Musical Lemon Bars
June 24, 2008
Hitting a high note: musical themed lemon bars
It seems the sort of function where one is to bring a dish or dessert dots my calender several times a month. Most recently, I was asked to bring from sort of dessert for my daughter’s biannual violin recital. I’ve already done the usual suspects in the past: chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, brownies, fresh fruit platter, and the like. The forecast was in the 90s that day, so I decided to make lemon bars. They’re refreshing, delicious and most importantly, they don’t melt.
I made a musical note stencil out of card stock and placed it on each cut bar before I dusted with powdered sugar. One can make any sort of stencil according to the occasion, and this sweet and easy touch makes an ordinary lemon bar cookie special. This recipe is perfectly balanced between tartness and sweetness, with just the right amount of lemon juice and sugar. The texture combination of jelly-like lemon custard and crumbly shortbread makes for a very satisfying dessert.
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F.
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 x 9 x 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.
6 large eggs
2 1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
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°F. and bake confection in middle of oven until set, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars. Sift powderred sugar over bars before serving. These will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but tastes best served the day you make it.
Making hours of screechy violin music a distant memory.