Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Foodie Week (Extended) - Lemon Bars


Barely squeaking this post in, huh?

Okay, so I know that I raved and raved and raved about the Rubi-Berry Cobbler and how berries remind me of summer... but so do lemons... so on the same day that I made the Rubi-Berry Cobbler, I also made Lemon Bars!  I figured, since my oven was on and I had some sweet smelling Meyer Lemons... well, might as well make a batch!

My friend Michelle of Front Row Friends emailed me this recipe last summer and I love it!  I think I've preached from a soapbox mentioned in passing that I don't like an overly sweet lemon desert.  I feel like it defeats the purpose of using a tart lemon.  These lemon bars are a perfect combination... I made a few slight variations, but mostly stuck to the recipe!

{Photo and recipe courtesy of Front Row Friends}
Lemon Squares
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter an 8" square pan. With an electric mixer, cream all the ingredients till soft and smooth. (Or, in a food processor, till it forms a ball.) Press dough evenly into pan and bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the topping.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

With electric mixer, beat eggs well and gradually add sugar, until mixture is thick. Gradually add remaining ingredients. Continue beating until crust comes out of oven. Pour lemon mixture over hot crust, return to oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake 30 - 35 minutes till top is golden. Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the edge. Cool 20 minutes. Cut into squares, remove from pan and sift powdered sugar over the top.
I didn't use an electric mixer, I just used a whisk, but it was just laziness.  I didn't feel like hand washing my beater and mixer bowl, I just wanted to throw the utensils into the dishwasher.
I forgot to run a sharp knife around edges immediately and paid for it.  My bars, while super yummy, were not pretty.  Luckily, my stomach doesn't discriminate over pretty food.
I also added lemon zest to the crust - it just adds a little extra tang.  I also used the zest of 2 lemons for the topping.  Remember, I like the tart of the lemon, so if you prefer it a little sweeter, then don't add the extra zest.
Yum.  Yum. Yum.  Like having a piece of summer in your mouth.  I made these on Sunday and my the time I went to bed Monday, they were gone.  Gone Gone Gone.  My husband and I really like lemon bars. 
I'll be back tomorrow with a yummy WHOLE chicken recipe and method!

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