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Archive for the ‘Lemon’ Category

Lemon Bars

It’s almost Easter, the sun is shining, the cherry blossom trees are in bloom, I like where this is going. For some reason when I think about Easter treats I automatically think of lemon. I think it’s more of color association than anything. Lemon is yellow, yellow is bright like the sun, Easter should mean sunny weather and therefore Easter = lemon.

In other news, last Sunday I completed the Vancouver Sun Run, a 10 kilometer race, along with 49,000 other people. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect morning to run, sun shine, warm weather, good music and best of all, a good race time! I finished the race in 54 minutes and felt great…until the next day when the sore muscles kicked in. Regardless, I had a great time and am loving this spring weather.

Rather than going the full nine yards and baking up a lemon meringue pie I decided the other day that lemon bars would be the next best thing. Not the best thing, because nothing can beat tons of meringue loaded up on a pie, but something that I still enjoy.

I made these bars a few years ago for my friends wedding shower. Lemon bars are one of her favorite things so I figured they were a must bake. These are real good. The crust tastes like shortbread and the lemon layer isn’t too tart or too sweet, it’s just about perfect. If bright colors and good tasting treats are your thing then these are a must bake.

At least think about it. These will brighten up any dreary, rainy spring day, and besides, we all need a little tart in addition to all of those chocolates we are about to consume.

Lemon Bars

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Crust

1/2 pound butter            1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour        1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking sheet.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the flour and salt with the mixer on low.

In the bowl gather together the dough into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

Lemon Layer
3 eggs room                       1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest  1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup flour

Icing sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Dust with icing sugar.

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They say that bad things happen in 3’s.

Case in point when I lost a wallet on 3 different occasions in 2 months. The first time I left my purse (wallet, keys, cell phone, aka my life) on the bus at 11pm. It wasn’t pretty but an incredible friend of mine drove me down to the bus depot at that nasty hour and I got everything back. Not a thing was taken.

Time number two was when I was visiting one of my favorite people in Minnesota. My wallet was left at the IHOP but thankfully turned in by some kid, again everything just as I had left it.

And finally the time I put my Mom’s wallet on the trunk of the car and we drove away. Some nice lady found it in the middle of the road and dropped it off at our house. Amazing right!? 3 wallets lost and 3 wallets returned, nothing ever taken.  Honest people really do exist and I couldn’t be more appreciative.

In other news, I’m currently sitting at baking blunder #2, waiting for #3 to strike at any time. I made Peanut Butter Brownies, followed the instructions to a T, baked them for 40 minutes as suggested, but they ended up being totally overbaked. Not fun.

Then there was this loaf. I baked it for 50 minutes, like the recipe said, the toothpick came out clean in a few places and the top was a nice golden color. After 10 minutes of cooling I attempted to flip the loaf out of the pan and uncooked batter came oozing out of the center. Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Solution…attempt to bake the darn thing again. Fortunately it worked. The top was pretty dark but the inside is delicious. So lemony and moist. I hate the word moist. Mmmmoist. But better moist than dry!

The combinations for this loaf are endless but I would recommend the lemon and blueberry…although come summer and blackberry season you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be trying that combo. Until then I’ll be waiting for baking blunder #3 to pass. Wish me luck!

Lemon Yogurt Loaf

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp flour     2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt                          1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar           3 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest      1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup vegetable oil           1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, mix the  yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, or use a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

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