hand. It’s not necessary, but I loved the extra cherry boost it added. Also, you need to put in half a tablespoon of corn starch. Now, puree it until it’s mostly pureed, but still has some chunks… you’ll want some bits of cherry left in there!
Spread that on top of your unbaked crust.
Now, pop that puppy into the oven for 15 minutes. While it’s in the oven, you can start the top layer.
In a bowl, mix 3 eggs, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, and 1/4 cup of lime juice. Mix it up really well, so the sugar dissolves completely.
Now, if you want your bars to have that lime “look” to them, go ahead and whip out your food coloring. While gel will give you a more vibrant color, I didn’t have any green gel coloring on hand, so I worked with my liquid, and just put about 10-15 drops of green and 3 or 4 drops of yellow. (The yellow was unnecessary. I just thought it added a prettier tint to it).
Check out that pretty green tint! Now that your lime layer actually looks like a lime and tastes like a lime, you can pour it on your first two layers (at least, once your timer beeps, anyway). Once you’ve poured that on your first layer, put it BACK in the oven for another 30 minutes (check on it… Brooke at Cheeky Kitchen recommended 20-25, but it took my oven almost a full 35 to get the bars to set). They’re done once they’re totally set and not wiggly in the middle.
Now here’s the hardest part. Let those cool completely. I know, I know. I snuck my first piece while it was still warm. And my second. My third piece was almost cool, though.
And that’s the beautiful finished product.
Trust me, these bars are one of the easiest things I’ve baked in a long time. You’re going to want to make these again and again. They’re that yummy. If you try these bars, I would love to see a photo or some comments on what you thought!