Creamy Lemon Squares

 

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This was my first time making lemon squares and let me tell you… they were the best ever!

The perfect combination of tangy and sweet, super delicious and a new favorite of mine.

This recipe I’m sharing with you is fairly easy and trust me, really worth trying.

 

For the crust:

-8 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)

-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

-2 tablespoons sugar

 

For the filling:

-2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature

-3/4 cup sugar

-2 large eggs

-finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 teaspoons zest and about 3 tablespoons juice)

 

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1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Crimp overhang under rim of pan.

2. In a food processor, blend graham crackers with sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until moistened.

3. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and pat in gently (I used the bottom of a measuring cup to get the mixture evenly spread) Bake until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. While crust is baking, make filling.

 

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4. Place cream cheese in food processor and blend until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

5. Pour mixture onto hot crust in pan; smooth top. Return to oven, and bake until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when pan is gently shaken), 30 to 35 minutes.

6. Cool completely in pan. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan. With metal spatula, lift cheesecake from foil; cut into 16 squares.

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Enjoy.

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Pretty tiny flowers

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I remember our first spring after we moved to Atlanta… I was in awe after seeing how nature seemed to become alive in just a few days!

Each April thousands of cherry, pear, peach trees (and other similar species) start to wake up and put on a gasp-worthy display of many shades of white and pink-tone flowers even before the leaves show their faces.

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small flowers4It’s a pity the flowering season only lasts a few weeks in the entire year so I tried to reproduce these pretty tiny flowers and share this project with you.  All you need is a real tree branch, tissue paper and a glue gun.

 

small flowers3I cut my squares by eye and they’re about an inch and a half in size. After step 2 and 3 you need to cut a teardrop shape holding the tissue paper from one of the folded corners.

 

small flowers5You will end up with a four petaled flower. Stacking two of the flowers together (each one in opposite directions) you need to poke in the center while pinching and gathering the tissue paper in the back.

 

flores ramas5

After twisting the ends a bit in order to hold the two flowers together I went a little further and colored the centers with paint using a thin brush to make them look more natural.

 

small flowers2With a glue gun you can attach the little flowers onto the tree brunch trying to imitate where the real blooms grow and even make tiny leaves (also out of tissue paper) if you want to add more color.

I know that there’s absolutely no comparison with the real thing but they make me feel that we are still in Spring!

 

 

 

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