I think this is the fastest I have ever completed a Cookie Carnival! The recipe was emailed to us 2 days ago and I was stoked! I have been staring at the lemons in my fruit bowl for the last week or so and kept thinking, "Hey... I should make lemon bars!"
Then came the Cookie Carnival e-mail. Our first ever guest host, Holly of Phe-MOM-enon, chose Toasted Almond Lemon Bars. I finally had the push to get up and make some lemon bars!
What makes these lemon bars stand out from others is the ground almonds in the crust. Also, there is almond extract in the filling. I love that almond flavor. YUM! These bars are fantastic and I am looking forward to sharing them with friends later today.
Thanks, Holly, for a great Carnival! :)
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy
Makes 1 dozen bars
For the Crust:
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 Tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 7 lemons)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for sprinkling
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 - inch pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Make a parchment "sling" by cutting two pieces of parchment paper, measuring 16 1/2 inches long by 12 inches wide (you can also use aluminum foil). Place one piece across the length, and the other across the width of the pan, with the excess hanging over the edges. You will use this sling later to lift the finished bar from the pan. Spray the sling with the cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the almond extract and flour, and whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice, and whisk to combine.
1. Pour the lemon filling into the prepared crust. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is firm and lightly golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
The bars keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.