Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lemon Meringue Bars


I celebrated Galentine's Day this year instead of Valentine's Day.  I saw someone on television talking about how she celebrated Galentine's Day with her girl friends, and I liked that idea.  I had several of my girl friends over for dinner and we had a great time eating, talking, and just enjoying the evening.  I made Italian Beef and Leslie brought a salad and bread sticks from the Olive Garden (yummy!).  Chocolate covered strawberries and homemade chocolate turtles were another addition from Liz. There's nothing better than chocolate covered strawberries and my favorite candy is turtles, so I was in heaven with those desserts.  I never knew that homemade turtles could taste as good as Libs Candy, but they did.  (That will be on my list to make in the near future).  To top it off I made Sangria., since you have to have a fun drink on girl's night.  The next time you're without a Valentine just celebrate with the friends in your life and celebrate Galentine's Day.  

I bought a whole sack of lemons for the Sangria, because a whole sack was cheaper than just buying one or two lemons.  Needless to say, I had leftover lemons, and that is what my theme is - lemons.  Lemons kind of warm you up and make you think about warmer weather.  They are tart and can perk you up.  I found this recipe in my pile, and I had cut it out of Woman's Day Magazine in 2004.  I've been wanting to make this recipe for years apparently.  My nephew, Cayden, spent some time with me Sunday and we made this together.  He is interested in everything and was happy to help me whip this up.  It's a simple recipe and  Kayden liked cracking the eggs.  He used his hands to help me spread the cookie dough in the pan.  He wasn't a fan of licking the bowl and that is disturbing to me.  That's the best part of baking.  lol  Anyway, It tasted great and was very refreshing. The lemon flavor was just right.   It tasted like Lemon Meringue Pie, but there was no cooking over the stove or waiting for it to cool before adding the meringue.  You need to serve it the day you make it, because meringues just don't taste as good a day later.  If you want a taste of spring, give this recipe a try.

Lemon Meringue Bars

1 batch of basic cookie dough (or bought cookie dough)

Lemon Filling
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 T freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)

Whites of 3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 t cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with foil, letting foil extend over pan at both ends.  Coat foil with nonstick spray.
2.  Pat dough over bottom and slightly up sides of pan.
3.  Bake 15 minutes or until pale golden and firm when gently pressed.
4.  Meanwhile make Filling:  In a food processor or with a mixer, process or beat ingredients until blended.  Pour over hot crust.  Bake 20 minutes until filling sets slightly.
5.  Meringue:  Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with mixer on high speed until foamy.  Add vinegar; beat until soft peaks form.  Beat in sugar, about 1 T at a time.  Beat 5 minutes more or until shiny, stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted.
6.  Spread the meringue over Filling to cover, making swirls with back of a spoon.
7.  Bake 15 to 18 minutes until peaks of meringue are golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  Lift foil by ends onto cutting board; cut in bars.

recipe adapted from
Women's Day Magazine

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