Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

This dessert has absolutely no chocolate in it and I chose to make it without any special requests. I'm not sure you realize how big of a deal this is. No chocolate. If you are looking for a rich dessert, this is not for you. Not that it lacks in flavor...at all. I was surprised and impressed with how much like strawberry lemonade it tastes and it has a nice balance of sweet and tart that is perfect with the shortbread crust. Speaking of the crust - wow - now I am really tempted to make some sort of shortbread cookie! So easy and tasty! Really, these bars are a great summer treat! I was a little sad they didn't turn out with more of a pink tint - next time I'll add more strawberries. More strawberry flavor is never a bad thing, right?

Note: It is best the first day. If you need to make it a day ahead of time, wait to sprinkle the powdered sugar on until just before serving otherwise it will absorb and look...well, soggy and gross. Also, the shortbread crust looses some of it's fresh texture that pairs so well with the topping. I had it a day later and it was not as appealing looking, but still very nice. On the third day it just grossed me out to look at so I threw the couple that remained away. Lesson learned.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Recipe from Baking Bites

How I did it:

1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup pure lemon juice
3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 cup powdered sugar (for dusting)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13" baking pan and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour and salt together and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar and butter until creamed and fluffy.

4. Slowly beat the flour/salt into the butter/sugar. Beat until mixture sticks together in crumbly bits. Pour into prepared baking pan and press down until it covers the bottom evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are set and lightly browned. This is your crust.

5. While the crust is baking, pour the lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar, and eggs in a food processor and process until well-combined and smooth - will be very thin. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and continue to process until smooth again.

6. When the crust is ready (you don't need to let it cool), carefully pour the filling on top and return to the oven. Bake about 25 minutes until filling is set.

7. Using a soup spoon, dust generously with powdered sugar. Let sit until completely cool before cutting and serving. Best served the same day at room temperature.

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