Friday, November 11, 2011

Lemon Squares

National Charity League (NCL) is a mother-daughter organization which teaches girls how to serve their community by volunteering for other non-profit philanthropic organizations. There are specific volunteer hours which are to be met, as well as meetings to attend and office positions to be held. It fosters responsibility, leadership, community & cultural awareness, as well as a strong mother-daughter relationship.

I got to participate in NCL with my mom when I was growing up. One more thing that NCL fostered in us was a killer recipe collection. Every quarter, the entire chapter- mother and daughter members of all age groups- would gather together for a formal meeting to discuss upcoming service events, philanthropy partners, updates on hours, etc. These meetings, would begin with a sort of potluck 'tea time' where we were all to bring finger foods or tea goodies to share. It was a breeding ground for recipe exchanges in addition to the informational updates that we received those evenings :) Women baking for other women... OF COURSE they're bringing their A-game recipes!

This particular lemon bar recipe comes from one of those NCL gatherings. It's a keeper. If you get to taste test a bunch of womens' best recipes, then pick your fave, and get the recipe straight from the cook, you know it's going in your keeper recipe file! I hope you enjoy this one and hold onto it too :)

Recipe (for a 9x13 pan):
  • Crust:
    • 2 sticks SOFTENED Butter (if not softened, your crust will come out too crumbly)
    • ½ cup Powdered Sugar
    • 2 cups Flour
  • Filling:
    • 4 Eggs beaten
    • 2 cups Sugar
    • ¼ cup Flour
    • Juice of 1 Lemon (recipe calls for ¼ cup fresh lemon juice; I usually use 1/3 cup because I usually get that much from a medium lemon for even more lemon-y flavor :)
    • Zest of 1 Lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Then mix together the crust ingredients and and press evenly into a 9x13 pyrex dish:

Pre-bake the crust at 350 degrees for no more than 15 minutes:

(See how it's barely starting to turn golden on the edges; that means it's done. Remember, it's going back into the oven again with the lemon filling, so you don't want it to get overcooked then.)

While the crust is pre-baking, mix together the filling ingredients. 

Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust:

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lemon filling has set. 
ALLOW IT TO COOL (it actually takes a while to really cool)
Then dust with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and cut into squares:

Look at this yummy shortbread crust:

And the soft, gooey, lemony filling! 

Makes 18 large square servings: 

1 comment:

  1. These look absolutely delicious! I think I may have to try baking these soon :)
    I found your blog whilst googling 'latte recipes without machine' and must say I'm impressed by your recipes.
    I also like the idea of a NCL.
    Thank you for sharing.