Monday, May 10, 2010

Creamy Lemon Bars

I made these for our Mother/Daughter luncheon last Sat. They were yummy! more like cheesecake than my regular lemon bars. I got this recipe from Kraftfoods.com, but tweaked it a bit and added the crumb topping from my lemon cake recipe. They were awesome!!

Creamy Lemon Bars

30 (more or less) NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cold margarine (diced)
1 pkg. (8 oz.)Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs 2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp.  Baking Powder
2 tsp. powdered sugar

Vanilla-Lemon crumb topping:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

 Heat oven to 350ºF.
LINE 8-inch square pan with foil. Mix wafer crumbs, 1/4 cup flour and brown sugar in medium bowl. Cut in margarine with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 min.
While crust bakes:
Beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and 2 Tbsp. flour; mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp. zest, juice and baking powder; pour over crust.
BAKE 25 to 28 min. or until center is set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
To make the crumb topping:
Make the crumb topping by combining the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and dribble in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Use your hands to mix the butter into the flour and sugar until mixture is crumbly, with no pieces larger than a pea. Chill mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
When bars are chilled, lift out of pan with sides of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with crumb topping (you my not need it all). Cut into squares and serve.

**NoteYou should get about 1 Tbsp. zest and 2 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon.

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