Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lemon Sesame Bars with Raspberry Glaze

I've never been good when it comes to dealing with change in my life. It's a highlight of my obsessive compulsive and anxiety disorders, and whether it be a happy or sad occurrence that upsets my daily routine, my stress levels and emotions fly all over the place. All that internal whirling usually becomes nervous energy, which if I don't diffuse immediately through motion causes a rather awkward and embarrassing flood of frustrated tears. Is it any wonder I became a food blogger?

Yesterday my stepbrother and his girlfriend announced their engagement - a move that I saw coming about 6 months ago when I started checking her left hand every holiday or family function. While that event itself was nothing shocking, I was a little put out by the "every parent hopes this for their children" and "grandparent" talk that ensued - especially since I was trying to reconnect with my mom after she spent a week off on business. I've made it clear that it is highly unlikely that any sort of relationship will form in my forseeable future (to quote myself: I'm too selfish to share my life with a partner) and almost guaranteed that my body won't be serving up the grandkids, but the treatment of that social status as something my stepfather "prays to his guardian angels" to grant myself and my sister left me in an awkward and anxiety-inducing situation.

Thankfully (and I can't believe I'm admitting that thanks), my mom and stepdad went off to see The Avengers without me, leaving me with an empty house and, more importantly, free reign to make as much noise with my kitchen appliances as I wanted to. The first thing I tried was a half-batch of Katie's Healthy Lemon Squares, which although they set up just fine were too thin (both crust and filling) and almost rubbery in consistency (sorry Katie!).

Now, if I had had some extra tofu kicking around I'd have reverted to my standby Vegan Lemon Bars, but I didn't. Instead, I had toasted sesame seeds from the Thai Inspired Beef and Noodle Stir-fry, the dregs from a jar of my favourite raspberry jam and a few spoonfuls of Earth Balance along with our fridge's ever present contents of lemons and an old Weight Watchers recipe that I found in the cupboard. I converted the plain lemon drop cookies into a cookie bar, then spread the jam on top for a "garnet" like appearance. It looked, smelled and (from what I hear) tasted delicious - and was a much more fun outlet for my stress than hitting the treadmill for an hour!

Lemon Sesame Bars with Raspberry Glaze
Makes 8 bars
3 tbsp vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt
2 tsp 100% fruit raspberry jam
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8" loaf pan with greased foil.
  2. Cream together the margarine and sugar.
  3. Add the flour, sesame seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, stirring well.
  4. Spread into the loaf pan and spread with the jam.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in the pan, then lift out with the foil and cut into bars.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 127.9
Total Fat: 5.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 45.7 mg
Total Carbs: 18.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.4 g