Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Classic Lemon Bars


It's raining cats and dogs here today, with a record-breaking rainfall expected for Toronto. Makes it kind of tough to get into the holiday baking spirit, doesn't it?

To brighten up the day, I'm sharing this recipe for Classic Lemon Bars. These squares are tangy, sweet and rich, and pretty fool-proof. They're a staple among the church bake-sale crowd, and the kind of dessert I wouldn't have touched with a 10-foot pole as a kid. But with my new appreciation of lemon treats, these are one of my favourite things to make and eat.

There are so many variations of lemon bars out there. One of my favourite recipes is this one called Lovely Lemon Bars from The Tasty Kitchen. But I'm sharing this recipe from Julie Van Rosendaal's One Smart Cookie because I love that it's lower in fat and calories, and it still tastes authentic. Have you noticed a trend in lately in lower fat/calorie desserts? Let's just say I'm making wiggle room for Christmas. :)

Enjoy!

Classic Lemon Bars

Ingredients:
Base:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
pinch salt

Topping:
1 cup sugar
2 tbsps. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1 egg
1 egg white
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon (3 tbsps.)
icing sugar for sprinkling

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add flour and salt and stir until well combined and crumbly.
3. Press into the bottom of an 8" x 8" pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until the edges are pale gold.
4. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add egg, egg white, lemon zest and juice and stir until well blended and smooth. Pour over the base.
5. Return to the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, until slightly golden on top and bubbly around the edges. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with icing sugar before cutting into bars.

Makes 12 bars. 165 calories and 4.3 g of fat per bar.

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