GretchCannon: Light Lemon Bar Recipe

1.19.2016

Light Lemon Bar Recipe

If you are in the mood for a not-so-sweet dessert treat, and you like greek yogurt and tang, this Light Lemon Bar Recipe is for you! It is made with light cream cheese and light greek yogurt, with minimal sugar added - so they are a healthier option when compared to a regular lemon dessert bar!


I got a new mixer for myself after Christmas and I couldn't wait to try it out! Here is the mixer I got on Amazon, if you are in the market yourself: KitchenAid KV25GOXMC Professional Plus 5-Quart Stand Mixer. Retails for almost $420, but this one is $270 and I had a $50 gift card from Christmas. Thank you Aunt Teresa Ann! I got the Metallic Chrome color. I was tempted to get the mint teal green/blue color to match my kitchen, but I figured this would be timeless and match my kitchen(s) for years to come. I also purchased a 2-year warranty from Amazon. Isn't she beautiful!?


I found this recipe for a light lemon bar over at Sally's Baking Addiction and adapted it for my own recipe, based on what I had at home and what I personally like.  I am loving her blog so much. It is hard for me to follow some difficult baking recipes online, but hers have been easy for me to follow and all the ones I have tried have come out great. I am a big fan Sally!

One of my neighbors has a lemon tree full of huge delicious lemons, and I picked a couple the other day, so I was ready to use one for something tangy and tasty. I love to gather up my ingredients 1st and print out my recipe. It is hard for me to look at my phone and follow recipes, I like to print them out and get them dirty and write on them, without having to touch my phone with my dirty hands. I only ended up using one of the large lemons shown below, but you may need 2 store bought ones to get the juice, zest, and some slices for garnish. 



Am I the only person who is a messy messy baker!? I hope not! 





Light Lemon Bar Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 full sheets of graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp of melted unsalted butter 
  • 6 oz softened room temperature light cream cheese (from a block) 
  • 3/4 cup 2% Fage greek yogurt 
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk (or liquid egg equivalent)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice squeezed
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon zest 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • thin lemon slices for garnish 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300. 
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 8-9" baking dish with tin foil, so the foil rises up and folds over the sides. 
  3. Put the graham crackers in a blender for about 1 minute to make crumbs for the crust.  
  4. Melt butter and mix well with graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the dish and cook uncovered for 9 minutes - then set aside. 
  5. Using your mixer & whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Beat in the yogurt on medium-high speed until combined, then the egg and extra yolk, until combined. Beat in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla until everything is smooth. 
  6. Pour all of the filling into the crust and bake for 35-40 minutes. You will know it is ready when there is nothing jiggly or liquid in the middle of the dish when you shake it. 
  7. Let the dish cool at room temperature on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then put in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight. It is so hard to be patient to try this, but it is worth the wait! 
  8. When chilled, lift the entire tin foil out of the pan and lay flat on the counter, so that the sides come off of the bars easily. Use a sharp knife and paper towel to wipe in between slicing. 
  9. I was able to make 9 bars from this recipe. The messy edges around the bars were admittedly and immediately taste tested by yours truly. Can't help myself. 
  10. I transferred the bars back into the dish without the foil, and garnished with thin slices of what I had left of my neighbor's huge lemon! 
  11. Notes: You should be able to freeze these for up to 3 months, if you thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to serve. Sally also says you can use lime juice and zest and adapt this as a lime bar! Yum! Also, if you are a not a lemon or greek yogurt fan, these may not be for you. I ate most of the batch, but my boyfriend, who is not a greek yogurt fan, didn't like them as much as other things I have baked. So - personal preference! I love lemon on everything. And i love that these were not super sweet or filled with sugar. I froze a few to bring to my Mom's house tomorrow. I think she will like them. She loves lemon just like I do. 

I took so many photos of these, I thought they were so pretty. I know the lemon on top is garnish, but ate that too! Addicted! 

Let me know if you try these and what comments you have on them! 
What other lemon recipes have you tried that you would recommend? 

I hope you enjoyed this Light Lemon Bar Recipe. Thanks Sally for the idea! 

XOXO,
GretchCannon

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