Tuesday, June 16, 2009

[Cookie 020] Lemon Squares

Lemon Bars

Oh hey.

Sorry that I haven't updated in ages and ages, but I sort of fell out of the loop, see. I really have no excuse. It's like going to the gym: once I stop going, it's nearly impossible for me to start up again. Once I stop blogging, I just get lazier and lazier until, what do you know, I haven't posted in 1 million years (give or take an eon).

Lemons
Squeezed Lemon

Anyways, the good news is that I received another Silpat from my ever so generous neighbor, who just so happens to prefer using parchment paper, and also has an affinity for lemony cookies. As a thank-you, I baked up some Lemon Squares for her, and I was rather happy with the results.

Eggs and Lemons

In general, I've noticed that most of the "bars" in the cookbook are quite rich and dense and indulgent and delicious albeit a little overwhelming. These were no exception; I tasted 1, loved it, but didn't really want to eat 23 more. So it was good that I got to give them away, especially to someone who truly appreciates the true lemony flavor of these bars.

Lemon Bar Setup

The recipe itself wasn't perfect, however. To make the crust, Martha has you grate--literally, with a cheese grater--some frozen butter, and then mix it with the dry ingredients. I really have no idea why she has you do it this way, when generally you can just use a food processor (or even a pastry cutter or pair of knives in a pinch). Instead of going with my absolutely impeccable judgment, I let my OCD get the better of me and loyally followed the recipe, grating 1 1/2 sticks of frozen butter by hand. Worst mistake of my life! Such a pain! Use a food processor! I'm pretty sure it will yield the same crumbly results!

Grated Butter

Also, the baking times were a little funky. First off, my crust didn't get to be golden brown, even when I left it in the oven for a few extra minutes. It was, however, cooked well enough through that it wasn't a problem.

The lemon custard, on the other hand, took a good 5-7 extra minutes of baking in the oven, and still came out a little under-done. But no matter; it was still really delicious and super lemony! Be sure to really, truly, and honestly let the bars cool completely before you slice them up; otherwise, you won't be happy!

Lemon Bar

Lemon Squares
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

[for the crust]
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen; plus more for dish
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
[for the filling]
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish, and line with parchment.
  2. Make crust: Grate butter on a cheese grater with large holes; set aside. Whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter; stir with a wooden spoon until combined and mixture looks crumbly.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared dish; press evenly onto bottom with your hands. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Bake until slightly golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Leave oven on.
  4. Meanwhile, make filling: Whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and milk. Pour over hot crust.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF, and bake until filling is set and edges are slightly golden brown, about 18 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 2-inch squares. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Lemon squares can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 days.
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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 3.5/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 4/5
Attractiveness: 3.5/5 (The powdered sugar goes invisible after refrigeration)
Is it worth it?: Yes. I'm sure you know someone (or are someone) who loves lemon--this recipe is for that someone!

3 comments:

jfklds said...

mmmmmmmmmn

Sarah said...

these sound so good right about now. i will definitely make them this saturday!

Anonymous said...

why did this only get two comments.
mmmmmmnnnn again.

-claire