When Life Gives You Lemons Make Some Lemon Squares

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I have a confession to make. I never liked lemon squares, lemon pie, key lime pie. Every time someone gave me a bite of the lemony desserts I took it and cringed. It was never that good. That was until one evening we went to the restaurant 3rd and Hollywood in Columbus and one person in our party ordered the lemon squares. I had a bite and I was hooked. They were creamy with just enough tang and the crust was with pecans which I love. What is even better is that one order is big enough to share with 2-3 people. When I got home, I just had to try to recreate them. While it’s not as good as 3rd and Hollywood’s, it’s pretty close. Perfectly yummy and refreshing!

Ingredients:
24 honey graham squares
1 cup of pecans (optional)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 stick of melted and cooled butter

Lemon filling:
Juice from 3 lemons
1 container of condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cream cheese optional

Line a 9×13 or 8×8 pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides. Place the graham crackers, pecans and sugar in a food processor. Pulse them until fine. Take the melted butter and brush over the parchment and then pour the rest in the cracker mix and pulse until the butter is incorporated. Place it on the parchment pan and press down with your fingers.

Bake in a 350F oven until golden brown, around 8-12 mins. Take out and cool for 30 mins. Make the lemon filling using an electric mixer until smooth. Pour on top of the crust mixture and bake until set, around 15 mins. Cool pan on rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Using parchment overhang, remove from pan. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares, wiping the knife with a damp paper towel between each cut.

Enjoy!

 

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Nadia Kotsonis was born and raised in Greece and lived there until she was 25 years old. She moved to the United States when she met her husband Nick, a Greek-American while on vacation in the Greek isles. 11 years since then have passed and they have two beautiful boys that keep them busy and melt their hearts: Dimitri (age 7) and Constantine (age 3). Nadia has a college degree from the University of Athens where she majored in Theology, Philosophy and Psychology. She also holds a Master Instructor Certificate from Microsoft. In her early childhood what started out as a hobby and later turned into a big passion was her love of ballet. At the age of 4 she began dancing and eventually made it into a Professional Dance School where she studied ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, character, history of dance, anatomy and music. When Nadia first came to the U.S. she lived with her husband in Cincinnati where she worked as an IT administrator for a non-profit HR company. After a few years when their first child was born they moved to Columbus and couldn’t have been happier with the change. Nadia now works as a Greek School Teacher at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on High St and is a member of the Greek School Board there as well. She also teaches Barre at Physique Fitness Studio in Grove City where she is a manager and a master Barre trainer. Nadia loves teaching and seeing everyone smile. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and traveling with the family. They travel every year to Greece to see Nadia’s family and spend some time enjoying the ocean and the tasty food. One of her favorite sayings comes from Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle”.