Tequila Bars!

One Wednesday per month, I play Bunco with co-workers. A different person hosts each month, and generally the host will provide dinner and drinks. It’s so fun to see my co-workers in their own element – there are both the pizza-and-beer type of people, and homemade-gumbo-and-cajun-eggroll type of people.

Last Wednesday, I traveled to Halstead, KS (about 30 minutes from Wichita) for Bunco and some seriously delicious food and drink! The host made teriyaki chicken salad, with romaine lettuce, sliced almonds, crispy asian noodles, mandarin oranges, sesame vinaigrette, and teriyaki-marinated chicken. I ate two bowls! In addition, the host provided several types of margarita. I was feeling under the weather and had a long drive home, so I didn’t go too crazy…but I DID decide to bring these yummy tequila bars as the perfect compliment to an already tequila-infused evening.

A word of warning: these tequila bars have bite. As in, you can really taste the tequila. The tequila does not seem to “bake off” as alcohol does when simmering in a pan. These aren’t something you eat alone in front of the TV – these are definitely a treat to share with others, preferably on a hot summer evening when everyone has a drink in hand! The crust is buttery, crunchy, with lots of vanilla flavor. The meringue makes the dessert bars very light and creamy, without too much sweetness. And if you decide that you do want to eat these alone in front of the TV – they could easily be made without the tequila, and then they would essentially be creamy lime bars.

Eat (and drink!) up!

Tequila Bars

1 12-oz box vanilla wafers
1/2 C chopped nuts
1.5 sticks butter, melted
1/3 C tequila
1/2 C fresh lime juice
5 large egg yolks, plus 2 egg whites
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 TBS sugar
honey for drizzling

1. Preheat oven to 350. Pulse the wafers and nuts in a food processor until well ground up. Add the butter and blend until evenly mixed. Set aside 1/3 C crumbs; press the rest evenly into a 9×13 pan. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool.

2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the tequila, lime juice, egg yolks and condensed milk.

3. In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar with an electric mixer on high, until soft peaks form (this took me about 4-5 minutes.) Gently fold the egg whites into the tequila mixture. Spread the filling evenly over the crust and bake for 25 minutes; cool. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Drizzle with honey before serving.

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