These suckers are stupid easy to make, which is up my alley as you know that I am no baker. One of my greatest failures in the kitchen, and a dish that lives on in infamy, were the Wolfgang Puck Lemon Bars I attempted to make many years ago. My grandmother had brought us a bounty of grapefruit-sized lemons from her garden, and I knew I had to do something other than a million citron pressés with the mess of citrus. Why not lemon bars? Wolfgang Puck is kinda awesome – this must be a good recipe. Ugh, they were so bad – too tart, not entirely set, just awful. I don’t blame Wolfgang so much as myself for not being able to pull things off. Worst of all, I kept on making my sister eat them so that we could get rid of them. To this day, she is terrified of the words “lemon bar” – I take the blame.
Fast forward to this Christmas and I myself was stuck with a bumper crop of lemons from my tree in the back yard. I found a recipe for Lemon Shortbread Bars on Chow that featured an ever so easy lemon curd with no precooking or tempering of the eggs and lemon. Just mix, bake and go. I planned to tackle the recipe with my sister, but after a marathon of baking and decorating gingerbread, it was time to keep things simple. Using sugar cookie dough out of the Pillsbury tube, I pressed out mini tarts into a muffin pan and topped them with the lemon curd. A short bake later, and we were all treated to chewy, lemony goodness with a snowy topping of powdered sugar. I didn’t even have to get my sister to eat them – she just went to town on a truly good thing. Here’s to the little victories in life, to include my ability to actually bake something awesome.
Lemon Curd Muffins
1 tube of pillsbury sugar cookie dough
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
3 tbs. of flour
pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a muffin tin with large cups (mine has 6) with cooking spray, preferably the kind for baking with flour mixed in. Cut the sugar cookie dough into 6 chunks and press each chunk in the bottom of the muffin tins, slightly raising the sides to form a mini tart. Place tarts in the stove and bake dough for 12 minutes.
In a mixer or a large bowl with an egg beater, beat together the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, flour and salt. Take the dough out of the oven and prick with a fork to release the air from the dough. Pour the lemon curd over the dough and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes in the oven. Let the muffins rest for a few minutes and then remove to a plate. Using a sifter, sprinkle powdered sugar over the muffins. Serve warm or cold.