Over the last decade I have experienced life in places with radically different weather and have had to learn to cope. I went from enjoying mild, snowless “winters” in subtropical Vietnam to frigid temperatures and heaps of snow Chicago, before moving on to Nebraska, and now further north to Canada. Last winter we wore snow boots every day from October to April up here, I kid you not. Thus, if you have two months or less of frosty winter weather to endure, count yourself blessed. And inhale some cheering lemon essence with me as you make these cookie bars and look forward to sunnier, warmer days in the months (far or not so far) ahead.
Recipe for Citrus Swirl Lemon Bars
adapted from ihearteating
- 2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup citrus marmalade or fruit jam
- 1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). In a small to medium mixing bowl, blend together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. In another larger bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Blend in oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Combine wet and dry mixtures, stirring until just moistened. Add coconut and stir to combine. Into a greased 8 x 11-inch baking dish, spread the dough to form an even layer. Use a spoon, spatula, or your finger to press swirling or wavy trenches into the dough. Warm the jam or marmalade briefly in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop to help liquefy it a bit. Use a spoon to pour jam/marmalade into the trenches. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until middle is set.
- While the bars are cooling, make a thin frosting by whisking together orange juice and icing sugar. Drip frosting onto cooled bars, leaving some areas open to show the marmalade swirls. When frosting is dry, cut the cooled bars into 12, 18, or 24 squares.*
*Note: These bars are packed with citrus flavour, so I suggest cutting a larger number of smaller bars (18 to 24). These would be great for a party, since a little zing goes a long way!
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