10 January, 2015

Best Lemon Bars EVER!!

We had this heat wave hit us back at the end of October that threw me for a loop when we were seeing temps hit the high 70's for most of the second to last week of the month, and even one day it hit 82.  No bueno.  Where was my autumn?  I dealt with this heat the only way I knew how...lemons...  Sure, that sounds odd but, think about it.  You'll get there eventually.  
While you're making that connection in your mind about how lemons can help you cool down, I'mna give you the BEST recipe for lemon bars I've ever used.  I use it in the summer primarily because it is a bar you serve cold however....if there are enough people in the house that turn up ill, I whip out this recipe and force feed lemon bars to the sick people in my home.  Why?  Because I always add real lemon oil to this recipe.  Lemon oil has the ability to cleanse your body of toxins, supports the sympathetic nervous system, and it stimulates your immune system to respond when it is under attack.  Lemon bars should be eaten year round lol....or at least add lemon oil to your water every day.  But, I vote lemon bars for everyone!!

This recipe is super easy as far as making it and it isn't time consuming for those of you with littles.  This can be made dairy free without any issues.  Substitute the butter for vegan butter and substitute the whole milk for unsweetened soy milk.  Flavor doesn't suffer a wink!  It is all about the depth of the lemon flavor and the texture of the shortbread on the bottom.

Lemon Bars

Shortbread Crust
1 3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. organic powdered cane sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

Lemon Filling
4 large organic cage free brown eggs (taste is way better!)
1 1/3 c. organic cane sugar
3 T. flour
1 tsp. lemon oil
2/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. whole milk
1/8 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F

Grease the edges and part of the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your stand mixer whisk together flour, salt, cornstarch, and sugar then attach the bowl to the machine and blend in the butter.

When the mixture looks like yellowish colored crumbs pour out the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan and pat it into the pan firmly.

Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes, then into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking in your stand mixer whip (with your stand mixer whisk) the eggs for a little bit, getting some air into them.  Then add in the sugar and wait for it to gain a bit more volume.  After 3 minutes add in the flour, lemon oil, milk, and sea salt.  Let it whip for 10 minutes or so.  It will help the sugar not settle to the bottom before you turn it out into the pan.

When the timer goes off on the crust, remove the pan from the oven and turn the temperature down to 325 F.  Then pour the lemon filling on top of the crust and carefully return it back to the oven.

Bake the bars for 20 more minutes or until the middle of the pan doesn't jiggle anymore when you touch the pan.  Allow the bars to cool on a wire rack completely before dusting the bars with additional organic powdered cane sugar.

***If you aren't serving them right away skip sprinkling the sugar on them and instead store them in the fridge until you're ready to serve them.  Right before serving them, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.  Sometimes bars WILL absorb the sugar because of possible condensation gathering on the top of the bars.  Eventually the lemon filling will stop absorbing the sugar.  Just keep sprinkling it lol... Trust me.

And YES! you see a metal pan in that picture up there ^^^ and a glass pan in the photo above that one.  I made these bars twice in the 3 days it took me to get these photos onto my laptop and write out this entry lol...  Nothing should be more convincing to you about how great this recipe is!

O emmm geee!!  These are some of the best lemon bars I've ever had...hence the name.  They shortbread on the bottom is PER-fect!  It is snaps juuuuust a bit with you take the initial bite but it just melts in your mouth as you eat.  The lemon oil takes the lemon flavor to a new level...a place where I've never been with a lemon bar quite frankly.  I can't imagine ever finding a recipe I like better.  I just refuse to believe it will happen.  They are a refreshing tid bit to have with a cup of tea or as a palate cleanser after a meal like fajitas or some great Indian or Thai food.  It really helps clear the deck with spicy foods that normal park it on your tongue after you eat them.  Trust me, you'll fall in love with this recipe and be sharing it at all of the potlucks and picnics before too long.  Enjoy!

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