Monday, May 21, 2012
Sunny Citrus Bars
Oh my goodness! It’s been so long since I’ve actually posted anything, and I’m sorry. But I’ve had so much going on. Last week was kind of stress-week because I was preparing for finals and all that stuff. Then on Sunday I was celebrating Mother’s Day with my wonderful mama and this past week has been my fault. You see it was my last week of high school and I’m now officially done with school! Thursday was my last day, and I was just being really lazy. It’s weird, I’ve never been this lazy, and usually I’m so diligent. And then Saturday was my graduation ceremony. That's right, I'm officially a graduate! :D
Anyways, backup to the part about Mother’s Day. I love my mom so much, and I probably don’t tell her nearly enough. Actually, I’m kind of snarky with my mom. I don’t mean to be, it just happens. But, on Mother’s Day, I made it a point to make it all about her. By the way, this is a picture of my mom, me and my little sister. I think this was taken when I was about six. My mom is such a pretty lady.
So, a few weeks ago, I received this wonderful cookbook from Monica over at Lick the Bowl Good. She has such fabulous recipes and her photos are so beautiful. And Sunday happened to be her first Mother’s Day with her little boy Hayden. He looks like such a sweet-hart and I bet it was a memorable Mother’s Day for Monica.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Monica and I decided to bake something from the cookbook “together”. My mom is in love with citrusy foods, so I automatically suggested we make the Sunny Citrus Bars on page 92. We both agreed that they looked wonderful, and decided to bake the bars for Mother’s Day. If you would like to see Monica’s opinion on the citrus bars, click here.
I absolutely loved these bars. The cookie/shortbread-like crust was a perfect contrast to the tangy/gooey topping. I was actually a little afraid to bake the crust because it requires cutting in the butter until the flour is coarse and crumbly. I have never understood these directions, until I made these bars. I kept rubbing in the butter until the flour looked like sand. It was a magical moment for me. I know that sounds a little silly, but it was seriously a huge accomplishment.
I didn’t have any trouble with the filling, but that’s because it was so straight forward. I love straight forward recipes like that. You know the ones that require one bowl and a whisk? Yeah, this is that kind of recipe. Because I didn’t really feel like measuring, I adjusted the recipe below to approximate what I used (i.e. instead of ¼ cup orange juice I have typed half and orange). The glaze that goes on top is also really delicious. It never fully hardened like most glazes do, but that’s was made it so addicting to eat.
I know Mother’s Day seems like forever ago, but I hope all you mothers out there felt appreciated and loved (like you should everyday) and all you sons/daughters treated your mom with the kindness, love, and respect your mother deserves.
Sunny Citrus Bars
Adapted from Baking Basics and Beyond by Pat Sinclair
Makes one 9x9 inch pan
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 2 lemons
Zest from one orange
Juice from ½ an orange
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with tin foil, liberally grease the foil with cooking spray.
To make the crust: whisk together the flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Rub the cold butter in with your fingers until the dough looks like coarse sand. Press evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is a light golden color.
To make the filling: combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs until the mixture becomes smooth. Stir in the juices, zests and butter. Pour the filling onto the hot crust and bake for about 12-15 minutes. The filling shouldn’t jiggle when you shake the pan, but it will still look a little wet. Let cool in the pan and drizzle the glaze on top once it has come to room temperature.
To make the glaze: stir together the powdered sugar and enough orange juice until the glaze has reached your desired consistency. Drizzle or spread the glaze on top of the cooled bars. Let the glaze set for a little while before slicing.