WIAW: Designer Whey’s Sustained Energy

Back in May I was given the opportunity to try a handful of Designer Whey’s products, I had a great experience. So when I found out I would be able to try the new product line of products, through my relationship with FitFluential, I jumped at the chance.

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Designer Whey has created a new blend of protein powders, in Chocolate Velvet and Vanilla Bean. This is DW’s Sustained Energy line. This product is a blended powder, it has whey, soy and casein. The whey digest quickly to fill you up and the soy and caseins absorb slowly, which helps you stat energized for hours. Each scoop is 100 calories, has 5 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of protein. So how did these products fare in my kitchen?

I’d say that Designer Whey knocked it out of the park again.

The first smoothie I made was one of my favorites

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1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
1 handful of Spinach
1 scoop of Designer Whey Sustained Energy: Chocolate Velvet
1 Tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

I absolutely loved the chocolate flavor, it gave the smoothie a nice smooth and creamy consistency! So far so good.

Next up was the everyday oatmeal test. I always use some sort of vanilla flavor in my oatmeal and the Vanilla Bean was my choice.

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I am so glad I had this. The flavor was great with the oatmeal and really thickened up my daily oatmeal. The day I tried this I then proceeded to lock myself out of the house with B. I had to wait until Nick could get a break at work to come home and let me back in the house. Of course all of this was during this ridiculous heat wave we have been having.

Normally, I would be ready to eat my arm at this point and feeling really low, but surprisingly I was feeling good. A+ Designer Whey.

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With the powders, I received a copy of the June issue of Shape Magazine. Inside the magazine was a recipe for a Tropical Tone Up Smoothie.

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1/2 cup skim milk (I swapped out for unsweetened Almond)
1 scoop Designer Whey Sustained Energy Vanilla Bean
1/2 banana
1/2 cup pineapple (I used frozen)
pinch of cinnamon
1 cup of ice (I substituted with 1/2 cup frozen peaches)

It was so good even B wanted some (I made his without protein powder though)

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I love the new products from Designer Whey, its official. I have had some really bad protein powders, and Designer Whey keeps me happy with every powder they have.

Now onto the rest of WIAW!


I haven’t been eating just oatmeal, smoothies, and cake!

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This salad has been a staple around here. I love summer mostly because I gorge on tomatoes and watermelon.

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My go-to lunch has also been grilled chicken and roasted veggies!

Have you tried the new Designer Whey products? What are your summer staples?

Year of Baking: Sweet Potato Bread

I know it’s been awhile since I posted a baking post. It’s not that I haven’t been baking, I have, but I have had a serious amount of failures, and I didn’t want to post multiple failures, I will eventually post them all in one post.

Nick and I went to CT for the holiday weekend, and my good friend Cait invited us to her family’s pool club for dinner on the 4th. The only request, I bring a salad and some sort of carby-goddness. Check and check.

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We had a little matchy thing going on!

For the salad, I made a real greek salad.

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Farm fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion. Tossed with olive oil (straight from Greece) and a bit of salt, I usually add Feta, but I didn’t have any good stuff, so I used Mozz instead. Still very delicious.

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Cait’s mom made this amazing coleslaw, seriously, I need that recipe Mama C!

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I also had a grilled Salmon burger from Whole Foods and beans. Cait’s dad grilled Chicken and Turkey burgers for everyone as well! Check out her post for more info on our fun day!

But, my carbs is what inspired this post.

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Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have. We were too stuffed after dinner to eat the bread, so I gave it to Cait to take home. She ended up taking it to Kaitlin’s house with her and they left me twitter messages!

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Plus, many people left comments on Cait’s post asking for the recipe, so without further ado:

Ingredients
1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would be a great substitute)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 tablespoons of milk
1 cup of mashed sweet potato

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325 F
2. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl
4. In your mixer combine eggs, applesauce, milk and mashed sweet potatoes
5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are all together, don’t over mix
6. Pour the batter into the pan
7. Bake for 90 minutes
8. Cool in the pan on a baking rack for 20 minutes
9. Remove from pan and cool for another 30 minutes
10. If not serving immediately, I wrap and put in the fridge, and take it out the morning of the event.

It will stay good in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

I actually used a mix of mashed sweet potato and butternut squash, since I made this the night before we went to CT and I had some steamed squash that would’ve just gone in the garbage.

I also used almond milk, since that’s what I had on hand.

You could also add raisins or chocolate chips if you wanted to add some other flavors.

Let me know if you make this so I can add your links to the post!

Birthday Recipes!

Disclosure: Visalus compensated me for this recipe, but all opinions and ideas are my own

This weekend was a blast, so much so that I couldn’t pull myself off the couch to write a blog post, I am definitely closer to 30 than 20, dang. I am going to recap our drinks and eats tomorrow.

I have also been making myself some healthy birthday treats!

Visalus sent me their Balance Kit, which included the Sweet Cream flavored nutritional shake mix, and 5 flavor mix-ins (Chocolate, Banana, Peach, Mango & Strawberry).

I decided to start with a Birthday smoothie!. I wanted to see how the flavor “sweet cream” tasted before I made anything more extravagant.

smoothies

1 scoop Visalus shake mix
1 handful spinach
1 frozen banana
1 scoop natural peanut butter
1 cup of almond milk
A handful crushed ice
A handful of frozen peach slices

Toss in your blender or sweet Vitamix and blend until smooth. Garnish with a few sprinkles (but only on birthdays ;))

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The sweet cream flavor really made the smoothie taste like cake. Honestly, it tasted like melted birthday cake ice cream.

For my second recipe, I went with something that I would eat regularly but also something that was easy for those with little ones running around. These literally took me 15 minutes to put together and then I had a ton of protein bites ready for whenever I needed one.

Birthday Bites

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1 1/4 cup Visalus shake mix
Optional flavor packet (I used chocolate)
1 cup oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup almond milk

Gently mix all the dry ingredients (shake mix, packet, oats and coconut)

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Mix in the almond milk
Add the peanut butter
Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips
Line a tray with parchment paper or silpat, whatever you have on hand
Roll the mix into small bites, or balls if you are mature enough for that
Line them up on the tray and place in the fridge for at least an hour

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Once they are cold move to an airtight container and they will keep for up to a week.

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YUM!

This recipe makes 16 bites
154 calories per bite with 5g of protein and only 4g of sugar!

Which recipe would you prefer for your birthday?

Pin It! Party #1

Lindsay had this wonderful idea for a PIN IT PARTY, that alone sounds fun, where we write a post with five posts (of our own) that we’d love to see pinned on pinterest. Then link up on Lindsay’s blog and see some other posts!

Here are my 5

Flour’s Lemon Lust Bars

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Hands down the best lemon bar I have ever had or made.

Bake it in a Cake’s  Ultimate Birthday Cupcake

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This cupcake was labor intensive but the outcome was awesome and I loved everyone’s reaction.

Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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I am not a fan of traditional angel food cake or bundt cake and I love that this can replace those items for a summer strawberry short cake

Mocha Protein Smoothie

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This smoothie is the perfect afternoon pick me up; cold, creamy and a little caffeine.

Gifts for runners under $100

 

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This was originally a Christmas post, but with lots of new runners starting in the spring and summer months, I thought this would be a helpful list!

Did you link up with the Pin It Party? What’s your favorite post lately?

 

WIAW: Grilled Edition

I wish I could say that I have a ton of photos from the Greek Festival to show you all the wonderful food I ate and that some of my family made, but sadly I do not.

For the first time ever, Nick and I have purchased a grill. Most apartments and condos don’t allow grills, especially if you live anywhere but the ground floor. As soon as the nice weather tax money arrived we went out and bought a grill.

For this edition of WIAW I will show you all the treats we have been having courtesy of said grill.


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Chicken Kabob with Veggies on top of Broccoli Slaw

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This burger was a bit well done, whoops. With a side of roasted cauliflower and parsnips.

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Grilled BBQ Chicken and Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

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My lunches lately have been grilled turkey burgers with an egg and spinach!

What are your favorite grilled items? How do you grill veggies?

Get Your Protein On: Designer Whey Review

It’s no secret that I travel a lot. Actually, the first few months after we moved into our new house we stayed put for a few months, but B and I were constantly on the go during the week, and now that the warmer weather is here we are starting to have more plans during the weekends that involve travel.

The hardest part of me sticking to my new normal is traveling. I don’t always have my foods on hand. I needed to find a way to get calories in, and not at the hands of something involving a drive thru.

Enter, Designer Whey, I haven’t always been a fan of protein powder. Mostly because I was getting the wrong kind. Powders that tasted chalky and gross, bars that were rock hard, you get the picture.

My friend, Caitlin introduced me to ARIA, a protein powder that’s 50% whey and 50% soy from Designer Whey and I was hooked. I added it to my oatmeal, smoothies, used it in protein muffins and bites. I wanted to try other flavors, but I was afraid I wouldn’t like the way they tasted. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that awhile back I bought a canister of Designer Whey Vanilla Almond, I was in love with it from the first smoothie I made. I knew that I needed to try the rest of the flavors.

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Luckily, I was provided with the above products by Designer Whey , free of charge, through my Ambassadorship with Fitfluential. I was not compensated and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Not only did they send me a box packed full of all of their products, but the box itself was awesome. Each sidebar had a QR code, so you could access the recipe for that Mango Madness smoothie, get info on the Savage Race, etc… I like a company that really thinks about its customer, and shows you ways you can use the product.

In the box was a canister of the White Chocolate and French Vanilla Protein Powders. Two bars of each protein bar flavor (Peanut Butter Crunch, Chocolate Crunch, and Caramel Chocolate Crunch), One box of each Protein 2Go flavor (Lemonade, Mixed Berry, and Tropical Orange), and one of each Protein Shake (Gourmet Chocolate and French Vanilla).

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I tweeted Designer Whey and asked if I should put the protein shake in the fridge prior to using it or if wasn’t necessary. They said it was fine either way, I decided to go for it. I put it in the fridge before bed and brought it to the gym with me the following morning. I loved the flavor, it tasted similar to chocolate milk, but wasn’t as sweet, which I prefer. I also loved that there was no chalky after taste, but I can’t drink a lot right after a hard workout, so I only had half and saved the rest for the next day. I kept forgetting to bring the French Vanilla with me to the gym, and one Instagram user suggested using it as a creamer. I definitely tried this the next morning and it was delicious. The Gourmet Chocolate has 100 calories, 18g of protein and 3g of sugar.

I tried the first Protein Bar (Triple Chocolate) when I was out running errands and I was crashing since I forgot to pack a snack for myself. It wasn’t rock hard, a huge plus, and the flavor was spot on, again no chalkiness. The bar has 160 calories and 10 g of protein, my issue is the 13g of sugar, I know other bars have much more than that (some have double), and in a moment of needing to eat, it’s not a terrible option, but it wouldn’t be my first suggestion. That being said, I did try the Chocolate Caramel and Peanut Butter Crunch, both had great flavor, and out of all three the Peanut Butter was my favorite.

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One day a week I go to the gym, come home inhale a bowl of oatmeal (with a scoop of protein powder and peanut butter mixed in), then I grab B and we head to swim lessons. I love swimming with B, but he is still very dependent on me so I end up doing quite a bit of work. That being said I am famished afterwards and I usually get home ASAP, give B lunch and put him to bed, and shower so I end up eating 30-45 minutes after we leave the pool.

This past week I gave the protein 2Go pouches a try. Mix one packet into a bottle of 16-20 oz of water. I tried the lemonade flavor first, and I really struggled at getting the entire packet to mix. I still ended up with chunks of protein which threw me off. I liked the lemonade flavor, but I haven’t tried the others yet since I was afraid of the chunking thing happening again. Hopefully, I can try it after swim tomorrow and will have more success!

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My two favorite ways to enjoy protein powder is in my oatmeal and smoothies. I am always experimenting with new flavors and powders, and yesterday I had my favorite smoothie, ever.

The Mocha Protein Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 scoop White Chocolate Designer Whey Protein Powder
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet of Starbucks Via (or any instant coffee)

Blend until smooth

DELICIOUS. This was the afternoon pick-me-up I so desperately needed. I think it would be even better if I replaces the cocoa powder and protein powder with a Chocolate protein powder.

Unfortunately, my blender broke while I was blending this so I ended up with some ice chunks still in my smoothie. I am really upset because in order to have any more these treats I need a new blender!

I now know that if I see any flavors that I haven’t tried (any of the chocolates or vanilla praline) I will be buying them immediately and testing them out for you all.

Have you ever had Designer Whey? What is your favorite creation to make with protein powder?

Make sure you check out Jenn’s blog for more treats and recipes for WIAW!


Year of Baking: Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Poundcake

After fasting and Greek Easter and a birthday/mother’s day weekend, I feel like I am 100% back on track again!

I’ve been back to my post-workout Oats with Designer Whey protein powder!

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pre-mixing

I accompany that with some water and coffee!

For lunches I always have some leftover roasted veggies, or recently, sautéed spinach with a turkey burger, egg, avocado and roasted broccoli!

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I wolfed down the broccoli before I took the pic, whoops.

I’ve also had hard-boiled eggs at the ready and sliced fruit for snacking.

Before I got back to my clean eats, I made a poundcake for Greek Easter, from the Joy the Baker cookbook – Cream Cheese Poundcake!

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Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Instructions

1. Preheat oven at 325F, making sure a rack is in the center
2. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan for later
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
4. Beat cream cheese until soft and pliable
5. Add butter and sugar and beat until fluffy, approximately 3 minutes
6. Add the vanilla and stir until blended, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating at medium for 1 minute each
7. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated
8. Stop your mixer at that point and fold together the batter with a spatula
9. Spoon into your prepared pan
10. Bake for 30 minutes. After that, rotate the cake, and if it’s browning too quickly, move to an upper rack (I did not have this problem)
11. Bake for another 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
12. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

It should last for up to 4 days at room temperature, well wrapped.

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Notes
I LOVED this recipe. I needed something easy and simple to pull together for Easter and this fit the bill.

While we didn’t eat a ton of it at Easter, Nick and I took it home, I popped it in tupperware and put it in the fridge, and it is even more delicious a little chilled, my favorite is a small slice topped with Dark Chocolate Dreams from PB&Co.

Nick also might have stuffed a piece in his mouth when he came home starving after a night out, might have.

I definitely plan on making this again, I think it would be a great base for summer strawberry shortcakes!

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Check out more recipes and daily eats at Jenn’s link up for WIAW!


Do you like pound cake? What’s your favorite summer dessert?

Year of Baking: Flour’s Snickerdoodle Cookie

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I haven’t actually baked in a while, it was nice to get behind the mixer this week and whip up a few desserts for Greek Easter.

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When I saw the Snickerdoodle cookie recipe in the Flour cookbook I knew I had to try it. When I was younger all the families in our neighborhood would bake a plate full of treats for each of the other houses for Christmas. Our neighbor across the street (aka my second parents) always made snickerdoodles and to this day I can’t have one without thinking of that time.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups of granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
2 eggs, room temperature
2.5 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup ground cinnamon for coating

Instructions

1. Using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed
2. Beat for 4-5 minutes, while occasionally scraping down the side of the bowl
3. When the mixture is fluffy, add the eggs, one at a time, beat the eggs for 2-3 minutes until fully combined
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt
5. Slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture and then mix just until the flour is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed
6. Scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 3-4 hours) before baking
7. When ready to bake, place the rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees
8. In a small bowl mix together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon
9. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll to coat
10. Place the coated cookies onto a baking sheet, spaced about 3 inches apart
11. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand
12. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the middle
13. Cool on a baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then transfer cookies to the rack to cool completely

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Notes

The recipe says that this makes 24 cookies, but the cookies were gigantic, I would actually make the cookies smaller and make at least 48 if not more. I n my mind snickerdoodles are 2-3 bite cookies.

I made the cinnamon & sugar coating and had a lot left over, I think I would make less next time.

The cookies were made on Thursday and were eaten on Saturday and Sunday, while they weren’t as soft as they should’ve been in the center (like they were the day I made them), they were a soft chewy and not hard so I will take that as a win.

I only let the dough rest about 3 hours, so next time I will definitely let it rest overnight.

Have you ever made or eaten snicker doodles?

What cookie has special memories for you?

Year of Baking: Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes

If you missed yesterday’s post, I chatted about Zooma and gave a discount code for the Cape Cod 10K and Half-Marathon!

For this week’s year of baking I am continuing from my Easter desserts and sharing the Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcake recipe, many of you mentioned that you wanted the recipe so here you go! The recipe is from Bake It In a Cake, and I have to say, I am pretty sure I am going to make all the holiday cupcakes in this cookbook!

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Ingredients

Cupcakes

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole milk
18 miniature cadbury creme eggs

Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut
Green food coloring
Handful of jelly beans

Instructions

Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 tins with 18 paper liners
2. Combine the butter and sugar for 90 seconds or until fluffy
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in each egg completely before adding the next
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
5. Add (while on med-low) the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
5. Mix on med-high and mix for an additional 30 seconds until all ingredients are well combined
6. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the milk, 1/3 cup of at a time
7. Mixing until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next
8. Scrape down the sides and mix on med-high until smooth and creamy
9. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of batter into each cup or until 3/4 full
10. Place a chocolate creme egg in each cup
11. Lightly spread the batter over the egg, but don’t push it to the bottom
12. bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges and tops are golden brown
13. Allow the cupcakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes
14. Move to a rack and cool completely

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Frosting

15. Whip the butter for about 30 seconds
16. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, whipping on med-high until fluffy
17. Add the vanilla until fully combined
18. If the frosting is too thick add milk
19. Put the coconut in a bowl and use a fork to mix in a few drops of green food coloring
20. Pipe or spread fronton onto cooled cupcakes
21. Roll the edges in the dried coconut
22. Place a few jelly beans in the center

Notes

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As you can see my eggs sank too far into the cupcake and got stuck on the bottom of the wrapper and that was pretty disappointing for me.

The frosting was too thin, again, like the Birthday cupcake, but I looked up a buttercream recipe and they were similar but had flour. I added 1/2 a cup of flour and it was thicker, but not my preferred consistency. Next time I will just use a buttercream recipe.

The vanilla cake was nice and flavorful and the cupcakes came out well, I wouldn’t cover the cadbury eggs if I made these again I would let them sink on their own and hope they don’t touch the bottom.

I was too exhausted after the lengthy lemon bar recipe, so I just made the frosting, no coconut or jelly bean topping, maybe when B is older?

I am not sure I would make these again, they were fast and easy (ha!), but there are a million other recipes floating around Pinterest that I would like to try instead.

Have you ever made a baked good with cadbury creme eggs? Verdict?

Year of Baking: Flour’s Lemon Lust Bars

Maybe I should just make this a permanent move huh? Again, this weeks Year of Baking is being moved since I have an Easter post up for tomorrow’s WIAW. I was also featured on Katie’s blog on Friday, if you would like to check it out!

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My sister’s boyfriend has a nut (all nuts) allergy, so I wanted to make sure he could eat at least one of the desserts I was going to make. I am a chocolate lover through and through, but there are two desserts that I love that have ZERO chocolate, the first is lemon bars, turns out he also loves lemon bars, score. Perfect shortbread and a tart layer of lemon curd, it really is one of my favorite desserts, but every time I have tried to make one from scratch they have ended up as a sloppy mess. But, Flour hasn’t let me down yet, so I decided to give them one last try.

Ingredients

Shortbread

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Super Lemon Curd

2 cups + 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (14-16 lemons)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 eggs
4 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Instructions

Shortbread
1. Cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy (will take 10 minutes if using a hand mixer or spoon)

2. Stop the mixer a few times to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula

3. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined

4. Scrape the bowl and paddle again with a rubber spatula to make sure the egg yolk is thoroughly incorporated

5. In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt

6. On low speed (or with a wooden spoon) slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix for about 15 seconds, or until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed

7. Scrape the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and wrap the dough in the plastic wrap pressing down to form a disk 6-7 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick

8. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or until it has firmed up but is somewhat pliable

Super Lemon Curd

9. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon juice, butter, and cream. Place over medium-high heat and heat to just below a boil

10. While that is cooking, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until blended

11. SLowly which in the granulated sugar until combined

12. Remove the lemon mixture from the heat and gradually whisk a little of it into the sugar-egg mixture. Continue whisking the hot liquid into the eggs, until all of it has been incorporated

13. Once the lemon mixture has been incorporated, return the contents of the bowl to the saucepan, and return the saucepan to medium heat

14. Cook stirring continuously with a wooden spoon and making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to keep the eggs from scrambling, stir for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon thickly (To test, draw your finger along the back of the spoon; the curd should hold the trail for a second or two before it fills)

15. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl or pitcher

16. Whisk in the salt and vanilla

The Bars

17. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F

18. Lightly flour the dough disk and two large sheets of parchment paper. Place the dough between the sheets of parchment, and roll it into a rectangle 9×11 inches and about 1/4 inch thick

19. Carefully peel off the top sheet of parchment, transfer the bottom sheet of parchment with the dough to a 9×11 inch baking pan with at least 2 inch high sides.

20. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is light brown, remove from the oven but leave it on, pour the lemon curd on top, and smooth the filling evenly over the shortbread with a rubber spatula

21. Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the curd has set and jiggles like firm jello

22. Let cool to room temperature in the pan, on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight to allow the curd to set

23. Gently tug the parchment on all sides to loosen the shortbread from the pan, then slide it out onto a cutting board

24. Cut into 9 bars, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Notes

I didn’t have any parchment paper, I just floured the dough and put it in the pan, it was a bit of a pain but worked in a pinch.

For the lemon juice, I did half lemon squeeze and half fresh squeezed from Whole Foods. I needed the rest of the lemons for Easter dinner. Again, it wasn’t an issue an I don’t think it affected the flavor as it was not from concentrate.

I ended up cooking the shortbread for less than 20 minutes but the bars for more than 20, again it just depends on your oven.

These lemon bars were huge. It easily could make 16-18 portions. They were also a huge hit, we only had one left over the next day. They were very tart (the way I like lemon bars) but just as a warning. The shortbread was nice and soft and the lemon curd was the perfect consistency.

I will note that both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law helped, I think this recipe is definitely one that needs two people to work on it.

Do you like lemon bars? Have you ever had one?