Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lemon Squares

If sunshine had a flavor, it would be lemony.

The weather this weekend was AMAZING.  Sunny, clear blue skies, warm.  The birds are chirping, the trees are budding, flowers are sprouting - it's DEFINITELY spring time in New England.

It's no secret that I'm a chocoholic, but as the weather gets nicer, I also want to bright, fresh flavors, in my regular food and in my baking.  I was desperate to bake over the weekend, but for the first time in a long time, found myself just short of a lot of ingredients and with no desire to go to the grocery store.  After going through the cabinets for the umpteenth time, it dawned on me that I could make lemon squares.

Actually, if I'm being accurate, these are really lemon lime squares. Yes, like Sprite.  See, I did have some lemon juice, but only had about a quarter of a cup.  I also had some unopened lime juice (confession: I have no idea why I originally bought it), so I used that to make up the difference.

I also had some King Arthur Lemon Bits in the cabinet, which are like these little lemon flavored pieces that melt in the oven and give you pockets of lemon flavor.  I originally tried to melt some in the microwave, but that didn't work.  I added about a cup of these to the lemon topping, which gives a really nice lemon flavor (you don't even notice the lime!) but also adds a little bit of unexpected crunch.

Topped with powdered sugar, these are a really light and flavorful treat.  For some reason, I always forget how delicious lemon squares are until I make them.  I've been tossing around the idea of making them in other citrusy flavors - something about orange squares makes my mouth water.

What are your favorite springtime recipes and flavors?

Lemon Squares
To print this recipe, click here

For the crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces
1 3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. confectioner's sugar

Grease a 9" x 13" pan; set aside.

Whisk together flour and confectioner's sugar.

With the back of a fork, cut in butter until you get a crumbly crust.

Press into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

For the topping:
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 c. King Arthur lemon bits (optional)

Combine all topping ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour on top of warm baked crust.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until topping has set.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Slice into squares and dust with confectioner's sugar.  Store in the refrigerator.

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