Cook it light: It's like lemon curd on shortbread: Reduced fat and calorie lemon bars

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 13 2012 3:20 p.m. MST

Dear Jeanne: This recipe is a favorite wherever I go. Can you reduce the fat and calories? Thank you.

— Emily, Flint, Mich.

Dear Emily: These really are good. They are like a lemon curd on a shortbread crust if you bake them correctly. Do not overbake the filling, or you will not get the best result.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her website, jeannejones.com.

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LEMON BARS

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, divided use

11/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided use

2/3 cup butter

3 eggs

11/2 cups sugar

Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

Mix together the powdered sugar and 11/4 cups of the flour. Mix the butter into the sugar-flour mixture. Pat into a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F. Mix together the eggs, sugar, remaining flour and the juice and rind of the lemon. Pour over the hot crust. Return to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool, then sprinkle with the remaining powdered sugar and cut into bars.

Makes 16 servings.

REDUCED-FAT LEMON BARS

CRUST:

1?3 cup powdered sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, softened

FILLING:

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sugar

1?3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. For the crust, mix together the powdered sugar and flour. Mix in the butter until no large pieces remain. Pat in the bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Bake for 12 minutes, until it turns a creamy tan color.

3. While the crust is baking, beat the eggs lightly with a fork. Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and flour. Mix until smooth. Pour over the hot crust and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, just until set. The center should have a slight wobble when shaken, which will firm up after removing it from the oven. When cooled, sprinkle with the remaining powdered sugar.

Makes 16 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 211 calories; 9 gm fat; 60 mg cholesterol; 92 mg sodium; 32 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; negligible fiber. Revised Recipe: 132 calories; 4 gm fat; 48 mg cholesterol; 43 mg sodium; 22 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; negligible fiber.

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