Wednesday, August 28, 2013

White Chocolate Lemon Streusel Bars

White Chocolate Lemon Streusel Bars - made August 15, 2013 from Alli n Sons
Sometimes the problem with some lemon-based recipes is they only use a tablespoon or two of lemon juice and/or zest.  Yet you have a whole bagful of lemons to use up or dozens of lemons hanging off your tree waiting to be used.  Fortunately, I've had this recipe on my pinboard for awhile and it uses a whole half cup of lemon juice.  That ought to be good for using up at least 4 lemons.
Unfortunately, this didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  I think the main culprit is I didn't like the white chocolate chips I used.  I used a bag of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and they're usually reliable but either they changed their formula to something far more inferior (and smaller!) or I got a bad bag or something.  The white chocolate had a weird taste that was nothing like white chocolate or even vanilla flavored.  It could've been that way on its own or had a bad reaction with the lemon juice in the recipe.  Either way, the flavors fought each other in this bar cookie and the white chocolate did not win.

Since white chocolate was meant to be a star in this bar cookie, that meant the cookie failed because the star was crippled.  I also would have done 2 things differently in this recipe if I could do it over, just from a personal preference.  I would have baked the bottom layer on its own for at least 10-15 minutes first to give it a little more crunch in the finished product.  It turned out too gooey when baking it all at once for the same time and I couldn't bake it longer without burning the white chocolate.  I would also have made the streusel into big chunks and clumps instead of scattering them in small crumbs on top. I think that would also have given them more crispness and texture instead of a breadcrumb-like layer.  Which is a shame because I think the concept of this cookie is a good one.  But it didn't execute well for me. I don't have a good source for white chocolate and since Ghirardelli's white chocolate chips are now off the table, I will have to hunt for the good stuff.
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups white chocolate chips, divided
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
  1. Using a paddle attachment in a stand mixer, mix together the butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Scoop out 1-2/3 cups of the mixture, and add 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips. Mix in with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Add an egg into the stand mixer and mix well. Scrape the batter into a well greased 9x9 baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and the lemon juice. Mix in 2 1/2 cup of the white chocolate chips. Pour this mixture over the crust batter.
  5. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the sweetened condensed milk mixture.
  6. Bake at 350ยบ for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving

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