It’s been a month of non-stop sweets for everyone. After filling my sweet tooth with a heart-shaped box of decadent chocolates from my dad over Valentine’s Day, I needed a break. I was craving something different, and non-chocolate. I kept thinking of the sharp taste of lemon, and with the rain beating outside against my windows and the assuredness of snow overnight, the bright yellow orbs stacked in bins at the local grocery store were calling to me.
While others stock their carts with the staples of bread and containers of milk, I am glad I reached for lemons. I had my mind made up…lemon squares would just hit the spot right now.
There are many recipes for lemon squares in my many recipe books, and I have found they are satisfying. But the addition of lemon zest, brings them to another level. Of course, one doesn’t have to add the zest, but since you already have the lemons, you might as well take advantage of the fruit and get the most for your money and efforts.
I think this recipe will help anyone get over their Valentine’s Day chocolate hangover.
Recipe for Tangy Lemon Squares
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (set aside 2 cups for crust)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar (set aside 1/2 cup for crust)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350*. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, cut butter into 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Continue to use pastry blender or fork ( or your hands) until the flour and butter resemble tiny crumbs and can be squeezed together in your hand and hold their shape. Press the mixture into the bottom of aluminum foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned.
- In a bowl, mix together the sugar, baking powder, remaining flour. Add the eggs and lemon juice along with the lemon zest. Pour the mixture over cooled crust.
- Return the pan to the 350* oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The edges should be brown and the mixture set. After removing from oven, allow to cool for at least an hour. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
This recipe will yield around 24 squares.