Oh, my. I’m drinking coffee. Ahh. It’s been forever since I’ve drunk/drank/drinked coffee. Forever being, more specifically, since Saturday morning when I took donuts to my Balding Bro’s house. Because then I got sick and I can not abide coffee when I’m sick (it’s the first thing to go when I’m pregnant, which I’m not).
This morning I drank two cups of black tea, and then all during lunch and while I was putting The Baby Nickel down and while I was reading to Sweetsie and then to Yo-Yo and Becca Boo, I pondered whether or not I should make myself my afternoon cup of coffee. I really wanted to, but I still didn’t feel one hundred percent well—there was still that niggling little ouch feeling in my tummy. But I was reasonably certain that my stomach wouldn’t get any worse...
I waffled, literally flitting about the kitchen, turning the computer on, starting the water to boil, and then just stalling, not sure whether to go for the tea bags or the aeropress. Tea just seems so anemic, I thought, and that did it. I whipped out the jars of coffee grounds, poured a mug of milk and set it in the microwave to heat up, and went to the jelly cupboard to cut myself a slice of yesterday's apple pie. There were also lemon squares in the freezer, but I decided against those since they are tooth-jarringly sweet, and they go best with a cup of anemic tea (sorry, tea-drinkers!) after all.
I love coffee. I do, I do. I love coffee so much that when I hop into bed at night I start to get all giddy excited because in only a few short hours it will be morning and then, oh joy!, I can have my coffee!
I’m serious. I really do that. You’ll still be my friend, won’t you?
But now, let me tell you about the lemon squares (that I didn’t eat with my coffee). These are gooey little lemony squares (or rectangles, depending on the accuracy, or lack-thereof, of your bar-cutting abilities) of pure sweet goodness. We got the recipe from a kids’ cookbook, back when I was a kid, and we (we being my mother and brothers and I) have been making them ever since. We always make them at Christmas time, and then other times, too. I think we made them for my wedding (am I right about that, Mom?).
This recipe comes from a children’s cookbook that we no longer have, and more recently from a card from my recipe box which I could not find, so I called my mother and she told me the recipe over the phone. Not that you needed to know all that.
You must use fresh lemon juice and zest for this recipe, no cheating allowed.
1 cup flour
½ cup butter
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix the flour, butter, and confectioner’s sugar together with your fingers until well-incorporated. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides a little of an ungreased square glass pan. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the crust is baking, beat together the rest of the ingredients. Pour the frothy yellow mixture (it’s prettiest if you use farm-fresh eggs because their yolks are so brilliantly yellow) over the hot crust and return the pan to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes, or until the mixture no longer wobbles all loosey-goosey like when you tap the pan.
Cool the bars completely before cutting and serving. To freeze, place the cut pieces on a cookie sheet and set in the freezer for about an hour to firm up (they will still be a bit gooey—the result of being so saturated with sugar—yum!) and then place the squares in a bag or plastic container, putting a sheet of wax paper between layers.