Lemon Bars with a Chocolate Twist

I've been making my lemon bars for ages now. I think I first posted about them four years ago when I started writing this blog as part of a grad school project. Now, I am well-versed in all things digital communications and I've been baking and sharing my baked goods ever since.

Lemon bars are one of my favorite things to eat, err, bake. The basic lemon bar recipe has a shortbread base and a very simple custard "filling", which makes the recipe infinitely adaptable to additional flavors and ingredients.

What can make a Lemon Bar even more decadent and wonderful? Why, chocolate of course. A simple ganache adds panache (ha!) to an already wonderful treat.

Lemon Chocolate Bars
Ingredients for shortbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening

Ingredients for filling

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp cornstarch

Ingredients for ganache
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F. In a bowl, using either your fingers or an electric mixer on the lowest setting, mix together all the ingredients for the shortbread until the mixture comes together as large crumbs. Place the mixture in a 9x9 pan and press into the pan, making as even as a base as possible. Bake for 15 mins, then remove to cool.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the ganache and filling. For the ganache, heat the heavy cream until just under boiling and pour over the chocolate chips. Mix until chips have melted and the ganache is smooth. Set aside to cool completely. For the lemon filling, using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs and lemon zest until a light and lemony color. Add the lemon juice and beat well. Using a spatula, fold in the cornstarch.

When the shortbread is only slightly warm, spread the ganache over the shortbread as evenly as possible. Carefully pour over the ganache the lemon mixture - don't worry if some of the ganache combines with the mixture, it'll even out during baking.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the filling is relatively firm. There might be a light brown crust on top - you can cover your baking dish with foil to avoid it. Cool completely before cutting and serving with a dusting of powdered sugar. Decadent is an understatement when you bite into this.

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