Monday, August 8, 2011
When Life Gives You Lemons, Take a Shot of Tequila and then Make Lemon Bars.
2 sticks salted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
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
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!