Killer Key Lime Bites

Looking for a whimsical and light last minute summer dessert- perhaps for that big holiday right around the corner??? Try these individual Killer Key Lime Bites. There’s no worry about making a perfect pie crust because you use limes to hold the filling and you can whip up the key lime pie filling in a few fast steps.

I followed Ina Garten’s recipe for frozen key lime pie for the filling. Then, I substituted large, hollowed out limes to spoon the pie filling into rather than pie crust. You can make these treats ahead of time, pop them in the freezer and serve just as your guests are ready for dessert.

Ingredients
Filling:
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the Topping:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges
Crumbled graham crackers (crumble right before serving to keep them fresh)

The first step is buying the largest limes you can find. Cut each lime in half and use a juicer to squeeze all of the juice possible out of each half. After the lime is juiced the inside should be fairly empty. You can scoop out the remainder of the lime with a sharp pairing knife or a grapefruit sectioning spoon. The only secret to this step of preparation is a little patience.

Once the inside of the lime is scooped out, place each half in an empty egg container which holds the lime upright for filling. For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Spoon the filling up to the edge of the lime. Top with fresh whipped cream and a touch of lime zest and place your filled egg carton in the freezer. When you are ready to serve the Key Lime Bites, take them out of the freezer and sprinkle fresh graham cracker crumbs on top.

I found the best serving holders for this mini dessert were circular napkin rings. The lime sits perfectly on top. Place each napkin ring on a large elevated cake plate or decorative platter and add a little more zest around the edges to complete the display.

You can also add mini-appetizer spoons to each Key Lime Bite for easy serving and easy eating.

love bites

Love Bites CollageIf there is any chance of denying your kids are growing up right before your eyes, it only takes a holiday or two to make it clear that there has been a shift.

My “babies” are only 16 and 12 but gone is the Valentine’s Day frenzy of candy grams, homemade treats for the class and finding the perfect Valentine’s cards for the big exchange. Perhaps its denial but I refuse to “go gently into that good night,” when it comes to my maturing babes and ANY holiday. When they are grown with families of their own, I want them to remember their childhood home as a place of tradition and celebration – no matter their age.

So for the past few years, I have made them their own Valentine’s Day celebration replete with decorations and a decadent amount of treats and sweets. I call this little party, “Love Bites,” because each morsel is filled with love (and of course, you can’t overlook the fact that sometimes, love DOES bite).

Love Bites Menu

The first year I created “Love Bites,” it was a wild-haired idea that came to me about an hour before school pick-up. I dashed to the store and bought heart-shaped cookies, nuts, conversation hearts, caramels, strawberries and whipped cream. It wasn’t a fancy display but I knew from the looks on their faces, it wasn’t about the fancy, it was about making an unexpected and special gesture just for them. Don’t think over the top if you create your own Love Bites table, just keep it simple and real – for whoever you’re loving.

Mini Layer Cakes with Strawberries+Mint

Mini Layer Cakes with Strawberries+Mint

Click HERE for recipe

Palmiers dipped in red chocolate+crushed peanuts

Palmiers dipped in red chocolate+crushed peanuts

 

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

Click HERE for recipe

Chocolate dipped strawberries with red sprinkles

Chocolate dipped strawberries with red sprinkles

 

Chocolate Tulip cups filled with Vanilla pudding and topped with raspberries & chocolate shavings

Chocolate Tulip cups filled with Vanilla pudding and topped with raspberries & chocolate shavings

 

Chocolate dipped alphabet cookies

Chocolate dipped alphabet cookies

 

Blackberry+Strawberry infused water with mint

Blackberry+Strawberry infused water with mint

 

Food alone won't fill your table - pay attention to the special touches

Food alone won’t fill your table – pay attention to the special touches

Happy Valentine’s Day!