citrus shortbread bars
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Orange-Lime Brown Shortbread Bars

by Lily
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5 from 1 vote

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A citrus delight! The sweetness of freshly squeezed oranges mixed with the tart sour note of limes create a tasty combination of flavours layered on top of a rich shortbread (or your favourite blondie bar). Create any citrus combination, truly! Lemon-Lime, Grapefruit-Orange… you get the point. Perfect treat with an afternoon tea!
SO.. it’s winter and honestly, the snow has me a bit depressed! Canadian winters seem to last 6 months in the year while summer flashes by in the blink of an eye! Lily, what’s the point?? Well, usually when you think of oranges your mind immediately wanders to Mimosa..er.. I mean freshly squeezed breakfast orange juice. Well, I had some oranges that were on the cusp of being too ripe and limes I always keep on hand. Ding! Lightbulb moment! Why not combine them and create delicious orange-lime bars to bring a little taste of summer into the kitchen while the blizzard continues to blow outside my window reminding me that shorts weather is still ages away.

I went a little more fancy and browned the butter to add extra nutty flavour to the shortbread. I mean, when you’re stuck inside, you have more time to make it uber-delicious , so why not? My sister (who does not eat a lot of dessert) loved it!

*Good To Know*

  • How far in advance can I prepare the bars?
    Note that the bars need at least 3 to 4 hours of chill time in order for the filling to set. Plan to make these in the morning or the night before.
  • Room Temperature dairy ingredients.
    This seems like an unnecessary step but makes a big difference when utilizing dairy at room temperature vs. cold from the fridge. The reason for this is when mixing ingredients at room temperature the dough will mix/blend better together more easily for a smoother batter or dough without clumping. Plan ahead and leave ingredients on your counter overnight or at least 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead.
  • Browning Butter, Is this necessary?
    No it’s not. I browned 1 stick butter to deepen the crust flavour (aka. hint of nut without actual nuts). Feel free to brown both sticks of butter if you prefer and add an even deeper level of nutty flavour to your crust
  • Eggs – Crack eggs into a mug or measuring cup. I like doing this so it’s easier to add 1 egg at a time to the filling (also easier to remove excess shell). Pro tip: crack egg against countertop instead of side of bowl. It reduces the chance of small egg shells dropping into your cup when you crack it.

How to make shortbread

Making shortbread is fairly simple. If you prefer not to brown the butter, you can skip this and microwave the butter to melt. Remember not to overdo it as we just want it to be soft enough to mix into our flour. After combining the ingredients with a spatula (I preferred to do this by hand since it was quick and required less cleaning, however using a stand mixer with paddle attachment is ok too) the dough will be thick and dense..

citrus shortbread bars

The key is to under bake your shortbread as it will be baked a second time with your filling. Remember to set your timer for this! I almost forgot to set mine and that would have made for an overdone shortbread crust. 

citrus shortbread bars

To check if the filling is cooked, jiggle your pan. If it doesn’t jiggle, your filling is cooked. If it jiggles a little bit, bake for another 5 minutes and check again. 

citrus shortbread bars

At this point, the smell of the shortbread- citrusy goodness was so inviting. I couldn’t wait to try these babies…BUT… now comes the crucial part. Chill Chill Baby!

citrus shortbread bars

Allow your baked shortbread bars to cool then cover with plastic wrap (brush out air bubbles) and place in the refrigerator to chill completely. 

citrus shortbread bars

Your patience will be rewarded with these wonderful citrusy treats. Better guard them, chances are there won’t be a lot of leftovers by the end of the day!

Citrus Shortbread bars

Orange-Lime Brown Shortbread Bars

A citrus delight! The sweetness of freshly squeezed oranges mixed with the tart sour note of limes create a balanced combination of flavours layered on top of a rich shortbread (or your favourite blondie bar). Create any citrus combination, truly! Lemon-Lime, Grapefruit-Orange… you get the point. Perfect treat with an afternoon tea!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes
Yields: 20 Bars

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup (114 g) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (114 g) browned butter, slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, brown or white
  • 2 cups (400 g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (42 g) all-purpose flour

Decoration:

  • 1/3 cup (40 g) powdered icing sugar

INSTRUCTIONS 

Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F or 176°C. Use a rectangular 9 x 13 inch baking pan with a 3 inch height (or casserole dish will work too), line with parchment paper on the sides and bottom.
    Pro Tip: Use softened butter to brush the sides and bottom of the pan prior to placing parchment paper to keep the paper in place and fold down the extra overhang on the outside of the pan. (for easier lifting)
  • Add 1 stick of butter to a small saucepan on medium heat and stir continuously until all of the butter is melted. Keep stirring until it starts to bubble and brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan (about 3 – 4 minutes). Remove from heat and stir another 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
  • Melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave ( 30 to 45 seconds). In a large bowl, combine melted butter, browned butter, sugar, salt, flour, lime and orange zest. Mix thoroughly with a spatula until dough appears to be dense and thick.
  • Press shortbread dough firm and evenly into prepared pan. Place on middle oven rack and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. (key is to under cook because a second bake will be done with filling. Remove from oven (do not turn oven off) and set aside.

Filling:

  • In a large bowl, whisk (by hand) together orange, lime juice, salt and eggs until well incorporated (2 minutes). Add sugar, flour and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour over warm shortbread crust and bake uncovered for another 25 minutes or until the center no longer jiggles.
  • Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap by gently flattening against filling surface to remove any air bubbles and place in the refrigerator to chill for 4h or overnight to allow filling to set.
  • When ready to serve, lift the shortbread out of the pan. Add confectioner's sugar to a small sieve and dust over entire shortbread. Cut into squares and serve with hot beverage of choice. Enjoy!
Category: Dessert
Keyword: bars, citrus, shortbread

Tips

1. Store leftover shortbread in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
2. To freeze, individually wrap each bar with plastic wrap and place into a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months.
3. To thaw, let bars defrost in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Sprinkle more confectioner’s sugar before serving.

How far in advance can I prepare the bars?
Note that the bars need at least 3 to 4 hours of chill time in order for the filling to set. Plan to make these in the morning or the night before.
Room temperature Dairy ingredients
This seems like an unnecessary step but makes a big difference when utilizing dairy at room temperature vs. cold from the fridge. The reason for this is when mixing ingredients at room temperature the dough will mix/blend better together more easily for a smoother batter or dough without clumping. Plan ahead and leave ingredients on your counter overnight or at least 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead.

Browning Butter, is this necessary?

No it’s not. I browned 1 stick butter to deepen the crust flavour (aka. hint of nut without actual nuts). Feel free to brown both sticks of butter if you prefer and add an even deeper level of nutty flavour to your crust
Eggs
Crack eggs into a mug or measuring cup. I like doing this so it’s easier to add 1 egg at a time to the filling (also easier to remove excess shell).
Pro tip: crack egg against countertop instead of side of bowl. It reduces the chance of small egg shells dropping into your cup when you crack it.
Nutrition Facts
Orange-Lime Brown Shortbread Bars
Amount Per Serving (60 g)
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 173mg8%
Potassium 51mg1%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 346IU7%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this? I would love to see your creation!Tag me @sweet2savoury on Instagram and hashtag it #sweet2savoury

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