Position a rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of 8- by 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
To make crust: In a medium bowl, combine melted butter with sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. Press dough evenly over bottom of pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is fully baked, well-browned at the edges and golden brown in the center.
To make topping: While crust is baking, stir together sugar and flour in a large bowl until well-mixed. Whisk in eggs. Stir in lime or lemon zest and juice. When crust is ready, reduce heat to 300 degrees, slide rack with pan out and pour filling onto hot crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until topping no longer jiggles when pan is tapped.
Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Lift up foil liner and transfer bars to a cutting board. If surface is covered with a thin layer of moist foam (not unusual), blot surface gently with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture; repeat with a fresh piece of paper towel if necessary.
Using a long, sharp knife, cut bars into 16 or 24 daintier bars and sift powdered sugar over bars, if desired. Stored in an airtight container, bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 112 Fat 5 g Sodium 34 mg Carbohydrates 17 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 6 mg
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 37 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 1 fat.
italian chocolate-almond torte
Note: From "Pure Desserts," by Medrich.
Butter for pan
1 c. (5 oz.) unblanched or blanched whole almonds
7 oz. good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 c. sugar, divided
1/8 tsp. salt