Most of our friends here in Uruguay aren’t Uruguayan – immigrants are everywhere (don’t get me started on the term “expat”). Over time, we’ve learned some pretty obvious stuff: want to please a Brazilian? Bring some brigadeiro! Want to please an American? Bring lemon bars!
Sky and I went to visit some American friends who live in Pueblo Eden – I was going to make the ones I usually made, but as I had plenty of leftover coconut from the cocadas, I decided it was time to photograph the first lemon bar recipe I had ever made. Looking at the original post, I realized I must have baked that right after Patricia posted it: the recipe is from 2011, the year I moved here!
Back then, I replaced the lime for more lemon, but this time I decided to follow the recipe (well, not really, I’m always changing something). And it was great!
For a 9 x 13 inch pan, you’ll need:
65 g (2/3 cup) sweetened coconut flakes – I can never find that ingredient here, but it’s just as well: I think they’re too sweet! I used regular shredded coconut.
185 g (1 1/3 cups) flour
90 g (1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
127 g (½ cup + 1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold, and cut into cubes – You can see why a kitchen scale is a worthy investment. It’s just so much easier to measure 127 g of butter than ½ cup + 1 Tbsp!
436 g (2 cups + 3 Tbsp) sugar – I used 350 g, but next time I’ll try with even less.
50 g (1/3 cup + ½ Tbsp) flour
zests of 2 lemons – I used the zests of 3 lemons.
zests of 1 lime – I used the zests of 3 limes, I was on a roll with that Microplane! 😀
120 ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
120 ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lime juice
As most bar recipes, start by preparing the pan: butter a 9 x 13 inch pan and cover it with aluminum foil, leaving a “handle” to help remove the bars from the pan. Butter the aluminum foil WELL, being careful not to tear it. This is also the perfect time to start pre-heating your oven.
Prepare the base: if you’re using coconut flakes, place them in the food processor and pulse to grind them some. Add all dry ingredients, pulse, add the butter and vanilla, and process until a dough forms. You can also do this by hand: whisk the dry ingredients, add the cold butter cubes and the vanilla, and use your fingertips to “crush” the butter into the dough.
Press the dough on the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it turns slightly golden on the sides.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: zest the lemons and limes, being careful not to cut into the white (and bitter) part. Juice them – I needed 5 limes to get 120 ml of juice, but that always varies!
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk to combine. Add the remaining ingredients, whisk well, and set aside.
When the base is slightly golden on the sides, remove it from the oven, pour in the filling, and carefully place it back in the oven. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before placing them in the fridge for at least 2 hours. As I was running late, I placed them in the freezer for 1 hour and it totally worked! 😛
So they look a bit prettier, dust them with confectioner’s sugar. Try your best not to eat them all at once, as Sky tried to! 😀
You know, sometimes all we need is something that is simple, but looks complicated, complex, sophisticated. Or something that has a fancy name!
This recipe, from Technicolor Kitchen, fulfilled an old desire of mine: I always wanted to make Lamingtons, but was too lazy to make the traditional ones!
125 g unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup flour
1 ¼ rsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup whole milk, lukewarm
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes – I must confess I didn’t really measure! As I can’t find sweetened coconut flakes in Uruguay, I used shredded coconut.
For the icing, you’ll need:
¾ confectioner’s sugar, passed through a fine mesh sieve – can I use regular sugar? Probably NOT.
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, passed through a fine mesh sieve
1/3 cup boiling water
1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
As in brownie recipes, start by preparing the baking sheet (i used a 9 x 13 inch one): line it with aluminum foil and butter the foil – do so CAREFULLY, to prevent tears. I ran out of aluminum foil that day (the horror!), so I used parchment paper – make sure you butter it as well!
In the stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition – remember to use the silicone spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl!
Turn off the mixer. With your silicone spatula, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, until it’s all well incorporated. Mix in the milk. You’ll get a reasonably thick batter. Spread it over the baking sheet, making sure to smooth the surface with your spatula.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. This cake doesn’t raise or color much, don’t worry. Let it cool COMPLETELY in the pan over a cooling rack.
When the cake has cooled, cut it into bars – cutting before pouring the icing makes the bars look pretty on the sides! 🙂
It’s time for the ridiculously complicated icing. Ready? Mix all icing ingredients in a bowl. There. With a spoon and a little bit of patience, spread the icing over the bars. Top them with coconut and serve!
Another great thing about these bars is that they freeze PERFECTLY! Wrap individual portions in plastic wrap. When you really need something sweet, just remove from the freezer and let it thaw a little bit – they’re pretty tasty cold! 🙂
The second recipe of the Christmas Tertulias is not exactly a Christmas recipe, but it is a perfect fit for the hot weather in the Southern Hemisphere. As the idea of this series is to make edible gifts, all you have to do is place these bars in a red-and-green box and there you have it: CHRISTMAS 😀 😀
They are also a great dessert for Christmas Dinner. We know your aunt is bringing
pudim (Brazilian-style flan), but you can innovate and bring these! 🙂
Lemon bars are also one of Sky’s favorite desserts: I first baked them because every time I baked something, he’d say “oh, this is pretty good, but you could make lemon bars, you know…” I’m glad he insisted, though, because these are really good! I’ve tried many recipes, but this one, by Ree Drummond, is one of the most traditional.
To fill a 20 x 30 cm (8 x 11 inch) pan with lemon bars <3, you’ll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract – “an invention from my head,” as Grandma would say
225 g butter, cold and chopped into small cubes
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Zest and juice of 5 lemons
Confectioner’s sugar, for decoration
Start by lining the baking pan (20 x 30 cm, 8 x 11 inch) with aluminum foil − leave extra foil on the sides to form handles, so that removing the bars from the pan isn’t a traumatizing process 😀 – there’s no need to butter the foil, as there’s plenty of butter in the dough!
For the crust: in a medium-sized bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and the vanilla and use the tip of your fingers (or a pastry cutter) to mix the ingredients until it looks like fine crumbs. Press this dough onto your baking pan and bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sides are light golden. Don’t bake any more than that, as these will go back to the oven! 🙂
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Use your whisk to mix the sugar and flour. Add the eggs, mixing well, and then add the lemon zest and juice. Mix and set aside. As this whole process takes about 3 minutes, do the dishes! 😀
Remove the crust from the oven, carefully pour the filling, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is firm. Remove from the oven and cool it for a while before placing in the fridge for about 2 hours – it’s a lot easier to cut them when they’re cold!
Remove the chilled bars from the pan, using the aluminum foil. For extra prettiness, sift a generous layer of confectioner’s sugar over the bars. Cut them into 5-cm (2-inch) squares. Place the bars in a cute box (if you have to pile them, separate the layers with wax paper), and there’s your gift!
This is the 100th recipe of Tertúlias de Forno e Fogão! Nothing goes better with the cold weather than a nice hot cinnamon roll! This is a wonderful recipe for Valentine’s Day’s brunch (which, in Brazil, we celebrate on June 12, for some crazy reason).
A while back, I tested a wonderful recipe by Technicolor Kitchen: raspberry jam rolls. It was my first attempt at “rolls,” and it was a major hit. After eating about four rolls, Sky asked me: “when are you making cinnamon rolls?”
I looked for a recipe, but I didn’t seem to like any! So I finally decided to do the obvious: I combined the jam rolls dough with a filling of my own creation. It was fantastic!
For the dough, you’ll need:
1 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
2/3 cup (160ml) whole milk, lukewarm
55 g granulated sugar
450 g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling, you’ll need:
120 g butter
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ Tbsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts – optional.
For the (very optional) frosting, you’ll need
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Naturally, we’ll start with the dough. In a big bowl, mix the yeast, the milk, and 1 Tbsp of the sugar. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. When the mixture has bubbled, with a layer that looks like beer foam, it’s time to add the rest of the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Mix with a silicon spatula until all ingredients are incorporated.
Now it’s time to put your gym membership to a good use: knead! (Or just use a stand mixer with a hook attachment). Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. When this happens, shape it into a ball, and place it back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
While the dough rises, you can prepare the filling: melt the butter and mix the honey, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Chop the walnuts and set aside.
If, like me, you don’t have a nice counter to work with, cover a table with plastic wrap, so it’s easier to roll out the dough and clean up! 😀
Butter a baking pan – mine was 8 x 12 inches, and it was just right.
Now that the dough has risen, it’s time to roll it out. Lightly flour your work surface and use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 24 x 10-inch rectangle.
Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 0.5-inch border uncovered. It may seem like you won’t have enough filling, but spread it nicely and it will cover everything. Sprinkle the walnuts.
Starting from the widest side, roll the dough firmly. You might think this is scary, but just go slowly. When you’re done rolling, admire your work for a minute, thinking “wow, I’m good at this stuff!” Slice the roll into 12 pieces and place them with the cut side up on the prepared baking pan.
Cover the baking pan and let the rolls rise for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven, do the dishes, etc…
Bake the rolls for 25-30, or until they are golden. Let them cool in the baking pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully place them on a cooling rack.
If you want to, make the frosting. Place the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice, 1 Tbsp at a time, mixing well until you reach the consistency shown in the picture. Drizzle the frosting over the cooled rolls. If you want, you can simply dust some confectioner’s sugar over the rolls, it’s pretty!
As this is a time-consuming recipe, don’t bother making half. Freeze the cooled unfrosted rolls in a Ziploc bag. To serve, thaw them completely, then spray a bit of water over them and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, to warm up! 🙂