I’m not sure how it happened, but it did—I’m getting a head start on Christmas 2014 and we are only 2 weeks into January 2014. See, I’ve always been accused of being a procrastinator. Then I realized while some of my friends are hanging on and finger-nailing their way through their annual resolve of trimming down and sipping green smoothies, I’m rolling my 2013 holiday slumber into 2014.
Sure it might be because I’m pregnant, so my Christmas tree is still up and the sign counting down until Christmas now reads 343 days, or it might be my new positive outlook that—I’m ahead of schedule, way ahead.
For those of you wondering why I don’t just have Matt and the little guy take it down, I can’t. I’m way too much of a control freak with that stuff. It’s not that I care how they pack it away. I know they will do a great job at that. But it’s the mess and the chaos of tearing it all down. And of course I can leave the house while this goes on, but again—I’m a control freak—I want to dictate how the chaos will unfold.
Yeah, I’m quite the pain.
Now without a proper segue for today’s food talk . . . .hey, how about these lemon bars? I’ve made a lot of lemon bars from various sources, including my very own, but this one from Ina Garten continues to be my favorite. It’s bright in flavor, strong but not too tart. The short bread crust holds up without crumbling into a sandy mess and not so stiff that it feels separate from the lemon filling. (Small note: Don’t use Meyer Lemons, regular ones are best. Meyer lemons in this recipe dulls the bright bold flavor that makes this recipe).
- Recipe from Ina Garten via Food Network
For the crust:
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
- 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup flour
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preparation: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- To make crust: Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and creamy. Add in flour and salt and mix on low until just combined. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Bake crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
- To make filling: In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour mixture over crust and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
- Dust with confectioner sugar and cut to squares to preferred size.