Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups

Mmm...lemon :) That lovely tart and sweet in lemon curd is so delicious I had to talk myself out of eating it straight from the bowl...several times. These little cups of yum are pretty quick to prepare if you're looking for a treat or have guests coming over. There will also be some extra lemon curd left over which is never a bad thing, as I said, just don't eat it straight from the bowl as much as you want to.

When you make this be sure the make the lemon curd first and have it in the refrigerator, it doesn't need to be completely cool though but it would be helpful if it is because it will be easier to portion out into the cups. These are made in mini muffin tins which make the portioning of the dough much easier than rolling little balls of dough. 

I used the end of my rolling pin to make the indention in the hot dough and it worked really well. I also sprinkled the cups with powdered sugar then added in the lemon curd. In the original recipe you bake the cups 8 minutes, indent, add the lemon curd, then bake another 4 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the edges with powdered sugar. I did it my way because I was distracted and hadn't made the lemon curd but had baked the cups (oops) because I skimmed the recipe but didn't actually "read" it. I really like the way they turned out though because the powdered sugar on the edges but not on the lemon curd looks really pretty to me. I told you both ways though so you can do it whichever way makes you happy :).  

Happy Baking!

Lemon Bar Cookie Cups
Makes about 20

- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 egg white (use the yolk in the lemon curd)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons lemon curd (recipe below)
- powdered sugar for decorating, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar in a small bowl and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and extract. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir until combined.

3. Drop one tablespoon dough into each cup of a greased mini muffin tin. Bake for 8 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and using the end of a wooden spoon handle (I used the rounded end of my rolling pin), make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 4 minutes, or until cookies are firm and lightly browned on the sides. Remove to wire racks to cool.

5. Sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar. Fill with a teaspoon of lemon curd.

Lemon Curd
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk (use the white in the cookies)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

2. In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. (Once it was completely melted, mine thickened and reached 170ยบ in just a few minutes, so watch it closely.) It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.

3. Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

Printable recipe

Adapted from Barbara Bakes

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