Yesterday, amidst Snowpocalypse, I spotted a little bag of macadamia nuts in my pantry. I immediately had visions of these lime squares. The snow day got me out of the office a few hours early and I thought I'd better put those hours to good use. Baking a sunny, tropical treat would fit the bill. These squares are a regular for me. The first time I made them was for a friend's baby shower. My adorable friend took one bite and fell to her pregnant knees on the kitchen floor. She proclaimed with a groan, "I want these for every baby shower, birthday and special occasion from here on out". I knew I'd be seeing a lot of these in our future. And I have. They've graced my table for brunches, birthdays, tea parties, special dinners and now, snow days.
Lime Squares with Macadamia Nut Crust
Origin: Adapted from Martha Stewart
Notes: The original recipe calls for pistachio nuts in the crust which I've done several times and it's great, but there is something about the lime/macadamia nut combo that I just love.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
2/3 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest (from 2-3 limes)
2 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8 inch square baking dish with melted butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on two sides.
In a food processor, finely grind macadamia nuts with graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and lime zest. With the food processor running, pour in the butter through the feed tube. Process until just combined. The mixture should resemble wet sand and it should hold together when pressed between your fingers. Press mixture into the prepared pan and work the crust up the sides of the pan to form a 1 inch border. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust on a rack for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk in a large bowl. Add lime juice and whisk until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust and carefully spread to the edges.
Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack and then chill at least 1 hour before serving.
Using the parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping your knife clean with a damp kitchen towel between each cut. Store squares in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.