Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekend Cooking...When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Something Cooler Than Lemonade

This week, we have a guest post from the Niece! 
Now, I must say, the Niece is becoming quite a good cook and she is sharing a nice Spring Time recipe with us, one that is easy and fast, yet very tasty. And since she worked out that little bug...the bars were not too attractive on the first go-around...I think this recipe is a keeper!

Easter is tomorrow and I always find myself volunteering to make dessert. Of course, I am planning to make my traditional Easter dessert, carrot cake, but we are going to my (other) aunt’s for dinner and her kids don’t like cake (shocking, I know…). In an effort to please everyone, I decided to try out a recipe for Lemon Bars that has been sitting on a Pinterest Board for quite some time. My test run turned out delicious, but not very attractive. Luckily, I developed some pointers to make it better looking this time around!

Lemon Bars
1 package of Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1 stick of cold butter
1 egg
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (please, please do not buy evaporated…)
2 lemons
Limoncello, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350* F. Using a fork, cut the cold butter into the cookie mix. Add egg and use hands to fully incorporate. (I find hands easier than a utensil).

2. Once mixed, score cookie dough down the middle to ensure an even split of dough for top and bottom layers.
3. Grease an 8 x 8 pan. Compact half of the cookie dough along the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. While the bottom is baking, add condensed milk to a large bowl. Zest both lemons, get every square millimeter of zest!!!! Add the juice of both lemons. Here is where I added the (optional) 2-3 tablespoons of limoncello. Because everything’s better with a splash of alcohol!!
5. When the crust is finished remove it from the oven and pour the lemon mixture over top.

6. Here is where it got ugly the last time. The original recipe calls for “crumbling” the remaining cookie dough on top. But using this method, it looked like a child made it. It cannot be compacted like the bottom layer since the filling is below it. Here is my solution: knead a roughly 8 x 8 square of remaining dough on a piece of parchment paper.
Then carefully remove the paper and lie it on top of the filling. This worked wonderfully except for the corners where I had to add a few extra pieces to cover.
7. With all layers assembled, bake for another 25 minutes. When they are finished, let cool on the counter for about 15 minutes. Then, let set in the fridge for about an hour before cutting.

Let me just step back in for a minute to tell you that it was very good. Personally, I loved the cookie crust. Hope you give it a try!

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Oooh lemon bars! I have seen several version of them but I never made made them myself. I can't make these exactly because the mix isn't for sale in the Netherlands but thanks for reminding me that I still have to try these someday :)

  2. I love anything lemon. These sound really good -- and pretty easy to put together. Yay for you for coming up with a prettier version!

  3. They look awesome. I'd love a lemon bar with an oatmeal cookie. Especially a cookie on the top and the bottom!
    Have a happy Easter!

  4. Those look delicious! It sounds like the niece is going to take after her aunt.

  5. This look wonderful - I love anything lemon. I think half my recipe pins on pinterest are lemon thngs!

  6. These look and sound great - I am a huge fan of all things lemon :) I am impressed that you fixed the recipe to make it look better; good for you!!

  7. I love lemon bars too,but never used an oatmeal cookie crust. Great idea!

  8. I love lemon desserts! Bars are always a favorite.

  9. Those lemon bars look and saound lovely. I wouldn't mind having one right now.

  10. My sister and I love a good lemon bar and this one looks delicious. I will be trying this recipe.

  11. Looks good. I like lemon. But sigh no cookies for me.

  12. Lemon bars (or lemon-anything) are my favorites. This is a completely new way of doing them for me. I will have to give them a try.

    1. they are good...and tomorrow I will get one!

  13. My son made lemon slice/bars at school last year. I need to dig out the recipes again. This looks really good.

  14. This looks to be a real dessert treat, so I am there. I bet they taste wonderful.

  15. I have jotted down the recipe - it looks great and I love anything lemon!

  16. Mmm, lemon. Now all it needs are some peeps. ;)

  17. I think they look tasty! I love lemon bars...and usually feel like making them this time of year. I went with Lime Bars instead today, just for a change. I still prefer lemon...


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!