So these last few days have been an absolute whirlwind. What points in life are not? Don’t ask me, because I’ve been caught up in life’s monsoon season for the last four years, forget this last week. Hah.
Well, to catch up, start a new chapter, and reboot my systems, I decided to make a childhood favorite of mine this Saturday. It’s a recipe adapted from The Pillsbury Complete Book of Baking that I spent most of my younger years helping my dad bring to life, and it’s for the best lemon bars I’ll ever eat in this lifetime or the next. Of that I’m certain. I put my own twist on this nostalgic batch by adding almond extract to the batter to give the bars a sunny spring blast of sweet flavor.
Oh, can I not wait for the day we move to an apartment that doesn’t have viciously yellow kitchen lighting. Of course, that’s no excuse for the paper plates, but don’t start on me today. Soft, butter-crumbed crust, velvety tart lemon-curd-like filling, and a ridiculously sweet and simple glaze makes this integral part of my childhood shine with the light of oncoming summer, and will make a perfect addition to any summer or spring table.
Sunburst Lemon-Almond Bars
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 to 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix con. sugar and flour together for crust, then slowly cut in butter either with hands or mixer until just crumbly and barely mixed. Don’t over mix or you’ll be sad. Press crust mixture into 9×13 metal or glass pan until firmly packed and bake for about 23 minutes until golden brown.
While the crust is baking, beat eggs, sugar, flour, and baking powder in for about two minutes, until light and smooth. Add the lemon juice and almond and combine quickly. Pour filling over hot crust right out of the oven, then bake for about 27 to 28 more minutes. I did mine at 26 mins. because hungry mouths were grumping about, but if you can be patient, that extra minute will be worth it.
Let those sunny babies cool for about an hour or so, half an hour if placed in fridge (providing there is room). Right when they are almost cooled, make the glaze by stirring the lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar together in a small bowl. Pour over cooled bars and let spread evenly; cool in fridge for a few minutes and they will be ready to cut. Enjoy your sunny baking day this spring with these deliciously tangy delights!