25 June 2011

Dreamy Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars


Oh my lordy. If i havn't put on a good few pounds today due to these little bites of creamy goodness I will be incredibly impressed with my metabolism.

I have been wanting to make these since I first saw them on Tasty Kitchen. It was a recipe also featured on the Pioneer Woman's blog, and for those that don't know of Ree's work, any recipe advocated by her is literally 100% bound to be wonderful, seriously check out her page now, she's a genius and an inspiration.

The 2 recipes are almost identical except for PW's being baked in a slightly smaller pan (8 x 11 inches compared to 9 x 13) with slightly less flour and butter to compensate. This is where my adaptation goes for a cross-country trek a little bit off track...basically I started out happily mixing away the dry ingredients for a half batch of the 9x13 version as I only have an 8x8" pan, when it came to pressing in half of this dry mix into the pan it looked like a stupidly little amount that simply wouldn't have covered the base, im not sure quite what happened but all turned out in the end, stick with me!

Long story short, I dumped all the mix (ie half batch dry) into the pan as the base, made a full batch of the lemony mixture (by this point i thought 'sod it, I love lemon, lets just do a monster version') and then made another half a batch of dry for the top (of which I used about 3/4). End result, essentially the full 9x13 recipe crammed into an 8x8 pan.

You would have thought this would have turned out horrendously, as I most certainly did, but as the devilishly delicious smell of the bars cooking invaded the house I began to feel a little more optimistic, and, after an extra 5 minutes added cooking time, one of the most yummy things I have made to date was sitting on my worktop taunting me.

Im impatient and couldn't wait for them to cool, I mean lets be fair who can resist trying freshly baked goods straight from the oven even if they are meant to be served cold, I truly don't think its humanly possible. I fell in love. The crisp, comforting toasty crumb giving way to the smooth, refreshingly lemony cream layer; utterly addictive. Weirdly they didn't turn out as thick as might be expected, I think they are pretty perfect and wouldn't change my haphazardly concocted version if I was to make them again (and trust me...I will!)

Go make them....now, just do it! If you don't trust me (im not offended...much..) go check out the reviews on the other sites, THEN make them!

Below is the recipe as I will make it in the future, but I have included the links to the other recipes if you wish to try them out instead :)

Update: just ate another hunk of a piece dainty slice straight from the fridge as recommended, i didnt think they could get better but my goodness. mmm. another test bite needed i think...

Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 cup (4oz/1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup oats
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and prepare an 8 x 8 inch pan

Mix together the butter and sugar until well combined

Add the oats and sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until evenly incorporated

Press roughly 2/3 dry mix into the bottom of the pan and set the remainder aside

In a separate bowl stir together the condensed milk and lemon juice (zest too if using) until completely smooth and spread over the base layer evenly using a spatula

Sprinkle over the remaining crumb mix, do not press

Bake for 30-35 minutes and allow to cool completely*

Store in the refrigerator and serve cold

*if you have the patience of a saint

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  1. oh, my, those look fabulous. LOVE lemon anything. thanks for sharing!

  2. I love PW's recipes too. All of them work perfectly. The lemon bars look heavenly! Thank you for your nice comment and visit!

  3. The sweet lingering playfulness of Condensed milk and the twang of fresh vibrant lemon. Ow it's like my childhood all over again. What a lovely bars! Looking forward to see more of your bakingventures Sasha.

  4. Hi Sasha, thank you for stopping by at mine! :)

    Hey, I feel like grabbing the crumbed bar now...anything with lemon! :D

  5. Hi :)
    I so LOVE the name of your blog--I can RELATE! The beauty of procrastobaking is the feeling of accomplishment you get while you're busy whisking and what-not. Unlike with other forms of procrastination, where that nagging guilt just doesn't go away, not allowing you to enjoy whatever you're procrastinating with!

    Anyhow! Your story of how halving a recipe can be heart-stoppingly fun made me nod and smile. And your photos are gorgeous--really liking the effect of rounded edges, makes me feel like I'm peeking into your kitchen :)

  6. Oh wow, these look amazing. I would put on some pounds too, but because I'd eat 3 or 4 of the whole baking pan, hehe. Thanks for visiting my blog it's so nice to meet you :)

  7. It turned out great with all the ingredients combined together.

  8. I love PW's recipes too and this one looks fabulous. I love lemon in any incarnation and I don't think I'd be able to stop myself from eating a whole pan of these!

  9. THis looks absolutely fantastic! Lemon is a wonderful dessert -- so light and summer-y :-)

    Hope you decide to give pancakes for breakfast a go-- I have a feeling you will enjoy them.

  10. Hi Sasha! YUM! I love the lemon bars! I'm not a baker, so only lemon bars are from some pastry shops. One day I'd love to make a lemon bar just like yours!

  11. Oh gosh, thank you ALL for such lovely comments!

    @PFx you have such a way with words, i checked out your blog and was especially taken with the Goan Pork Vindaloo, ive always wanted to try my hand at a vindaloo and your recipe looks really tasty but managable :)

    @Nami @ Just One Cookbook Firstly you dont have to be a baker to have a crack at these easy little things, if i can manage these then there is NO doubt you could! Your cooking skills far outweigh mine :)

    @F.emme What a lovely personal comment, thank you! Procrastobaking is indeed the best form of procrastination :) i cant believe you said my photos are gorgeous! im extremely flattered but i have an insane amount to learn, i dont really know where to start! Trial and error i suppose :)

  12. These bars look fabulous. I adore the name of your blog as well. I'm going to be using that myself. I LOVE procrastobaking! See, it totally works.

  13. I'm sold. These sound fantastic! Seriously. AND I happen to have everything on hand :)

  14. I made a similar recipe yesterday. I think it was this one with a few changes. They are really delicious. My husband thinks that it is very sweet though. Is there anything we can do to change this?

  15. Thank you Barefeet In The Kitchen and Tonya - What's On My Plate, I can vouch for their scrumminess :)

    @Eftychia I am afraid I am not entirely sure how you could tone down the sweetness, lowering the amount of sugar could alter the consistency of the base for the negative, you could try making the base recipe then altering the sugar content of the topping but this defeats the simplicity of the recipe i suppose! Upping the lemon content might help, more lemon is always a good thing!
    if all else fails, just keep them for yourself and make something different for the other half, that way there is more for you and everyone is happy! :)

  16. Whoa! These look so good and perfectly summery!

  17. @Megan Megan I just went on your blog and it is BEAUTIFUL! So many recipes I wanted to make and devour, I couldnt find a subscribe by email link but if there was one I would! Will be a regular follower from now on and thank you so much for your comment :)

  18. i would have done the same with the lemon layer...i love lemon! these look great and one would never know that you had any mishaps!