Monday, June 6, 2011

Happiness is a Garden of Girlfriends, Lemon Bars

Garden Club Lemon Bars
Lemon Bars are a true Southern tradition, and I took mine to our garden club luncheon this spring. Everybody brought salads and desserts, many made from recipes appearing in our state garden club cookbook, and there was much laughter and happy conversation served with our delicious food. Here's my recipe for lemon bars. It's really easy and so quick to make that you can do this when you don't have much time to spend in the kitchen. Just a few ingredients and less than an hour results in a perfect summer treat. Here's the recipe:

Garden Club Lemon Bars
Lightly butter and line the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper, allowing it to extend over each end. (This helps remove the bars from the pan.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With fork, in food processor, or hand or stand mixer, combine the following till crumb-like:

2 sticks butter (salted), cold and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour

Press into bottom of prepared pan, using the back of a spatula to press flat. Work quickly to keep the butter cold or it will all get greasy. Put in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, whisk the following together in a bowl:

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flower
Juice of two lemons
Finely grated rind of one lemon

After crust has baked for 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and pour the egg mixture over top. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. Remove pan from the oven and run a sharp knife around the long edges to loosen them from the sides, then cool pan to room temperature and refrigerate. When chilled, lift bars out of the pan by grabbing the overhanging parchment paper. Place flat on counter or large cutting board. Using a long knife, slice off the lightly browned edges. Slice into bars. Place powdered sugar into a small strainer and tap it as you move it over the bars, "dusting" it heavily with the sugar. I find the right size bars to be four down and six across, or 24 bars. I've seen these drizzled with raspberry gel or melted chocolate, but I like the plain, lemony version best. Enjoy!

I love my garden club. It's filled with Steel Magnolias, and I admire each and every one of them. This year is our club's 75th anniversary, and I'm so happy to be a part of this wonderful group and long tradition of community service through gardening. Here are our officers. We have more than 20 members. I hope you are lucky enough to be involved in such a group in your area; it will bring you much happiness!

Betsy, Pat, Sandra, Margaret, Gigi, Cecile, & Peggy
With love, from me to you!

1 comment:

FarmgirlDeb said...

I haven't made these in at least a year but that picture looks so delicious it made my mouth water. Now I have a serious craving for some lemon bars!