Lemon-Vanilla Dream Bars
Since I have the winter doldrums, I decided to brighten things up with a snappy lemon bar.
These are not your standard lemon bars with shortbread crust and a tangy, tart filling.
While I do love a good, classic lemon bar, these were certainly a nice change. More like a blondie in taste and texture than a traditional lemon bar, the white chocolate in the base of these balanced the tanginess of the lemon curd perfectly.
I know that many people hate the word “curd,” and truth be told, it’s not one of my favorite sounding words, either. But I do love lemon curd. I might have just eaten a spoonful (or two) of this straight from the jar when making these.
I’m all about quality control.
In fact, I’m so all about quality control, that I tested a number of these bars just to make sure they were good enough to post.
Yep. They definitely were.
And, if you’re totally opposed to lemon curd, you could easily substitute any low-sugar jam or preserves. Just choose something that is a little on the tart side to balance out the sweetness of your bar. Raspberry would be awesome–and perfect for Valentine’s Day!
This recipe came straight from Shauna Sever’s book, Pure Vanilla. I talked about her book before when I made her Vanilla Nougat Candy Bar Bites. Seriously, Shauna is amazing. I’m still working my way through making every doggone recipe in this book and it has yet to disappoint.
Totally worth it, though.
- 10 ounces white chocolate, chopped and divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- ½ cup lemon curd
- Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350. Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides of the pan.
- In a double-boiler or a heat-proof pan, combine butter and chocolate. Stir constantly, until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and salt.
- Whisk in your eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in extract and vanilla bean paste/powder. Gently fold in your flour with a spatula. When just a few streaks of flour remain, fold in the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate. Pour batter into prepared pan—it will be thick.
- Dollop lemon curd on top of your mixture by tablespoonfuls. Using a knife, swirl the curd into your batter. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Using the foil/parchment overhang, lift out the entire block and cut into 12 squares.
Happy Monday, everyone!
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