Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lemon Love Notes

(about 16 squares)

I haven't been cooking much this week. My 16 year old refrigerator died and the new one I ordered won't arrive until next weekend. When I was younger, 30 year old refrigerators weren't so unusual. I remember living in more than one rental with an ancient refrigerator, one so old the walls in the tiny freezer would be coated in a good 3 to 5 inches of ice! I can't say I miss that, but I do wonder why appliances don't seem to last more than 10-15 years these days. I keep hearing it's because of the electronic components, but the only thing fancy about mine was its frost free feature; is this really enough to cut its lifespan in half?

Yesterday I brought home half a carton of eggs for breakfast. I had two left over and wasn't sure how long they would last on my kitchen counter. My mum once told me my grandmother used to keep her eggs at room temperature for weeks without any going bad. Again, what's changed?

I decided to use those last two eggs and my last stick of butter for these Lemon Love Notes. A friend reminded me of them recently. We sampled them years ago at a dinner party, and fortunately I remember the hostess telling me where to find the recipe for these divine treats. The lemony filling on top of the buttery shortbread make these a winner.

Adapted from, Homemade Cookies by the Food Editors of Farm Journal (1971).

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 cup sifted flour
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 cup sugar)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from one large lemon

Heat oven to 350°F.

Mix butter, 1 cup flour and confectioners' sugar. Press into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Bake for *8 minutes or until golden. *Mine took about 15 minutes in a small convection oven. Remove from oven and place pan on rack. Leave the oven on.

Whisk together sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon juice. When the sugar has dissolved, stir in the lemon zest. Pour evenly over baked, cooled mixture in pan. Bake for another **25 minutes. (Top puffs up in baking, but falls in cooling.) **Mine were ready after about 15 minutes, but I poured the filling over a very warm crust.

Cool in pan on rack and cut into small squares or rectangles. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired.


Torviewtoronto said...

this dessert would be aromatic and delicious

Sharon W. said...

just a note regarding eggs and storage: I have wondered why we see egg storage racks from English movies??? Well, research tells me that a fresh egg will stay that way for about a week if stored in a cool spot: hence all those enchanting egg racks on shows such as "Downton Abbey". Of course we do not know how old our grocery store eggs really are, but I think a day or two or three would be ok. And remember the test: put an egg in a bowl of water, and if it floats throw it out, because it has had time for air to get in around the membrane protecting it. Nuff said!!!

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Sharon, thanks very much for your tip!

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ulrike said...

Eggs can be easily kept without refrigeration for three weeks. In Germany they actually have two expiration dates, one if stored in the fridge and one if kept at room temperature. In stores they are never refrigerated, just on regular shelves next to other baking goods.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Ulrike, I love the idea of two expiration dates. Thanks for this interesting information. :)

Amy Finn said...

Love the name of this recipe. So cute. Thank you again for sharing with us!

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