You know how it always seems there is so much time before these smaller-scale holidays that aren't as big of a deal as, say, Christmas or a birthday, but are still a big enough deal to require the giving of gifts? You think, "Oh, Father's Day? That's not for another few weeks. I'll pick something up in a few days" or "Oh, Valentine's Day? I'll just think up the-greatest-of-all-time lover's surprise the week before" and then you wind up giving your significant other boxers with big fat red lip smacks all over them and a card that sings? Well, I've dropped the ball. I kept thinking, "Oh, we're just preparing for Mother's Day at the store because retail's on a faster time table. I'll grab Mom a gift next week." Unfortunately, it's now that week, and I still don't have anything.
So here's my means to the end, which I want to share here, so that all of your moms end up with at least something good to eat on Sunday: Lemon squares... aka, the most basic baked good, but one which also packs a lot of flavor and therefore a lot of baking cred (or in this case, adoring looks).
With no further adieu, I give you the recipe that will bring all of your moms to their knees and make them beg you to never buy them anything again, only make them more baked treats. (Read: CHEAP!)
(Here I am wishing I had a more creative name for this treat. Ah, well.)
Yes, that is a picture of my half-eaten batch of lemon squares. And yes, that is my fork laying there right in the pan. You see, as I was eating "just a few bites" when I got home, I thought I better take a picture of the remaining half before there was nothing left to take a picture of for this blog post. Oops. At least the picture demonstrates the credibility of the dessert's tastiness, if not its original aesthetic appeal. ;-) Clearly, I will be making my mother a fresh batch before Sunday.
2 sticks butter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 splash of vanilla
(I cannot claim a scientific measurement here. I am not scientific!)
1 stick butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 splash of vanilla (Hate me yet?)
Melt butter for filling in a microwavable bowl in 30 second increments until it is soft and can be stirred. Fold in flour, sugar and vanilla. Using a 9 x 13 pan, pat batter out flat on the bottom of the pan to create the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Then, melt the third stick of butter in the same manner as before. Fold in the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, baking powder and vanilla and mix thoroughly. This will create a very liquified batter. Do not be alarmed! (I was.) Pour over baked crust and bake for 20 more minutes (ish) at 350 degrees.
Sprinkle a generous amount of powdered sugar on top. PLEASE let them cool. They are not tasty warm. Now, go on and woo those who have spent their lives wooing you!