The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Iced Lemon Squares

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Level: Easy

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Description

Bright and zingy Iced Lemon Squares, dense with almonds and zesty with citrus.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BARS:
  • 4-½ ounces, weight All-purpose Flour
  • 2-⅛ ounces, weight Almond Meal Or Ground Almonds
  • 6 ounces, weight Caster Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 ounces, weight Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 2 whole Eggs (large)
  • 1 whole Lemon, Zested And Juiced
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • 2-½ ounces, weight Icing Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Milk Plus Another If Necessary
  • 1 whole Lemon, Zest Only

Preparation

For the bars:
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Line an 8-inch square tin (mine is actually 9-inch) with non-stick foil or grease proof paper (allow some of the foil/paper to hang over two ends of the tin), or butter and flour it thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, almond meal, sugar and salt to blend. Beat in the butter using an electric mixer until the butter has been incorporated—it will be quite lumpy.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and the lemon juice for about 30 seconds. Pour it into the flour mix along with the lemon zest. Beat until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. I always try to handle the batter as little as possible so as not to over-work the gluten which can result in a tough crumb.

Scrape the batter into the tin and spread it out evenly using a spatula. It will seem like there isn’t enough batter but don’t worry, there is.

Bake for 25 minutes; by this time it will have coloured a little on top. Remove the tin from the oven and place it on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes to cool. Then using the foil or paper as handles, carefully lift the cake out of the tin, place it on a rack and peel back the paper from the sides. Let the cake cool completely before icing.

For the icing:
Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl to get rid of any lumps. Whisk in the lemon juice and vanilla extract and keep whisking until it has all been absorbed. If resulting paste is too thick, add the milk and whisk it in. The icing should be thick enough stay put yet spreadable. Pour onto the middle of the cake and spread it out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the zest over the top and leave it to set for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

I find that the best way to slice these sort of bakes is as follows: Using a long sharp knife slice the bake in half. Then slice each half into two equal slices so you now have 4 long equal slices. Spin the paper a quarter turn and do the same again—slice in half and then slice each half in two. You should have 16 fairly equal squares.

Note: You can substitute oranges or limes for the lemons. You can double up the recipe to make in a larger 9×13 pan.

Adapted from Rita’s Recipes.

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