It rained and stormed all day today.
This type of weather makes me happy and cheerful. It also really put me in the mood to BAKE!
My friend, Michelle has been feeling very under the weather lately, so I thought that I would make a treat to take to her and try to cheer her up. Lemon Bars are both sunshiny and on Chelle’s “MMMMM” list so they seemed perfect. I make pretty yummy lemon bars. I started off using my favorite shortbread recipe, tweaking it so it was a little less dense and then adding coconut. When I’m feeling really randy, I throw in some finely chopped pecans into the crust mixture as well, though today was a nut-free sort of day.
Besides the ultra yummy crust, the biggest secret is that you can NEVER USE ENOUGH FILLING!!!! Bare minimum, I double what the filling calls for and I often end up tripling it. This recipe already has the filling doubled, but if you want to add and addition half to triple it, feel free. As I said, it would be difficult to use too much filling in my opinion. Of course, you are also talking to the girl that unscrews her double-stuffed Oreos and makes them into “Quadruple Stuffed Oreos”, so you may want to rethink the last statement. (I still think Oreo should consider marketing these, though. It would save me a lot of work. Though, knowing me I would just end up with Octuple Oreos. Ug. I feel sick, now.)
A lot of people have asked me for my recipe, so I thought it would be a perfect goodie to post on my blog.
The following is for an 8X8X2 pan. I double this when using a standard 9X13.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, cooled
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
*Optional 1/4 cup minced pecans.
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350Â°F.
Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang. Butter foil. (I ran out of foil, so I just butter the pans directly. Using the foil saves a LOT of work if you are cutting them into squares)
Mix until dough resembles fine meal and begins to clump together. The dough should be the size of large peas (Left)and be able to form a ball when squeezed (Right)Gather dough into ball. Press dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan.
Bake crust until golden at edges, about 25 minutes.
Zest and juice lemons and add to the mixture. (I love my hand-held citrus juicer and the microplane is one of my very favorite kitchen tools in the world.)I ALWAYS end up adding more zest and lemon juice to this recipe because I like my lemon bars on the tart side. Just take a taste and make play around with it until it is to your preferred taste.
Remove crust from oven. Pour filling evenly over hot crust.
Return to oven and bake until filling begins to brown at edges and is just set and springy to touch in center, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to rack; cool lemon bars completely. Using foil as aid, transfer lemon bars to work surface. Flatten foil edges. Cut into 16 bars. Sift powdered sugar over. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight in s