Springtime is when most of us crave lighter foods, and dishes flavored with citrus - lemon, orange, and lime – always seem to taste lighter than those with the more pungent spices that we’ve enjoyed all winter, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If you have the Basic Oatmeal Cookie Mix on your pantry shelves, you’re already halfway there to these decadent Springtime Citrus Dream Bars. If haven’t already made it, you’ll only need 15-20 extra minutes to throw it together; you’ll have the start to dozens of great cookies, cakes, pies, and other desserts.
The versatile Oatmeal Cookie Mix forms the base of these easy and delicious bars. During the 10 minutes while the crust is baking, you can chop the nuts and add them to the few ingredients that make up the filling. The frosting can be put together while the bars are baking. Adding the lemon and lime zest is optional, but adds so much flavor, I’d recommend taking an extra 2-3 minutes to grate it. A Microplane, one of my favorite and, I think, essential, kitchen gadgets makes quick work of citrus zest. When made ahead, these bars stay moist for several days, although it isn’t likely they’ll last that long.
Springtime Citrus Dream Bars
Makes 32 Bars
4 cups Basic Oatmeal Cookie Mix
3 tablespoons water
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups coconut
1/2 8 oz. package cream cheese, (4 ounces)
1/4 cup softened butter
Zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Crust: Mix the Basic Oatmeal Cookie Mix with the water and press evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
- Filling: Meanwhile mix the eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, and flour on low speed until combined and smooth (if you beat it, air bubbles will form and the filling will develop a coarse and uneven texture).
- Stir in the pecans and coconut.
- When the crust has baked, remove the pan from the oven and spread the filling mixture evenly over it.
- Return the pan to the oven; bake 15-20 minutes or until the filling is set.
- Remove to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly.
- Frosting: Whip the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and orange juice concentrate until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in enough powdered sugar to make a light spreadable frosting.
- Spread on the cooled bars.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274 Calories from Fat 126
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 46% Protein 4% Carb. 50%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 34 mg
Sodium 101 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 3% Calcium 0% Iron 4%
Purchase a Microplane from Amazon