The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. In other words, I’ve been baking my buns off.
First, I had the amazing opportunity to participate as an exhibitor at the IACP Culinary Expo in New York City. I’m not going to lie, I had a teensy, tiny meltdown while making 500 samples of Campfire (S’mores) Cookies, Boozy Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars, Lemon Poundcake and Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes. I managed to pull through. It’s what I do. (It would have been really interesting if I had attempted to call myself…sigh).
The IACP event was a wonderful experience. I felt like I’d died and gone to [food] heaven. Imagine a room packed with representatives from your favorite brands, food bloggers galore and plenty of samples – oh, the samples! Let’s just say the event has made it on to the list of the top 10 days of my life.
|TRB’s booth in the Taste of the 5 Boros
section of the Culinary Expo
|Mini Flourless Chocolate Cakes|
|Boozy Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars|
|Campfire (S’mores) Cookies|
Before I could hang up my apron, Easter was here. (Time to make the donuts Pizza Rustica…) The Cake Boss recipe didn’t disappoint, and there were plenty of smiles around the table.
As impressive as this masterpiece of dough, meat and cheese is, the Lemon Raspberry Bars I whipped up for dessert completely stole the show.
Truth be told, I’d never attempted lemon bars. Not for any particular reason. I just didn’t get around to it. Although, I’d do a couple of things differently next time (i.e., use a 9-inch square pan as the recipe recommends and spread less raspberry jam on the crust), the results were quite good.
Lemon Raspberry Bars
(Recipe from Brandy’s Baking)
For the Crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
For the Lemon Topping:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp flour
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ square baking pan with baking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Prepare the crust: Combine all the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Press evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, then let cool for 15 minutes.
3. Prepare the lemon topping: Combine all the topping ingredients, except the raspberry preserves, in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Spread the raspberry preserves evenly over the baked crust. Slowly pour the lemon topping mixture over the raspberry layer. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325F and continue baking for 20-25 minutes longer or until topping is set.
4. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
What did you bake up for the Easter and Passover holidays? Share your recipe with us! Post a comment below.