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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lemon Ginger Bars

Gorgeous, right? I'm kinda proud of them. Almost obsessed, really, with their perfect crumb and fantastically zingy citrus-spice...zing. I was putting a plate together for some friends, so I was glad to see they would travel well. But in the end I put not-as-many-as-I-could on that plate, and kept the rest for myself. They're a lot like lemon ginger tea, which I love, but way sweeter and much more substantial. Obviously.

I think these may become one of my signature dishes (even though I didn't invent them.) Wow, they are really that good.


Lemon Ginger Bars (print recipe)
Bars:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 T ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 T honey
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)

Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon (3 T; strained before measuring)
Water, optional

1. For the bars, preheat oven to 375. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, ground ginger, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

3. Melt the 16 T butter in the microwave; use a little of the butter to grease the foil-lined baking dish. Immediately add the remaining melted butter to the dry ingredients, using a flexible spatula to blend. Add the egg, crystallized ginger, honey and lemon zest; beat vigorously to make a smooth dough. Scrape it into the baking dish. Use the palm of your hands to press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Don't be concerned if the dough looks greasy, or as though some of the butter has separated out.

4. Bake the bars until firm and lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. They will rise slightly.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: use a small flexible spatula to mix the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to form a smooth glaze. If the mixture is too thick, add up to 1/2 tsp water or lemon juice.

6. As soon as the dough has baked, place a cutting board over the baking dish and use oven mitts to invert the hot slab onto the board. Remove the pan and foil and replace with a separate cutting board. Turn right side up and remove the top board. Immediately brush on the lemon glaze so that it sets as the slab cools. When it is completely cool, cut into 2-inch squares or triangles.

Recipe from Bake! Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking by Nick Malgieri

2 comments:

ARLENE said...

They are, indeed, gorgeous and I know I'd love the taste. I'm bookmarking them now.

Lisa said...

These sound exactly like the kind of bars that I would love. Anything with lemon and ginger just makes my mouth sing. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your bars up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweets-for-saturday-11.html

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