Thursday, June 03, 2010

When life hands you a lemon, make lemon squares

You know how you encounter something so wonderful in your childhood that you grow up trying to find it again - or at least, a passable substitute?

I encountered two wonderful things. One wasn't actually a something, it was a Someone. A man. Superman. My grandpa took me to see all the movies and I became completely enamored of the Superman character, so dashingly played by the late Christopher Reeve. It took me many years to figure out that Superman doesn't actually exist in real life.

The good news is that, unlike Superman, my second wonderful childhood thing is real, and I can recreate it myself. When I was a little girl, I tasted lemon squares for the first time at a party and it was love at first bite. It's taken some figuring out, and a lot of help from my sister (the baking expert over at - but I think I've finally found a version that stands up to the ultimate test: the cherished, unforgettable perfection of a childhood memory.

Lemon Squares
Shortbread crust (click here for my sister's recipe)

While crust is baking, prepare the lemon filling:

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp flour
Zest of one lemon (I use a Microplane to zest my lemons - another great tip from my sister)

Blend the above ingredients, then mix in the juice of the zested lemon and 1/4 tsp baking powder.

Pour on top of the still-warm crust and bake for 25-28 minutes, until surface is golden.

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Dust with icing sugar right before serving.

Close your eyes, bite, and get transported back in time...oh, wait. That last step is just for me.


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