18 February, 2016
Lemon BarsPosted in : citrus, dessert, easy, lemon, lemon bars, snack, Uncategorized on by : Jeanette Rueb
Sorry about the late post, all! After Tuesday’s snow day (which was spent digging out the ultimate quinzee with friends), I spent Wednesday barely able to move because I had moved so much snow. Today, at least, I can sit up, which is a great improvement over yesterday. Now that I’m about 60% functional, I’m finally getting around to pushing the weekly post. Thanks for bearing with me! Now, on to lemon bars!!!
In the middle of winter, things get pretty gray. Cabin fever starts to set in, you forget what color the sky actually is, and you have begun to question whether or not the sun actually exists or if it was all a dream.
Or maybe that’s just what it’s like living in Rochester.
Nonetheless, I’ve got a recipe for you that will restore your faith in the other three seasons and make you feel all sunny and new, like a fresh spring breeze or a crop of bright new flowers. With the magic of citrus and a little bit of effort, you too can feel bright and sunshiney with these lemon bars — ripe for the picking, any time of year!
What makes these delights even better is the fact that they’re a sort of two-part recipe, so if you’re not the best at having helpers in the kitchen, this is a great one for divvying up. Let the sous chef take crust duty while you whisk yourself a bowl of lemony sunshine.
If absolutely nothing else, the lemon rinds will make your garbage disposal smell nice and clean. That’s providing you botch the whole thing, which, considering Sous Chef Boyfriend and I managed to make this recipe cooperatively without strangling each other with hand towels (I don’t share the kitchen well and his engineer senses despise the way recipes are written), I am confident you will all do swimmingly.
For the Crust:
1 cup flour
1 stick of butter, softened or melted
1/4 cup powdered sugar
For the Filling:
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
I’m going to start off with a little anecdote before the recipe. For those of you who remember the lemon cookies post, you know I have a bad history involving lemons, cheese graters, and my fingers. I am pleased to announce that I did not add skin to the lemon zest, this time, but I did have an existing cut from a plastic lid that filled with lemon juice while prepping this recipe. It should be noted that, in my opinion, it’s still better (and more sanitary) to cook band-aid free and just bite the bullet when juice gets in your cut. It’s not fun, but it beats dealing with a piece of germy fabric in the end of your finger.
Other than that incident, the recipe went well. Speaking of, let me tell you how to make these lemon bars!
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
For the crust:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, butter, and powdered sugar. Mix them together until everything is combined and there are no remaining lumps of butter in the batter. In an ungreased baking pan (either an 8×8 or a 9×9 works best, I improvised because I apparently don’t have a square pan, somehow), spread the crust out so it covers the bottom of the pan and about a 1/2 inch up the sides, making a kind of bowl within the pan. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
For the filling:
While the crust is in the oven, get the filling ready, because you’re going to pour it right onto the hot crust and put everything right back in the oven.
In a medium bowl (just wash out and reuse the one from the crust), combine all the filling ingredients. Whisk them until they’re light and fluffy. My disclaimer to you, unless you want to stand there whisking for 20 minutes like I did, is to wait until there is about 5-10 minutes left on the timer and then go to town. If you have a way of whisking this electrically, just start at the two minute mark. If you do want to whisk for 20 minutes straight, I suggest switching hands every once in a while.
After you’ve poured the filling over the hot crust, put it immediately back in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until there’s a nice golden crust on top.
Let the pan cool on a wire rack or a towel, dust with powdered sugar, and cut into squares. If you don’t have a powdered sugar shaker, you can improvise by pouring the sugar into a glass, stretching seran wrap tightly over the top, and making holes in the wrap with a sharp knife or a pin.
Once they’re cooled and dusted, all that’s left to do is to serve and enjoy!