Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lemon-Lime Bars

I know, I’m a little late with this. But who says lemon bars should only get their glory in the summertime? Maybe you’re like me; when the summer comes to a close, I will deny and put off the inevitable for as long as I can, every day willing the season to last just another day. But of course, the mornings get chillier and the nights end earlier. Mother Nature wins again.

Like going out without a sweater in October or trying to get away with wearing sandals while other people are already wearing boots, let’s try to hold on to summer for as long as we can with these bright and sunny lemon-lime bars! Unlike the former, there are no rules or uncomfortable consequences and no one will think you are ridiculous when you enjoy lemon bars all year round.

These are traditional lemon bars, but they are made with equal parts lemon and lime juice and zest. They have a refreshing key lime pie feel to them. The tangy smooth custard is contrasted by the crunchy crust which, by the way, is made with Nilla wafers, so you already know it’s good. I can see myself eating these bars outside on the patio on the hottest day of July, or inside with a hot cup of tea while it’s snowing in January—there’s no season for delicious! But there is definitely a season for flip flops…

Lemon-Lime Bars:
Yield: 12 bars
- ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 10 vanilla wafer cookies
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon each lemon zest & lime zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice & lime juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg white
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2) For the crust: place 2/4 cups flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla wafer cookies in a food processor. Pulse until the cookies are finely ground. Add butter and pulse several more times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
3) Combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, lemon and lime rind and juice, eggs and egg whites in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture over the crust. Bake for 20 minutes until set. Cool completely, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.