A new year is a time when most people are looking forward, but looking forward inherently means a bit of reflection on the past, too. In between the chaos of our home renovations and the cycle from complete disarray to organized calm in between projects (we've been walking on splintery sub-floors for weeks while prepping to finish the floors on the main level), and the relentless demands of my job over the past year, I've had to force myself to pause, take a few deep breaths, and just think it all over.
Why do we do the same thing from year to year? Is it because we're afraid of change, even if there's a possibility of being happier, or more fulfilled, or more challenged with something different? Change is hard for me; it's easy to do what I know, day after day, with the people who are familiar to me and the work I'm so accustomed to, even though I always imagined something other than this.
It's not easy for me to take chances. I tend to hold back, until I'm sure I know how it will end.
This year, though... this one will be different. I look forward to a new chapter in this wonderful life my husband and I share together.
This isn't the first time I've posted this recipe for lemon bars on my blog, but after three years, they deserve some pretty new photos and a chance in the spotlight again. Lemon bars are one of my favorite things, with their tart, creamy filling sandwiched between buttery layers of shortbread. They are something we all ate when we were kids, probably made from a box and usually sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Bright and sunshiny yellow, they promise of spring and everything this year holds.
Crust and Topping:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter,cut into pieces
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- zest of 2-3 large lemons
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a square 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
In your food processor, combine the crust/topping ingredients until pea-sized pieces of butter remain. Reserve one cup of the crumbs for the topping, and press the remainder of the crumbs firmly against the bottom of the baking dish. Bake crust for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice for the filling. Sift in the flour to avoid lumps and whisk to combine.
After the crust has baked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven. Whisk the filling again and pour over the hot crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the reserved one cup crumbs over the filling and bake for an additional 20 minutes until topping is a pale golden.
Let cool on the counter for at least two hours to set before slicing into squares. These can be served slightly warm or chilled.
Yields 16 two-inch squares.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen