Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tart Cherry Lemon Bars

DESSERT.  My new favorite thing.  Crazy, I know, I know.  But ever since I got pregnant (SURPRISE) I'm obsessed with sweets.  It's bizarre really.  I am also obsessed with sour things - key lime pie for example.  Can't get enough of it.  Right around Easter I was craving (literally, this time) lemon bars.  I went a little rogue and added tart cherry juice concentrate to the recipe and it came out awesome.  I nearly ate the whole pan.  Oopsies. 

The crust is flakey and buttery and just balances so perfect with the tart, yet sweet filling.  I was a little scared of what would happen to the color when it baked, but it came out this pretty peach color.  Yay. 

I used this recipe for the lemon bars and then I added the tart cherry juice concentrate.  I began by making the filling, which is just flour, eggs, lemon juice, and sugar.  I made sure to strain the lemon juice so I didn't miss any seeds.  It can happen. 

These eggs were so fresh.  Nice and bright.  PS - look at my cool nail polish.  Obsessed.

The next step is where I demonstrate my inability to follow directions creativity.  My massage therapist recently told me about tart cherry juice.  It's the worlds most potent antioxidant and is a natural pain reliever.  Something that comes in handy when you have crazy pregnancy headaches.  The concentrate works awesome in smoothies, over yogurt, or even squirted into a dessert impulsively.  It's VERY tart - almost a combination of cherries and lemons.  I added two tablespoons.  Yummmyyyy.

The crust is super easy.  You just mix butter, flour, and a few pinches of sea salt (since I use unsalted butter) and then par bake it for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until it turns slightly golden brown.


Pour the filling on top, pray to the dessert gods that you measured everything right, and then pop it back in the oven for another 20 minutes until the filling sets.

Lemon bars come out sort of weird looking on top after they bake - the color comes out a little uneven so adding a dusting of powdered sugar is the way to go.  Make sure they cool completely, however, or else the powdered sugar will melt the second it hits the bars.

I am so sad these are gone.  I am dying to make more and now that I think of it, I have all of the ingredients.  I know what I'm having for lunch...:)

Here's the recipe, adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 Cup of Butter, Softened
1/2 Cup of White Sugar
2 Cups of Flour

4 Eggs
1-1/2 Cups of White Sugar
1/4 Cup of Flour
2 Lemons, Juiced
2 Tbs of Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all of the crust ingredients - it's easiest if you use your hands.  Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together and pour over par baked crust.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Let them cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving and enjoy!

Stay hungry!

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