I have been on a bar kick, I think you all may be seeing a plethora of bars coming up. I can't quite put my finger on why I love not only making but eating them as well. I was browsing Ellie Kriegers healthy dessert recipes and came across these. I love anything lemon...always have. I also love anything with cream cheese so these guys right here were a done deal.
There was one problem I had and that was that the graham crust was more like a graham dust, I would add more butter or less graham cracker next time (I changed the recipe here to accomodate that). Other than that, I loved them. I found them refreshing and addicting. They are not exactly low-calorie but they have a lot less fat than many other bar desserts out there. So if you are aching for some sweet lemony treat but am like me and have too much guilt because of how bad you've been (story of my life) try these out and cut them into small bite-size bars. I froze half of them so that I didn't devour them all at once and I could grab a little bite whenever an urge for lemon overtakes me :)
Lemon Icebox Bars
Adapted from foodnetwork.com
12 whole-grain graham cracker squares (6 full sheets)
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup pasteurized egg product (such as egg beaters)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons boiling water
Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs are formed. Add butter, brown sugar and salt and pulse to incorporate, until crumbs resemble wet sand. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and pack crumbs firmly into the bottom of it. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk and pasteurized egg product and beat on high with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and beat until fully incorporated, another 30 seconds. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water and whisk until gelatin is entirely dissolved; let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the cream cheese-lemon mixture until well incorporated. Pour the filling over the crust. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until filling is firm. Slice into 2-inch squares using a chilled knife coated with cooking spray.