Lemon Ooey Gooey Bars

lemon-ooey-gooey-bars-a-pinch-of-joy The tang of lemon, the rich creaminess of the filling atop a thick crust, finished with butter crumbles.

lemon-ooey-gooey-bars-a-pinch-of-joy The tang of lemon, the rich creaminess of the filling atop a thick crust, finished with butter crumbles.

With the tang of lemon, the rich creaminess of the filling atop a thick crust, finished with butter crumbles Lemon Ooey Gooey Bars is a baker’s reward!   Since it makes 16 servings, it is a good dessert for a potluck or serving a large group.  It always disappears quickly.

It takes about 20 minutes to make this and another 35 to bake.  Cooling is the hardest part.  Restrain yourself for a couple of hours and you will be so happy you did.  Just not burning your tongue is a good thing, but the real favor you’ve done yourself is the enjoyment of the flavors and textures on that unburned tongue.  Store overnight in the refrigerator and the flavor deepens and is even better.  It will keep up to three days in the fridge – assuming it doesn’t disappear before that.

To go along with the goodness of  Lemon Ooey Gooey Bars — The gorgeous red flower behind that delicious dessert is a hibiscus, one of two in our backyard planted by the previous owner.  They die down to the ground in the winter, shoot up huge stems in the spring  and by September they are eight foot tall.  In mid-June they begin to bloom. The flowers are enormous, almost gaudy in their brilliance. The blooms only last one day and both the red bush and the pink bush are always loaded.  Those green tear drop shapes behind the flowers are part of the crop for the next day. Three dozen flowers on each bush is a slow day!   Never experienced a flower quite like this before – so just had to share.

Hibiscus -- A Pinch of Joy

Ooey Gooey Lemon Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
With the tang of lemon, the rich creaminess of the filling atop a thick crust, finished with butter crumbles Lemon Ooey Gooey Bars is a baker’s reward!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • CRUST
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup butter, melted
FILLING
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
TOPPING
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 by 13 pan with baking spray and set aside
  2. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Add egg and melted butter. Stir until well mixed. Pat into bottom of prepared pan and set aside.
  3. In the same bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in well. Add vanilla and coconut extracts, lemon juice, powdered sugar and melted butter. When thoroughly mixed, pour filling on top of cake mix crust,
  4. Melt butter in microwave. In a small bowl, mix the brown and white sugars, coconut and flour. Add butter and stir until mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs over the filling.
  5. Bake for 35- 38 minutes. Edges will be just golden and topping will start to appear dry. The center will still appear gooey, but not liquid. Do not overbake.
  6. Cool and cut into squares.

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No-bake Cheesecake Chocolate Covered Bitty Bites

No-bake Cheesecake Chocolate Covered Bitty Bites -- A Pinch of Joy

No-bake Cheesecake Chocolate Covered Bitty Bites -- A Pinch of Joy

The first time I made these I was dismayed. These little things refused any attempt at decoration. Snowflake candies fell off, nonpareils just bounced to the side. Pretty little drizzles of colored melts, swirls – forget it. I don’t have a whole lot of patience for “fiddling” as Grandma called it, so I put the chocolates aside and ditched the pretty picture in my head. Next day, Bytes said “those things are pretty good”.   I bit into the crisp chocolate and was smitten with the soft, cheesecake goodness inside. Forget decorations and fancies. Just pure ingredients, well blended and aged properly. Moral of the story:   Listen to the candy, people!

In keeping with the goal of making smaller candies in smaller batches, this recipe makes 2 dozen. Recipe can be doubled and you can make the cheesecake balls larger. We like these best when stored at room temperature, but then they disappear very quickly at our house. If you plan to keep them more than 2-3 days, store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

No-bake Cheesecake Chocolate Covered Bitty Bites
 
Small servings in a small batch. Recipe can be doubled. Soooo good it will become a favorite!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert Candy
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 4 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablesoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 squares graham crackers crushed (1/4 cup)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 ounces chocolate melts or bark
Instructions
  1. Mix cream cheese and butter together until well combined.
  2. Add graham cracker crumbs and mix well.
  3. Add powdered sugar gradually and mix well.
  4. Cover bowl and chill for at least one hour, overnight is good.
  5. Cover cookie sheet with wax paper. Scoop chilled cheesecake from bowl in scant teaspoonsful. Roll each ball lightly to “round it” and place on wax paper. Slide cookie sheet with cheesecake balls back into the refrigerator. If they are very soft, plan to leave them there for 10-20 minutes.
  6. Melt chocolate in microwave, following package directions, until chocolate is completely melted.
  7. Remove cheesecake balls from refrigerator. Use a fork to dip each cheesecake ball into the melted chocolate, working quickly. Let excess chocolate drip off and use a second fork to push dipped candy onto the waxed paper.
  8. Cool until hardened.

Watch for more no bake and no stress treats in small batches between now and Christmas.  For when you want to have a variety of treats without a lot of leftovers. 

  1. Chocolate Peppermint Grahams
  2. Grinch Kabobs
  3. No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Gems
  4. Butterscotch Pecan Softies
  5. Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Bars

 If you want cookies check these out —

1.  Fruitcake cookies   2.  Almond Coconut Crunch Cookies 3.  Pineapple Walnut Cookies
4.  Maple Caramel Swirl Cookies    5.  Peppermint Chocolate Thumbprints 6.  Cherry Almond Chews
7.  Polka Dot Macaroons   8.  Red Velvet Cookies with white chocolate and walnuts    9.  Butterscotch Pecan Softies     10. Toffee Crisps    11. Crescent Mini Chip Cookies      12. Minty Christmas Cookies

 

 

 

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Lemon Cheesecake Parfait

Lemon Cheesecake Parfait -- A Pinch of Joy

Lemon Cheesecake Parfait -- A Pinch of Joy

Lemon cheesecake parfaits are light with a zip of lemon, perfect for a spring dessert. Choose your favorite lemon cookie. I usually use lemon wafers (next to the vanilla wafers on the grocery shelf), but the ones pictured above have crushed lemon cream filled cookies layered through the parfait with a tiny lemon crisp on top. Any lemon cookie will work as long as it is crisp enough to crumble. The number you need will depend on the size of the cookie. I use sugar free lemon pudding which was a little hard to find.  You can use regular instant pudding instead, especially if you are not concerned with “carb counts” as we are. Boost the flavor with some additional lemon juice or lemon flavoring. I made this two or three times before I realized it takes two 8 ounce containers of whipped topping. I could not figure out why the number of servings was always less than I expected! Duh!  Be sure to fold in an entire 8 ounce container of topping into the cheesecake. You probably won’t use all of the second container for layering and topping. 

To layer the cheesecake into the glasses, start with a layer of crumbs on the bottom. Use a plastic zipper quart sized bag to squeeze the cheesecake mixture into the glass without smearing. Pull down one corner of the bag, while pushing the the other side up to form a cone. Fold down the top of the bag to make it easier to load.

Zipper Bag folded
Scoop the cheesecake mixture in, folding up the top to fill the bag. Zip bag closed, while still keeping the cone shape.

Snip off a corner
Snip off the corner so the opening is about an inch in diameter. Squeeze gently into the parfait glass, while avoiding the upper sides of the glass to avoid smearing.

Lemon Cheesecake Parfait
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 package Lemon cookies
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon flavoring*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 package sugar free lemon instant pudding
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 8 ounce cartons whipped topping, thawed
Instructions
  1. Crush the lemon cookies in a plastic zipper bag and set aside.
  2. Cream cream cheese, sugar and flavorings until smooth. Can substitute 1 packet lemon crystals or 1 tablespoon lemon juice for lemon flavoring, if desired.
  3. Add milk and pudding mix, beat until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Fold in one 8 ounce container of the whipped topping.
  5. To make parfait, sprinkle cookie crumbs into bottom of glass. Add a layer of cheesecake, a layer of whipped topping. Repeat. Garnish top layer of topping with whole cookie and a few crumbs.
Notes
Use any lemon cookie that is crisp enough to crumble, such as lemon filling cookies (such as Oreo), lemon wafers, lemon crisps. Number needed will depend on size of cookie, but generally 2-4 cookies per serving to crumble for layering, plus cookies for garnish.


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