Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Toasted Almond Lemon Bars


Don't these lemon bars look pretty? I wish I could say they tasted as amazing as they look. I enjoyed photographing them more than eating them. I read all the feedback from other Sweet Melissa Sundays bakers earlier in the week and was very encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive feedback. Though my bars taste just fine, I think I prefer a different kind of bar. These were too tart and I was expecting more wow factor from the almond crust.

Speaking of the crust, I'm not sure I understand Melissa Murphy's reasoning for forming the dough 1 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan...almost like a pie crust. This was a time consuming and challenging step that didn't seem to have a pay off...the lemon filling sets up nicely so the crust doesn't need to hold it in. After a total baking time on the crust of nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes the crust going up the sides of the dish got incredibly dark brown.





I halved the recipe and baked it an 8x8 corningware dish. It was more than enough for our two person household.


Thanks go out to Rebecca for selecting the Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe this week. Check out her blog, Indecisive Baker for the recipe. See how the talented SMS Bakers fared with their lemon bars.


Earlier this year I found a lemon bar recipe that is FAN-TAS-TIC. It's a recipe my cousin turned me onto and originates from a gourmet market and cafe in L.A. called Joan's on Third. The Los Angeles Times posted this delicious recipe. It's my perfect balance of tart and sweet on a buttery tender crust. Next time I make them I will post the results here.

For all the lemon bar lovers out there...have you ever eaten at the Nordstrom's Cafe? Nearly all Nordstrom's locations have a cafe and they have wonderful food and fabulous sweet treats, including an incredible lemon bar. Check it out if you need a break from a tough day at the mall sometime. ;)

13 comments:

  1. Your lemon bars are so pretty Gloria! I scaled the recipe way back and it seems that mine were thinner than almost all of the other bakers. Sorry these didn't wow you. I thought they were delicious, but in all fairness, I haven't tried many lemon bars, so I didn't have much basis for comparison. Thanks for the Nordstrom tip - I'll have to give their lemon bars a shot :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I, also was so-so on these when I made them last year although I blamed it on the almonds as I'm not the biggest nut fiend. I'll have to try out your other recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gorgeous photos, Gloria! Sorry they weren't a hit; we really liked them at my house. I found out that you don't need to press the dough up the sides; I didn't notice that instruction until afterward and my bars seemed fine (and had a nice thick crust).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, these look amazing. I love all the pictures. I didn't make them so I can't even judge them. If I had a picture like that though, I would want them!

    ReplyDelete
  5. They look so neat. Beautiful!

    Katie xox

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gloria, so glad you posted your thoughts on the bars. I was in a rush yesterday morning and posted mostly pics and little commentary. I actually scaled back the juice to 2/3, which helped with the tartness. Cook's Illustrated recipe adds milk to the filling to cut the tartness, which I think is a fantastic idea.

    I will definitely check out Nordstrom's Cafe!

    Regardless of how you felt, your pictures are beautiful and the bars look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your bars look beautiful! I will have to try your lemon bar recipe next time. We love lemon bars.

    We don't have a Nordstrom's here. I used to live in KC where we would frequent the cafe for lunch as a break on a hectic work day. I remember having dessert but can't remember which of their treats we enjoyed. Thanks for the memory.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gloria - these are some of the best bars I've seen of all the SMS bakers. I love them. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  9. These look gorgeous...I wouldn't be surprised to see something this nice in a food magazine. Sorry they didn't work for you but thanks for sharing the other recipe...will have to try that soon.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You did a fabulous job on your photos of Melissa's lemon bars. I also love your link for lemon bars you enjoy =). These definitely were tart.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gloria,

    A shame it looked better than it tasted...great photos! If I stop by a Nordstrom Cafe, I'll try the lemon bar, since you mentioned it.
    Thanks!

    Carmen

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your lemon bars look perfect and tasty!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't see the point of forming the dough up the sides that much as well! i ended up with at least 3/4 of an inch that was just towering above the lemon filling. I ended up cutting it off due to the awkwardness factor.

    Such a shame that these didn't wow you, but they certainly are photogenic!

    ReplyDelete