I've been trying to make the switch from chocolate desserts to, well, anything else. Not that I don't adore my dark chocolate treats, but my taste buds are beginning to realize there are other sweets that are chocolate-free and yet equally delicious.
Lemon is my next favorite but quickly and easily inching to the top spot, especially with yummy stuff like these (and maybe a little bit because they are yellow, my fav!). In fact, these lemon bars are replacing my standard party contribution of brownies this year. Oh my, they are easy and impressive! The ideal ratio of sweet to tart and a super smooth filling make this a perfect spring dessert.
Lemon Bars (with gluten free/ dairy free modification)
- 1 3/4 cup flour ( I used 1 1/2 cups rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca -- gluten free!)
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks -- dairy free!)
- 3 tbsp applesauce
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp flour (I used rice flour -- gluten free!)
- 2 tsp lemon zest from two large lemons
- 2/3 cup juice from 4 large lemons, strained
- 1/3 cup (soy, rice, almond, cow) milk
- pinch salt
- For the crust -- Butter 9X13 baking dish. Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl. Rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse crumb. Add applesauce and mix. Press mixture into baking dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- For the filling -- Preheat oven to 350*. Whisk eggs, sugar and flour in medium bowl. Then stir in lemon zest, juice and salt.
- Bake crust for 20 minutes at 350*. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 325*. Stir egg mixture and pour into hot crust. Place back in oven for about 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack until nearly room temperature, at least 30 minutes. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
(recipe modified from The Best Recipe, of cooks illustrated)
Are they not gorgeous? (Yours will look even better if you can wait until they are cool to cut them. I couldn't.) Much more sophisticated than a boring cookie but no more effort than a pan of brownies. See, you may become a lemon fan too! So how about it, give the chocolate a break and lemons a try?
I'm loving lemons so much in fact that I am getting this cute thing! I'll let you know how it goes...
How about you... do you reach for a chocolate or lemon dessert, or just dessert in general?