I’m vowing right now to not do anything during this week other than eat well, exercise and sleep. I’ve been doing too much during the week so far this month, so I’m ready to relax and rejuvenate before I head to New Orleans in T-Minus 12 days. I need to prepare myself for what I’m sure will be an interesting experience. Kramer was in NOLA over the weekend for our friend’s bachelor party, and he said it was amazing, so I can’t wait. I have always wanted to go to New Orleans, but I worried I was never going to get the chance if Kramer was taking a separate trip! So, because I was jealous, I planned my own trip with my friends to go shortly after he got back. I couldn’t let him have all the fun. He can have his dumb bachelor party and I’ll do my own thing. Girl power and all that. So, if you have any must do, sees, eats, etc. for me, tell me now! We’re going to be there during Jazz Fest, so I understand that reservations are a must. So far we only have a few things planned, like lunch at Commander’s Palace, dinner at Root (which I’m still unsure about – can anyone confirm/deny this place, please) and I kind of want to check out Noodle and Pie. What swamp tour should we go on? What’s the scariest haunted tour? Where can I get a beignet that’s not Cafe Du Monde? Or is Cafe Du Monde truly the best? These are the burning questions that I need answers for.
Bushwick, the Williamsburg Bridge, my new favorite restaurant and a negroni. [follow me]
New Orleans trip aside, allow me to share with you the best lemon bars on the planet. In the past, I’ve felt like my lemon bars were never thick enough. I don’t want thin, limp, sad little bars. I want a shortbread crust that is sturdy enough to hold up a thick piece of perfect lemony goodness. I’ve made a few different lemon bar variations, and these are by far my favorite. Look how much lemon bar filling there is! Sure, it takes 8 eggs and 4 whole lemons, zest and all, but it’s worth it, I swear to you. I think people have this weird soft spot for lemon bars. Go ahead and ask your friends if you should make lemon bars for them. I guaranteed 4 out of 5 will respond with exactly this: “OMG I love lemon bars!” Maybe it’s because their grandma used to make them, or maybe it’s because that sweet lemon curd is too good to pass up, or maybe it’s just because people really don’t make them enough – I’m not sure, but there are never any leftovers when a batch is made. The actual recipe couldn’t be easier, so grab a carton of eggs and a bag of lemons and get to work.
Cut your butter into your flour mixture with your hands until coarse crumbs form.
Press your crust into your pan, bake, then whisk together your lemon filling.
Bake until set but not browned.
Allow the bars to cool completely before you serve them.
I promise that these are the thick, chewy lemon bars you’ve always wanted.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 8 eggs
- zest and juice of 4 large lemons
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. First, make the crust. Whisk together your flour, granulated sugar and salt, then cube your butter and use your hands to cut it into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment and press your shortbread dough into the pan as evenly as you can, but don't worry about going up the sides of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes or so, until the edges start to turn slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While your crust bakes, whisk together your eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest, sugar, flour and salt. Pour the mixture over the hot crust once it's ready, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until fully set but not browned. Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing (I refrigerated mine). You can sprinkle with powdered sugar when you're ready to serve, if you like.