A couple weeks ago we piled in the car and drove 1,700 miles across the U.S. (from Norfolk, Virginia to Beaver Creek, Colorado). And while I don’t necessarily recommend a cross-country car journey with two 14-month-olds, it was a great reminder of what a beautiful and diverse country this is.
It was also a great way to learn the words to every recent episode of Sesame Street.
(some of these photos and lots more on Instagram)
And truthfully, we’ve had a blast. It has been so much fun for Frank and I to have this time together and with our girls. Time to learn all Molly and Clara’s new tricks, debate what language they are currently speaking (English? Twin? Thai?), and ponder why they’ll refuse a delicious homemade dinner but will eat absolutely anything they find on the floor.
We’ve been doing a bit of kitchen-hopping between the homes of family and friends and various VRBO rentals, but everyone has been more than generous about letting me dig through their cabinets and refrigerators. I’ve cooked some of my favorites and done some baking, but these pink lemonade bars are destined to become a classic.
These bars hit that perfect balance between sour and sweet, have just the right ratio of filling to crust, and are made extra fun with a hint of pink. It’s raspberry puree that gives them that sweet pink color – just enough raspberry flavor to be there without overwhelming the citrus.
They’re fun, and easy, and perfect for a summertime picnic or barbecue.
Hope summer is treating you well!
Pink Lemonade Bars
For the crust:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the filling:
- 1/2 pint fresh raspberries (or about 1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed)
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs
- 3 lemons, juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking sheet and line it lengthwise with parchment paper (this makes the bars super easy to lift out).
- Blend the raspberries with a tablespoon of water and strain through a sieve to remove seeds. Set aside.
- To make the crust, combine butter, flour, salt and sugar until smooth (I did this by hand, but you can also use a standing mixer). Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake just until the crust begins to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, make the filling by combining the sugar and flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Add raspberry puree about a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is lightly pink. (Some raspberries are darker than others, so the amount you'll need will vary.) Pour filling over prepared crust.
- Bake until outer edges begin to pull away from the pan and are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. (The center of the bars may still be a bit wobbly but will firm as they cool.) Allow to cool completely before slicing into triangles for serving.
Recipe generously adapted from all recipes.com where they were labeled "The Best Lemon Bars" and really might be.