Triathlon Lemon Squares

5 Jun

lemonfrosting

“I’m gonna make a Pinterest board of the desserts you’re going to make me.” That was a pretty common taunt I’d say to Caitlin in the weeks leading up to the triathlon. I knew I’d beat her 1:15:00 challenge and, even though Pinterest has never been my bag (I’m not into mason jars or planning a wedding in the next few months)*, I always knew deep down what I wanted her to make. Caitlin makes a mean strawberry cupcake wrapped around a brownie and her nom board is quite tempting. Smores Cookies? A cupshake? What even is that?! Caramel Filled Triple Vanilla Brown Butter Cupcake with Salted Caramel Frosting? (So many great words in a row!) I almost went for the Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Cake, but I wanted Caitlin’s specialty. Lemons bars**. They may sound like the least exciting of the list, but they’re just perfect in Caitlin’s wise baking hands.

*Though I also don’t particularly care about collecting mason jars and have never been a “THIS WILL BE MY WEDDING!” type, I adore Pinterest. As a kid, my mom and I used to take all of the catalogues that came in the mail and have a “circling day,” where we’d circle all the stuff we’d get if we had a million bucks. It’s aspirational item collecting, I guess, to quiet the consumer in me from actually binge-buying a bunch of stuff.

**When I was younger, I always thought lemon desserts were a waste. But with age, I’ve realized they can be the perfect refreshing spring-and-summer dessert you’d always hoped for.

The recipe for these comes from this rando collection site of Pinterest pins, and it’s all kind of jumbled together in a messy paragraph, so I recommend actually writing out the recipe to make it easier to follow. These are SUPER easy to make, and even though the cake crust at the bottom may worry you, I promise you, it’s supposed to be that dry and crumbly. Just press it into the bottom of the pan, pour on the lemony custard on top, and throw that bad boy in the oven. It’ll be great.

Cream Cheese Lemon Bars 

Ingredients:

1 box lemon cake mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine – softened
3 eggs
8 ounces cream cheese – softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lemon – grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Serving Description: 1 bar
Servings: 20
Container: 9 x 13 baking pan and a mixing bowl
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

In a mixing bowl, blend dry cake mix, butter, and 1 egg. Press into a 9 x 13 pan, ungreased.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture and refrigerate it for later use.

Beat the remaining 2 eggs, add the vanilla, and then beat this mixture into the remaining cream cheese mixture until well blended. Spread over the cake mixture. Bake at 350° until set, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Spread the reserved cream cheese mixture onto the bars. Refrigerate until firm; then cut into squares and serve.

lemon2

On Friday night, we made a decent dent in the heavenly squares.

mondaysquares

By Monday night, we’d almost polished ’em off. Caitlin generously let me have about 60% of the tray and I tried to hold off as long as I could. They’ll all be gone by Wednesday.

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