Lemon Bars

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If you haven’t noticed you may eventually – I don’t make a lot of fruit-based desserts.  Why?  Well honestly…I don’t really like fruit.  That probably sounds odd coming from someone who is so obsessed with desserts, but most fruit just isn’t my thing.  Definitely not fresh fruit.  I could live my whole life without ever taking a bite of another orange, and I probably will.

That said, I do like cooking with some fruit.  Raspberry is good, though I usually end up using raspberry preserves which, I understand from those who are fruit purists “isn’t the same thing”.  Meh – don’t care.

The one fruit that I kind of like working with is lemon.  Maybe because it’s not one that you take a huge bite out of, using fresh lemon juice and lemon rind can be delicious and even refreshing.

So, on to my lemon bars – these are really good, kind of tart (which I like), and since they are made from fresh fruit I’m sure they’re completely healthy.

Ingredients

Crust

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ t vanilla
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 cup flour

Lemon Part (what else should I call it?  It’s not filling.  Topping?  But it’s not really topping anything but the crust and when you make a pie you don’t call the guts of it topping.  I dunno.   Anyway…)

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 T flour
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¼ t vanilla
  • Powdered sugar (optional, for sprinkling – probably you’ll need a couple tablespoons)  

Directions

Take a 9” x 9” pan (or something similar in size) and line it completely with aluminum foil, so that the foil hangs over the edges.   As always, this makes cleanup super easy.

Combine the first three of the crust ingredients (sugar, butter, vanilla)) in a bowl and beat until well mixed – maybe a minute.  Then, add in the salt and flour a half at a time.  Add the first half, beat, then add the second half and beat again.  The mixture should be crumbly, kinda like this:

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Press the crust mix evenly into the bottom of your pan.  Bake this at 350 for about 15 minutes or until it’s just starting to brown a little bit.  Basically you’re not completely cooking it because you’re putting this back into the oven when you pour in the lemon mixture.  Take the pan out of the oven and cool it on a wire rack.

While you’re cooking and cooling you can make the lemon mixture.

Put the eggs in a bowl and beat them until they get foamy.  Add in the sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla and beat that whole mixture until it’s well blended.

Pour the lemon mixture over the prepared crust (the crust does not need to be completely cooled)  and put that back into the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes, until the lemon mixture has set and is no longer liquid-y.  Cool that on a wire rack.

 

Once the bars are cooled, if you want, you can sift some powdered sugar over the bars before you cut them into squares (you should want – it adds a needed sweetness and it looks better).

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Everything is better if you wear a unicorn shirt…

 

That’s it – cut ‘em up and enjoy!

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1 thought on “Lemon Bars

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