Cookbook Feature Friday: Lemon Bars

Paula Deen’s Southern Baking Cookbook includes this delicious lemon bar recipe.

Happy Cookbook Feature Friday! Today’s post is all about the tart, cold and sugar-dusted lemon bar. Featuring one of Paula Deen’s latest cookbooks, Southern Baking, these bars are super easy to make and serve as the perfect treat when you want a little something sweet.

One of the coolest moments of my life was getting to gift Paula Deen my own book, while attending her book signing

I was outside in my front yard the other day, when my neighbor approached carrying a tray of several bottles of freshly squeezed lemon juice. She has a big Meyer lemon tree, and just before the fruit expired, she had to come up with a way to use up all the lemons that hadn’t been picked. She gifted several neighbors with the juice, and I put it to good use right away! What a sweet gesture.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice can be used in cocktails, desserts and even as a glaze.

Loved:

  • Using fresh meyer lemon juice from my neighbor’s lemon tree to make these!
  • The tart and sweet balance of this dessert
  • You can eat them cold or warm and they’re Some Kinda Good either way
  • The recipe requires only 7 ingredients.

Didn’t Love:

  • Baking with parchment paper. If you’re impatient like me, the paper is a pain to peel off the baked goods. I’d rather use baking spray and forgo the parchment paper.
  • These take a while too cool.

“Whenever you’re craving a refreshing treat, these luscious goodies will always hit the spot.”

-Paula Deen
Yum!

Lemon Bars
From the Southern Baking Cookbook by Paula Deen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with baking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, letting the excess extend over the sides. In the workbowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups flour and confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add cold butter; pulse until mixture is crumbly and just holds together when pressed with fingers. Firmly press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl. whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice and remaining 1/4 cup of flour until smooth. Pour onto hot crust (crust must be hot).

Bake until filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan before cutting into bars. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar if desired.


New to Some Kinda Good?

Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a ServSafe certified professionally trained private chef, culinary TV personality, author and food enthusiast. Featured on Forbes, Food Network Star, ABC’s The Taste and The VeryVera Show, she is the longtime Statesboro Herald food columnist and blogger at SomeKindaGood.com, your one stop shop for Southern coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Pull up a chair for cooking and entertaining tips, and easy-to-execute, flavorful recipes to share around the family table. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.

Old Fashioned Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies originated in Sweden. Known as Hallongrotta/hallongrottor in Swedish, the meaning literally translates, “raspberry cave.” I love these shortbread-style, buttery cookies because they’re so easy to make and can be customized to fit any occasion. They melt in your mouth! Continue reading “Old Fashioned Thumbprint Cookies”

Peppermint Cheesecake to Seal the Deal

I met my husband Kurt in early November of 2012, just two months before Christmas. As we got to know each other, our shared love for good food became evident. Naturally, one of the first topics of conversation we ever discussed were our favorite foods. He told me of his love for cheesecake, and I noticed that he also really enjoyed desserts and drinks with mint flavor. So, for our first Christmas together, I combined two of his favorites into one and gifted him this festive and Some Kinda Good Peppermint Cheesecake. Continue reading “Peppermint Cheesecake to Seal the Deal”

Cinnamon-Sugar Pecan Twists

Cinnamon-Sugar Pecan Twists are a sweet treat and an easy, 5-ingredient recipe to bake when you need something semi-homemade in a pinch. One 8 oz. can of crescent rolls will make about 20 twists, but don’t count on there being any leftovers! I made a batch this weekend, and packaged them up to give to my neighbors, along with a Christmas card. Food gifts make the best gifts. When you take the time to make something homemade, in my experience, folks are always appreciative. Enjoy! Continue reading “Cinnamon-Sugar Pecan Twists”

Fall for Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

AppleCake1
Rebekah’s Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake is filled with tart apples and fall spices showcasing the warm, comforting flavors of the season.

It’s pumpkin spice season, y’all! I mean, fall. Bring on the granny smith apples, the bright orange pumpkins and multi-colored gourds, the cooler weather, football season and pumpkin spice everything. Lattes, coffee creamer, candles…oh my. 

Continue reading “Fall for Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake”

Mother’s Day Dessert: Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake

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WOW! Just look at the color in this cake. Dusting the blueberries in flour allows them to distribute evenly throughout the cake, for a blueberry in every bite!

Blueberry and lemon go together like peas and carrots, and I’ve got a luscious, slightly sweet and colorful cake that combines these flavors for the ultimate Mother’s Day Dessert. Continue reading “Mother’s Day Dessert: Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake”

Follow Some Kinda Good & Receive “3 Laborless Desserts for Labor Day Weekend” FREE

Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, and if you’re like me, you want to eat good, but don’t want to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. Continue reading “Follow Some Kinda Good & Receive “3 Laborless Desserts for Labor Day Weekend” FREE”

Cooking & Baking My Way Through Culinary School

My second semester of culinary school is moving at an exciting pace. I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable in the professional kitchen, getting my bearings and learning how to use the large scale equipment. Continue reading “Cooking & Baking My Way Through Culinary School”

Pumpkin Spice Pie with Buttermilk Whipped Cream, anyone?

Pumpkin Spice Pie
Pumpkin Spice Pie

It doesn’t get more traditional than good ol’ pumpkin pie. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it! Inspired by Paula Deen’s Maple-Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie in the magazine “Paula Deen’s Fall Baking,” this recipe is a slight variation of the original, but doesn’t deviate too far off the course. Have you ever heard of Buttermilk Whipped Cream? That is a new one on me, and boy am I glad I discovered it. Thank you, Paula! Whatever you do, resist the urge to eat this pie with standard Cool Whip. Take the extra 5-minute step to make Buttermilk Whipped Cream. You won’t regret it! I took the liberty of using Pumpkin Spice Syrup instead of maple, and added just a touch more sugar. Sweet and creamy, it’s mouth-watering served warm or cold. Enjoy a slice with a cup of hot coffee and a good friend. Add this dessert to your Thanksgiving table or Autumn baking list and your entire home will beckon the changing leaves!

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Pumpkin Spice Pie
1 (15-Ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) pumpkin pie spice

One 9-inch store-bought frozen pie crust (I’m not above it!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin and next 8 ingredients. Roll thawed pie crust over 9-inch pie plate, crimping edges with a fork. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 85 to 95 minutes or until center is set and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.

Buttermilk Whipped Cream
(Makes about two cups)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon good pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat cream with a mixer at high-speed until soft peaks form. Add all remaining ingredients, and beat until stiff peaks form. Plop a big dollop on top of a slice of pie, then sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Then EAT!

 “What kind of Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where’s the turkey, Chuck? Don’t you know anything about Thanksgiving dinners? Where’s the mashed potatoes? Where’s the cranberry sauce? Where’s the pumpkin pie?” ~ Peppermint Patty

Black Bananas Get A Second Chance

Ugly, black bananas transformed into beautiful, creamy banana cake. That is all.

I never purchase bananas at the grocery store with the intention of letting them rot on the counter top, but life happens. Good thing really ripe bananas are still usable.

It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? After peeling the ugly, outer exterior off of these bananas, I tossed them in my Sunbeam mixer with sugar–and magic happened.

This is a cool trick, thanks Barefoot Contessa. Often, recipes call for room temperature eggs, but if you’re like me and forget to take your eggs out the night before, just place them in warm water for 5 minutes while your other ingredients come together.

Chopped walnuts and bananas were meant to be together.

I never understood this step. Why not just measure the ingredients and toss them in the mixer? Because something about sifting the dry ingredients gives you a nice, light and airy batter. It doesn’t take long, just do it.

Add sifted ingredients to the banana and sugar mixture…look how beautiful that is!! GOOD GOD A’MIGHTY!! It tastes amazing. Check out that swirl action.

Gently stir in walnuts.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. I cannot emphasize preparing your pan enough. There is no worse feeling than pulling a warm, delicious looking and smelling cake out of the oven only to have it stick to the pan and come apart when transferring it to a wire rack to cool. Butter and flour that thing real good!!

Perfection.

Not quite finished. Next step: Make frosting. This frosting is to die for. I mean it. Room temperature butter and cream cheese meet pure vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar and a creamy, thick, bright white frosting is born. To bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature, leave them on the counter over night or just sit them on the stove top while the oven gets warm.

 Pile it high on top of the completely cooled cake. I love the contrasting colors here.

Decorate with whole walnuts. Simplicity at its finest.

And to think I almost threw those bananas away.

The entire recipe for Old Fashioned Banana Cake can be found in Ina Garten’s cookbook, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?