Florida lemon squares
FLORIDA LEMON SQUARES
Based on a recipe from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. double-action baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 or 15 oz)
Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 1/3 oz. (10 2/3 Tablespoons) sweet butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup old fashioned or quick-cooking oats (not instant)
Optional: Sifted powdered confectioners' sugar
Adjust your oven rack 1/3 up from the bottom of your oven oven and set your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9" x 13" x 2" baking pan.
Sift together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.) Then set aside. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a small bowl and add the lemon rind. Slowly stirring with a whisk, add the lemon juice and make sure the mixture remains smooth. The lemon juice will cause the sweetened condensed milk to further thicken. Set aside.
Cream buter with the sugar and beat together well. Slowly add the dry ingredients that you had set aside. Beat only until combined well. Then, add and mix in the oats. This mixture will be crumbly.
Pat about 2 generous cups of the crumbly mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Evenly place the lemon mixture over the crumb layer and spread smoothly. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly on top and pat to smooth.
Bake the Florida Lemon Squares for about a half hour or 35 minutes until the top is lightly colored. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan. Then, refrigerate for at least one hour. To cut, use a small sharp knife and cut around the sides. Then, cut into small squares. Keep refrigerated.
Optional: Just before serving, top each square with sifted confectioners' sugar.