For some reason...my friends and I have been such little chefs lately! We try to get together every once in a while and catch up over a potluck brunch or in this case a fabulous dinner!
Kelli has been perfecting her now famous Chicken Enchiladas and it was time for us to taste them (!) so we all thought of something to contribute and gathered at her house for a fun night in with the girls. (At one point we had 6 girls packed into the kitchen! I mean...it was definitely a little chaotic but a ton of fun!)
Laura made some killer Guacamole for us to snack on!
Cheryl mastered the ever-popular Mexican Street Corn (called Elote). She took corn on the cob and topped it with Crema Mexicana (Mexican sour cream), Cotija Cheese, Chile Powder and a little Lime Juice...I def recommend trying this at home...SO GOOD!
Kelli's super tasty Chicken Enchiladas (she even makes her own tomatillo sauce...from scratch!)
...and I was in charge of dessert! Now I know Lemon Bars don't exactly have an association with Mexico...and I'm going to bet you won't find them on any dessert menus at your local Taco spot...however, that's the beauty of dining with your friends, you can make whatever you want! Kelli and I had decided earlier in the day that Lemon Bars sounded divine!
I was a little scared because this was the first time I was making legit Lemon Bars...completely from scratch...nothing from a box. As everyone else kept popping out masterpieces for our dinner, I knew the pressure was on and I just prayed that these bars were going to seal the deal!
Thank goodness they were a hit!! These are by far the absolute best Lemon Bars I have ever tasted (and I'm not just saying that because I made them!)...they have all the components that make up an amazing Lemon Bar: Rich and buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust with a smooth, tart filling that has just the right amount of lemon-y sweetness and a little pucker...just make them, you will see!
Here's what you need:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13 baking pan.
1. Begin with the crust: Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Then with the electric mixer on low, slowly add the flour/salt mixture to the butter/sugar until mixed, creating a dough.
3. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking pan, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill for 10 minutes.
(Note: There comes a time when you need to adapt recipes in order to make them your own. You know what you like and what works or doesn't after the 1st time making something. In the pictures you will see that I pressed the dough onto a baking sheet...big mistake! You definitely need to use a pan, otherwise the lemon filling will spill over and everything will be ruined!)
4. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
5. For the lemon layer: In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.
(Some may refer to this process as "quisking". A term, accidentally, coined by Kelli's subconscious which we have deciphered to mean "to quickly whisk"...you kinda had to be there...too funny!)
6. Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares, triangles, or whatever your little heart desires!