Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Cooky Book: Lemon Squares

The Recipe: Lemon Squares from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book

The Substitutions: none.

The Verdict: Severe disappointment. There are a million recipes for lemon squares. Everyone has their favourite specifications: the right crust, the right amount of filling, and the right balance between sweet and sour. When I was making this recipe I said to myself "there is not enough lemon juice in here. I should up the lemon juice." But did I do it? Not really.

Last year's lemon bars (and I can't remember what recipe I used for the life of me) were too tart, so I was a bit gun-shy about going off-recipe and adding a bunch of extra lemon. The recipe only calls for two tablespoons. I juiced a small lemon and it yielded about three tablespoons and I put all of it in. Still, not nearly tart enough. Not even close. The lemon flavor is faint, at best. I also think that there is generally not enough filling or, alternately, the crust is too thick. I also baked this for the minimum time (and with my oven I usually have to bake for the max), and it was too brown in the middle in too chewy around the edges.

So is this a flawed recipe? Perhaps. Or perhaps those of you who don't like anything that's too tart would love it. But why would you make lemon squares if you don't like things that are tart? Anyway, it'll be back to the drawing board next Christmas, but for now these are happily hanging out in the freezer, ready to hit my holiday cookie plate. Because while they're not perfect, they're still lemon squares, which is worth something.

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