While my blog is mainly about my design business, I don’t want it to be all design, all the time. Mostly because my life isn’t solely design . . . it’s made up of all kinds of things, and that includes food. I love to cook. I know a lot of people out there dislike cooking and never, ever look forward to it. Me? Sure, I have nights where making dinner is absolutely the last thing I feel like doing. But when I have a new recipe to try or a tried-and-true favorite that we know is going to be to-die-for, I look forward all day to coming home and making it. Seriously. I think about it all day.
I never cooked before I got married, unless I was by myself at home and felt like making a crazy concoction. My favorite channel was the Food Network, but that didn’t mean I was automatically some great chef. However, it definitely inspired the food lover in me. And when I say “food lover”, I don’t mean I actually like all foods. As my parents, extended family, and my husband can attest to, I’m a pretty picky eater. I barely tolerated vegetables, even through college, although now that I cook I’m tolerating them much better.
Speaking of being picky, I really disliked lemon desserts growing up. My mom would always buy Thin Mints and Lemonades from the Girl Scouts . . . loved Thin Mints, never touched Lemonades. I still like a chocolate flavor way better than lemon, but I’ve come a long way in my lemon-liking tastes. Especially during the summer, when rich chocolate desserts aren’t all that appetizing at hot, sticky, sweaty cookouts. To me, a fruity dessert is lighter and doesn’t make you feel like you gained 100 pounds later.
I took these Lemon Creme Streusel Bars to a potluck this past weekend, and they were a hit. I saw quite a few people sneaking seconds.
I found the recipe originally on Cooking Classy. She has way better pictures than I do.
Her recipe is for an 8×8 pan, but I did a recipe and a half, to make a 9×13 pan. Yes, that included a lot of calculations and things like “1.875 cups of flour” but, hey, it worked. They were perfect and SO delicious!
You see that thick, amazing crust? To die for. This is one of my new favorite desserts!
Here’s the recipe:
Lemon Creme Streusel Bars (originally from Cooking Classy)
- 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 c. old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 t. + 1/8 t. salt
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 T. finely grated lemon zest (I had a handy husband that grated the zest and juiced the lemons for me! Saved me so much time.)
- 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 t. lemon extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. Stir in both sugars and mix until no clumps remain.
- Stir vanilla into melted butter and pour over dry ingredients. Use a spoon to stir until mixture is evenly moistened.
- Press half of mixture into a greased 8×8 pan and gently press. Bake 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, zest, juice, egg yolks, and lemon extract until well blended. Pour over crumb crust and spread into even layer. Top with rest of streusel mixture. Bake 23-26 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove and allow to cool at room temperature. Place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before slicing into bars.