Not too long after I was diagnosed with celiac disease and started sharing my new diet with family and friends, was my godson, Matthew put on a mostly gluten free diet. He misses enjoying traditional baked goods, especially crusty french bread. However, Matthew is learning to live with this diet- his family eats mostly gluten free to support him and some of his friends in school are also on the same diet. His favorite gluten free dish is lamb chops with gluten free bread crumbs – which sounds utterly delicious! And his favorite thing about being gluten free is baking and discovering new gluten free recipes. Matthew lives pretty far from me and we don’t get to see each other all that often. But from afar, we are able to share our gluten free experiences together by sharing recipes. This past holiday season, Matthew sent me a long list of his favorite gluten free recipes that inspired me to bake (which doesn’t happen all that often!). I chose to make lemon bars and every time I had one for a treat, I thought of Matthew. So here’s one of Matthew’s favorite recipes that I chose to make, Lemon Bars, from The Gluten Free Bible.
The Gluten-Free Bible by Publications International Ltd. Staff
1 cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose blend (You can used any blend you have on hand, but I prefer a blend without bean flours)
1 cup macadamia nuts or slivered almond (Matt uses almond meal from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
Additional powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9×9 square baking dish. I used an 8×8 pyrex and it worked just fine.
2. Place flour, nuts, butter, powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon peel and salt in food processor. Process until mixture forms fine crumbs. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown . Matt doesn’t use a food processor, but I did because it makes this much easier! Don’t be alarmed by the amount of flour mix you end up with, it presses down to the perfect amount. I had to bake my crust for 20 minutes and it still wasn’t golden brown, but it was done.
3. Beat granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon peel in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until blended.
4. Pour mixture evenly over warm crust. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown . Cool completely in pan on wire rack . Dust with additional powdered sugar . Store tightly covered at room temperature.