You knew the healthy recipes wouldn't last, right? The butter and sugar are back, but it's dessert—indulge yourself!
There are lots of recipes for lemon bars. In our household we often make the one that my daughter brought home from middle school. (And after the treacle slice recipe a few weeks ago, I'm looking for a good use for most of a jar of lemon curd—suggestions welcome!) This recipe is a little different.
Cream Cheese Lemon Bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9" square pan.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup chopped walnuts (I like mine finely chopped, but you can do what you want)
½ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
Beat together the flour, nuts, sugar and butter. Press half of it in the cake pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until it is lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven.
Grated rind and juice of one small lemon (note: My market happened to have Meyer Lemons this past week, so I bought a few—I really want to encourage them to branch out. Meyer Lemons have a slightly different flavor than other lemons, and a more vivid outer rind.)
1 cup cream cheese (not the fat-free kind)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
Beat together, first, the lemon rind, lemon juice, cream cheese and sugar (a hand or stand mixer works best). Then beat in the milk, vanilla and egg.
Spoon the mixture over the baked bottom crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the crust/topping over the top.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool on a wire rack, then chill.
Cut into bars.
I'll confess, these are a little hard to get out of the pan. Currently I'm coveting a baking pan I saw in Ireland last year: square, about 3" deep, with a removable bottom. It would be perfect for this.