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Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

Indulge in Citrus Bliss with Lemon Cream Cheese Bars: A Taste of Sunshine in Every Bite

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Experience the tantalizing fusion of zesty lemon and creamy goodness with our delightful Lemon Cream Cheese Bars. These bars are the epitome of indulgence, combining the bright flavors of lemon zest and juice with the rich creaminess of cream cheese, all nestled atop a flaky crescent roll crust. Whether you’re craving a sweet treat for dessert or a refreshing snack on a warm afternoon, these bars are sure to brighten your day with every bite. So, let’s dive into the recipe and discover the joy of citrus bliss!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (for the topping)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the Crescent Roll Crust:
    • Unroll one can of crescent roll dough and press it into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, ensuring that the dough covers the bottom evenly.
  3. Make the Cream Cheese Filling:
    • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, white sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth and creamy.
  4. Layer the Filling:
    • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crescent roll dough in the baking dish.
  5. Add the Top Crust:
    • Unroll the second can of crescent roll dough and place it over the cream cheese filling, gently pressing the edges to seal.
  6. Drizzle with Butter:
    • Pour the melted unsalted butter evenly over the top layer of crescent roll dough.
  7. Sprinkle with Sugar:
    • Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of white sugar evenly over the top of the butter-drenched dough.
  8. Bake:
    • Transfer the baking dish to the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is set.
  9. Cool and Slice:
    • Allow the Lemon Cream Cheese Bars to cool in the baking dish for at least 30 minutes before slicing into squares.
  10. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Serve the bars warm or chilled, depending on your preference. Garnish with additional lemon zest or a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add a Lemon Glaze: For an extra burst of lemon flavor, drizzle the cooled bars with a simple lemon glaze made from powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  • Try Different Citrus: Experiment with different citrus fruits such as limes or oranges for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
  • Add a Nutty Crunch: Sprinkle chopped nuts such as almonds or pecans over the top of the cream cheese filling before adding the second layer of crescent roll dough.
  • Make Mini Bars: Instead of using a 9×13-inch baking dish, divide the ingredients among muffin tins for individual-sized Lemon Cream Cheese Bars.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly: To make a keto-friendly version of these bars, replace the crescent roll dough with a homemade almond flour crust made from almond flour, butter, and a sugar-free sweetener such as erythritol. Use full-fat cream cheese and sweeten with a keto-friendly sweetener.
  • Low-Carb Option: For a lower-carb option, reduce the amount of sugar used in the filling and topping or use a sugar-free sweetener. You can also use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour for the crust to further reduce the carb content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use store-bought lemon juice instead of fresh lemons? A: While fresh lemon juice provides the best flavor, you can use store-bought lemon juice as a substitute if fresh lemons are not available. However, adjust the quantity to taste as the flavor may vary.

Q: Can I make these bars in advance? A: Yes, you can make these bars in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for longer storage.

Q: Can I use reduced-fat cream cheese instead of full-fat? A: While you can use reduced-fat cream cheese, keep in mind that it may affect the texture and flavor of the bars. Full-fat cream cheese will yield the creamiest results.

Q: Can I skip the sugar in the topping? A: The sugar in the topping adds a sweet crunch to the bars, but you can omit it if you prefer a less sweet topping.

Q: Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter? A: Yes, you can use salted butter, but adjust the amount of salt added to the filling accordingly to avoid over-seasoning.

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In conclusion, Lemon Cream Cheese Bars are a delightful fusion of tangy citrus and creamy goodness that’s sure to brighten your day. With their flaky crescent roll crust and luscious cream cheese filling, these bars are a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. Whether enjoyed as a dessert, snack, or brunch treat, they are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face with every bite. So, gather your ingredients and treat yourself to a taste of sunshine with these irresistible Lemon Cream Cheese Bars. Enjoy the zesty goodness and savor the simple joys of life!

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