I have joined the Cookie Carnival, which was created by Kate at The Clean Plate Club. Every month she will send you a new cookie recipe, you make it, then email them back pictures and any comments you have about the recipe. It is great cause who doesn't love getting new recipes? Plus it's a great excuse to bake! This months recipe was Toasted Almond Lemon Bars from 'The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.' I love, love anything baked with citrus, it reminds me of warm spring days and picnics. This one was a winner!
2 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 tsp. salt
20 Tbls. softened butter (2 1/2 sticks)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spread almonds onto a cookie sheet and bake 10-15 min. Until lightly toasted. (I only baked mine 8 min. but every ones oven is different, just watch them closely so they don't burn) Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Spray 9x13" pan with vegetable oil. Make a sling with parchment paper, so you can easily remove the bars and cut them. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until balled. ( I am not lucky enough to own a food processor YET! So I just placed the almonds in a ziploc and rolled over them with a wooden rolling pin till they were finely crushed and just did the rest by hand.) Press into pan and 1 1/4 inches up the sides, making sure there are no cracks. Cover with foil and pie weights (Once again, I do not own pie weights, but dried rice or beans will do the trick.) Bake 25 min, remove foil and pie weights, bake another 10 min. until golden brown.
For the Filling:
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6-7 lemons)
1/4 powdered sugar
Whisk eggs and sugar until smooth, and almond extract. Slowly add flour while still whisking to not create lumps. Add lemon juice, and pour into baked crust. Reduce heat to 325 degrees, and bake 30 min. or until golden and firm. Remove with sling when cool, slice into bars and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!