Somewhere between a cookie and a cake, these Lime Sugar Cookie Bars pack a fantastic, bright flavor!
I’m officially moved out of Austria. Done. Fertig. It will probably take me a while to stop wanting to greet people in German or say “Vielen Dank” instead of “thank you.” I’m traveling for a while now, just me an my ginormous suitcase. (Speaking of travel, check out this post I wrote over on the Adventures in Preservation blog about historic hostels!)
Anyway, not to sound like a broken record, but just like the Cinnamon Bun Cookies from the last installment of Bake on Saturday, these fall into the “lasts” category again. The occasion in this case was a good-bye party for all the English TAs in Upper Austria. The night of the party was mild and we took over the communal terrace at a fellow TA’s apartment building to celebrate. Most of the refreshments were of the, um, liquid rather than solid variety, but as I think my contribution was appreciated anyway.
You know how you sometimes have one very specific memory of a certain food? Maybe it’s eating the same think over and over again for lunch every day of elementary school (pb&j on homemade whole-wheat bread and chocolate milk) or something fantastic you had that one time at that one place. Maybe it’s a memory you’re not sure why exactly you’ve held on to. These bar cookies were partly inspired by one of those random memories, and partly by wanting to make cookies that didn’t need to be portioned out before going in the oven.
My dad’s side of the family is relatively small, especially compared to my mom’s large, tightly knit clan of kin. If seven of us were there, it counted as “the whole family,” though at one point we numbered ten if you counted dogs. We’d usually meet at my uncle’s house. This one time, sometime in the mid-2000s, someone purchased some fancy cookies for the occasion of our gathering. They were big, chewy, bakery cookies in flavors that impressed my young teenage mind. One was chocolate-tangerine. Not chocolate-orange. Chocolate-tangerine. One of the flavors I can no longer remember (I guess that one wasn’t so impressive). And the other was a lime sugar cookie. At the time, it just seemed so cool to me. Lime. Everyone flavors baked goods with lemon or orange, but lime seemed classier. More unique.
And that brings me to today’s recipe: Lime Sugar Cookie Bars, inspired by that long-ago cookie experience. The great thing about sugar cookies in bar form is no chilling, no rolling, no cutting out individual cookies. Just mix, press into the pan, and into the oven. Boom. These get a fresh kick from lime zest and juice, and are a bit fluffier than your traditional sugar cookie. The demerara sugar on top is a must, IMHO, as the crunch gives a wonderful textural contrast to the fluffy cookies.
Lime Sugar Cookie Bars
Adapted from A Kitchen Addiction
Makes 1 8×8 or 9×9″ pan
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- zest of 2 limes
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or replace some of the sugar with 2 packets of vanilla sugar)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 a cup whole wheat and the rest white)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8×8″ or 9×9″ (or 9×7″) pan with aluminum foil and grease.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), cream together the butter, sugar, and zest. Add egg, vanilla, and lime juice, and beat until light and fluffy. Carefully add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until fully incorporated.
Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and sprinkle generously with demerara sugar. Press the sugar into the dough gently, just enough to ensure it won’t just brush off immediately after baking.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan before removing and slicing to your desired size.