My mom handed me Betty Crocker's Cookie Book and told me it was her favorite cookbook. I have few memories of her baking cookies; she was a brownie type. I can't say truthfully whether she baked brownies from scratch or from a mix because I never really paid attention; I had no interest. There were far too many minnows and tadpoles to catch and there was never enough time for the trampoline.
The day I asked my mom if we could make cookies from scratch she picked out the lemon bar recipe. I followed along, unsure of where my idea to bake had come from in the first place, but as we baked I found it to be easier than expected.
The crust was made of 3 ingredients: butter, flour, and powdered sugar. We pressed the crust into the dish and sent it into the oven while we mixed the sugar, lemon, eggs, baking powder and salt for the filling. Once the crust came out of the oven my mom helped me with the lemon mixture and off it went, back into the oven. Twenty minutes later we had a kitchen filled with the scent of lemon and butter, ten minutes after that we had fresh baked lemon bars resting on the counter to cool, and fifteen minutes after that (I couldn't wait a full hour!) I tasted the flaky crust, the gooey citrus center, and that thin crispy top layer of my first dessert from scratch. I decided that baking was pretty cool. Though I wasn't converted from catching tadpoles, I did find a new rainy day activity and a favorite dessert recipe.
here. I have no shame in admitting that I ate the entire pan of my most recent lemon bar endeavor. Yep. Listen guys, I'm not healthy all the time... so now is an appropriate time to mention that you should do as I say and not as I do. Please don't eat the whole pan by yourself!
Lemon Rosemary Bars
Preheat the oven to 350º F
1/4 c butter, softened
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
-Combine the butter and applesauce, then add the flours to make a dough
-Press the dough into a square glass baking dish (approx 8x8 or 9x9) and bake for 8-10 minutes
3/4 c sugar
1/8 c flour
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp dried and chopped rosemary
-Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined
-Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for another 20 minutes
-Remove the bars from the oven and let cool for as long as you can wait (the longer you wait the easier it is to make a clean cut)
-Cut the bars into about 16 squares, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!
** Keep an eye out for an upcoming guest post from one of my favorite vegan blogs, Oh, Ladycakes!