Sweet and Salty Margarita Bars

Happy first birthday to Aching for a Baking!  Exactly a year ago today I posted my first recipe, and I’ve been having a good time since (even if I don’t post as often as I should anymore).  In honor of the occasion, I’m making my first foray into boozy baking with these easy margarita bars – sweet and salty, distinctly citrusy, these hit all my buttons and I hope you like them half as much.

I had to borrow graham crackers from a neighbor to make these (thanks, Greg!) because I didn’t remember to have my husband John pick them up from the grocery store last week, but it turned out to work out for the best in the end.

From the moment I found this original margarita bar recipe I wanted to adapt it to be saltier (like a real margarita on the rocks), and as it turns out I didn’t borrow enough graham crackers from my neighbor to make the crust the recipe called for.  My husband became today’s MVP by suggesting that I use salted pretzel sticks to make up the difference, and between that and some sea salt sprinkled on top the finished product you’ll find this is a sweet, salty, limey masterpiece that takes only a hot 45 minutes to make.  The sweetness definitely wins out, in the end, but the saltiness adds a crucial difference that makes this something you’ll want to eat the whole tray of on your own.

Yield:  8 servings        Total Time: 45 minutes (10-13 active)

Margarita 3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup salted pretzel stick crumbs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3-4 limes)
  • 1 lime’s worth of zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon tequila, (optional, you can omit and use an extra tablespoon lime or orange juice instead)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Kosher/sea salt, for dusting
 Margarita 2

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray or butter a 13×9 baking dish.
  • Mix graham cracker and pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter with a fork in a large bowl.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish.  Bake for 12 minutes.
Margarita 1
As you can see, I didn’t worry overly much about grinding everything to tiny bits in my coffee grinder – you won’t be able to see the crust anyway in the end, so no worries.
  • While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.  Whisk the eggs with remaining cup of sugar.  Whisk in the juices, zest, and tequila, then whisk in the flour until no lumps remain.
  • Pour the lime mixture slowly and carefully over the hot crust, then continue baking for about 25 minutes until the top starts to brown and is no longer translucent.  Cool the bars completely, chilling them in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes after the pan is cool to the touch on the counter top, before cutting.  Dust the tops with powdered sugar and sprinkle with salt, then serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Margarita 4

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5 thoughts on “Sweet and Salty Margarita Bars

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