Monday, February 4, 2013

Yum, Yum, Yummy Lemon Bars

A friend sent us a box of organic California lemon cellos. Opening the box was heaven... the scent wafting from the lemons was like sunshine. The yellow color was a bright spot on a gray cold day. When we got home, I washed the lemons because they had a looooong cold flight. (You like taking a shower/bath after traveling, yes?) For the first couple days I simply enjoyed the sight and scent of sunshine in my kitchen. 

We did photo shoots.

Fresh from their bath. 
Sunshine streaming thru the kitchen window. 


Beautiful, lovely gorgeous lemons.
(I didn'a realize my Trifle bowl was, well, dirty)

























I realized that I should do something with the wonderful lemons instead of letting them go bad. I shared several with friends, sliced some up for water and ate them like oranges. Oh yeah. Good stuff.
One recipe I have never tried from scratch is lemon bars. I have enjoyed them at potlaches, BBQs and restaurants and have *loved* them. A properly made bar will transport one to a world of sunshine, twittering birds and floating flowers. (not really, but you get the idea.) The first bite should have a smooth creamy custardy feel. The crunch of the shortbread crust completes the texture/tactile feel in your mouth. First is the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Then, the tang of the lemons hit your taste buds. Oooooo...the lips pucker, the eyes cross, your mouth starts drooling for the next bite. I must confess, I was not sure I wanted to attempt this recipe. I prefer easy ones with few steps. Having used Brown Eyed Baker before, I searched her site and found this one.

After removing from the oven. That discolored dot was from me
testing the doneness with my finger.
Powdered Sugar sprinkled
on the top.













Yes, slightly time consuming. More steps than I would normally do. But, it was SOOOOO worth it. So much, that I made the recipe again for a Super Bowl get together. Tons of raves. Thankfully none were left cause I think I ate half the first pan.

  
A dollop of raspberry jam.
I would totally make this again. I followed the recipe straight the first time round but made changes the second time.

*  Instead of grating the frozen butter, using a pastry cutter, I cut it into the flour mixture. I also added a smudge more butter-maybe a smallish pat?
*  Instead of dotting the butter, I smeared it all about the pan and the sheets of parchment paper. (Both times)
*  I used 1% milk as that was what we had in the fridge. (Both times)
*  Substituted Tapioca Starch as I had no corn starch. (Both times)
*  I didn'a measure the lemon zest, I used the zest from the lemons used for the juice. Eyeballing it-probably tablespoon to two tablespoons. (do you press down zest to measure or do you count the fluff factor?) (Both times)
*  I had to cook the crust and the filling longer than listed as my oven seems to not run to temp.

This pan does indeed make a 9x13 batch. Parchment paper is almost a must-makes for easy lifting out of the pan and easy clean-up. I will most definitely make this again. Maybe not with the couple lemons I have left as they are looking a bit sad. Which makes me sad. Ah well, spring is just around the corner.

Why do I feel like I am looking at the lemons upside down?

On my Pinterest board, this recipe moved from 'Recipes to Try' to Recipes Tried and Liked.


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