Monday, December 6, 2010

Tangy Lemon Bars

Is anyone else freakin' excited for Christmas?!?!

There's only 19 (!) more days to enjoy the anticipation of Christmas.

I don't even care that there's still so much to do: presents to be bought and wrapped, parcels to be sent, cookies to be baked, and did I mention presents to buy?

That's the most exciting part, all the festivities leading up to the Big Day.

You know, I really should've been one of Santa's elves.

I already prepare year round for Christmas.
I just wouldn't want to build toys.
Or live at the North Pole. I hate being cold.

But I would be a baker elf! Yes, that's it. A baker elf and I would bake Christmas goodies all year long, bringing joy and peace to all that partake.

(I just got all 3 of 'the Santa Clause' movies and I think I've watched them so many times they're starting to mess with my reality.)

I've really digressed from anything to do with lemon bars, haven't I?

Here's what a certain baker elf wanted to say about these lemon bars.

This tart lemon bar is a nice balance to the sweet stuff (eggnog fudge) I've been making lately.

Their one downfall is the crust to filling ratio is much too high for my liking. 

If there's a shortage of baker elves around and you want to try these out yourself, I recommend either cutting the recipe in half for the crust or making 50 percent more filling (multiply each ingredient by 1.5 -  I could be a math elf too.)

Tangy Lemon Bars
Makes: 36 bars
Adapted from: Land 'o Lakes 2008 'Holiday Cookies' Magazine

For the base:
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup softened butter

For the filling:
2 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
4 eggs 
2tsp finely grated lemon zest
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp softened butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ to 2 tbsps lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all base ingredients in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
2. Press mixture into an ungreased (I greased mine anyways) 9'' x 13'' baking pan. Bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until very lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients except flour and baking powder. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. Reduce speed to low and add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed. Pour filling over hot, partially baked crust. Continue baking for 23 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool completely.
4. Combine all glaze ingredients except lemon juice in a separate bowl. Beat at low speed, gradually adding lemon juice until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled bar. Cut into pieces.

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