Sunday, June 10, 2007

Baking day - - the lemon bar experiment

Yesterday I finally had a chance to try and make the lemon bars I bought lemons for a couple of weeks ago - - - FYI I've learned that lemons keep pretty well in the fridge for a couple of weeks until you actually get around to using them. I used a Weight Watchers recipe , so each bar is only 3 Wt Watcher points ! YEA ! Anyhow, the recipe tells you to mix the dry ingredients up in a food processor --- well, we may or may not have a food processor (my husband goes through phases where he'll buy a new kitchen gadget, it'll sit on the counter collecting dust for about a year, nobody has the time or patience to actually read the directions, so then it gets put away somewhere --- currently we have a crock pot , brand new , big enough to make enough food to feed a small country, just sitting on the counter collecting dust.......) So, if one does not have a food processor, how do you make this recipe? I consulted the person I always consult for stupid cooking questions -- Mom. She suggested using a pastry blender - - - - - - a what? Well, I went to Kmart and went to the Martha Stewart doo dads section and lo and behold, there it was -- a handy dandy Martha Stewart pastry blender. Now I figured, even if I didn't know what the heck to do with this thing, the pastry blender itself would know -- after all, it's a Martha Stewart. Turns out, you just kind of roll and smoosh this thing around your dry ingredients to blend them together -- it worked really well! So, what do you know -- I learned a new cooking skill. Well, here's the Lemon Bar recipe if you want to give it a try:

Lemon Bars

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold , cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (you'll need about 3 lemons )
2 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make crust, mix flour and light brown sugar using a food processor until fully incorporated. Toss butter into flour mixture and pulse to combine using short bursts of power until butter is cut into tiny pea-sized pieces and dough appears lumpy. ( I did all of that with the pastry blender) Sprinkle crust mixture onto an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan as evenly as possible; press down with a spatula to creat a packed surface. Place crust in middle of oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make lemon topping, beat eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Add vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar; mix well. Add lemon juice and remaining powdered sugar; mix until powdered sugar is completely dissolved and then add zest.

As soon as crust is finished, remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Immediately pour lemon mixture over hot crust. Bake completely (about 30 minutes until no indentations remain when touched lightly in center). Cool, and cut into 24 bars. Yields 1 bar per serving.

............And, there's a picture of the finished result. YUMMY!!

Well, I guess I better remove myself from the computer and get to some of the other chores and projects around here -- for example, that last picture is of the poor geraniums and marigolds (or are they mums?) -- that I bought more than a week ago. They've been sitting there on the side porch, waiting patiently to be planted into the big pots that go on either side of the front door. (but I do think they look pretty just where they are........ but they're still in flats and are drying out too fast , so I guess I should put them in bigger pots.)

Mary Anne (aka Mare)


OldBagNewTricks said...

Firstly, thank you so much for the Weight Watchers lemon squares recipe. I am betting you could fluff up the dry ingredients with a whisk, in lieu of a food processor... though new gadgets are always fun. I've been catching up on your blog -- I get busy for a few days and miss a lot. Your drawings are really good and sure beat paperwork, no question.


Vallen said...

The flowers look gorgeous and I'm thinking you should probably plant the crocs along side them if they move to the garden because - well, they look so good next to each other.

lgstarr said...

Thanks for the pastry cutter tip! So far I've ignored any recipe that called for a food processor (which I don't have) although I've had a pastry cutter--and loads of other dust-gathering items--for quite awhile :) You are so lucky to still be able to ask your Mom (mine passed away several months after you met her on Thanksgiving, 1989). Nice blog!