Ok, these were fabulous. To die for. I made them with margarine instead of butter so I could try them because I LOVE margaritas. I think these will be a regular stand-by for parties and get togethers. The office peeps really loved them too. I also brought in another chocolate/peanut butter treat - to be discussed in a different post - and the margarita bars were the best sellers (probably because of scarcity and curiousity).
I got the idea from googling for margarita cupcakes - which I have made with great success and reviews I might add - from Urbanhonking.com. The pictures looked good and the recipe easy, so I filed it away in my recipes to try stash. I would highly recommend this recipe.
They have a nice flaky crust that is slightly sweet, and the filling is nice and goey but firm - the same texture as a good lemon bar (its cousin). These really did taste like margaritas. The modifications I made to the recipe was to add orange zest and tequilla - which I think really transformed them from lime bars to margarita bars. I think Jimmy Buffet would approve!
(Adapted from Urbanhonking.com)
Heat oven to 350-degrees.
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup salted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 Cup confectioners sugar
Combine above ingredients in stand mixer or by hand and press evenly into a square 8x8 pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Beat together in a stand mixer or with hand beaters:
1 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Zest of two limes
Zest of one small orange or 1/2 large orange
2 tsp. Tequilla
1 drop green food coloring
When crust is done baking, pour lime mixture over crust and bake 20-25 minutes more.The filling puffs during baking, but flattens when cooled. They should be browned on top.
Cool completely before covering and refrigerating overnight (for best results, though can be made for same day). Dust with powdered sugar. Sprinkle sparingly with flaky sea salt (like Maldon). Choose a salt with large flakes, or the granules will soak into the bars. A little goes a long way!
Makes about 16 squares; You can double the recipe and make it in a 9x13 pan.