White Chocolate Citrus Bars

I’ve been thinking about Mother’s Day coming up, which made me think of this delicious little confection – probably because it is a perfect sweet treat for a ladies’ tea. Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Citrus Bars

Makes 16 large, or 32 small pieces

 

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, divided

1 c. granulated white sugar, divided

1/3 c. unsalted butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 c. (total) fresh squeezed lemon, lime and/or orange juice

1 T. (total) freshly grated lemon, lime and/or orange zest

3.75 oz. chopped real white chocolate or 3/4 c. white chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9” square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 c. of the flour and 1/4 c. of the granulated sugar. Cut in butter, using your hands to blend ingredients, until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Press mixture onto the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until the base looks just set. (Do not overbake or the base will dry out.)
  3. While the base is baking, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, citrus juice, citrus zest, remaining 1/4 c. of flour and remaining 3/4 c. of granulated sugar. Set aside.
  4. Once the base is ready, remove baking pan from the oven and sprinkle base evenly with white chocolate. Whisk the lemon mixture again and then spread it evenly over the white chocolate layer.
  5. Bake for another 13 to 15 minutes or until just set. Cool completely before cutting into bars or squares.

Tip: After zesting your lemon, lime or orange, roll it on the counter while pressing down on it with your palm. This will help you get more juice out of the fruit when you squeeze it.

Serving Suggestions: Right before serving sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. For a fancier presentation, press 1 c. of raspberry preserves through a sieve. Spoon preserves over pre-cut bars. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow preserves to firm up. Top cookies with  fresh mint leaves.

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Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

The Four-Citrus Limoncello Experiment, Part I

I’ve been wanting to make Limoncello for a few weeks now, and finally made a point of doing it today. I decided to make a four citrus variation, which I have never made before. Here is the backstory. One year I decided to make a mixed-citrus marmalade for my maternal grandmother for Christmas. I purchased all of the fruits, sliced them oh so thinly and then cooked the marmalade, only to have the sugar burn just before the marmalade gelled. So, I tried it again the next day, with the same results. This was so disappointing because I had used all of that fruit and it smelled so incredibly good on the stove. So, I went to the library and did some research. I looked up every marmalade recipe I could find and it turned out that the recipe I was using – one that I had gotten out of a magazine – called for way too much water. By that point, I totally lost my interest in making marmalade for that year. But ever since, I have loved this combination of fruits and think about my grandmother whenever I use it. Hence, I decided to experiment with this combination for a limoncello variation.

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Most limoncello recipes direct one to add zest to alcohol, allow to macerate, strain, mix with simple syrup and then continue to age the product. I have recently come across several, however, which call for adding sugar and fruit juice at the beginning, and omitting the simple syrup at the end. Out of curiosity, I am giving this a try and am hopeful that it shall work fine.  However, I decided to hold off on sharing the recipe until I know the timing and the results for certain. I wouldn’t want you to have the experience with this limoncello that I had with the marmalade. I have read that adding juice to the recipe can make the limoncello sour – that one just wants the essential oils from the lemon peel; but so far my concotion tastes wonderful and it hasn’t even been infusing for any length of time yet. Maybe the trick will be to serve it sooner. Be patient and keep your fingers crossed for me. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Have you made limoncello? Do you have a favorite recipe, variation, method or story to share?