It was three o’clock two Thursdays ago. The sun was high and hot, leaving us only one thing to do with ourselves…Cherry Limeade’s at Sonic. Pulling into the parking lot, I shifted the car into neutral, rolled the windows down, and turned the radio up. A waitress on rollerskates brought us cups heaped high with pink soda. My seven-year-old sat in the front seat, nodding his head to the beat and sipping deeply from his straw. His legs dangled over the edge of the seat, and I had no choice but to fall madly in love with the afternoon.
Someone ought to bottle the magic of Cherry Limeade moments, I thought.
Since I don’t have a soda bottler at home, I figured baking it into cherry red and lime green custard bars might be equally delightsome.
Turns out, it is. Just look at those pretty little dessert squares. They’ll make your shoulders shimmy to Katy Perry. They’ll make your head nod to Ella Fitzgerald. They’ll take any hot summer day and make it simmer with edible enchantment.
No sipping required.
Cherry Limeade Bars
Tangy and sweet, a twist on the classic lemon bar, these easy dessert squares simply scream summer. A light, buttery crust is cooked with a thin layer of maraschino cherry puree, then topped with a lime custard. These little treats are just as refreshing as a tall glass of limeade. You’re going to love them.
1 c. flour
½ c. butter, softened
¼ c. powdered sugar
Dash of salt
6 oz. can maraschino cherries , undrained
½ Tbsp. cornstarch
1 ¼ c. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
¼ c. key lime juice *
Green Gel Food Coloring
In a large bowl, combine flour, butter , powdered sugar, salt and flour until well mixed. Press into the bottom of a 9×9 inch baking pan. Pour the entire, undrained can of maraschino cherries into a blender, add cornstarch and blend until well chopped (but not pureed). Using a spatula, carefully spread the cherry mixture over the crust mixture. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat together remaining ingredients. Pour over cooked crust & cherry mixture. Return to oven and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture has set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars, garnishing with powdered sugar, and serving to your favorite people.