We have made many lemon bars in our lifetime from box mix to homemade the best up to these were the lemon bars we found in one of our favorite cookbooks Taste of Home Baking. That is where we found the shortbread lemon bars that we fell in love with. Eventually, we became very experimental in the kitchen with more practice baking and developing recipes that we began substituting ingredients and adding, which is how we developed our spin that we like to call Dreamy Creamy Orange Lemon Bars.
The recipe begins with the light and airy shortbread crust. One of our secret ingredients is the whole wheat flour we use, not only does it add more flavor but it is good for you too- so don’t feel guilty about eating these 😉 From there we also place confectioners sugar, grated lemon peel and orange peel in the food processor. For the orange and lemon peel, I zest both of those and put them into a custard cup since part is needed for the crust and the other part is used for the filling.
From there pulse the mixture a few times to mix the ingredients together. After that dice the cold butter into pieces (best to take out right before cutting and adding so the butter doesn’t get warm) then add that to the food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a dough. Then get a 13×9 baking sheet, spray with flour baking spray you can find at any grocery store better than the traditional butter keeps things from sticking! Finally, press the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan and put into the preheated 350 degree oven about 12-14 minutes depends on the oven but is all ready when the edges are golden brown.
While the shortbread crust is baking we put together the most delicious fruity filling this is where we spin orange juice into lemon bars, but it is the best creation that you must try!
Put in a large bowl eggs, sugar, juice of 1 full lemon and orange, whole wheat flour, the remaining lemon and orange peel, and baking powder. Then whisk all the ingredients together until it is smooth. After the beautiful shortbread crust is taken out of the oven place this mixture on top and bake for an additional 14-18 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle when shaken.
Lastly, we make the toping which is nontraditional for lemon bars, but the original recipe from the cookbook introduced us to it. At first we weren’t sure about a sour cream topping but it was good. However, at times we felt it didn’t always compliment the flavors well that is when we thought of an alternative- vanilla yogurt! The vanilla yogurt still gives that tang, but also compliments the bars with a sweetness. Sugar and vanilla extract are also mixed into the yogurt. Trust me you will love it! Once the bars are out of the oven place the mixture on top, bake for an additional 7-9 minutes or until top is set. Then let the bars cool for a few hours place in the refrigerator overnight (I know it is hard to wait!). Next day all ready to be cut into squares and enjoy! 🙂
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
grated lemon peel
grated orange peel
3/4 cup cold butter
2 cups sugar
1 lemon (juiced)
l orange (juiced)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Hope everyone loves this recipe as much as we do! If you try it out or are excited to try it let us know in the comments below 🙂
Thanks for reading along with any comments or likes ❤