Even though Spring isn’t likely to show up here in the Dakotas for another week (and hopefully it sticks around this time, and we don’t get another blast of Winter!), I’ve been craving all sorts of lighter fare. Okay, I’ve been craving lighter, springish desserts. My favorite fruits are all citrus, and while I went on a bit of a lemonbender for awhile, my desire for lemon bars hasn’t waned. Why I haven’t bothered making them until now, I do not know. I decided that while lemon bars are good and all, I wanted to do something a little different than the standard bar. So I made Pink Lemonade Bars.
Yeah, I know. A pink dessert. From me, of all people.
Even I have to admit it looks really pretty!
It’s really nothing more than a basic lemon bar, but instead of using straight lemon juice, I added a bit of homemade raspberry syrup to tint them pink.
They make me think of Spring, and warmer days and green lawns and that damp earthy smell that wafts around on sunny mornings. Especially since today is so grey and dreary.
Make the raspberry syrup by combining the raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then strain the solids by pouring the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve. While the syrup continues to cool, make the shortbread crust.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a 9 X 13-inch baking dish, then pack down using a spatula, your hands or the bottom of a glass. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the shortbread bakes, whisk together the 1 1/2 C sugar and 4 eggs. Add in the lemon juice and flour. Pour the mixture over the shortbread crust once it's finished baking. Reduce the temperature to 300 degrees F, and bake the bars 30-35 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool completely before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
*I did add a little bit of pink gel food coloring to achieve the color--Otherwise, my mixture looked too orange.