Easy Lemon Bars

I am not a baker.  I know how to bake a few things from scratch, but baking generally intimidates me.  It always has and it probably always will.  I usually stick to a few tried and trues or boxed cakes and brownies.

This is surprising since baking to me is akin to chemistry.  Considering that I majored in Biochemistry, took lots and lots of chemistry labs, which by the way, I did well in, one would think I would be more comfortable.  But I am not.  May be because I never had to eat my experiments?

I have made some effort over the years to add a few baking recipes to my repertoire.  I purposely experimented one year in making homemade muffins.  So, now I know how to make a pretty good banana and blueberry muffins.  But I say I’m not a baker because, I would never feel comfortable tweaking recipes.  Or coming up with my own.  Which is very different from my cooking style.  I’m all about tweaking when it comes to cooking!

A couple of weeks ago, I finally made a chocolate cake from scratch.  I was surprised at how simple it was.  Granted, it was a very easy recipe and I had to make it twice to get it right.  It required a fancy bundt cake pan.  The first time I tried to take the cake out, it completely fell apart.  In any case, I got some really good reviews and one “eh”.  If you can believe it, the “eh” was from my very own husband!

Feeling empowered, I decided to make something different for dessert for Easter.  I decided on lemon bars.  I fondly remember my mother-in-law making lemon bars.  Of course it is very important for me to have an easy recipe.  I did my googling and I decided on one from FoodNetwork.

Lemon Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

Lemon Topping

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Shortbread Base

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces. In a food processor process all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps. Sprinkle mixture into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan and with a metal spatula press evenly onto bottom. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes. While shortbread is baking, prepare topping.
  •  In a bowl whisk together eggs and granulated sugar until combined well and stir in lemon juice and flour. Pour lemon mixture over hot shortbread. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. And bake in middle of oven until set, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars. Bar cookies keep, covered and chilled, 3 days. Sift confectioners’ sugar over bars before serving.
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