Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lemon Oat Squares

Adapted slightly from KAF Whole Grain Baking.

If you read PWs website, then you probably saw a recipe pretty similar to this one. This one is nice because you get to use oats and WW flour. While you can't say dessert is good for you, at least this recipe is made with less butter and healthy whole grains. And it still tastes amazing.

1/2 stick butter, very cold
2 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, very cold
1 C packed brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C rolled oats
2/3 rolled oats, ground 30 seconds in a food processor (or oat flour if you have it)
3/4 C WW flour
2 T orange juice

Lemon Filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (fat-free is fine)
2 T finely grated lemon zest
1/2 C lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 baking pan.

If you want to use your food processor, feel free but be very careful. Pulse judiciously. Beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl (or bowl of your food processor). Add oats, ground oats, flour and orange juice and mix until just combined and it starts to look cohesive. Avoid overmixing because you want something you can sprinkle. The mixture should be crumbly and easy to sprinkle. Sprinkle half the mixture (about 2 generous cups) into the baking pan and press it into an even layer; set aside.

Whisk milk, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl until smooth. Spread filling evenly over crust and then sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake squares until they're light and golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then run a small sharp knife around the edges of the pan. Cool completely and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before cutting. Don't skip this step or you'll end up with something that looks like the dog's breakfast. A great tip I recently read on the KAF website involves using your metal bench scraper to cut bar cookies. Just push down and pull straight up and repeat. It works fantastically and doesn't tear the cookies the way running a knife through them can do. It also helps ensure that the cookies get cut evenly.

Store bars in the refrigerator.

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