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I first made these as part of a Key West-themed dinner party menu, but since then, I've made them a million times.
Why? First there is the shortbread cookie base, which succeeds in being buttery without being greasy and also has a nice snap at the edges while also having a little give that your teeth can sink into. (I hate bar cookies that shatter or crumble on first bite.)
The real star, though, is the key lime topping. I love the tart flavor of the key limes and how its perky citrus flavor seems made for the layer of airy, crackly meringue. Depending on how big you cut them, these bars can be both light one-bite treats or more substantial bar cookies. Perfect for a spring that's bound to be filled with warm weather picnics and parties.
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios