Mini Lemon Bites

This recipe is modified from the cute cookbook “200 mini cakes & bakes” that my friend gave to me. Despite my best efforts to follow it closely, I just couldn’t bear to add so much sugar to such a small batch of squares. This was good decision, the end product was very lemony, not overly sweet, and the caramelized sugar topping provided textural contrast to the soft cake underneath.

Mini Lemon Bites
Mini Lemon Bites

I was pretty excited to bake this, since I just bought an 8×8 inch square pan and was eager to use it. 
Mis en Place ingredients
Ingredients clockwise from top: ground almond, self raising flour, eggs, lemon zest, sugar, butter 
Like many other recipes, this started out with creaming butter and sugar until fluffy. What does “fluffy” look like? Check out the picture! 
Fluffy butter and sugar
Fluffy butter and sugar
Then gradually add in egg and the flavouring, which in this case was lemon zest. 
Butter, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest
Butter, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest beaten together 
Finally fold in self raising flour and ground almonds. Let me clarify what I mean by “fold in”, working quickly, with purposeful strokes of a spatula (I used a fork, not ideal, but not detrimental in this case), turn the liquid on the bottom over the flour on top. Be careful not to over mix, or gluten (the protein in flour that’s responsible for chewy bread) will develop and make your squares tough as well. 
With self raising flour and ground almonds
No self raising flour you say? Just add 1 tsp of baking powder to 1 cup of flour, and voila! 
No ground almonds? I put whole almonds (skin on) in the food processor and pulsed until ground. 
Pour the mixture into a greased 8×8 inch square pan, level the top, and bake in the oven for ~23 minutes. 
Baking in the oven 
After it came out of the oven, I poked the top with a fork, and spooned the juice of 2 lemons over the top, followed by about 1/4 cup of white sugar. 
Sprinkle the top with lemon juice and sugar 
Now you can either call it a day here, or do as I did and put the pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the sugar.
Crispy sugar 
I sliced it into 25 small bites, but of course feel free to make them bigger if so desired. 
Recipe modifications: The original recipe called  for 2/3 cup sugar in the square, and 1/2 cup sprinkled on top; I reduced it to 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup respectively. It also suggested to put the sugar on top, drizzle with lemon juice, and slice. I just couldn’t resist the idea of a sweet crunchy topping on top of a tangy square. 
Mini Lemon Bites
Mini Lemon Bites, Enjoy! 
Mini Lemon Bites 
Yields: 25 bite sized squares 
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, cubed and softened 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 2 large lemons 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 tsp baking powder, sifted 
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan, set aside 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 
  3. Beat together the butter, sugar until fluffy. Add in lemon rind 
  4. Add eggs gradually, adding a little flour mixture to prevent the eggs from curdling. Fold in remaining flour mixture 
  5. Turn the batter into a tin, flatten the top, and bake for ~23 minutes until just firm to the touch 
  6. Poke the top with a fork and spoon the lemon juice on top, followed by the sugar 
  7. Turn on broiler to high, broil for 2-3 minutes until sugar is slightly caramelized. Be careful, sugar burns very quickly! 
  8. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing  

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