Silent Bob is at it again ... rattling the cover of the empty cookie jar. I always have to chuckle at such a transparent plea for a sweet treat, but I suppose he knows I'll smile and catch his twinkling eye as he passes through the kitchen on his way out the back door. By the time he gets back in from a session down in the woodlot, the kitchen will smell sweet and lemony ... and it will be time for tea.
Lemon Nut Bars
1 ⅓ c. flour½ c. firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ c. sugar plus 1 tbsp. for cheese layer
¾ c. butter
1 c. old-fashioned oats
½ c. chopped walnuts
1- 8 oz. brick cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (one small packet)
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
Making the Dish:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Stir together the flour and sugars in a medium bowl.
3. Cut the butter into the mixture to form a coarse crumble.
4. Stir in the oats and nuts.
5. Measure 1 cup of the crumble mixture out and set it aside.
6. Press the rest of the crumble into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
7. Bake 15 minutes.
8. While the bar base is baking, whip the cream cheese, egg, vanilla sugar and plain sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a bowl until well blended.
9. Pour it over the hot lemon bar base and spread to the edges of the pan.
10. Sprinkle the reserved crumble mixture atop and press gently.
11. Return the bars to the pre-heated oven and continue baking for about 25 minutes.
12. Turn on broiler and brown the top of the bars to a golden crisp. Watch carefully at this point!
13. Cool and cut into bars.
Makes 36 bars.