Happy Spring, friends! I love this time of year, don’t you? Everything is bright, cheery and full of life. (And here in Florida, it’s already beach weather, YAY!) I’m thrilled that it’s time again for Blogger C.L.U.E. and this month’s theme is Spring Vegetables. I may have bent the rules a little this month. Or, maybe I’m just adjacent to them. Yeah, that’s it. My recipe choice is vegetable adjacent. Fruits and vegetables, same family. It works… go with me here…
I was excited to be paired with Lora from Cake Duchess as I’ve been following her blog and drooling over her recipes for a while now. Lora has amazing pies, breads, cakes, pastas and other scrumptious items, it was hard to scroll through the pages without being hungry for EVERYTHING I saw. I noticed that she even had the recipe for Raspberry Ricotta Cake on her page which I’d seen, and also recently made from a Bon Appétit post. It’s an awesome cake, definitely check it out. And, I will have to go back and try her Skillet Lasagne Bolognese and Easy Turkey Pot Pie (two of H’s favorite dishes).
Intermingled with her recipes Lora has awesome and informative posts about Italy. I really enjoy reading the stories from locals and people who made the jump and decided to live there long term. I love that some of the articles bring me back to my time living in Florence, which I miss SO much.
But back to Blogger C.L.U.E. —
I got lost looking for a vegetable recipe but kept going back to the vibrant Lemon Bars. They just scream spring to me so, I had to do it. They’re full of zip, zing and zest. The lemon filling is sweet and tart and the cookie-ish crust is like a light shortbread, the perfect base for such flavor.
How can you not LOVE the bright and sunny yellow you from with a bowl full of lemons? The color, scent, and flavor are all so refreshing. I try to have lemons on hand all the time (which was another reason I just had to make these lemon bars) and use them for cooking or whipping up a cocktail.
What are some of your favorite kitchen staples?
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- dash of sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest before juicing lemons)
- 5-7 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with olive oil spray.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flour until a soft dough is formed. Move the dough into your pan. Press firmly onto the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure it is even distributed.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and flour. When it is smooth, add in the lemon zest and juice. Whisk together until incorporated. (Careful not to over mix.)
- When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees.
- Pour the filling evenly over the crust and smooth over with a spatula.
- Return pan to oven and bake until the filling is just set, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Lift the cooled bars out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles. Let it cool on a rack to room temperature.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator until cold (or overnight). Bars are better sliced when cold.
- Slice the bars into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Can be stored for a few days in the fridge.
I used an olive oil spray to grease the parchment paper as I really like the combination of lemon and olive oil. If you don’t have olive oil on hand, no worries, you can always use another non stick spray or butter.
As a caution, be careful not to over whip or whisk your lemon filling. I did, oops. And while the squares turned out delectably sweet and tart, there was a thin crust if you will, on the top from the froth of the mixture. I share my mini fail so you won’t have the same problem. I just sprinkled a liiiiiiitle extra powdered sugar on top to disguise it. You would have never known, H had no idea. He just asked if he could go back for more. He said…”We aren’t saving these for anyone, right?” I laughed and said no, go for it, they’re all yours.
You can make these ahead if you need to bring them to a party or festive gathering. Keep them overnight in an airtight container and cut them and dust with powdered sugar when you are ready to go.
Just make sure they have cooled completely and are nice and chilled before you cut them. They need some time to set after they come out of the oven.
These Lemon Bars are perfect. I know I’ll be making them all spring and into summer. They are heavenly, quick, simple and keep well…perfect to share for a birthday brunch or baby shower, a lunch with the girls or Sunday dinner with the family. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
I’d love to know…what is your favorite springtime recipe?
Also, make sure you click through and check out all the super spring selections from the fellow Blogger C.L.U.E. folks…
- Asian Fried Quinoa by Kate from Kate’s Kitchen
- Asparagus and Prosciutto Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette by Heather from girlichef
- Asparagus Quiche by Alice from A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Asparagus Salmon Fried Rice by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Blue Cheese and Bacon Potato Salad by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Blue Cheese Potato Salad by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Broccoli and Cheese Muffins by Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- Cheese Soufflé with Garden Salad by Debra from Eliot’s Eats
- Chicken Tikka Salad by Ramona from Curry and Comfort
- Chocolate Strawberry Pound Cake by Kim from Liv Life
- Cowboy Vegetable Scramble by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Creamy Asparagus Soup by Anna from Anna Dishes
- Halibut and Spinach en Papillote by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Honey Balsamic Glazed Carrots by Rebekah from Making Miracles
- Lemon Bars by Anna from Anna Dishes
- Maple Soy Glazed Spring Carrots by Lora from Cake Duchess
- Peppercress and Basil Pesto by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Pesto by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Raspberry and Rhubarb Rustic Tarts by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm