Creamy Lemon Squares

Cookies, Bars and Biscotti

Yield: 16-25 squares
Recipe: 125/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 57

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    For the last dessert that I would make before gradually going back to work, I made these creamy lemon squares by popular, or should I say repeated but polite, requests. My boyfriend simply loves anything lemon so I wanted to make this for him before I left. However, my sister makes amazing lemon squares and he often talks about them and compares other (non-lemon) desserts to it, so the bar was set high! Due to this I almost expected to be defeated and not do The Lemon Square justice. Fortunately, as usual with Anna Olson’s recipes I need not worry.

Ingredients for base:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces

Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • ½ package (4 oz or 125 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs

    These lemon squares were fun to make and were simply scrumptious. Very nice shortbread base and a vibrant and rich lemon flavour to top it off. Even I, who likes but  usually does not love lemon desserts, realized how delicious they were. The recipe requires to cut the dessert into 25 (5×5) or 36 (6×6) squares but I knew that that would not be an appropriate square dimension for us, so I cut them into 16 (4×4) squares and those seem to be the perfect size for a nice snack. We both really liked them and I am definitely keeping this recipe handy to be done again and again.

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, making sure that it comes up the sides of the pan.
  2. To prepare the shortbread base, pulse together the flour and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is an even, crumbly texture. At this point the dough should not come together.
  3. Press the mixture into the prepared pan an bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the base turns golden around the edges. As the crust cools, prepare the lemon layer.
  4. In the food processor, pulse together the cream cheese with ½ cup of sugar, the flour, lemon zest and baking powder until the mixture is homogeneous.
  5. Add the lemon juice and eggs, and blend until smooth, making sure to scrape down the side of the processor if necessary.
  6. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set and just show signs of souffléing (rising a little bit higher than the centre). The centre should still have a bit of jiggle to it. Cool the squares at room temperature and then chill for at least 3 hours before slicing. Slices into 16, 25 or 36 squares, depending on how many times you want to get up to get another piece.

Valerie

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