Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mojito Bars

I was never big on lemon bars, but I found this recipe when I was looking for things to do with a ton of leftover mint I had.  This recipe was made with a friend (who is a culinary goddess) and she showed me how to make these wonderful little bars.  This was my first time making lemon bars, so notes for next time are: don't be afraid to press the crust into the pan and add more of the mint.  I was a little hesitant when making the crust, so my bars were a bit uneven and sometimes the ratio of bar to lime was a little messed up.  So flatten that sucker out!  We added the infused mint to the recipe so you'd have more of that "mojito feel", you know that fresh taste. 

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons light rum or 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract plus 3 tablespoons water
16 fresh mint leaves, chopped
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 6 limes)
2 to 3 drops green food color, if desired
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine rum and chopped mint. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350° F.
Lightly spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together with electric mixer on medium speed.
Mix in 1 3/4 cup of the flour on low speed, just until well combined.
Press in pan.
Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
In another bowl, mix eggs and sugar, with whisk. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour and salt, mix with whisk until blended.
Mix in lime peel, lime juice, food color and milk.
Place strainer over medium bowl; pour rum mixture into strainer. Press mixture with back of spoon through strainer to drain liquid from leaves; discard leaves. Mix strained liquid into egg mixture, with whisk until well combined.  Toss in a 2 tablespoons of the infused chopped mint and mix.
Pour over partially baked crust. Bake 25 to 27 minutes longer or until center is set.
Cool completely, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
Store bars, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

Stay hungry my friend!