meyer lemon bars.

meyer lemon bars | Cody Uncorked.

During an average week, Jeff and I cook dinner at home three or four nights. It sounds daunting, especially since we both have full-time jobs and a spry little dachshund who needs his daily walks.

The key for us is planning the week’s menu ahead of time (I mentioned this in my last post!). When you write your recipes out on paper, it’s easier to find common ingredients and ways to incorporate leftovers (a roasted chicken at the beginning of the week means stock for soup on night and meat for enchiladas another). Additionally, organizing your grocery list in order of your market’s aisles will Change. Your. Life. Seriously, do it.

Sometimes, however, I still go to the store with absolutely no ideas, no planning, no list of any sort. It usually still results in some delicious meals, but always results in a ton of aimless wandering…and some sort of indulgent dessert.

meyer lemon bars | Cody Uncorked.

A while back, I roamed the nearby Whole Foods with nary a recipe nor list, awestruck with all the colorful vegetable and fruits. When I passed a display of meyer lemons, I put two in my basket without even thinking about it. They were priced 2 for however much and they were bright and pretty and I couldn’t resist.

Luckily, when I got home and set out to find the perfect recipe for them, I found an already earmarked dessert from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for Whole Lemon Bars.

meyer lemon bars | Cody Uncorked.

(I didn’t have a square baking dish – things still worked out.)

These were the easiest thing to make – they came together in an hour and the only things I had to clean were my food processor, some measuring cups and a spatula. Also, the recipe uses the whole lemon, peel, pith and all, so you can feel good about that.

They are not, however, the most healthy dessert you’ll ever encounter. You’ll need two sticks of butter – one for the shortbread-like crust and one for the filling. Cut the squares small, share them with friends and eat a salad for dinner (or not), it’ll be okay.

meyer lemon bars | Cody Uncorked.

Would you be interested in more info about how we plan our meals for the week and get organized to go grocery shopping? Lemme know in the comments!

Meyer Lemon Bars
adapted slightly from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook

ingredients

for the crust:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into chunks

for the filling:
1 small/medium meyer lemon
1 cup sugar (1 1/3 if using regular lemon)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into chunks
4 eggs
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar (optional)

directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take an 8” square baking pan (or a round cake pan…whatever) and line with two overlapping pieces of parchment paper. Make sure they’re a few inches longer/wider than your pan so that the edges hanging out of the pan can be used to pull the lemon bars out once they’re cooled. Spray the paper with cooking spray.

crust: Blend flour, sugar and salt together in bowl of a large food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks powdery, but if you pinch it holds its shape.

Turn the dough crumbs out into the prepared baking pan and press dough evenly to cover the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set on cooling rack. Leave oven on.

filling: If you’re using a regular lemon, start by cutting it in half and examining the rind. If the white part (pith) is wider than 1/4”, remove the skin from half the lemon and discard before proceeding. If it is thinner than 1/4 inch, leave as is. Also make sure to increase the sugar to 1 1/3 cups!

Cut your lemon halves into thin rings and toss the seeds. Put the lemon slices in the bowl of the food processor and add the sugar. Process until the lemon is thoroughly pureed, about 2 minutes.

Add the butter and run the machine until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, cornstarch, and salt and pulse until everything is well combined.

Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is just set. It should only wiggle a little bit.

Let the pan cool completely either on a wire rack. Use the parchment paper ‘sling” to carefully remove the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Dust with powdered sugar, then cut into 16 squares (or square-ish shapes if you use a round pan like I did!)

meyer lemon bars | Cody Uncorked.

Whether you plan ahead or not, I hope you have a week (and weekend) full of deliciousness!

LYLAS,

signature | Cody Uncorked.