Makes you pucker!

So something that my friends and family seem to like me baking are my lemon bars. Not exactly the sexiest sweet treat – but there is something about the bright, concentrated flavors of lemon and sugar that drive my people crazy. I actually never thought that lemon bars would be so popular – I only started to make them because I liked them. And I usually bake things that I like to eat. Is that selfish? Maybe, but I *am* baking them gosh gang it!

The best part about lemon bars is that they are ridiculously easy to make. That being said, one can screw up the simplest lemon bar recipe.

I’ve had lemon bars in early batches where the sugar frothed to the top of the bar and made this interesting crunchy topping. (Not exactly what I was going for, but something to think about in a future iteration? Crunchy lemon bars?)

So what are some tricks to making a good batch of lemon bars?

Use a half/half mix of butter and shortening for your crust – makes the base rich without being too oily.

Mix your citrus – add some lime along with your lemon, gives it a spicier flavor. Yes, limes are spicier than lemons.

Use fresh if you can, or if you can’t make it half/half. Fresh ingredients always trump processed or preserved (unless you’re making Jam Crumb Cake, but that’s a different post).

Watch for browning! If you are usually scatterbrained, use a piece of tin foil to cover your bars so that the lemony color stays and you don’t get the crunch effect.

Crap. I foresee growing exponentially larger as the posting continues. Maybe I should think about making diet bars.

Eww. The moment I typed the above my mind revolted against the idea of a “diet bar.” The thing is, if you’re going to bake, you’re going to bake. I might try something lactose-intolerant-friendly or use less fatty ingredients in the future, but for the most part I am a firm believer of if you’re going to bake something chocolaty, sugary or rich – own it.

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