Lemon Bars

You’ve gathered at this point that I do not make desserts often. If Frank ate sweets (other than Chocolate Chip Cookies, of which he can restrict himself to eating just one and have his fill), I would bake more often. There is then, only two reasons to bake: New [exciting!] recipe or house guests.

I made these lemon bars this summer, just as it teetered on almost too warm to bake weather. Now that the weather has dipped into the 50s and we’re not turning on the heat, I’ll take any excuse to use the oven. This is a recipe straight out of my childhood in St. Paul, in our red house that sat on the corner. My mom would take a break from her work, open Betty Crocker’s cookbook, and between me and my brother, would delegate who broke eggs, measured flour and operated our pale yellow Kitchen Aid (which has since been handed down to me).

For the recipe, I called home. My fourteen year old brother answered the phone, and read the ingredients and directions out loud to me. To make sure he had the right recipe, I asked if there was flour and lemon stuck to the page. I received confirmation – of course he was giving me the recipe that had food bits on it.

Lemon Bars
From Betty Crocker’s Cookbook
1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel, if desired
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Powdered sugar

1) Heat oven to 350ºF.
2) Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar. Press in ungreased square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, building up 1/2-inch edges.
3) Bake crust 20 minutes.
4) Beat granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, baking powder, salt and eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust.
5) Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Cool; dust with powdered sugar. Cut into about 1 1/2-inch squares.

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