Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Homemade lemon bars

Do you know that I've never made lemon bars not out of a box mix before? I know, a little shameful. Not as shameful as ... being a bandwagon Iowa fan or something else equally ridiculous :)

I knew I needed to make these lemon bars after a stunning write-up in the USA Weekend a few Sundays ago. I knew they would be a fun spring addition to our Swap Party munchies. They were everything a lemon bar should be - sweet, tart, a little tangy with a rich buttery shortbread crust. I've previously enjoyed Krusteaz Lemon Bars Mixes, but of course the homemade version far surpasses the box mix. If you are feeling the itch for lemon bars - this is your recipe. It wasn't too hard either, Lance and I assembled these at 9:30 pm with little difficulty. However, I did have a moment of panic when I didn't think the lemon filling was setting up properly because I failed to measure out the lemon juice when I was juicing the lemons. But all's well that ends well and the bars were perfection! One thing to keep in mind - this does not make a huge recipe.

Recipe by Three Many Cooks

For crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup confectioner's sugar
1 stick (8 Tbs.) butter, melted but not hot

For filling:
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1½ Tbs. all-purpose flour
6 Tbs. juice from 2 lemons
2 tsps. finely grated lemon zest

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Fit an 8-inch by 16-inch piece of heavy-duty foil across pan bottom and up the 2 sides as foil overhangs to pull bars from the pan. Spray foil with vegetable cooking spray.
Mix flour, salt, confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl; stir in butter to form dough. Press dough into pan bottom (the bottom of a measuring cup dipped in flour helps). Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes.
While pastry bakes, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl.
Remove pan from oven. Add lemon mixture and continue to bake until just set, about 20 minutes longer; let cool in pan for a few minutes and then using foil handles, pull bars from pan and set on a wire rack. Cool until room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.

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