Something non-chocolate. That's how we ended up on this recipe. Amy's office is having a chocolate-themed baking contest for Valentine's Day and so, for the sake of variation, we present a zesty citrus recipe!
From one of those wonderful cookbooks waiting under the tree on Christmas morning (from one Spatula Sister to another), the recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens "The Ultimate Cookie Book." Seriously, I think we could bake all year and fill the entire blog with recipes just from that book - and still have things we want to try.
One final note: These are supposed to be lemon bars... but really, any citrus fruit will do. Lemon is nice because the sourness provides a nice kick, but we added a substituted some orange (because we had no lemons).
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter/margarine
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups granulated (white) sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel --> 2 tablespoons of orange peel did the trick for us
3/4 cup lemon juice --> a friend added a little orange juice in place of lemon juice with rave results
1/4 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk --> we used 1/8 milk and 1/8 half-and-half
2 teaspoons cornstarch --> not in cookbook, but helps a lot with the consistency of the filling
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line 13 x 9 inch baking pan with greased tin foil (I used margarine), extending foil over edges of pan.
- In large bowl, stir the 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Using a pastry blender (or knives), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture evenly into bottom of pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, for lemon filling, lightly beat eggs in medium bowl. Stir in sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, lemon peel, lemon juice, half-and-half, and cornstarch .
- Pour filling over hot crust. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until center is set (you'll see the edges start to set and slowly it will creep in... just keep baking until it's all solid).
- Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Lift foil out of pan. Cut into bars (I cut off all the edges to make it look prettier). Just before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar over bars. The sugar gets absorbed eventually - so they just look a lot prettier if you sprinkle the sugar on a few minutes before serving.
- Store in fridge.
Trim the edges off the bars for a cleaner presentation.