When life gives you lemons, make bars…

11 Mar

An earlier attempt at baking for this blog failed miserably this week. I tried my hand at making fortune cookies. Seemed so simple until I started rolling out the dough and tried to fold flimsy cylinders of dough into an acceptable shape. Two and half hours and two sticks of butter, flour, sugar, etc. later – I threw the whole mess in the garbage.

Scrounging in my refrigerator for ingredients for dinner, I took note of the bag of lemons on the shelf. I always have a bags of lemons and limes on hand – and had an a ha moment. When life gives you lemons….. make lemon bars! I have a tried and true recipe from my Kansas City days, but opted to try a slightly different recipe I found in Cooking in Minnesota (1976) from the kitchens of Twin City Home Economists in Homemaking. I was active at one time in the Twin City Home Economists in Business group – and remember purchasing this cookbook at a joint meeting many years ago. Again, it’s another one of those cookbooks chock full of tried and true recipes – even better because this group really knows about cooking and baking. While long out of print, you can find copies on Ebay from time to time.

Note: Refrigerate a couple of hours to allow layers to meld and harden before slicing into bite-size bars that practically explode in your mouth with tart lemon flavor!

Lemon Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

Dash of salt

Juice of 2 lemons (5 tablespoons)

¼ cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, butter and ½ cup powdered sugar. Mix thoroughly (I did I with a stand mixer) and press into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix eggs, granulated sugar, salt and lemon juice. Fold in ¼ cup flour and baking powder. Pour onto hot crust; bake 25 minutes longer. Cool; cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Tip of the hat to Ariene Dohrman, Helen Pye who are credited in the book for contributing this recipe

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