MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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2.12.11

LEMON BARS


The varieties are endless and preferences will hinge on the puckering level, secondary only to height and consistency. This one is slightly tart, but not enough to make you pucker. The purist lemon bar is a flat thing, a confection really, the middle of the road lemon bar has some height from added flour, [like this one] and then there is the kill me with the many eggs variety, no doubt good, but for a square pan of bar cookies I draw the line at four eggs. The cream cheese, condensed cream and icebox lemon bars are simply variations on the theme. When I pulled it out of the oven, I was a little disappointed by its mundane appearance. I let it cool, but when I sliced it and dusted it with a bit of icing sugar, I knew we had a winner. It was like an ugly baby that blossoms into full beauty. Unlike the flat things, this lemon bar shows well on a tray of bars and cookies. I love the quantity; the amount is just right, not too little and not too much. The lemon topping has been adapted from one of my Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks. Some people add yellow food coloring to lemon bars. I tried that once, but the fake color bothered me. So now, I just leave it au naturel.

Shortbread Base
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup icing sugar

Lemon Topping
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp flour
finely shredded peel of 2 lemons
1/2 cup strained lemon juice [juice of 2 lemons]
1/4 cup half-and-half
icing sugar for dusting

• Preheat oven to 350ºF.
• Line a square pan with parchment paper with overhangs.
• In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, butter and icing sugar until evenly crumbly.
• Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
• Bake the crust for 25 minutes.
• Meanwhile place 1-1/2 cups sugar and 3 Tbsp flour in the mixing bowl.
• Add the 4 eggs and the lemon juice.
• Five minutes before the crust is ready start beating the contents of the bowl.
• Add the lemon peel and the half-and-half and beat to combine.
• Beat lemon mixture for 4 minutes.
• When the edges of the shortbread base are golden, remove from the oven.
• Immediately pour the lemon filling over the hot crust.
• Bake for 15-20 minutes until the center is set.
• Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
• With a blunt knife cut along the edge of the baking pan.
• Then grasp the parchment overhangs and lift the bar onto a cutting board.
• Cut into 16 bars.
• Before serving, sift icing sugar all over the top.
• Cover and store in the refrigerator.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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