When life gives you lemons, make them into brownies

It’s been some time my friends.  I hope anyone reading this is well, healthy and hanging in there.

I’ve been absent for a variety of reasons.  For one, while the working part of the working from home transition has been easy, it means I’ve lost my “client” base.  Baking really just isn’t as fun when I can’t share the spoils–and my creativity has suffered for it.

Speaking of work, it’s really all I’ve been doing.  I work for a university, and like lots of large, human-dense institutions, the pandemic has disrupted just about everything we do.  It’s exciting in a way–higher education evolves at a notoriously slow rate, so a catastrophic event is often the only excuse we have to enact change quickly.  The work has been interesting, I think eventually it will be useful and it’s empowering to be able to contribute during a time when helplessness is often the plat du jour (at least for me).

But, it’s been all-encompassing.

Even so, I had to stop by and share this recipe for lemon brownies.  It’s by Helen Goh, so I really don’t need to say any more.  Except, that, you need them in your life.  And, they’re simple enough in ingredients and technique that you can have them in your life over and over again.

These snack cakes are tart, sweet and on par in deliciousness with their fussier to make cousin, the lemon bar.  And unlike lemon bars, they travel really well should you need something to bring to your next socially distanced outing.

The original recipe calls for half a cup of berries.  I haven’t used them here, but if you have them, go for it! Lemons and blueberries or raspberries are good friends.

I have no idea how often TMHostess will be updated in the coming months.  I have several posts ready for the writing, just not the time (or motivation) to get them to “print.”  So, I’ll see you when I see you.  Stay well and safe.

Helen Goh’s Lemon Brownies

adapted slightly because I can’t help it and converted to include volumetric measurements

Ingredients

  •  1 2/3 C (200g) all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 C (250g) unsalted butter, cut into dice-sized pieces
  • 1  1/2 C (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest, chopped
  • 1/2 C (100ml) lemon juice (separate 2 TBS for icing)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Optional: 1/2 C blueberries, raspberries or whatever fruit you like to pair with citrus
  • 1 C confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line bottom of a 9X9 pan with parchment and grease.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter on low heat.  Once butter is melted, gently stir-in sugar and lemon zest. Continue mixing (with heat on) until mixture is smooth, shiny and hot (about 2 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and whisk-in lemon juice (minus 2 TBS) followed by the eggs (one at a time).
  5. Pour mixture into sifted dry ingredients.  Using a spatula, fold until just combined.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan.  Bake on middle shelf of oven for 35-40 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and the top is golden brown.  Brownies are done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (or with a few crumbs).
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Whisk together confectioner’s sugar and 2 TBS lemon.  Water can be added until you get desired consistency.  Using a fork, drizzle icing over brownies.
  9. These will keep in the fridge for at least a week.  You can serve them at room temp but we decided we like them chilled.

 

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