LEMON BARS & CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY BARS

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HedLhhfB-7Y/U2XOZY8C3-I/AAAAAAAASiY/OFbPJbDMomU/s1600/LEMON+BARS.jpg

This month our Baking partners challenge is “Bar” recipes.  The recipes are for Lemon Bars, an all time favorite! and I adored the Chocolate Raspberry Walnut Bars too.

This month’s challenge was suggested by Suja from Kitchen Corner Try it!

Lemon Bars

Recipe source The Secrets of Baking, Sherry Yard and The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle

Basic short crust recipe:

All Purpose flour- 1 1/4 cup

Confectioner’s sugar- 2/3 cup

Pinch of salt

Cold unsalted butter cut into half inch cubes- 10 tbs  (1 1/4 stick)

For the filling:

Sugar- 3/4 cup

Lemon zest- 1 tablespoon

Eggs-4

Lemon juice-1 cup

Condensed milk- 1/2 cup (or milk 1/2 cup. Milk or condensed milk is optional it gives the bars a custard flavor and firmer texture)

All purpose flour- 3 tablespoons

Salt- 1/8 teaspoon

Yellow food color- 2-3 drops (optional)

Powdered sugar for dusting

To make the crust

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degree F and position rack in the center of the oven.Butter 9inch square baking pan and set aside (you can also line pan with aluminum foil)
  • Using a food processor,mix flour,sugar and salt.
  • Add pieces of butter and pulse 8-10 times till the mixture resembles coarse meal. Process until the mixture forms large clumps and holds together when pinched between two fingers (around 15-20 seconds).
  • Scrape dough into prepared pan and pat it into an even layer.
  • Using a fork prick the dough at one inch intervals.
  • Bake the crust for 20 minutes till the edges become golden brown.
  • Allow this to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the filling

  • Pulse sugar and lemon zest in a processor till it is fragrant.
  • Beat eggs and mix the sugar and whisk till it is pale yellow color.
  • Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, flour and salt.
  • Pour over the baked crust.
  • Bake at 325 degree F for18-20 minutes or until just set and firm to touch.
  • Cool in room temperature and the place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour before cutting into bars.
  • To finish dust the top of each bar with powdered sugar and serve.
  • Store lemon bars tightly warped in room temperature for two days or in the freezer for one week. (I store in the fridge)

Chocolate Walnut Raspberry Bars

Recipe source Faye Levy’s Chocolate Sensations

Walnut cookie dough

Walnuts- 1 cup (3-3/4 0z.)

Egg yolks-3

Sugar- 1/2 cup

Salt- 1/4 teaspoon

Vanilla extract-2 teaspoon

Grated lemon zest- 2 teaspoon

Chilled Unsalted butter- 1 cup ( 8 oz.)

All purpose flour- 1 3/4 cups

Chocolate Raspberry filling

Raspberry preserve- 1/2 cup

Semi sweet chocolate cut into chunks- 6 oz.

Nutty crumble topping

Sugar- 2 tablespoons

All purpose flour- 1/4 cup

Walnuts- 1/4 cup

 

To make the dough

  • Finely process nuts in a food processor and set aside.
  • Combine egg yolks, sugar,salt,vanilla,lemon zest and butter in the food processor.  Start with 10-12 pulses and the continuously pulse for 5 seconds until combined.
  • Add flour and walnuts and process for five seconds.
  • Scrape down and continue processing till the dough begins to form sticky crumbs but does not come together as a ball.
  • Put dough in a plastic bag or a wrap and press together to form a ball. Chill for one hour.
  • Pre heat oven to 350F (175C).
  • Cut out 1/4 of the dough and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Pat the remaining dough in bottom of an unbuttered 13″x9″ pan.

Filling

  • Stir preserve, using a rubber spatula.
  • Gently spread over the dough.
  • Sprinkle chocolate over the jam.

Topping

  • Cut reserve dough into small pieces. In the food processor process flour, walnuts, sugar and the cut dough till it resembles a crumbly mixture.
  • Spread this evenly over the chocolate.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crumbs are firm and light brown.
  • Cool in pan over a rack till it is lukewarm.
  • Using a sharp knife slice into bars.
  • Store in airtight containers (up-to three days in room temperature) (I store in the fridge)

Save

GLAZED STUFFED PORK CHOPS – the secret is in the sauce

Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops

4 VERY thick pork chops

8 slices oatnut bread

butter

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup apricot pineapple jam, room temperature**

1 tablespoon peach schnapps

1 large lemon, juiced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Slit each pork chop along 2 sides to create a large pocket.
  • *Toast each slice of bread well and then lightly butter.
  • Cut each piece into small squares.
  • Toss with thyme, garlic salt and pepper.
  • Stuff each pork chop with 1/3 cup of mixture.
  • Whisk together the jam, peach schnapps, red pepper flakes, ginger and lemon juice.
  • Place chops in a square greased baking dish.
  • Arrange remaining stuffing around the edges.
  • Glaze chops and stuffing tops.
  • Bake uncovered 30 minutes.
  • Turn chops, glaze chops and stuffing again. Bake another 30 minutes.

*If you prefer, prepare 1 box of stove top stuffing instead.

**Tonight I used Lemon Curd and had a distinctively fresh flavor with the same consistency.  Use whatever flavor speaks to you.

Save

Cinnamon Chocolate Babka Muffins

Cinnamon Chocolate Babka Muffins

DOUGH

1/2 cup whole milk, warmed 110 degrees

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons instant rapid rise yeast

1 large egg at room temperature

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

  • Using a stand mixer, use a paddle to combine the milk, sugar and yeast, stirring to blend.
  • Add the egg, flour and salt mixing on low until a sticky dough begins to form.
  • Mix in the butter until well blended with no remaining chunks.
  • Switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 10 minutes. The dough will be loose and sticky.
  • Butter a large bowl.  Add dough, cover with tea towel and let rise until doubled in a warm place. This will take 1-2 hours.

FILLING

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

  • Chop chocolate pieces in a food processor until small coarse pieces.
  • Add brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and pulse until coarse crumbs.
  • Set aside.

EGG WASH

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • Whisk together until well blended.

STREUSEL TOPPING

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

  • In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and flour.
  • Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Set Aside.

ASSEMBLY

  • VERY GENEROUSLY butter 12 muffin tins OR use muffin papers for easier clean up.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface.  Gently depress the center to deflate.  Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into a 12×20 rectangle.  (flour as needed to prevent sticking)
  • Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough.
  • Roll the dough into a tight log.
  • Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (HINT: I now use dental floss for all this type of cutting.  You get a good clean cut every time.)
  • Place each piece into you prepared tin or papers.
  • Cover with your tea towel and let rise 30 minutes or so.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • After 30 minutes, brush tops with the egg wash.
  • Sprinkle each with the streusel topping.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and brown around the edges.
  • Cool completely on wire racks in the tin. (I use the papers because I like them warm, but the come out of the tins better cool).