Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lightened Up Lemon Bars

It's that time of the year when we make those resolutions and try to change old habits. After all it's a whole new year decade! So I guess it's just the natural time to take stock and try to make changes for the better. Be more organized, don't procrastinate, eat less, exercise more...etc. All of which, in theory, are wonderful ideas. So why are they so difficult to put into practice? Especially the eating less and exercising more one. Cut back, eat less, no junk, work out = healthier life. Okay got the formula. It sounds so simple. Reasonable you might even say. Then how come almost no one sticks to the plan? Want the answer?? I'll let you in on a secret. It's because fat tastes GOOD.  Butter, cream, cream cheese, yum! Bring it on. They are all delicious, and quite frankly I wouldn't want to live in a world without butter. Still I would like to shed a few pounds and just be in all around better shape so I guess somethings got to give, at least a little.
These lemon bars are a lightened up version of the original. Typically the crust of lemon bars is a butter laden shortbread type crust. Nothing wrong with that but like I said somethings got to give! This crust is made with oats and only has 3 Tbl. of butter, compared to the 8 tablespoons in the original recipe and instead of 2 whole eggs you use only 1 egg and 1 egg white. Okay so there's still a bit of sugar but a lot less fat. So feel free to have your cake, or in this case lemon bar, and eat it too

Lightened Up Lemon Bars

For the Base:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
3 tbsp butter

For the Topping:
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup sugar
3 tbs flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
Confectioner's sugar, sifted, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine flour, oats and sugar in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, add butter and blend until the mixture is crumbly.
Press crumbs into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes until edges are golden.
Meanwhile, whisk egg and egg white. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, salt and lemon; whisk until smooth.
Pour lemon mixture over pre-baked base. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until center is set.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 16 squares.


Mitzi said...

Lemon bars are a favorite around here--recipe looks great. Will try it soon.Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an excellent lighter version, the lemon bars look just lovely!

Barbara said...

I love lemon bars...will have to try this and see if they taste as good as they look!

Bob said...

Love lemon bars, I'll have to try this out. I also wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds. Heh.

Barbara said...

I adore lemon bars, all kinds. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting something lemon that is LIGHTER!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Lemon IS my chocolate so I would find these addictive!!!

Eliana said...

Loved this lightened up lemon bar. Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I've long loved lemon bars but haven't baked them myself because they tend to be so rich and intense. Thank you for a lovely alternative. Can't wait to try!

Hannah said...

I love lemon desserts, so this looks wonderful! I particularly like your use of rolled oats in the base :)

grace said...

mmm, oaty! i stay with the healthy treat theme for about a month, so hopefully i'll be able to make these before that runs out. :)

Anonymous said...

have always wanted to try lemon bars.
now you make me wanna make them more!
they look brilliant!

Jamie said...

Ooh hoo yeah! I love this! Lemon Bars are just what we need to brighten up this dreary winter! Yours look so luscious and I love the lightened up part. I have dreamed of making lemon bars but never have! Yours look just the thing!

Kelly @ EvilShenanigans said...

I love lemon bars and your lighter version sounds like it has all the lemon impact with less of the dreaded calories! Yummy!

Primary Work at Home said...

Wow I love lemon bars too. I will try your recipe soon.