I feel like crying every time I look at my photos as of late. I didn't post a new focaccia recipe I found b/c of how ugly the photos were. Then I forged on and blogged about the chicken carbonara even though the photos were horrible. I just had to blog about that dish b/c it was too good to keep to myself. Now, I have these citrus bars that look almost just as bad as the other photos but taste too insanely good not to share!
I first thought the problem was due to a dirty lens, so I bought a lens cleaner to remedy the problem. Also, I played around with the white balance as usual, but all the photos came out looking funky. I don't know why!! I am guessing the colors are off b/c all the aforementioned dishes already had a yellow hue to them on their own so it was hard for me to get the right color. Therefore, for the current photos, I used the blue container of whipped cream to guide me on the right color, but I still think the overall color of the photos looks off! *CRY*
Oh well. I will move on to tell you about these bars. I hope the weird yellow-green-blue colors don't deter you all from making these bars. You know they must have been good if I went on to post these photos.
The crust was a bit too salty because I put in too much (oops!), but the filling was perfect. It was so soft and creamy and citrusy. It wasnt too acidic though. The reason I'm calling these bars "double citrus bars" is because I didn't have any limes in the house, and as I mentioned in the previous post, I was too broke (and tired) to go to the store and get some limes. So, I used my leftover lemons (double amount) and oranges instead. I also used more citrus juice than what the recipe called for to make it more acidic. If you like it sweeter, then use the amount on the recipe. I have posted the triple version of these bars below. Please make these ASAP!
5 ounces (~1 1/4 cups, crushed) animal or graham crackers
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar (light or dark)
pinch of table or kosher salt
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp grated lime zest (I didn't use)
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (I used 3 tsp to replace missing lime zest)
1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 14-oz can of condensed milk
1 egg yolk, room temperature
6 Tbsp lime juice (I didn't have)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (I used 8-9 Tbsps to make up for missing lime juice)
1 Tbsp orange juice (I used 2-3 Tbsp)
*The total amount of juice in the recipe comes out to 1/2 cup. I used about 2/3 cups.
3/4 cup toasted coconut flakes (I used 1/2 cup and still ended up with way too much leftover. I suggest using 1/4 cup instead)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut about 12-inch length extra-wide heavy-duty foil; fold cut edges back to form 7 1/2-inch width. With folded sides facing down, fit foil securely into bottom and up sides of 8-inch-square baking pan (I used a rectangular tart pan for (failed) aesthetic reasons), allowing excess to overhang pan sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray (I used baker's joy).
TO MAKE THE CRUST: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse animal or graham crackers until broken down, about ten 1-second pulses; process crumbs until evenly fine, about 10 seconds (you should have about 1 1/4 cups crumbs). Add brown sugar and salt; process to combine, ten to twelve 1-second pulses (if large sugar lumps remain, break them apart with fingers). Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter, about ten 1-second pulses. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling. Do not turn off oven.
TO MAKE THE FILLING: While crust cools, in medium bowl, stir cream cheese, zests, and salt with rubber spatula until softened, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and whisk vigorously until incorporated and no lumps of cream cheese remain; whisk in egg yolk. Add juices and whisk gently until incorporated (mixture will thicken slightly).
TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Pour filling into crust; spread to corners and smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake until set and edges begin to pull away slightly from sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
Loosen edges with paring knife and lift bars from baking pan using foil extensions; cut bars into 16 squares. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if using, and serve. (Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 2 days; crust will soften slightly. Let bars stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.)