New Year's Recipes: Lemon Bars and Chocolate Souffle

What New Year's party is complete without at least one decadent dessert? If you're throwing a party or have been asked to bring a side dish, you might want to consider lemon bars. These sugary yet tart pieces of heaven can serve a few purposes: one, they're a sweet completion to almost any meal; and two, they can be used as a palate cleanser, with the lemon helping diners ease their way from the flavorful meal to the piles of desserts.

This recipe is rather simple, and the crust is better than the store-bought box mixes. I usually make this recipe in the spring, but it could very well be welcome as a fresh dessert to help ring in the new year. If chocolate is more up your alley, check out the chocolate souffle!

Lemon Bars

Crust:
1 c flour
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c butter
a pinch of salt

Mix ingredients together and press into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Filling:
2 eggs
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 c sugar
1 tbsp flour

Mix filling ingredients together while crust bakes. Pour over crust when it finishes cooking, while still hot. Bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

(Modified recipe courtesy of Linda Ries of Bellevue, Iowa)

Easy Chocolate Souffle

If chocolate is more your fancy, your guests could melt over this easy chocolate soufflé. The quick prep time and make-ahead ability make this dessert an excellent addition for impressing the guests with less effort than a traditional soufflé.

Nonstick baking spray with flour
4 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (or just shy of a cup)
1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
the whites from 3 large eggs
the yolks from 2 large eggs
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (if baking immediately). Coat 4 ramekins with cooking spray. Microwave chocolate chips on High for 1 to 2 minutes until melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Whisk in condensed milk, and then whisk in the 2 egg yolks until blended.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until medium-stiff peaks form (3 to 4 minutes). Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture, whisking gently until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Pour batter evenly into the 4 ramekins.

If making ahead of time, cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. When ready to bake, sift confectioner's sugar over the tops, and bake 11 to 13 minutes, until tops rise 1 inch above rim. Do not open oven while baking. Serve immediately.

(Recipe courtesy of Good Housekeeping, November 2009)

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Anonymous's picture

Miss T wrote:

Thu, 12/29/2011 - 16:19 Comment #: 1

These look really good. I love lemon. It is so refreshing. I will definitely try this recipe out.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Mon, 01/02/2012 - 20:24 Comment #: 2

Enjoy! This is one of my favorite recipes!