Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

I’ve been living in FL for a month now and I have been loving it all.

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The weather is amazing so windows are practically opened all the time. It’s so refreshing. BUT my dad told me not to don’t leave your car windows open to air out your car because geckos have been known to get in there and then just so happen to pop out while you’re driving, causing you to freak out, swerve off the road, and die. Okay, I added that last part but I’m sure that would happen to me so my windows are staying shut while I’m not driving.

But right now I’m totally loving all the fresh Florida citrus that is in season now. You can go to groves to pick citrus the way that you can pick apples in New England. We haven’t done it yet, but it will be a great activity one day.

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I decided to make that Lemon Bar recipe from a recent cookbook that I received to use up some of the tons of lemons I have been buying.

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The Perfect Portion Cookbook by Anson Williams, Bob Warden, and Mona Dolgov is right up my alley. I attacked it with post it’s the night it arrived.

What’s so appealing about this book to me?

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Well, it’s jam packed with over 150 healthy recipes that are ones that you would actually want to eat. Seriously, this cookbook is the real deal with cinnamon rolls, french toast, chili, pasta, and all kinds of dessert. It’s all about enjoying your favorite foods at a reasonable portion size. Plus, there it isn’t loaded up with phony stuff like non-fat plasticy butter. Recipes use butter. This is real life people.

The authors introduce the ‘idea’ of breaking down your recommended caloric intake by 3 meals and snacks during the day. They breakdown what a serving size of each recipe would be, like if you have 1/2 Cup of something it could be for lunch, but a larger portion would be for dinner. It’s really helpful to break things down this way.

As well, they give you a week’s worth of meals as an example to get you through the day with healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with 2 snacks, and a dessert. Life needs dessert.

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I had a tough time of picking which recipe to first try since I had a good 30+ of ones that were must makes. Would it be the Cinnamon Rolls? The Chicken-Fried Steak? The Enchilada Bake? The “Hot Cocoa” Pretzels? Or Apple Pie turnovers? Tough decisions, but I decided on the Lemon Bars because I have a swimming pool sized bowl filled with citrus in the kitchen. I also exaggerated that, like the gecko thing. Clearly.

Anyway, I whipped these lemon bars up and I have to say I am so damn impressed with out well they came out.

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Since my baking supplies are in transit now, I just grabbed a pan out of my dad’s pantry which happened to be a rectangle but the surface area was comparable to a a 8×8 pan. So before you look at this and thing “yo lady, that’s not a square pan…” I know, I know. But it worked, I swear. You can also switch it to be a 9″ round pan but cutting out 20 even slices could be tricky.

Make these lemon bars. You will never ever know that they are just 100 calories each. Plus, it will help that they are just 100 calories each since when you eat them all it’s just 2,000 calories for the pan… oh wait. crap!

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Lemon Bars

Makes 20 Bars (each bar is just 100 calories!)

Ingredients

For the Cookie Crust

  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • 2/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water

For the Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8″ x 8″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combing the flour, butter, sugar, and water together using your fingers. The dough will be rather thick.
  3. Evenly press the dough in the bottom of the pan. It will be pretty thin.
  4. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until just until the edges begin to lightly brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, or in the bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together all of the filling ingredients until well combined.
  6. Pour the filling over the coled crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springy to touch.
  7. Let cool for at least 30 minutes prior to cutting into 4 rows, and then in 5 rows the other direction to create 20 pieces. Dust with powdered sugar.

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While I received The Perfect Portion Cookbook in exchange for a review, all opinions are expressly my own.

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