Before I left for Portland, I made a lot of food. Sometimes, I would spend all day in the kitchen creating recipes, and by the time I left I was pretty sick of the inside of my kitchen. The best day, though? The day I blasted my newly purchased Matilda original cast recording, sang Revolting Children at the top of my lungs and made all lemon desserts. It was literally the best day.
Lemon pastries have always been one of my favorites. The tart lemon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of almost any dessert, but it needs to be a pastry for me. Cookie, cake, blondie, etc. Not lemon creamy things. They don’t do it for me. Lemon bars? Meh, take ’em of leave ’em. I shied away from creating my own because I am so in love with the way lemon and butter taste together. I didn’t think I could recreate a genuinely delicious lemon pastry without rich, flavorful butter. I was wrong. You may want to take note, because I don’t admit to being wrong too often. Just ask my husband.
Maybe it’s the melted white chocolate? Maybe it’s the tiniest bit of butter flavored extract? It’s optional, but when you don’t use butter, I find it can be magical. And that is how I would describe these bars. Magical. I know that’s a bold statement, but when you create a blondie that is ultra soft, gooey, and not the least bit cakey without using even a hint of butter, I call that magic.
These babies are a full on indulgent treat without any of the guilt. They do have quite a bit of sugar that you could absolutely cut down on if you have less of a sweet tooth than me, but other than that, they are 100% whole wheat and fairly low in fat due to the nonfat Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt is a must. It adds the perfect flavor and texture, and I wouldn’t try to sub it out for applesauce or any other type of fat substitute. If you love lemon pastries even half as much as I do, you will not be able to get enough of these blondies!
- Zest of one lemon
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 5.5 oz white chocolate, melted
- 1 x 5oz container (or about 1/2 cup) nonfat lemon Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp butter extract (optional)
- 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper or tin foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together lemon zest and sugar until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in melted white chocolate, yogurt, and lemon juice. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking until combined. Add vanilla and butter extracts. Gently fold in flour until just combined.
- Transfer to prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted about 2" from the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Store in a loosely covered container for 5-7 days.