Friday, April 30, 2010

Lemon Bars

I once had a Lemon Bar recipe that people actually asked me for their secret (okay, only 2 people asked, but that's pretty good, right?).  I got the urge to make these for a Cub Scout bake sale, but my old recipe was incomplete!  I found this one on a blog--it seemed like a good one to try.  I'll have to keep looking for my old recipe for two reasons; (1) this seemed to be a lot of work and (2) I remember lemon bars being a little sweeter.  They still sold at the bake sale (but I couldn't help thinking it might have been more profitable if I had just given the scouts the money I spent to make them--then I could have claimed 2 more hours of my day!).

1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temp (16 T)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t almond extract (a lovely hint of flavor!)
3 c all-purpose flour, divided
1/8 t kosker salt 
7 large eggs
1 c honey
2 T lemon zest (looking back, I would have made the zest a little finer, it didn't seem right to bite into the lemon square and have the texture of zest)
1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 5-6 lemons)
powdered sugar, for dusting


1.  Preheat your oven to 350° and greasing a 9×13 baking dish.
2.  Cream together the butter, sugar and almond extract. Gradually add in 2 c of AP flour and all of the salt. 3.  Press the resulting dough into your baking dish. It’s likely that the dough will get really sticky, more so the warmer your hands are. If it’s hard to work with, stick the dish (dough and all) in to the fridge for a few minutes to help it firm up. It will be a lot easier to work with once it’s chilled. Prick the dough with a fork once it’s all pressed into the dish.
4.  Bake the shortbread bottom at 350° for 25 minutes, until it begins to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
5.  Beat together the eggs, honey, zest, juice and remaining 1 c of AP flour.
6.  Pour the curd mixture over the shortbread and bake (still at 350°) for 25-30 minutes. You want everything to be firmly set before you pull it from the oven – no jiggling.
7.  Cool completely and cut into squares or triangles, depending on your preference.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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