Orange Vanilla Bars

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I’ve mentioned  before that my husband and I host a board game night every Thursday.  It’s a good chance to stay in touch with this group of friends and also gives me a chance to try out a new dessert.  We’ve also started a birthday tradition. When it’s someone’s birthday week, they can choose the dessert for the week.  A few weeks ago, one of our friends requested lemon bars.  As we were all eating hem that Thursday, that friend said “I wonder if you could make orange bars”.  I said “I don’t see why not!”.  The next few weeks I set off to create a recipe.  I came up with this one that is (in my humble opinion) the perfect blend of orange and vanilla.

IMG_0447I used Heirloom Navel oranges I found at Trader Joe’s for this recipe, but any juicy orange will do.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and set it aside.  First make the crust by beating together the butter and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (as always, a hand mixer will work too). Beat until it is light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything was mixed and add the flour and a pinch (about 1/8 of a teaspoon) of salt. Beat on low just until the dough comes together.  It’s important not to over-mix the dough, or the crust will be tough.

Dump the mixture into your greased pan and press it into the pan all the way to the edges. I know it seems like it won’t be enough, but trust me, just keep pressing.  Put in the oven and bake until the crust is browned.

IMG_0438

Make the filling while the crust is baking by whisking together the eggs and sugar until pale.  Add the flour, orange juice, and zest, and vanilla and whisk until completely blended.

Take the crust out of the oven and pour in the filling.  Put it back in the oven to continue baking until it’s browned around the edges and the center is set (solid with no jiggle).  I will admit, it’s not a real “looker” at this point, but that’s what the powdered sugar is for 😉

IMG_0444

 

Cool in the pan and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

You now have the last item to make your complete brunch! Here’s a reminder of everything else shared this week to make your tasty Mother’s Day brunch tomorrow:

Don’t Judge Me Mondays: Blackberry Sparkler

Roasted Beet and Cauliflower Salad

Egg and Quinoa Cups

 

Check back tomorrow for a special Mother’s Day post!

 

 

Orange Vanilla Bars
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Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • powered sugar for the top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and set it aside.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugars in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (as always, a hand mixer will work too). Beat until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything was mixed and add the flour and a pinch (about 1/8 of a teaspoon) of salt. Beat on low just until the dough comes together.
  5. Dump the mixture into your greased pan and press it into the pan all the way to the edges.
  6. Bake until the crust is browned, about 20-25 minutes.
  7. Make the filling while the crust is baking by whisking together the eggs and sugar until pale. Add the flour, orange juice, and zest and whisk until completely blended.
  8. Take the crust out of the oven and pour in the filling. Put it back in the oven to continue baking until it's browned around the edges and the center is set (solid with no jiggle).
  9. Cool in the pan and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.
  10. The bars should keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days
7.6.4
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http://www.rachelpounds.com/2016/05/07/orange-vanilla-bars/

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