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Blood Orange Bars

Blood Orange Bars highlight the special flavors of the beautiful fruit. Rich buttery shortcrust topped with tangy blood orange custard. A perfect cookie bar.

Blood Orange Bar Cookies

I tend to impulse buy produce, especially fruit. I just can’t resist an especially luscious looking pint of seasonal berries or an exotic fruit I’ve never tasted.

Having purchased a bunch of beautiful blood oranges on impulse, I took the opportunity to experiment with some favorite citrus recipes.

After making a batch of Blood Orange Marmalade  I still had some oranges left so I made these Blood Orange Bars.

A good lemon bar is one of life’s little perfections; the buttery short crust, the soft, tangy filling and that little sprinkle of sugary goodness on top. While you can’t improve on perfection, it’s fun to switch things up from time to time.

I was curious to see if the lovely color and delicate flavor of blood oranges would make a good bar cookie. Spoiler alert, it does!

This recipe is similar to any lemon bar recipe. The shortbread base is pre-baked and then topped with the custard and put back into the oven to finish.

Since blood oranges are a little sweeter than lemons I lowered the amount of sugar in the custard filling and added the juice of 1 lemon to brighten the flavor.

Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Blood Orange Bars:

prepped pan
Butter the pan and then line with parchment in both directions. You could also use non-stick aluminum foil.
dough
The crust mix will look dry but should hold together when you squeeze it into a ball in your hand.
crust
Use anything with a flat base to press the shortcrust tightly and evenly into the pan. Make sure to get the corners.
a closeup of a blood orange bar cookie

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Blood Orange Bar Cookies

Blood Orange Bar Cookies

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Blood Orange Bars highlight the special flavors of the beautiful fruit. Rich buttery shortcrust topped with tangy blood orange custard. A perfect cookie bar.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups (10 oz, 283g) cake flour
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz, 112g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) unsalted butter, room temp

For the filling

  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest from 1 blood orange
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 240 ml) blood orange juice (about 6 oranges)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking pan, then line with parchment paper in one direction going up and over the two sides of the pan.

For the Crust

  1. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl. On low speed, add the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until the butter is incorporated. It will look powdery, but it will come together when you press it into the pan.
  2. Dump the mix into the pan and press out into an even layer, making sure to get the corners. Bake until golden brown. About 15-20 minutes. If the crust puffs up in any spots, just gently press it down (wearing an oven mitt) after it's out of the oven
  3. Reduce oven temperature 325°F.

For the Filling:

  1. Using the same bowl you used for the crust, whisk together the sugar, salt and flour. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add zest, blood orange juice and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  2. Pour the filling onto the warm crust and bake until the custard is set, about 20 minutes. Give the pan a little shake and if the custard doesn't jiggle, it's ready.
  3. Cool to room temp in the pan. Run a butter knife between the parchment and the pan to make sure the filling didn't leak out and cause the paper to stick.
  4. Put the bars, still in the parchment paper, on a sheet pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. Lift onto a cutting board and peel back the edges of the paper. Cut into 24 squares. Wipe the blade of the knife with a damp cloth between cuts to get cleaner edges. Sift an even layer of confectioner's sugar over the surface then lift each bar off the paper.

Notes

You must add the juice last when mixing the filling. If you add the juice to the eggs before the sugar the eggs will "cook" in the juice.

You can cut the recipe in 1/2 and bake in an 8"x8" inch pan.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Mary Ellen

Monday 23rd of March 2015

Cannot wait to make these! They look gorgeous! I can almost taste them from the beautiful pictures. Love yorur website.. Thank you, Eileen.

Eileen Gray

Monday 23rd of March 2015

Thanks, Mary Ellen! I hope you enjoy them. Let me know how they turn out.

Sarah

Saturday 21st of March 2015

These look so good! I love blood oranges in just about anything. Thanks for the inspiration :)

Eileen Gray

Saturday 21st of March 2015

You're welcome Sarah. Thanks for checking out the recipes. I'm going to have some more Blood Orange recipes soon.

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