Monday, August 8, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons, Take a Shot of Tequila and then Make Lemon Bars.

So for my first blog back from my somewhat long hiatus, I decided to go for something citrusy and awesome...hints why I landed on Lemon Bars.  I feel like Lemon Bars are those treats that are really delicious, but everyone forgets about them in lieu of fancier desserts (similar to Pizza Rolls).  So let's get to it, shall we?

Crust Recipe:
2 sticks salted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour

Filling Recipe:
6 large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice; about 12 lemons (save yourself the trouble...just buy the juice)
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar

Before you start the crust, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Now take the 2 sticks of room temperature butter and cream it with the sugar until it is smooth and creamy using an electric blender.  Add in the flour a little bit at a time to the butter/sugar mixture until it is fully incorporated.  It will look a little bit on the mealy side, but that is exactly how it should look.  Take your dough and press it down into a 13"x9" pan, with the dough coming up the sides about 1/2".  It will need to cool before you put it in the oven, so stick it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or the time it takes you to juice all of those lemons if you are dumb like me and want to do it by hand.  Once the dough has cooled, put it in the oven until it turns a light brown, which is about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven (I have a gas oven and mine took about 18 minutes).  Once it has finished, take it out and let it cool while you put together the filling.

For the filling, you will need to whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, white sugar, and flour.  You will beat this up until there aren't any lumps and it is all smooth.  Pour this on top of your baked crust and put it in the oven for 30-35 minutes (again, my oven is gas, so I put it in for 33 minutes).  Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.

Once you have let the pan cool (seriously...don't touch them until they are cool or else you will try to cut them and ruin them and waste all of your hard work), you can cut the bars into any shape you want.  Some cut them into triangles, but I am not that fancy, so I cut them into squares.  Next, take the confectioner's sugar, and dust the crap out of them with it until they look like the picture above. 

Lemon bars are pretty hard to mess up.  With that said, you will be totally bummed out if you over cook them.  If you only bake it for the minimum, that is fine and they will be fully cooked (so all of those who are worried about eating undercooked egg can relax), just a little softer.  This is a pretty common recipe and you will find most recipes on the internet follow this same basic formula.

So, what's the verdict?  AWESOME.  Treat your friends (and yourself) today with this classic treat that is certain to go over well at any function.  So go my friends....go get baked!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

6 Months later....SHE'S BACK!

Hey everyone!  I am officially going to start blogging again after taking the last 6 months off.  Don't get me wrong....I was baking throughout, but I just didn't put the recipes online.  Baking is definitely a coping mechanism of mine, and after my dad passed away in July 2010, I baked my way through the hard times.  But, now I feel it is time to get back to business as usual! (FYI: the picture is of a Pumpkin Scone with Caramel Sauce Drizzle that I made for my coworkers.  YUM.)

Since we live in a democracy, I am putting out a call for suggestions.  What is your favorite cookie?  What cake is your go-to for parties?  I want to know what your signature baked good is that you would like me to try.  So, if you want to get down on this, email me at or you can leave your comment below.  It is that simple.