Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

I am seriously addicted to Pinterest, even though I swore I had no need in my life for it and resisted joining for several weeks. Instead, I decided I do need it - it inspires me everytime I login. And who doesn't need a little extra inspiration in their life? However, I refuse to be one who just pins cool things and never does anything with them. While I hope to attempt some home decor and fashion related items I have pinned, I'm most comfortable with anything cooking related. So, I've already been using it as a source of new recipes and techniques to try. And that's where I found this recipe!

(if you want an invite to Pinterest, let me know! If you're already on, follow me!).

The recipe, while found on Pinterest, is originally from Jason is a huge lemon fan and who doesn't like cream cheese? It looked summery, light, and easy to make. I had my doubts about it even up until I pulled the pan from the oven to cool. Since I am not a natural baker, I am still learning my way around baking techniques. The bottom layer is crumbly and dry when you press it into the (ungreased!) pan. I just knew it would stick and burn to the bottom and taste like dry cake mix. Then, you mix this liquidy batter to pour on top that's supposed to bake until firm. It was practically liquid when I put it in the oven - not even thick like a brownie batter. However, I rolled with it and sure enough, after letting the pan cool, it was actually a decently looking baked good!

My mom came over about the time I iced them and I, holding my breath, cut into it. We shared a bite and both deemed them delicious. They are not overly lemon nor tart but they are creamy, light, and delicious. And she explained that the liquid soaked into the dry mix on the bottom to help it bake and cause it to not stick to the pan. Which I should have known but just didn't think too much about...

Give them a try!

Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine - softened
3 eggs
8 ounces cream cheese - softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lemon - grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, blend dry cake mix, butter, and 1 egg. Press into a 9 x 13 pan, ungreased.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar.

Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth. Remove 1/2 cup of this mixture and refrigerate it for later use.

Beat the remaining 2 eggs, add the vanilla, and then beat this mixture into the remaining cream cheese mixture until well blended. Spread over the cake mixture.

Bake at 350° until set, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool completely.

Spread the reserved cream cheese mixture onto the bars. Refrigerate until firm; then cut into squares and serve.

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