Thursday, April 26, 2012

Low Calorie Lemon Bars

I came across these lemon bars a couple of years ago on a blog called Cooking Done Light, bookmarked the recipe, and then completely forgot about it.  I found it today when I was looking for something lemony to make for The Captain.  He has been doing lots of little things for me lately and I wanted to make him something new and lemony to say Thank You.  Lemon is his favorite flavor, and I think caramel is a close second.

This lemon bar recipe did the trick... as soon as I started to zest the lemons, he commented on how good that smelled, so I knew he would be happy with the results.  And he was.  Win win.  Gotta love that.

I never have pastry flour on hand, so I just used whole wheat flour and hoped for the best.  And the two small lemons I had didn't yield  the 2 Tbs of zest that the original recipe calls for so I just used what they gave me.... but when I squeezed the juice from them, I did make sure to include some of the pulp too. I think it enhanced the flavor.  I squeezed the lemons into a 1/3 cup measure and then just topped it off from a bottle of lemon juice from concentrate.

Here is how I made them.  And I calculated my own Nutrition Information as the numbers given in the blog post just didn't make sense to me (unfortunately as they are about half of what I came up with).

I hope you will give them a try.

Low Calorie Lemon Bars
Makes 12 servings
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of additional icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and and lightly coat the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Beat the 1/4 cup of icing sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy.
  3. Gradually add the 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly. Make sure not to overmix.
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until just golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack and lower the oven temperature to 325° F.
  6. While the oven temperature reduces, whisk the eggs on medium speed until foamy.
  7. Add the white sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until combined.
  8. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and return to the oven until “set”, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Do not touch the filling with your fingers or it will stick to them and you will have a big dent in your bars!  
  10. Cool completely (about an hour at least) on a wire rack, then cut into 12 squares and dust with icing sugar.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 136 calories; Protein 2g; Carbohydrate 22g; Fat  4g; Fibre 0g.

Mix butter and icing sugar together...

until creamy and light.

Add whole wheat flour a bit at a time and mix until crumbly.  Don't overmix.

With your fingers or the back of a spoon, press the mixture into prepared baking pan.

Remove from oven after is is golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

While crust and oven are cooling, beat eggs till frothy, the mix in the white sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pour over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until it is 'set'.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Allow to completely cool before trying to slice... Don't touch it!  It takes about an hour to cool enough to cut.  You can hold your hand above it, and when you no longer feel heat, it will be all right to cut.

It shrinks and cracks a bit when it is cool.  Sprinkle with icing sugar and cut into 12 pieces.

Just barely cooled.

A lovely, creamy, lemony filling on a light crust.

The Captain asked for a double slice!

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