Some close friends just brought a bundle of joy home recently. We decided to surprise them with a “baby dinner.” Most of us are well into our 40’s, so the stork does not visit often, so these surprise dinners are far and few in between. By now, you may be crinkling your nose, and wondering what a “baby dinner” is. A baby dinner is a homemade meal that the new family can enjoy. It requires very little time in the kitchen to prepare which means more time to enjoy baby. It is nice to bring baby something, but, the real focus is on helping make the the new parent’s life easier. I always toss in a batch of chocolate chip cookies or lemon bars, but with blood oranges in season I decided to include these scrumptious Blood Orange Bars.
I normally make a big batch of pesto and give two big containers to the parents one to use throughout the week, and another container for the freezer. I also include some great pasta, salad fixings, complete with homemade vinaigrette, fresh bread, a bottle of wine along with some bubbly water, and a home-baked treat.
Since, I knew mama bear, liked our spicy tomato sauce, I made a bit batch of this instead of the usual pesto. Enough for dinner that night, and an extra for the freezer. For dessert a batch of these yummy blood orange bars.
We have a big bowl of blood oranges on the counter, and have been using mostly for cocktails, throughout the winter. I thought they work out nicely in place of lemon, in a bar recipe. I made a basic sweet dough, for the base of the bar. Then I made a creamy blood orange filling. It reminded me of a creamsicle. I thought about tossing in a shot of rye; but, they also have teenagers, so I kept the recipe “family friendly”. I don’t dust my citrus bars with powdered sugar, as I find they are sweet enough.
Do you have a favorite citrus bar, that you like to make?
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- 2 cups ap flour
- 16 oz butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- salt, pinch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste, I use paste
- 1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice, I use the pulp as well
- zest from one blood orange
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Line a 8" x 8" baking pan with parchment paper; butter, the other sides of the baking pan that are not covered with the paper.
In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt; give a whirl.
Add the butter, and vanilla flavoring; process, until it comes together; about 5 minutes.
Pat the dough onto the bottom, and up the sides about 1/4".
Put into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Then slide into the oven and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and let cool.
Heat oven to 350.
In a mixing bowl, with a paddle attachment, add the juice, zest, sugar, and flour; mix until creamy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly, after each egg.
Add the butter, mix for 1 minute.
Pour into the baked crust.
Bake for 45 - 55 minutes; depending on oven temperature.
The middle will be slightly jiggly.
Some ovens are hotter than others. Let cool.
Slice into squares.