Sunday, May 11, 2014

Recipe: Sweet & Sunny Lemon Bars

On Mother's Day, we (daughters, sons) cook. Or at least Graham and I do. Or try to.

I am blessed to have not one - but two - incredible women in my life, both so worthy of thanks each and every day (let alone on Mother's Day).

Graham and I have quite literally become apart of one another's families (a product of dating for several years).

My dad calls Graham more often than he calls me! We are very fortunate.

Next weekend, we will be celebrating Mother's Day in the country with my family. My mother is very special to me. She has taught me all that I know about Christ and faith. She is a true image of honesty, kindness, and generosity.

This weekend, I offered to cook up a storm (douse my entire body in flour and pray for the best) for Graham's mother, Marg, who is also an angel.

Her favourite flavour is lemon. Don't we all love lemon? (But it's no chocolate...)

And thus, it came time to inaugurate the battle of poppy seeds, fresh raspberries and shredded coconut in my mind...

Classic lemon conquered!
Wait. What? Yeah...
Someday, I promise to wow you! With brown butter, Dutch cocoa, and homemade dulce de leche...

But on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, after having spent the morning brunching and visiting the The Canadian Tulip Festival with Graham's parents, we made Classic Lemon Bars (with a cuter name).

And we had no regrets.

Brunch at our spot in Westboro!

Warning: I opted to use three types of sugar... Because I'm high-maintenance. Only the best for mom...

Sweet & Sunny Lemon Bars

makes 9 bars

Adapted from Joy the Baker

1/2 cup (1 stick) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced and softened to room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
dash of milk
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with unsalted butter. Line the prepared pan with a sheet of parchment paper, also lightly greased.

For the crust, add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar (granulated, brown, and confectioners') until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Beat on low speed. Add salt and flour, slowly, until dough is incorporated. The dough may not come together perfectly. Don't sweat it.

Sprinkle the dough into the prepared pan and press into an even layer on the bottom. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

While the crust is still baking, prepare the (warning: fragrant!) filling. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs and granulated sugar. Once well combined, add flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the filling over the crust (still warm). Bake for 20 minutes, until the filling is just set and slightly firm to the touch.

How delightful does your kitchen smell right now?
You're welcome.
Allow to cool to room temperature on a rack. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan.

Dust with confectioners' sugar and enjoy!

If you didn't opt to double this recipe, you made 9 scrumptious (delectable, if I do say so myself...) bars. Share wisely.

Happy Mother's Day!



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