Introducing my first baking post of 2015. Having said I was going to challenge myself and bake new things in 2015, you may be thinking - lemon squares? Really Joanna? This is your big baking endeavour? And to you I say - Yes, it is. I wanted to make use of my beautiful gifted cookbooks and I have lists and lists of recipes written down and bookmarked. Lemon squares were one of them. These aren't your typical lemon square - the combination of pecan and coconut gives a delicious added nuttiness, and the hint of lemon is the perfect complimentary flavour. These lemon squares can be easily changed to any citrus and nut combination of your choosing - oooh what about orange almond? Grapefruit cashew? Lime macadamia? Call it! Dibs on the lime squares. Anyways, here are my lemon pecan squares, adapted from Butter Baked Goods Cookbook.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 300 mL can condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan with butter, and line with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in the microwave at 30 second intervals until completely melted. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flax, flour, sugar, coconut, ground pecans, baking powder, and lemon zest. Add in the melted butter and mix until well combined. Pour half of the oat mixture into your pan and press until firm and even spread.
In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the condensed milk and lemon juice until combined. Pour the mixture evenly over your oat base and sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the filling. Bake for 23-28 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Squares are best served chilled from the refrigerator.