Thursday, April 26, 2012

luscious lemon bars

I'd like to submit and argument that this is one of the best desserts ever!  Notice how politically correct I was?  "one of"?  Well, I couldn't help myself because when I was thinking of writing "the best" I was brought to a halt because there is no chocolate involved in lemon bars... and I think, for me, the best dessert must have chocolate involved.

Either way, I'd love to share with you my recipe (adapted and modified from this recipe) for Lemon Bars that are slightly tangy, sweet, and definitely tasty!

What you need...

For the crust...
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
     (feel free to use white, but I find that whole wheat gives the bars a great taste!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
     (you could do 1/4 cup butter and 3 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil - I think it would work ok, but I have not tried this so I wont vouch for how the consistency will turn out...)
1 tbsp wheat germ*
1 tsp cinnamon*

For the filling...
1 cup white sugar
     (or you could substitute Zulka)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
     (or white - I used whole wheat and it just makes the filling a little darker)
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/4 cup + 2 or 3 tbsp lemon juice
1 to 2 tbsp lemon zest

2 to 3 tbsp powdered sugar for decoration
9x13inch glass pan

The lemon section of this recipe is really up to you (that's why I give so many options).  If you love lemon then use more!!

Marked with * is optional

First...
Turn your oven on to 350°
Melt the butter in the micro while mixing the flour and powdered sugar (along with the wheat germ and cinnamon if you choose to add it).  Once the butter is melted, add it to the flour mix (with oil if you are substituting) and mix together to form a semi-moist crumbly mixture. 

Take this mixture and press it into the bottom of the 9x13in pan.  You can go up a little on the sides if you want to create a type of 'edged' crust or just keep it to the bottom.  Then stick it in the over for 15 to 20 minutes (I ended up keeping it in for the full 20). 



 

Next...
It's time to make the filling. 
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and baking soda.  Then, in a slightly larger bowl beat the eggs for about 30 seconds or until they are combined (a lovely yellow color).  Add the dry contents as well as the lemon juice to the egg mixture and beat for another 30 seconds. 

Finally...
When the rust is done, take it out of the oven, pour the filling mixture over the top, and put it back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  It doesn't take as long as you would think for the filling to cook so make sure and check it after 10 minutes just to be safe.  It's done when edges are slightly brown and the center is not 'jiggly' (technical term). 

Let it sit for a few minutes and then you can top with the extra powdered sugar - I used my fine mesh strainer and tapped the side creating a fine misting of powdery goodness.

I'd suggest letting it cool for a 10 minutes or so and then I'd highly advise you eat and enjoy!

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