Things I’ve realized lately…
I have exactly no idea what I’m going to do with my time when the Olympics are over. Except maybe go back to watching Food Network compulsively.
Sometimes I just want to buy brown bananas at the grocery. As good as almost ripe bananas have tasted for breakfast, I’d really like a slice of banana bread in my world.
Lemon desserts, and their tart citrus flavor, are not at all what I’m craving when my bank suggests I file an extension on my mortgage application because the entire world is refinancing and closing next week is not looking good. Moments like this require chocolate and peanut butter…and more chocolate.
This doesn’t mean there’s not a place for lemon bars in the world. It just means it’s not food for solving major life problems. Not that this stopped me from stress eating way too many of these.
These bars are made up of three layers: a shortbread crust, a tart lemon filling and one last citrus punch in a lemon glaze. They make seriously good use of lemon zest and juice…and powdered sugar. This means, when the bars first bake they are tart enough to make your eyes squint. (This is a normal lemon reaction. Right? Right.) But a few days after these bake, the lemon backs off, and the bars are more sweet than tart. It’s chemistry. I dunno.
The best part of this is, even if it is in different phases, everyone likes them.
Unless they’re ready to live in their own house again and underwriters don’t seem to understand that.
Otherwise…total lemon success.
Sunburst Lemon Bars
recipe adapted from Pillsbury
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
To make the crust, beat flour, powdered sugar, butter and lemon zest until combined. Press into the bottom of a greased 9×13″ pan. Bake 20-25 minutes in a preheated 350° oven, or until light golden brown.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, whisk eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl to break the yolks. Add sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk until smooth. Pour atop crust evenly, immediately after removing from oven. Return to oven and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. Let cool for at least one hour before topping with glaze.
To make glaze, whisk powdered sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled bars.
Store in refrigerator, but let leftovers come to room temperature before serving for best flavor.