Sunday, December 14, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Cookies - Day 8: Sunburst Lemon Bars

Sunburst Lemon Bars - made December 6, 2014 from So How's it Taste?
Lemon bars, second only to chocolate chip cookies in requests from my friends, are always part of my Christmas baking. Not only is there a seemingly endless supply from my mom's lemon tree but even my own tree yields up a modest amount of lemons at this time of year.
Plus lemon bars are another one of those easy-to-make bar cookies to whip up in quantity and portion out amongst my holiday baking gifts. I tried out this new recipe since it called for a simple lemon glaze that I like on top of my lemon bars to add a bit of sweetness to contrast with the tartness of the fresh lemon. And while the lemon bar might seem humble in a world of spicy gingerbread, flashy peppermint, joyous eggnog and decadent chocolate at this time of the year, perhaps because of its simple goodness, it tends to be a refreshing standout; this one was no exception. Buttery (but not too buttery) shortbread crust, tart (but not too tart) filling and a sweet glaze that sets so this is easy to package up as well as eat.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil. 
  2. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, butter, and peel on low speed until crumbly. Press mixture evenly in bottom of pan. 
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in large bowl with wire whisk, lightly beat eggs. Beat in remaining filling ingredients except lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended. Beat in 1/4 cup lemon juice and peel.
  5. Remove partially baked base from oven. Pour filling evenly over warm crust.
  6. Return to oven; bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  7. In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired spreading consistency until smooth. Spread glaze over cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator, but allow bars to come to almost room temperature before serving.

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