Lemon Squares

I attened a very impressive “Cookie Party” last Sunday hosted by a young woman with a passion for baking that borders on maniacle. Only kidding Danielle. Actually, the amount of time and energy that goes into putting this party together is a little crazy. Danielle tells me that she starts baking pretty much around the clock 3 days before the big event. She bakes about 12 different types of cookies in addition to a Gingerbread house which you can see above.

I asked Danielle which of the cookies were the crowd’s favorite, and the Lemon Squares were the winner hands down. So, she has been kind enough to share her recipe. I hope you enjoy the recipe and the pictures from Danielle’s annual “Cookie Extravaganza.”

1 C all purpose flour
1/4 C confectioners’ sugar
6 T softened butter
1 1/2 oz softened cream cheese

2 lemons
1 C granulated sugar
3 T All Purpose Flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 large eggs
1 T confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line 8″ x 8″ baking pan with greased aluminum foil, making sure it extends over the rim.
For crust: In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar, and cream cheese. Add in flour and beat until dough forms.
Press dough onto bottom of pan and bake for about 30 minutes and lightly browned.

For lemon filling: Grate 1 tsp lemon peel and squeeze 1/2 C lemon juice from lemons into a small bowl.(if you don’t get enough juice, it’s ok to use the lemon juice from that REALEMON container we all have in the fridge)
Whisk in granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and eggs. Whisk until smooth.
Pour the filling over the warm crust and bake until filling is light golden brown and set, about 25 minutes.
Cool completely on wire rack. Once cooled, transfer foil to a cutting board; carefully run a knife between the edge of bars and foil to separate. Cut into squares.
Put in fridge to chill for a couple of hours. Bring to room temperature before serving (about 1/2 hour) and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.