A twist on classic Lemon Bars, these Blood Orange Bars have a silky, creamy, tart custard top and a buttery, cake-like shortbread crust. Your Valentine is sure to love these dreamy bars!Hi, Friends!
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? I know it’s a mixed review kind of day.
When I was a teen I wasn’t the biggest fan and now, despite being married, I am pretty indifferent about the holiday… and I view it as rather commercialized.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the hearts, cubby angels, sprinkles, conversation candies and pink. But, I am allergic to chocolate, and watching everyone else devour heart shaped Stover’s or Godiva boxes filled with delicious confections is not at the top of my list as fun.
Flowers aren’t really my thing, because they just end up dead in a few days.
And I rarely wear jewelry.
Now, if Boy wants to take me on a romantic vacation, I would certainly be down to celebrate Cupid’s holiday!
Note to Boy – Hawaii is beautiful year round. 😉
Since I figured most food bloggers would be sharing red velvet covered everything, I wanted to do something different.
Something I could actually eat.
But, it needed to be deliciously divine and worthy of the holiday made to celebrate love (or bling bling).
And since I have been adding blood orange to all the things, I decided to do a spin on one of my favorite treats, Lemon Bars.
Blood Orange Bars with Bourbon Vanilla Bean
These blood orange bars are every bit as tantalizing as the original and then some.
The blood orange custard on top is silky, creamy, tart, sweet, slightly sour and perfectly spiked with specks of bourbon vanilla bean.
The shortbread crust is bodaciously buttery with a cake-like crumble that holds together.
These little bars are like portable mini pies packed with dreamy, citrus-y flavor.
And fair warning, they are seriously addicting.
Can’t just have one? More like, can’t just have the whole pan! 😉 But, In case these Blood Orange Bars aren’t enough to get you into the Valentine’s Day spirit, a few bloggers and I have teamed up to bring you a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
**UPDATE – GIVEAWAY CLOSED**
To be eligible you must be a US citizen and 18 years of age or older.
Sorry if you live outside of the United States, I didn’t make up the rules!
The giveaway is being held from today, February 2nd through Tuesday, February 16th, so scroll down past the recipe and enter to win!Until Thursday friends, where I have a luscious libation for you and your Valentine, Cheers- to sharing that gift card with your favorite food blogger (yours truly) should you happen to win! 😉
The Best Blood Orange Bars Recipe 👇
A twist on classic Lemon Bars, these Blood Orange Bars have a silky, creamy, tart custard top and a buttery, cake-like shortbread crust. Your Valentine is sure to love these dreamy bars!
- Blood Orange Curd:
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter – cubed and chilled (8 TBS)
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 large Eggs
- 2 Blood Oranges – zest and juice (about ½ Cup of juice)
- 1 Bourbon Vanilla Bean – split and seeded
- Shortbread Crust:
- 1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter – softened (12 TBS)
- 2 ½ TBS Granulated Sugar
- 2 ½ TBS Confectioner’s Sugar – plus more for dusting
- 1 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
- ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- Make the Blood Orange Curd: Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a 1 ½ -2 quart saucepan until smooth. Add in the orange zest and juice. Stir. Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 12-15 minutes (should be the consistency of thin pudding). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean seeds. Add in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring between each addition, until smooth*. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours- up to overnight.
- Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8’’ baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the Shortbread Crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular bowl with a hand held mixer) beat together the butter, and both sugars on medium-high speed until completely combined and it resembles frosting. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the flour and salt. Beat on low speed until all the flour is just incorporated and the mixtures comes together. Transfer the dough to prepared baking pan and press into bottom (spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray to prevent dough from sticking).
- Bake until lightly golden and crust is set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let crust cool slightly, for about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Pour orange curd over crust and continue to bake until edges are set center is still jiggly, about 18-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Transfer to refrigerator to chill until completely firm.
- To serve, cut into squares and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
*I added 3 drops of pink food coloring to slightly enhance color. You can add more or none depending on preference.
*You can strain the orange curd through a fine mesh strainer for a smoother consistency. I did not do this.
*heavily adapted from Saveur’s Lemon Bars
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