Blood Orange Petit Fours

January 31, 2007 in baking, chocolate, cookies, dessert, Food & Wine, Food Porn, fruit, recipe

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a new [tag]cookbook[/tag] called “Tried and True Cookies”, recipes from [tag][/tag] contributors. There are quite a few of the [tag]old home[/tag] favorites and several iterations of various types of [tag]cookie[/tag] to choose from.

As I was thumbing through the book, I saw a group for [tag]lemon bar[/tag]s, a kind of cookie I love but have never made. I immediately thought about the blood oranges we had squeezed, the juice was not sweet but rather sour. Thus, I decided to try a lemon bar recipe with blood orange juice instead of lemon juice.

I dont know if this recipe tries true with the original [tag]formulation[/tag] but for my adaptation, something is less than right. I am guessing its about [tag]acidity[/tag] and how it interacts with the [tag]eggs[/tag]. What happened to mine is that the filling on the top never [tag]solidified[/tag]. I had to chill this a whole lot to be able to somewhat cut them up. When you do that, the butter cookie crust underneath becomes hard.

In short, I will give you the [tag]adapted[/tag] [tag]recipe[/tag] and show you pictures but I will also give you a warning: try this with lemon juice first to see if it works for you. If it does, move on to other juices. I have some citric acid on hand (from making some lollipops), maybe I could dope it with that to boost the acidity and better coagulate the eggs.

Blood Orange Bars (Adapted from “Bake Sale Lemon Bars” by Elaine in “ Tried and True Cookies“)


  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 2/3 C powdered sugar
  • 3/4 C softened butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C white sugar
  • 3 Tblspns AP flour
  • 1/4 C blood orange juice (lemon juice)
  • 1/3 C powdered sugar for dusting (if you like)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish (or whatever floats your boat). [EDITED: I used a 9 inch pie plate.]
  2. Combine the flour, 2/3 C powdered sugar, and butter (this is your shortbread dough), pat into bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Bake the shortbread dough for 20 minutes, until a light brown, remove.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, white sugar, flour, and blood orange juice until frothy. Pour over the hot baked crust.
  5. Put it back in the oven for 20-25 minutes until light brown. (I found that I had to put it back in and cook until a wooden skewer came out somewhat clean, it never came out completely clean and it was getting too dark so I removed it.)
  6. Allow to cool and cut. You can dust with the powdered sugar to pretty up the crunchy crackly surface.

In addition to these ingredients, I added about 1/8 tsp lemon juice and a bit of red food coloring.

Because I was not happy with the outcome, I chilled it (almost frozen) and then cut into small [tag]petit four[/tag] sizes. I made a simple glaze with powdered sugar and hot water (some with red food coloring) as well as some chocolate sauce and drizzled these little cakelets. My taste testers (One is 38, one is 10 and one is 3) were 2 thumbs up and one grimace (the 3 year old). The older ones seem to think the sugar glaze (which sets up somewhat firm) added to the experience.

YMMV (your milage may vary). Let me know if you try it out.

[EDITED: After reading some of the reviews over at AllRecipes I have seen how other people are having the worst time with this recipe. I say, try a recipe from The Joy of Cooking.. I am going to look into that tomorrow because I am still craving blood orange bars that are actually edible!]