Creamy Margarita Bars

A while back I made margarita squares, but those were more gelatin-like (they actually include gelatin in the recipe, so…).  I decided to try a version that’s more like a key lime pie filling.

As before, these probably aren’t for kids.  I mean, there’s not enough alcohol in them to get them drunk or anything, but giving these to kids seems like a poor parenting choice.

Besides, this way there’s more for you and me.



  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • ½ cup butter, brought to room temperature
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ½ t salt


  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ½ t lime zest
  • ¼ cup blanco tequila (I used Don Julio because…yum)
  • 2 T orange liqueur (I used Cointreu because it’s what I had, but Gran Marnier also works well – they’re not exactly the same thing, but both will work)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling at the end


Line an 8” or 9” square pan with tin foil and set it aside.

If you haven’t already, crush the vanilla wafers in a food processor until you have 2 cups.  Add in the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix together until the whole thing is nice and moist.

Spray your lined pan with non-stick spray and add your mixture to it.  Press down around until it’s about even and put it in the fridge for about a half hour.

After a half hour, take it out of the fridge and bake it at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until it gets nice and golden brown.  While it’s baking is a good time to zest and squeeze your limes.  When the crust is done, remove it from the oven and move it to a wire rack.

Now it’s time to make the filling (you don’t need to wait for the crust to cool completely, but you can if that works better for you).

In a small bowl add in the lime juice, lime zest, tequila, orange liqueur and vanilla.  Set aside.

Not super appetizing…YET

In a larger bowl add the yolks and sweetened condensed milk.  Whisk until well combined (you don’t need to overmix).  IMG_3609Add in the tequila mixture and mix again until well combined.

Pour this filling into the cooked crust and put it back into the oven (again at 350) for another 15-18 minutes, or until the filling is solid on the edges but still a little wiggly.  Take the pan out of the oven and put it back on the wire rack to cool.

When the bars are close to room temperature, sprinkle them with your sea salt and move the pan to the fridge.  When you’re ready to eat cut into bars and serve!IMG_3637IMG_3632

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