Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lemon Blondies

One day I was poking around on a few of my favorite blogs and came upon a recipe for "Lemonade Brownies". I though, "Geeze, why didn't I think of that?" I couldn't wait to make some. I seriously love, love, L-O-V-E, lemon desserts. Traditional Lemon Bars and Lemon Meringue Pie are two of my favorites and I'm always on the lookout for more lemon recipes to add to my repertoire. The recipe that piqued my interest used powdered lemonade mix as an ingredient and since I don't generally use that or have it around I went on a search for other lemon brownie recipes. I googled "Lemon Brownies" and the clicked right over to the images. Shamelessly I chose the recipe I did because I loved the picture. (It's a beaute, find it here). Apparently that blogger found the recipe on one of her favorite blogs, and that blogger found it on one of their favorite blogs, and so on, and so on. . . Funny how this whole blog, web thing happens. Anyway, I loved the picture and loved the way the recipe turned out. 
I made just two slight modifications: I took some creative license with the name. When I think of "Brownies" I automatically think chocolate, so I renamed them "Lemon Blondies". Which really isn't correct either because a true blondie has a brown sugar base and there isn't any brown sugar in these. Shhhhh, I won't tell if you don't. The second modification was that I went with a thicker more substantial icing that the glaze the original recipe called for. Once you see how super easy these are to make, you'll be making them for sure!

 Here's what you need: AP flour, sugar, salt, butter, eggs and lemons (juice and zest).

 Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.

Stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the room temperature butter and combine. The mixture will be dough-like and crumbly.

In a separate bowl beat eggs with lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add egg mixture to the bowl and mix just until you have a nice smooth batter. 

Pour the batter into your prepared 13x9 pan and level it out with an off set spatula.

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. They're ready when a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Check them at 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes until done. Don't over bake or they'll turn out dry. Cool completely.

Here is where I strayed. The original recipe included a glaze for the top but I wanted something more substantial. More like an icing but not quite a frosting. So . . . combine powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon oil (or extract) and beat until creamy. Spread evenly over the completely cooled blondies. Cut and serve.

For added sparkle and wow factor you can sprinkle the tops with coarse sanding sugar. Not necessary but I like the way it made them sparkle and I liked the bit of sugary crunch it added. The result is a lightly lemon flavored pound cake-like layer with a tangy lemon icing. My whole family really enjoyed these. I hope you will too.

Lemon Blondies
Adapted from the blog "There's always thyme to cook. . ."

1-1/2 C. all purpose flour
1-1/2 C. sugar
1 t. salt
1 C (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of whole lemon

2 C. powdered sugar
4 T. butter, softened
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. lemon oil (or 1 t. lemon extract)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line the bottom of a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Stir in butter. Mixture will be crumbly and dough like.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir the two mixtures together until you have a fairly smooth batter. Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Blondies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
For icing, beat powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon oil/extract until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly over blondies, cut and serve.