A refreshing summertime twist on my favorite lemon bar sounded like just the ticket today! I had to take a break from making them for awhile, because my hubby requested them so often that I tired of making them. I actually started to despise making them. And that’s never a good thing. Baking should always be enjoyable and fun! So I thought, “Time to revamp!” After considering adding different juices, even cranberry, I decided to just go old school and add a little grenadine! When I was a girl, I used to help one of my Grandma’s make homemade pink lemonade, and she always told me the secret was to use a little “grenadine”. Grenadine is a ruby red, sweet/tart syrupy liquid made from pomegranates, sugar and water, and is commonly used to tint difference drinks, juices and cocktails (such as the Tequila Sunrise and the “kiddie cocktail” Shirley Temple), a light pink. People commonly think that there’s alcohol in it, but I assure you that there is not. Try to find a decent brand and be sure to check the back for the ingredients. Unfortunately, a lot of companies use cheaper fruit juices, artificial flavors and red dyes such as the most common brand called, “Rose’s”. But if that is all you can find, it’s “ok” to use. Not great, but since we’re only adding a minute amount, it does just fine in a pinch. Most recipes that use grenadine only require a tiny amount due to the color it produces. A little goes a long way! And it doesn’t taste bad or anything, it just barely contains actual pomegranate juice if any at all.
No matter what kind of grenadine you purchase, you’ll have a summer-time crush and fall madly in love with these bars! They are my best lemon bars with a beach party makeover, and are a hit with “Mr. Picky”! Be sure to make these for your next barbecue, picnic, or pool-side party! Enjoy and have a sunshiny day!
The crust in the making….ain’t I messy?!
Crust pressed into the pan and baked…
Covered with powdered sugar and the foil peeled back ready to cut…
Hope you enjoy and have a fantastic Father’s Day weekend!
PINK LEMONADE BARS with GRENADINE
Makes 24 bars or 36 squares
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) real butter, cold, cut up into small pieces
3 extra-large eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice concentrate, or fresh squeezed from 2 lemons (either is fine)
1 1/2 Tbl. grenadine syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbl. flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar to heavily dust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan with foil extending it over the sides a little. Lightly spray foil with butter-flavored cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. I use a whisk. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle dough evenly across bottom of pan. Level, brushing with your hand lightly, then pat dough firmly onto bottom. Bake 15-17 minutes until lightly browned.
While crust is pre-baking, in mixing bowl, beat eggs on highest speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 3-4 minutes using whisk attachment. Reduce speed to low, add lemon juice, grenadine, sugar, baking powder, salt, and remaining 3 Tbl. flour. Beat on high again until blended, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occaisionally. Pour filling over warm crust. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until filling is just set and golden around the edges. Remove pan to wire rack.
Sift powdered sugar on top over warm filling. Cool completely in pan. When cool, lift out holding on to foil, and transfer whole thing to a cutting board. Peel back foil from all sides and press edges of foil flat out of the way, and cut into bars or smaller squares. Really easy to get the foil off of the edges completely if you let the edge just barely hang over the cutting board doing one side at a time. Center before slicing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.