Saturday, July 24, 2010

SMS: Toasted Almond Lemon Bars

Yeah!! I'm so very excited to be HOSTING this week's Sweet Melissa Sunday! I chose to go with Toasted Almond Lemon Bars because frankly they sounded awesome and I love lemon.

In my borrowed kitchen I was lucky to find a food processor (thank heavens!) and 90% of the necessary equipment to make this magic happen. I'm guilty of not reading the recipe all the way through, so I didn't notice that I needed to weigh down the crust while host doesn't bake often, so she had no pie weights, I didn't want to use her rice up (but that's an option) and she had no dried beans. So a run down the road (we're rural here) and $7 later for a soup mix that contained beans we were back in business. Well, almost in business, still no almond extract..sigh, I know, some people aren't big bakers. Oh man-she made a killer burger for dinner last night, so juicy, good flavor...back to subject at hand...Toasted Almond Lemon Bars.

I found they were easy to put together and had a good flavor to them. Other than hand squeezing 8 lemons to get my 3/4c of juice it was a walk in the park. The lemon filling set up nicely, I didn't even break out my kitchen aid to get it done. I did get a review that said they were too sweet. Maybe the almond would have cut the sweet some? I'll have to redo.

Toasted Almond Lemon Bars
Sweet Melissa Baking Book

2c flour
3/4c powdered sugar
1/2c sliced blanched almonds- toasted
1/2t salt
20T (2 1/2 sticks) COLD unsalted butter cut into 1/4inch hunks

Lemon Filling:
4 large eggs
1 3/4c sugar
1/2t almond extract
1/2c flour
3/4c FRESH lemon juice (about 7-8 lemons)

1/4ish cup of powdered sugar for sprinkling...

Oven to 350- line a 9x13 sling style with parchment paper.

In a food processor combine the almonds, flour, powdered sugar, salt. Pulse till combined and almonds are finely chopped. Add in butter until a dough forms a ball..pulsing while adding the butter. Press into 9x13 parchment lined pan..make sure you go up the sides 1 1/4inches..and evenly. This is the base that a liquid will be in so don't get sloppy. Place a sheet of parchment paper or foil on top and weigh down with pie weights or beans or rice in the center. Bake until edges are golden brown- 25-30 minutes. Carefully REMOVE the pie weights and liner and bake for an additional 15-20minutes until the entire crust is a golden brown.

Make the filling. There's nothing finesse about it, mix it all up until nice and combined. Start with the eggs and sugar..then add the rest. (don't add the powdered sugar- that's for the top when done)

Pour the filling into the crust. REDUCE oven to 325. Bake for 30 minutes until firm. Wire rack (pan and all-don't remove the sling yet) to cool.

When cool, remove the sling from the pan and slice into bars. They cut nice and evenly for me- I suppose they will for you too! Use a small sifter (or a fancy sugar shaker that my borrowed kitchen had!) and shake on that powdered sugar till pretty.

Store in airtight container for 2 days. Or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 days. If you wanna go longer- plastic wrap, then foil and freezer for 3 weeks. DO NOT unwrap before dethawed.

Be sure to stop by my fellow (and awesome)bakers to check out their Toasted Almond Lemon Bars and how they turned out for them!

Thanks for letting me host ladies!

Oh, and if you're not a follower of my blog- sign up, a sneak preview, I'm hosting my first giveaway soon!!


Future Grown-Up said...

These were the perfect dessert for me...thanks so much for picking this recipe. And your bars look totally yummy.

Shandy said...

You did a wonderful job on these lemon bars. We LOVED them and thank you for hosting this week's SMS . . . I can not believe you baked these bars in an unfamiliar kitchen and they still ROCKED!

Gloria said...

Thanks for hosting! Your bars look great.

Tracey said...

Yay, the comments work now! Thanks again for hosting this week. I really love lemon desserts and almond extract is so yummy so this dessert was right up my alley :) Your bars look awesome! I scaled the recipe back quite a bit and mine were a little thin, but still really delicious. I'll definitely make them again!

Tessa said...

These were a great pick! I didn't get to make them again this time, but have made them previously with great success. I actually don't currently have a food processor in my current "borrowed kitchen," so not sure how that would turn out =)

Your picture at the top looks great! If you could send me one through cyberspace, that'd be wonderful =)

margot said...

Your bars look terrific! I'm glad everything worked out in the borrowed kitchen. We loved them at my house.

Katiecakes said...

So glad you chose these bars. The crust was difficult but they were very yummy!

Katie xox

rebecca said...

Haha, I also suffer from the not-reading-recipe predicament. And even though my sister juiced the lemons for me- I forgot about it till AFTER I had stuck the bars in the oven (only for a minute). Out they came and I added the juice then...

Perhaps I shouldn't mention this after your "run down the road", but I baked the crust without pie weights, (no beans either!) keeping an eye on the crust in case it started poofing, and it worked fine.

Your bars look so perfect. So glad to bake along with you this week, Rebecca!

cookies and cups said...

These bars look amazing!

Candy Girl said...

Sorry I missed this week. I tried this recipe before joining SMS and didn't have great success with it sounds like these were a hit with the other SMSers! Your bars look PERFECT!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved these...thanks for picking such a great dessert! Your picture is amazing!

Julie said...

We loved this recipe. Wonderful choice. Your's look delicious, too.

Anonymous said...

i ran into the same problem with the pie weights, i just used dried pasta and it seemed to work fine. thanks for hosting - glad your comments are working again! : )

Eliana said...

Thanks for this wonderful pick Rebecca. I absolutely loved them

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this pick. This was my first time baking lemon bars and they were a hit!! Absolutely beautiful and tasty and lemony. Oh man, I might have to go make them again ;)

Your bars look great!!

Ps. I am an avid baker and I STILL don't own pie weights. What does that say about me? :)

rebecca said...

i will definately add these into my dessert rotation.

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