Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunny Citrus

Last month I had a giveaway for Baking Basics and Beyond cookbook, that Becca from Cookie Jar Treats won. We decided to pick a recipe and bake it "together". We both scanned the book and quickly settled on a recipe with bright refreshing flavors- Sunny Citrus Bars. Since both our mothers love citrus, we made these for them on Mother's Day. I made a full pan and presented half of them to my mother and the other half to my mother-in-law. It's the perfect tangy treat for sharing. 

Sunny citrus bars are essentially lemon bars with a shortbread crust, but the filling includes tart lemon juice and zest as well and sweet and aromatic orange juice and zest. So rather than a zingy filling, these are a little on the sweet side, especially since they're topped with a powdered sugar glaze after they've baked and cooled. They weren't as orangey as I thought they'd be, nor were they as lemony, but they were a nice balance in between. The filling was a little gooey, the crust a little crunchy. All in all, they were quite good and would satisfy any citrus craving. 

As far as lemon bars go, I think I prefer one with more pucker and these meyer lemon-lime bars are my still my favorite. I did, however, LOVE the shortbread crust and would definitely make that part of the recipe again. In fact I caught myself cutting off the edges of the crust "to make them prettier and more presentable" just so I could nibble on the buttery, crumbly, crunchy base. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

For The Crust: 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter

For The Filling: 
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
For The Glaze: 
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tablespoons orange juice
Heat oven oven to 350 degrees F. with oven rack in the middle. Lightly spray bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. 

For The Crust: Mix the flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Press crust evenly in bottom and slightly up sides of baking pan. (Mixture may appear a little dry and crumbly- this is okay.)

Bake 20-25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. 

For The Filling: Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat in eggs using wire whisk. When smooth, stir in butter, both lemon and orange juice, then stir in both lemon and orange zests. Mix well and pour over the hot crust. 

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set in the center and a knife comes out clean, although it will still be be wet. Cool on a wire cooling rack to room temperature. 

For The Glaze: Combine powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons orange juice in a small bowl and beat with a small whisk until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more juice. Spread glaze over cooled bars. Allow glaze to set up then store bars in the refrigerator. 

Head on over to Becca's blog and check out her citrus bars. And while you're there, leave her a note of congratulations, she graduated from high school this past weekend! Congratulations Becca!


Coleens Recipes said...

Beautiful photographs!! This looks absolutely delicious.

TnMuleGal said...

Wow......these look absolutely divine, can't wait to make them! I adore the orange slice plates, so cute!

Anonymous said...

hi...stumbled across your blog while searching for an apple cake recipe. the cake was absolutely divine.
i've also bookmarked about twenty other recipes i want to try.

god bless!

Unknown said...

Your bars turned out so orangey-looking. I think mine turned out a little more lemony. I Didn't meaure out all the zest and the juice, so I just guestimated.

I really loved the crust too. I loved putting my fork into the gooey filling and then feeling that little snap at the bottom from cutting the shortbread crust :)

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

OMG! This totally reminds me of a recipe I was obsessed with years ago but the version I made had grapefruit juice in it too. I am going to have to find the recipe and make these for a side by side comparison. You know, for research!

the wild magnolia said...

Love your new blog look, over the top wonderful pics, and always fab recipes.

I love oranges. I love orange cupcakes and cookies. This is a great addition to my orange luvs.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a colour, it must be THE summer cake bake, I can not want to try! Have a lovely evening!

Avril said...

I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day yourself Dear Monica!

Beautiful bars....and absolutely GORGEOUS orange plate you have going on there. :-)

Anonymous said...

I attempted to make the Sunny Citrus Bars last night. There are two elements of the recipe left out. First there's the 1/4 cup melted butter....it doesn't say what to do with that and second it says pour the egg mixture on top of the hot crust....it doesn't tell you how long to bake the crust. So I took it upon myself to eliminate the 1/4 cup butter and to bake the crust for about 15 minutes first. Thought I was doing fine until we tried to bite into the bars this morning. The crust was rock hard. Topping was delicious though. Could you please clear up the confusion of this recipe - THANKS! Laura

Unknown said...

These look SOOO good!!!

Anonymous said...

Note to Anonymous - Follow the link to Cookie Jar Treats' blog - you'll find the complete recipe instructions there.

Monica H said...

Anonymous- I'm sorry for the mistake in the recipe. I have fixed it and will email you shortly. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

~Monica h

Foodie Stuntman said...

I like the presentation with the orange plates. Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

Leslie Harris said...

Absolutely gorgeous! So bright and sunshine-y. :) Perfect for summer.

I love your orange slice plate. Too cute. ;)

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

Monica! Just saw that these bars were featured today as one of Foodbuzz's top 9! Yay!!! Go you!

TravelJunkie said...

this looks so delicious and worth a try. thanks for posting!:)

Anonymous said...

Magnifique !

sola said...

really yummy

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