My dear friend and co-blogger Alice is known (at least to me) for her love of cute baked goods. When asked for advice on what I should bake, her typical response is something along the lines of, "we should bake something adorable!", a line that occurred once again this afternoon. While I am usually one to bake something messier and generally "home-cooked looking," I do enjoy finding a nice balance between super-cute and quaintly homemade. And so, after examining what I had on hand and searching through a pile of cookbooks, we settled on these sweet lemon-lime bars.
After I started the crust, Alice turned around and noticed one of my tiny ceramic baking dishes, a special one to me hand-picked by my son (because "Mum likes kitchen things!"). Due to its fortunate yellow shade, she decided that it would be perfect to bake this yellow-colored dessert in. Yes, I must say that it, along with the thinly-sliced lemon and lime slices scattered on top, added majorly to the adorable factor.
And the bars? I'll admit that I have never been a huge fan of citrus desserts, but goodness. They really hit the spot. Buttery crust with flecks of lemon and a beautiful sweet custard topping topped with a bit of coconut and powdered sugar. How can that be bad?
Lemon-Lime Squares: adapted slightly from the best bake sale ever cookbook
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the filling:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
confectioners' sugar for dusting
1/4 to 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the crust: In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar, and lemon zest. Cut in the butter to make a dough the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Or make the dough in a food processor, mixing the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake the crust in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it is just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and lemon and lime juices until light, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the flour and beat just until combines. Pour the filling over the hot baked crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until the filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Using a small sharp knife, cut into squares. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and, if desired, sprinkle with coconut.
As seen above, fall has hit my backyard hard.