Monday, December 19, 2011

More Baking Fun: Lemon Bars!

Continuing with the excitement of having a Kitchen Aid and other new kitchen toys, last week I made Lemon Bars for a girls' night / Love Actually viewing party.  The recipe was also from my new book Good Housekeeping Best-Loved Desserts.
First, I made the crust.  I lined a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil, then patted down the crust mixture and baked it:
While the crust bakes, I got started on the lemon filling.  Grating the lemon peel was actually somewhat time intensive, but no one said baking was easy!
Next, I mixed the eggs, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, & other fun things together:

Once the crust was baked and the lemon mixture was ready, I poured the lemon mixture onto the crust and baked it for another twenty minutes or so:

It looks kind of weird once it's baked.  The directions said to bake until it is "just set" and the edges are starting to get golden-brown, which is what I did.  Looking back I think 3-5 minutes more of cooking might have been a good idea.
Next, I let the lemon bars cool and added powdered sugar
At this point, I was pretty excited.  WOW, I made lemon bars, and that was easy.  No no.  The next step: I had to remove the foil/lemon bars from the pan:
That wasn't great, but it's mostly in one piece.  Next, I had to peel the foil down from the sides of the lemon bars and cut them up.  This is why greasing the foil REALLY WELL is so important.  I clearly did not grease the foil well enough, so I started to have a mess as I removed the foil:
 Next I started to cut up the lemon bars.  Honestly, it was kind of a mess.
I managed to get a decent amount of them looking edible / presentable enough to take to my party:
Buuut I also had a huge mess at the end:

The mess was for two reasons (I think): Foil not being greased enough for the crust to come up, and the lemon filling not being quite set enough.  Lessons learned: grease the foil really well.  Bake long enough.
The good news: they were a hit!  Everyone seemed to like them.  I'll definitely have to try this again some time!

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