Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lemon Tree Squares Very Pretty

I made lemon squares this week for my Mom's 80th birthday party.  They are a nice change from chocolate or sugar cookies.  Lemon is just such a fresh taste and squeezing lemons always makes your house smell so good.  I hum Peter, Paul and Mary's "Lemon Tree Very Pretty" whenever I make these.  The recipe is from Magnolia's with some extra commentary from me.  

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup lemon juice (I squeeze this fresh – it’s the only way to go)
6 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 12 x 18-inch jelly roll pan.  I love Bakers Joy for an awesome release but butter will work too.

Grate the lemons – you need 8 teaspoons of zest.  I understand Williams-Sonoma has this glove you can wear that saves knuckles while grating -- I need to check this out and will for sure get back to you on this.

Squeeze enough lemons for one cup of lemon juice.  This Chef'n Citrus Juicer from Williams-Sonoma is awesome.

I can't really tell you how many lemons I squeezed -- probably about 12.  
But I can tell you I LOVE taking pictures of lemons!

To make the CRUST:
In a large bowl, on a low speed of an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  

Spread crust evenly into prepared pan.  Use a large piece of waxed paper to firmly and evenly press down the crust.  I actually roll the crust down under the wax paper – it creates a pretty even crust which is important for the lemon to spread evenly over the crust.  Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before proceeding.

While the crust is cooling, make the TOPPING:
In a medium-size bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, the eggs, the lemon juice, and the zest until well combined.  Pour over slightly warm crust.  Return to oven.  Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, or overnight before cutting, dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving.

The recipe says to cut into 24, three-inch bars but I cut mine into circles just for fun.  I think I’m going to hunt around for a lemon cookie cutter as this would look even cuter don’t you think?  Either way this is a really refreshing dessert.  And lots of people asked for the recipe so here it is to ENJOY.  A nice light dessert to compliment a summer BBQ or brighten up a winter night.

1 comment:

  1. My mom LOVES lemon squares too, even though I don't...