I love citrus fruit! Oranges, lemons and limes are so refreshing. I love how it just dances over your tongue, I love it! My husband loves them too, which means that I never have to eat them alone. Yesterday so I determined that being very pregnant was not going to stand in the way of me feeling good. So I pretended all day that I felt great, and it worked. I also made these Lemon bars for my husband. They were kind of a little thank you gift for being so patient with the lack of food I have made lately and the lack of things around the house that I have done. He has been so great, he hasn't ever turned me down when I ask for a foot or neck rub, so that deserves something great. These lemon bars were perfect, and we both loved them. I was tempted to have one for breakfast, but settled on a healthier choice. I guess there is always tomorrow!
These are the best lemon bars I have ever had. They are just the right amount of tartness and sweetness. I especially love the shortbread crust. There a few steps and they are a little more time consuming than just throwing together a box of brownies, but it is completely worth it.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
4 large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
Shortbread crust: Cream butter and sugar in mixer set on high speed. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until fully mixed. Press dough evenly into bottom of a 8x8 inch baking pan. Refrigerate until firm, approximately 30 minutes. Prick shortbread crust with fork and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until crust turns golden brown. Cool on rack to room temperature.
Cream Cheese filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar on high speed until smooth. Add egg and lemon extract and beat on medium speed until light and smooth. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate.
Lemon Curd: Blend the egg yolks with cornstarch and sugar in medium non-aluminum saucepan.
Place over low heat and slowly whisk in water and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add butter and lemon peel and cool for 10 minutes.
Assemble the Bars: Spread chilled cream cheese filling evenly over cooled cooled shortbread crust. Spread lemon curd evenly over cream cheese filling. Place pan in center of oven. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until edges begin to turn a light golden brown. Cool to room temperature on rack. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour before before cutting into bars. Dust top with confectioners' sugar.