Lemon pistachio bars

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I have been making some variation of lemon bars since I was a kid. Mostly my mom made them because they are easy and quick. I followed suit, as they are generally a no-fuss crowd-pleaser. But somewhere along the line, the recipe I’d been using all my life stopped working. The filling would never solidify/thicken, so it was like a lemon soup inside while the outer edges were virtually burned. I don’t know why this is – it just didn’t work no matter what I did.

So when I decided to use up a stockpile of pistachios and wanted to move beyond my standard recipes, I thought lemon and pistachio would be a good match. I used the standard shortbread crust I have always used for lemon bars; I searched around for other filling recipes… but oddly, though I found a different one, it’s still basically the same as the one I’ve always used with a reduced amount of sugar, which is probably better. Maybe I just whisked/beat it better than in the past. Or something. There are only so many ways to make lemon filling, right?

The people who ate these raved.

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Lemon pistachio bars
Crust
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
chopped pistachios

Combine base ingredients until crumbly. Press mix into an ungreased 13×9 inch pan. Bake until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes).

Reduce oven temperature to 160C

Filling
4 eggs, well-beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
a pinch of salt

Whisk eggs; add all other ingredients except lemon juice and zest, which should be added last. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

You can sift powdered sugar on top of the cut bars.

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Happy Halloween

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I will post later with all the recipes and reflections on this, but here are some images of all the baked stuff I made this weekend – my last big bake, I do believe. I set it all up in the office and feel very… free.

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Getting the big Halloween bake all set up in the office

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Very basic Halloween decorations

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How will I organize this??

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Ready for their close-up: Coconut cream bar cookies

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Chocolate chip cashew cookies – same recipe as the white chocolate macadamia cookies, only throw in chocolate chips and cashews instead of white chocolate and macadamia nuts

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Mini pecan pie recipe… also these got some rave reviews

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M&M cookies… same recipe as the white chocolate macadamia cookies

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Chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips – same recipe as the chocolate mint cookies but with peanut butter chips instead of mint

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Table 1 of 2: Getting rid of ingredients cookies rather than the Halloween-themed goods

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The Halloween-themed spread

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Chocolate cupcakes (which happen to be vegan – not by design, just coincidence) with grey vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream

 

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Witch finger shortbread cookie recipe… they freak everyone out

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Chocolate truffles: Very easy to make

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Coconut dark chocolate bites recipe: I toasted the coconut and blitzed it in a food processor, which is not indicated in the recipe. I think it works better this way

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Close-up: Candy corn cupcakes

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The full spread: Halloween baking 2017

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Happy Halloween 2017