Remember how I returned to work a few weeks ago, after 12 weeks of maternity leave? This new cookbook and blog, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, has made my dreaded return to work a whole lot easier. It is stocked full of meals that can be prepped ahead of time and kept in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to eat. Since I’m exhausted when getting home from work every day and would rather spend my time playing with my son than cooped up in the kitchen, I’ve really taken advantage of these recipes! Once Judah goes to bed, I can then prep in the kitchen for the next day’s meal. Or, I can take a Saturday before he wakes up and prep meals for the week! No time lost with my dear little baby.
These lemon bars were one of the first recipes I tried. Although it’s not a meal, it’s definitely a delicious dessert! It has even earned the spot of Ben’s favorite dessert right now. In fact, he’s already requested it to be made three times in the past month or two! Since the refreshing lemon pairs so well with the somewhat spicy Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos, I decided to also send a batch of these along to our friends who just had a baby.
If you often have unexpected company and are usually frantically trying to put together a last minute dessert to serve your guests, this will slow your heart rate because it will be waiting for you in the freezer! If you do not like lemon, you will not like these as the lemon is pretty potent. On the other hand, if you are a lemon dessert lover, you need to give this one a try!
Freezable Lemon Bars
1 1/2 packs graham crackers, crushed (or 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
1/3 cup sugar
5 Tbsp butter, melted
3 egg yolks
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
8 oz whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
In a small bowl, mix the graham crackers, sugar and butter. Press firmly into a 9 x 9 x 2-inch ungreased foil pan. In another small bowl, beat the egg yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice on low-medium speed for one minute. Pour evenly over the crust and bake for about 30 minutes or until set.
Using two oven mitts, carefully remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, spread the whipped cream over the top.
Label a large freezer bag with the name, expiration date and direction (below). Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer bag. Freeze up to a month.
Before serving, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cut into bars. If not freezing, this can also be kept in the fridge for several days.
Source: Adapted from Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms