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Twink's Treats: Try the Bars

Twink's Treats: Try the Bars

August is here officially!  The eighth month of the year – where did time go?  We are now officially in the downswing of summer – but here in the South, the heat wave continues. I have to continually remind myself to savor the moment, and enjoy the season because in a few months winter will be here and summer will be but a fond memory. 

I’ve been utilizing fresh summer fruits in desserts this summer – made my share of blueberry, strawberry and peach desserts.  While they are wonderful, sometimes they’re not conducive for all dessert needs.  I’ve also been making a lot of bar cookies lately.  Bar cookies have been around for a long time, and have the texture of a firm cake but softer than a cookie.  Blueberry cheesecake bars, strawberry streusel bars, conga bars, and perhaps the best of all – Lemon Bars. 

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Lemon Bars.  Simple, but elegant, they look beautiful at,bridal and baby showers, anniversary celebrations, brunch tables and as a dinner party dessert.  For some reason, I especially love them in the summer.  It must be the lemon freshness, or the fact that once they are baked, they are stored in the refrigerator and are cool and refreshing.  Here’s my version:

Twink’s Lemon Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crust
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 t. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a stand mixer (like my Kitchen Aid).  Combine the flour and salt, and add to the butter/sugar mixture slowly until just mixed.  Pour dough on onto well-floured surface and shape into a ball.  With floured hands, flatten the dough and press into an ungreased 13.x 9 inch baking pan. Chill for about 30 minutes.  Bake for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned.  Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes (keep oven on) and make filling.

Filling
6 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (no substitutes)
1 cup all purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting

Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.  Pour over crust and bake for about 30 minutes until filling is set.  Let cool to room temperature, dust with powdered sugar, cut into bars and refrigerate.  Enjoy!

Until next time, be kinder than necessary, and make someone’s day with your smile!  -Twink

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