Lemony goodness

By Lori Mork

LUSCIOUS LEMON DESSERT
This recipe has been around forever, but is always a favorite for many.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, divided
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (3.4 oz.) packages lemon instant pudding mix
2-2/3 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, 1/2 cup pecans and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press into bottom of an 8×11-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let stand to cool.
Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add 1 cup whipped topping to cream cheese mixture and fold in gently. Spread over cooled crust.
Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until thickened. Spread on top of cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Chill covered for one hour. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

LEMON RASPBERRY BARS

INGREDIENTS:
For the crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon

For the filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 (14 oz.) can fat-free sweetened
condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
6 oz. fresh raspberries

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into prepared pan, pressing crumbs one inch up side of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Once the crust is cool, combine egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture slightly thickens. Gently fold in raspberries so you don’t break them apart.
Pour lemon raspberry filling evenly over graham cracker crust. Bake 15 minutes or until just set.
Cool to room temperature, then chill at least one hour before serving. Cut into bars. Keep bars in refrigerator up to five days.
* If you don’t fold the raspberries into the lemon mix gently, you will end up with pink bars.
* You can also use an 8×11-inch baking pan, but bars will be thinner.

LEMON SQUARES

INGREDIENTS:
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

For the filling:
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add butter and work into flour mixture with your fingers or pastry blender until it forms a dough. Press dough into bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square pan. Bake 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour over the warm crust. Bake until filling is set but not browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
Place pan on wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately. Or, wrap them in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator before serving.

LEMON BARS

INGREDIENTS:
For the crust:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room
temperature

For the filling:
4 large eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice, freshly
squeezed and strained
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Blend with an electric mixer at low speed until mixture forms coarse, sandy crumbs. Pour into pan and press mixture into an even layer. Bake 16 to 19 minutes, or until just lightly browned around the edges.
While crust is baking, make filling. Whisk together all filling ingredients in large bowl. When crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
Bake another 20 minutes, or until filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
Cool completely before slicing.
Top slices with confectioners sugar to serve.
Makes about 24 bars.

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.

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