What is a holiday dessert table without something lemon on it, I ask you? It’s a sad table, that’s what it is.
I love, nay, I adore a good lemon dessert. Sometimes after a nice (read: large) meal you are looking for a light, refreshing dessert. Holiday dinners most certainly qualify as a large meal.
Lemon bars are among my favorite things to make, simply because they are easy and delicious tart little bites of heaven. I didn’t really have to call these Holiday Lemon bars, but there’s just something about that light dusting of powdered icing sugar that reminds me of, well, snow. Not that I need any reminder of snow here in Edmonton, Alberta, let me assure you of that. We have crazy amounts of snow already and it’s not even January yet.
This year I decided that it was high time to add a cream cheese layer to my lemon bars and now that I have, I really don’t think I can ever go back to plain lemon bars again.
Take a gander at that lovely layer of cream cheese.
Sigh. So lovely.
Now, when I bake up squares, or dainties as I like to call them, I like them thick with gorgeous layers of ingredients. I cannot stand skimpy squares that fall apart from lack of ingredients.
These most likely should have been baked into a 9×13 pan, like most recipes. I prefer to flout convention and bake them in a 9×9 pan, thus making them towering beauties of lemon cheesecake perfection.
These baked up perfectly in a 9×9 pan and if you like thicker squares, be a rebel and just do it! Oh, they are so much better with a gorgeous thick crust and a decent cream cheese layer!
How is your Christmas planning going? I almost feel that I am behind, as we are not buying any presents for family this year since we are all going on vacation together. Sure, there are a few friends and teachers that are getting gifts, but really, when you take away my immediate family, there’s not much gift buying to be done!
I’m really liking the trimmed down shopping this year. Oh, I love shopping for my family, the kids especially, but there’s something wonderful about having that taken off my shoulders and just planning a lovely vacation. Not that we are going to do this every year – oh, I wish! – but I am pretty sure we are going to consider going away for Christmas whenever we can. I don’t know yet, this is the first time ever so I’ll let you know!
Happy Baking everyone! Thanks for stopping in!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 8 oz package of cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2/3 cup flour
- additional confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9 inch x 9 inch baking sheet.
- Cut out a 9 inch x 9 inch square of parchment paper and lay on top of the greased bottom of the pan. Trust me, you will thank me for this step later.
- For the crust, pulse the flour, cornstarch, sugar and butter in a food processor until it's coarse crumbs.
- Press the dough into the greased baking sheet, on top of the parchment paper.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes, until very lightly browned. Leave the oven on.
For the cream cheese layer, use a mixer with a paddle to beat the ingredients until light and creamy. Pour onto the hot crust.
- For the lemon layer, whisk together the ingredients.
- Gently pour over the cream cheese layer, trying not to disturb the cream cheese.
Bake for 30-35 minutes; the filling should be just set in the centre. If you used a 9 inch x 13 inch pan, the time will be less, more like 25 minutes.
Cool at room temperature, sprinkle on powdered sugar and then refrigerate.
Slice into squares to serve.
- To serve, cut into squares or triangles. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired.