As an experienced chef and dedicated food blogger, I’m excited to unveil one of my favorite recipes: Low Calorie Lemon Bars. If you’re a fan of bright and tangy flavors, you’re in for a treat! These luscious bars strike the perfect balance between zingy lemon and a guilt-free indulgence. Let’s dive into the world of citrusy bliss together.
Low Calorie Lemon Bars
- 1 8 inch square baking pan
- 1 wire rack
- ¼ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- additional confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Beat the 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the 1/2 cup of pastry flour and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until just golden brown (about 10 to 12 minutes). Cool on a wire rack and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- While the oven temperature reduces, whisk the eggs on medium speed until foamy. Add the granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until combined.
- Pour the mixture over the baked crust and return to the oven until “set” (about 20 to 25 minutes – do not touch the filling with your fingers or it will stick to them and you will have a big dent in your bars!) Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into 12 squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
To ensure the best results when making Low Calorie Lemon Bars, here are some valuable cooking tips and tricks to keep in mind. Additionally, I’ll share insights on common mistakes to avoid, so you can achieve a perfect batch every time.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: For a smoother batter and even baking, make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before using them. Cold ingredients can result in an uneven texture and affect the overall taste.
- Zest First: When preparing the lemon zest for the filling, be sure to zest the lemons before juicing them. It’s much easier to extract the zest from whole lemons, and the zest adds an intense citrus flavor to the bars.
- Press the Crust: When pressing the crust mixture into the baking dish, use the back of a spoon or a measuring cup to create an even layer. Press firmly to ensure a solid and uniform base that holds together when sliced.
- Avoid Overbaking: Keep a close eye on the bars while they’re in the oven to prevent overbaking. The edges should be lightly golden, and the center should be set with a slight jiggle. Overbaking can lead to a dry texture and loss of the vibrant lemon flavor.
- Allow Cooling Time: Once the bars are baked, allow them to cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares. This cooling period allows the bars to set properly and makes slicing easier.
The Best Ways To Serve And Enjoy Low Calorie Lemon Bars
Now that you’ve mastered the art of making Low Calorie Lemon Bars, let’s explore some delightful serving suggestions. These ideas will enhance the flavors and presentation of the bars, making them even more enjoyable to savor.
- Recommend Sides, Garnishes, or Beverages: Pair your lemon bars with a dollop of whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar for a touch of elegance. Fresh berries, such as raspberries or blueberries, make fantastic accompaniments, adding a burst of color and fruity goodness to each bite. For a refreshing beverage, serve the bars with a chilled glass of iced tea or sparkling lemonade.
- Suggest Different Ways to Serve: Don’t limit yourself to serving the bars as they are. Get creative and transform them into a delectable lemon trifle by layering crumbled bars, whipped cream, and lemon curd in dessert glasses. Alternatively, crumble the bars and use them as a topping for yogurt or ice cream for a delightful lemony twist.
- Elevate with Citrus Syrup: For an extra burst of lemon flavor, consider drizzling the bars with a homemade citrus syrup. Simply mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with a touch of sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow the syrup to cool slightly before pouring it over the bars.
- Brunch Delight: Low Calorie Lemon Bars make a fantastic addition to brunch spreads. Serve them alongside other breakfast treats like muffins, scones, and fresh fruit. The bright and tangy flavors of the bars provide a refreshing contrast to savory dishes like quiches or frittatas.
- Party Platter: Cut the bars into bite-sized squares and arrange them on a platter for a party or gathering. Sprinkle some edible flowers or mint leaves on top for an elegant touch. These bite-sized treats are sure to be a hit among your guests.
Can I make Low Calorie Lemon Bars ahead of time?
Absolutely! These bars can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They actually taste even better after chilling, as the flavors meld together.
Can I freeze the Lemon Bars?
Yes, you can freeze the bars for longer storage. Cut them into squares and place them in a freezer-safe container, separating the layers with parchment paper. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
How do I store any leftover bars?
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help maintain their freshness and prevent them from drying out. Enjoy within 3 days for the best taste and texture.
Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?
While fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice if fresh lemons are not available. Just make sure to choose a high-quality brand without any additives or preservatives.
Can I reduce the sugar in the recipe?
Yes, you can reduce the sugar slightly if you prefer a less sweet version. However, keep in mind that sugar not only adds sweetness but also helps balance the tartness of the lemon. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences, but be cautious not to compromise the texture and flavor.
Dive into a world of tangy delight with my Low Calorie Lemon Bars recipe. Uncover tips and tricks for perfecting these luscious treats while avoiding common pitfalls. Join the culinary journey, share the recipe, and subscribe to my blog for more mouthwatering creations.