Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lemon Limoncello Bars

We had a fight this morning, the lemon bars and I. They didn't want to come out of the pan with the crust intact. So I will suggest one thing for this recipe that I did not do, please please use parchment paper on the bottom of your baking pan! It will make it so much easier to cut these kick-butt lemon bars into those cute little triangles.


I have to admit that I do not like lemon or lime flavored baked goods, just not my thing. So after making anything citrus flavored my husband has to try it and let me know how they turn out. He was more than thrilled to have to eat a lemon bar with breakfast this morning, so much so that I just had to try a little sugar dusted corner of one. These babies are gooooooood, I would eat more if I didn't make them for Father's Day.


My dad used to take me to this little town of Elsah, Illinois and we would go the town's restaurant and bakery and get some famous black-bottom pie and he would get lemon bars to go. Unfortunately this bakery closed after the floods in 1993, but I was lucky enough to score their cookbook on ebay, The Elsah Landing Cookbook. Unfortunately, again, the lemon bar recipe didn't make the cut for the cookbook! So I searched for a recipe similar to what I can remember as a kid. I found Smitten Kitchen's version of Barefoot Contessa's recipe and it sounded like a match, plus I added a little limoncello to mix it up. So Happy Father's Day to all you citrus loving dads!


Lemon Limoncello Bars

Crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

Lemon Filling:
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 and 1/2 cup granualted sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup limoncello

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper. For the crust, cream butter and sugar till smooth. In a separate bowl whisk flour and salt, then add to butter mixture just until combined. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten dough into pan, building up on the edges. Chill if time permits. Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let crust cool on wire rack.

For the filling, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and limoncello. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake for 35 minutes. The filling should be set at this point. Let cool at room temperature, cut, and dust with confections' sugar.


Those poor little abused lemons, skinned and drained.

I let my bars cool to room temperature and then left them in the refrigerator overnight to ease the cutting. If you want to make these without the limoncello, just replace it with additional fresh squeezed lemon juice or you might even try some lime juice. I think this has inspired me for more fruit inspired bar cookies. Anyone have a good Strawberry or Blackberry recipe they want to share?


I was able to use this morning's natural sunlight to take pictures instead of the usual late night ugly kitchen lighting. I think they turned out a bit better. I appreciate all the tips that everyone has offered towards making better photos, please keep 'em coming!

35 comments:

  1. I was certainly impressed this morning...looking forward to eating more later this evening! Awesome as always Deb!

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  2. These look amazing... I love citrus desserts. Yum!

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  3. I don't know why you are complaining about your picture because they are wonderful. I like baked lemon desserts so I definitely try this one, thanks for sharing.

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  4. Be still my beating heart. You had me at limoncello! This is copied and will be made soon. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

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  5. Unlike you, this is my kind of sweet treat. Love lemon bars! I've never tried adding limoncello--I think I'd better remedy this soon.

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  6. These look so spectacular! I especially love your adorable packaging.

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  7. These look so good and I LOVE the way you boxed them up! :)

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  8. Very nice looking Lemon Bars. Now you've got me wanting lemons.

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  9. I love the packaging of these! What a thoughtful Father's Day gift. Sometimes, when I use parchment paper, it sticks to the bottom of the food, and then I have to painstakingly peel that off. Have you had these problem, or know of any solutions to it?

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  10. I have a bowl full of lemons, I think they are going to end up in these bars! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Mmmm! Crust or no crust, they look delicious!

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  12. I love lemons and Limoncello is one of my very favourite liqueurs. These look amazing!!

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  13. I love that you put them in a cute box for a gift, such a cute idea! They also look awesome cut on the diagonal, great work.

    Plus, who can turn down anything with limoncello? :)

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  14. I always love a lemon bar. So velvety and tangy and sweet at the same time! And what a lovely Father's Day present idea!

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  15. So pretty and lovely photographs too! I liked the way you've neatly packaged them.. adding the limoncello was a great idea!

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  16. Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful comments!
    @baking.serendipity: If the parchment paper is sticking try greasing the pan as usual then using parchment paper and unfortunately I find that generic paper just doesn't work as well as name brand, but im not sure what kind you are using! Good luck and hope everyone enjoys the lemon bars!

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  17. mmmmh....love this recipe: I must try it using the home made limoncello (I'm Italian and I have a weakness for Limoncello ;-)) thanks for sharing!

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  18. I love anything lemon. They look great!

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  19. Congrats on your Top 9 spot! Obviously your photography is coming along just fine - these look fantastic! :-)

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  20. These look beautiful and so summery! Question - just to make sure I'm assuming that the salt in the crust is 1/8 teaspoon not 1/8 cup like it says?? Thanks for sharing :)

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  21. I make lemon bars all the time but this recipe is fabulous with the limoncello and cutting them in pie shapes how unique! I can't wait to make this genious of a recipe sounds and looks fabulous...and don't sweat it over the pictures Top 9 is the first of many more for you fantastic job!!!!!

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  22. I'm not a citrus dessert fan either, but these look absolutely great! Love the addition of Limoncello!

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  23. @soimarriedachef: you are so right! How embarrasing to fudge the recipe, it is only 1/8 teaspoon! I'll fix it as soon as I get back to my computer! Thanks for pointing it out and hope you enjoy them!

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  24. I'm going to make these later today! When I do cakes, I spray the bottom of the pan with non-stick spray, but parchment, then spray again, the parchemnt will peel right off. If that helps anyone.

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  25. Congrats on Top 9 :) These look lovely and perfect and gooey and lovely. Did I say that already? I am totally a chocolate person but for some reason, I loveee lemon bars. This recipe reminds me of the winter for some reason, but maybe I'll have to give it a try in the summer!!!

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  26. I love these,and you can not tell that there had been a fight at all:) Sorry they are not your thing, but thank you extra for making them...

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  27. These look delicious! I love lemon anything. Looking forward to other fruit creations :o)

    This is my first time visiting your blog. Great stuff!! :o)

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  28. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. It would be really nice if you could join us in our monthly ABC of the Month baking group. All you need is a copy of Flo Braker's "Baking for all Occasions", or easy access to it (e.g. library) to participate. The July recipe is really good: think muffin-style cinnamon rolls. Let me know if you'd like me to email you more info on that :o)

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  29. My partner and I picked up a few bottles of Limoncello in Rome a while ago. Forgetting about the Limoncello, I did some lemon bars over the weekend using the Tru-Lemon product. Find it in your grocery near Sustiva. I doubled the product, and they were killer delicious. I came across our last Limoncello bottle last night, and found your recipe. Guess what I am making this weekend. Thank you.

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