Friday, June 3, 2011

Creamy Lemon Bars

I am not really a fan of lemon bars. I usually like the first bite, but then they just leave a horrible taste in my mouth.  When I saw this recipe on Our Best Bites, I decided to try it and see if I liked them better than the regular ones. I did. These were really good. I tripled the recipe and made a big ol' pan of them because I needed to take them to two different gatherings; my niece's bridal shower and a BBQ with friends. I had tons of people ask me for the recipe, so I guess they were a hit! Next time I make them, I think I will try lime instead of lemon.

Creamy Lemon Bars

20 Nilla Wafers, crushed
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cold
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temp.
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. baking powder
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8 inch square baking pan with foil (this isn't absolutely necessary, I actually forgot to do this. It just makes it easier for cutting and serving). Spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
In a bowl, combine Nilla Wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup flour, and the brown sugar. Cut butter into small pieces and then cut into the crumb mixture with pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press this mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan, and bake for 15 minutes.
While crust is cooking, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 2 Tbsp flour, and baking powder. Mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp lemon zest, and lemon juice, then pour mixture over crust.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely, then refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remaining lemon zest just before cutting and serving.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.

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