52 Weeks of Baking Love; Week 8: Lemon Bars
I promise that this week’s baked good was in fact baked last week, but I am only just now getting around to publishing the actual post. My bad. Moving on…
Lemon bars, for me, evoke strong images of springtime–of warm weather, light breezes, birds chirping, and lush, green grass. It is obviously safe to say that I put way too much weight on the shoulders of one little dessert, but this winter has been nothing short of absurd and I am in a springtime state of mind. Unfortunately, that is the only place where spring is alive and well, since even as I type this, there is still snow on the ground.
Even though spring is merely living inside my head for the time being, I decided to get a jump start on some classic springtime goodies, starting with lemon bars.
I love lemon bars. I mean, I really love them. Every time I have them, I have a tremendously difficult time leaving any for later. I may have a portion control problem. Even the crust is addicting, and that is something that takes some talent. I always thought that a lot of time and effort went into creating something so delicious, but then I happened to come across a recipe for them. You guys, they are beyond easy. So easy that I couldn’t not make them.
It’s really no wonder why I have always loved the crust of lemon bars. Consisting mostly of butter and powdered sugar, it makes total sense! In fact, the crust alone is only butter, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt. That is some seriously simple, yet so delicious it’s addicting kind of crust.
The lemon filling is also surprisingly easy to make–that is, if you buy lemon juice instead of juicing your own lemons. Seven tablespoons may not seem like a lot, but it is when you’re trying to get seven tablespoons of lemon juice from lemons. I know, fresh ingredients are the best, but I really couldn’t taste a difference between the bottle of lemon juice I bought (ReaLemon brand, in case you’re interested) and the juice that came directly from a lemon that I cut up. Not even kidding.
The hardest part of this recipe is getting 1/4 cup of lemon zest, which was approximately the rind of an entire large lemon. My arm was pretty sore after accomplishing that task, which only proved to me that I need to exercise more (or make more baked goods that require a little elbow grease) but after that first bite of a lemon bar, the zest work immediately became worth it.
Not only did I really love the lemon bars I made, my 7-year-old stepdaughter is totally addicted as well. In the span of two days, she went through an impressive portion of the pan I made. She may also have a portion control problem. I kid, I kid. Seriously, though, every time she had something to eat, she followed it with a lemon bar, and then proceeded to rummage through the refrigerator looking for them. I see more lemon bar baking in my not-so-distant future.