Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lemon Perfection Bars

  What a week! With the show going on, graduation around the corner and my sister's graduation today I've been in a whirlwind of activity! It's been very exciting but I can't wait to sleep in and finally begin my senior summer of laze. I've been baking for each of the shows so we always have fresh delicious snacks for the audience to enjoy during intermission. There is, of course, the traditional cookies and brownies. Last night we had someone make fantastic oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. However, I've heard that there are people out there who don't love chocolate. It's been a difficult idea for me to come to terms with, as I never choose a non-chocolate option over a chocolate option. Rather than force my completely unbiased views on all of the audience, I looked into making a non-chocolate option. 
I remember a few years ago my family decided to clean out our attic (scary scary time in my life...) and we had a series of tag sales. For these, my older sisters baked up a storm of things and lemon bars became one of the favorite, and easiest, staples that they provided. So, I did some research and I decided to stick my hands into the lemon bar business. Here's what I've come up with for today!

Oven Temp: 350 F
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes and 20 minutes
Ready-In: 55 minutes

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup lemon juice*
1/4 cup powdered sugar 

*Fresh lemons are best. This is about 3 lemons. To maximize juiciness, pop in the microwave for 15 seconds before juicing. Additionally, mix in 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to the lemon mixture for a flavor bonus.

 Preheat oven to 350 F.
Soften butter if not already in the microwave.

In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. 

It should form a soft, pliable dough

Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 18-23 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and golden.

In another bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. 

Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice.

 Our eggs come from my cousin's farm! They are fresh and exceptionally delicious. Also, I find the varying shell color to be very pretty!

Pour over the baked crust. 

Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. 

Gently dust the top with powdered sugar!

Let the bars cool completely before serving. They need to firm up and the flavors need to combine.  

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