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
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.
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
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