Sunday, February 9, 2014

OLD FASHIONED LEMON BARS

I tried (yet another) one of Laura's great recipes over at  heywhatsfordinnermom.com  (she has some great ones over there). 

This recipe, for Old Fashioned Lemon bars, couldn't be more basic, yet it hits all the right "lip smacking" notes and picky-picky husband loved them, so that makes this recipe 5 stars at our house!!

 
 The lemon bars have a sweet and buttery shortbread type crust that is partially baked before a gooey topping is added and baked again. The topping is sweet-ish, lemony-ish, pudding-y-ish (are those even real words?) the combo is heavenly.

BASE LAYER
1 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup COLD butter cubed

Put these three ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs.  Pat the crumbs into an 8" x 8" baking dish. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes.

While it is baking, whisk together the following topping ingredients until very smooth:

TOPPING LAYER
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
zest of one lemon (see note)
2  1/2  tablespoons lemon juice
2  1/2  tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

After the cookie base ingredients have baked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and pour over the topping ingredients and put it right back in the oven for another 25 minutes.

Cool completely in pan before cutting.  Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar (if you want).  Cut into small squares or bars since it is pretty rich.

STORE COVERED
 
NOTE: Be careful to only use the bright yellow part of the lemon zest. They pale yellow and while part of the lemon peel is very bitter.

NOTE: I lined my baking pan with parchment paper and left the ends/edges a little long. After the bars completely cool, I grab the edges of the paper and lift the whole thing out of the pan. I do this with all of my bar cookies because once they are out of the pan they are so much easier to cut.

NOTE:  If you aren't going to line your pan with parchment paper, I suggest you very lightly mist it with cooking spray.