These Orange Bars are definitely a piece of heaven! they are so easy and fast to make, and you can bake them ahead and store for future use!
I love oranges but somehow i am not comfortable eating raw plain fruit. therefore, i always find a way to add them into my cooking, whether being sweet or savory, it always turns out great!
So one day i was craving lemon bars but then i saw i have ran out of lemons and due to the current situation i couldn’t get out of the house. so i looked around and i found some amazing oranges left behind on my counter! and guess what: YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE!
The shortbread crust
Of course a good crust plays a crucial rule on your bar; so i made a very easy and quick shortbread type crust using flour, powdered sugar and butter. the secret is to add a little drop of vanilla for the taste. Just bake them until slightly golden on the sides.
If you don’t have flour around, you can simply substitute the whole crust into graham crackers or any cheesecake crust that you like. you could even use very slim vanilla or chocolate sheet cake if you like to be adventurous!
The Orange filling
I saw many recipes using a lot of eggs for a simple bar, but i think a bar should be easy and accessible for emergency baking times! this recipe uses fewer eggs. also no baking powder or levening agents to leave the texture custard-like. just zest and juice the orange, and mix everything together and pour it on the hot crust, and let bake until settled.
Also rubbing the orange zest to the sugar first, makes a huge difference. buy doing this, you will release the small amount of orange oil left on the zests, which leads to an amazing aroma and true orange flavor. just mix them until the sugar is clumpy.
Sure you could use lemons for this recipe and it will work perfectly too! i think using blood oranges would be really fun, giving the filling a nice red-ish color!
One important thing i have to mention though, although these are called ” bars “, i made them into cupcake molds so they are more of a ” bite ” because i wanted to make a small batch. but you can easily make them on a sheet pan or use a cupcake mold for more fancy small bites!
Cooling and storing
It is very important to let them cool first for about and hour to avoid condensation, and then put it in the fridge for about two hours or more.
If you want to store them longer, lets say for 2-3 days, just freeze them on a very air tight container and let them defrost for about an hour or more before serving.
The Best Orange Bars Recipe With Shortbread Crust
The Shortbread crust
- 100 grams Soft Butter
- 2 tsp Powdered sugar
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 pinch Salt
- ½ tsp Vanilla
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp Orange zest Zest one orange
- 80 ml Orange juice Juice of one orange
- 2 Medium Eggs
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
- Beat the butter and powdered sugar just until mixed well.
- add the flour, salt and vanilla. Mix until the butter coats the flour and turns into a clumpy mix.
- Oil your pan or use parchment paper or use cupcake liners, then put about 3 tablespoon of the mix into each section or dump the whole thing if using sheet pan.
- Press it using the back of your spoon or and offset spatula until its well merged together. then put it in the oven for 20-15 minutes or until the sides are golden.
- Meanwhile, zest the orange, mix it with sugar, vanilla and salt. whisk it until its clumpy and the sugar has absorbed the moisture and oil of the zests.
- Then add the eggs and mix until combined. and the rest of the ingredients.
- Take the crust out of the oven, and pour the filling on top of the hot crust. then put back into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the center of the bars are set.
- Take the bars out of the oven and let them cool for about and hour. then put them in the fridge for 2 hours or more to chill.
- You can use any type of crust, such as cheesecake crust of slim sheet cakes.
- You can use lemons instead of oranges.
- You can serve them with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Store these bars in an air tight container in the fridge or freeze them for later use.