Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oh, Lemon Bars...

I did it! I did it, I did it, I did it! Those lemon bars that have haunted me for ages are now marked off my New Year's Resolutions! We had a sweet ceremony for the girls ages 12 to17 in our church last night called New Beginnings, and lo and behold, who was put in charge of refreshments? That's right. Me. I kinda had a mini-freak-out worrying if I would have enough food. Of course, I was planning for the eventuality that over 50 people would show up. I'm not sure why that was the figure in my head. There were maybe 20 at most, but the food disappeared rather quickly! I'm sure we have the teenage boys to thank for that...

I was so proud of myself for even attempting this dessert that once spelled catastrophe and almost signaled the end of my budding career as an amateur baker. I did have some help. The girls who made and brought me homemade vanilla came over to help me out. Then while the lemon bars were baking, we ended up watching pretty much every video on YouTube. Or at least, that's how it felt. I now know all about the hidden messages in Disney movies, how to catch a man a la Disney Princess, and that there is a 24-year-old guy (that the younger of the two girlies is in love with now...) who can sing all parts to Phantom of the Opera, albeit, not like an opera singer... Man, I remember when I would get sucked into watching those videos... Now it's just those pictures on Facebook.

I do have a lovely hand model in some of my pictures this time around. But enough talk! Let me show you the dessert that will change lemon-y desserts for you forever!

Lemon Bars

For the Crust:

1 cup butter
1 3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

For the Filling:

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan. I like using Pam with flour. It makes everything so much easier!

To make the crust:

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the  flour and powdered sugar.

Cut in the butter until it's fully combined. It will look pretty crumbly, kinda like the peanut butter muffins. You might want to use a fork instead of a whisk for this part, though. It takes some elbow grease.

Press mixture into bottom of your pan.

Bake it for about 20 minutes or until the crust is a lovely golden color.

To make the filling:

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs and lemon juice.

In a larger bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and baking powder. Then add the eggs and lemon juice.

Mix well and pour on top of  the still-warm crust.

Bake the lemon bars for 20-25 minutes.

When the bars cool, dust them with confectioner’s sugar and refrigerate. I decided to wait on the dusting until they were actually being served. I made pumpkin cookies once and dusted them with powdered sugar before taking them to someone else to enjoy, and the sugar was absorbed almost instantly! I'm not saying that's what would have happened, but I didn't want to risk anything.

They disappeared so fast! I couldn't believe it. But then I tried one, and holy macaroni! This is a treat worth making and sharing! But I don't hope I get put in charge of refreshments again for a looooong time!

1 comment:

  1. Just an update on the lemon bars: I tried to make them again with an all-purpose gluten-free flour, and they came out completely different. The crust puffed up, although I've never heard of that happening before, and when I tried to pour the filling on top, it sank into the crust. The gluten-free version seems more like a lemon-y shortbread, rather than the lemon bars I'd made before. Just a heads up if you're looking to substitute it! Good luck!