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What?! It’s a double recipe post? I know, you must think I am crazy. Well, I kinda am. I managed to get two new baked goods done this weekend for your viewing and (for some) tasting pleasure. First: spent grain lemon bars. These are made with the spent grain we had left over from the watermelon pale we brewed over the weekend. It has standard 2 row malt with some wheat and crystal 20 baked at 250 degrees F for 4 hours then left in the oven to dry out. These were baked with some of Valiant Brewing’s First Flight American Strong Ale 13.7%ABV which is sweet and has notes of caramel and fruitiness. Second: honeycomb candy. I have made this a few times before so instead of re-post the recipe, I will link to the process here. The only thing I want to note is I have found that if you add the beer right at 300 degrees then the baking powder you are better off because if you add the beer too early it’s easy to burn. I should know, I ruined two batches. If you live in Orange County and haven’t been to Valiant yet, it’s defiantly worth the trip. I wrote about their soft opening here.

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Spent Grain Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

3/4 cup or 1 & 1/2 sticks butter, either very cold or frozen and cut into small cubes or grated (like cheese)

1 3/4 cups AP flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup spent grain

For the filling:

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons of AP flour

1/4 teaspoons coarse salt

3/4 cups lemon juice

1/4 cup beer

1 tablespoon lemon zest

powdered sugar for dusting

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Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or butter a 9×13 glass pan. You can either line it with parchment paper for easy removing or cut the squares out. Beware of cutting, it can make them less pretty.

2. In a food processor, finely grind the spent grain. Add the flour. Once you have mixed the spent grain and flour together, measure out 1 & 3/4 cups of the mixture and place in a bowl. If you don’t have spent grain, you can just use 1 & 3/4 cups flour. Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt and flour mixture. Add the small pieces of cold butter. Some people have the patience to use a wooden spoon but I prefer a pastry cutter coupled with my hands mashing the mixture together until it becomes sandy. Be careful to not use your hand too long because the heat of your hands will melt the butter.

3. Press the crust mixture into the prepared dish in an even layer. Put in the freezer to set. Once the crust is cool (after 15-20 mins) bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. The edges should be golden brown.

4. While the crust is baking, make the filling. Basically whisk everything together and then pour over the hot crust. Turn the oven down to 325 and cook for another 18-20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then either lift out or cut out the squares to continue to cool on a wire rack. Once totally cool, dust with confectioners sugar.

These lemon bars were delicious. I used meyer lemons which are naturally sweeter. I am lucky that my soon to be mother-in-law has a meyer lemon tree because I have lemon bars and lemonade stocking my fridge. The spent grain added similar texture to that of a crunchy granola or oats to the crust. I think it was a successful use the leftover spent grain after homebrewing.

Yields: 12 to 24 squares, depending on how big or small you cut

Lasts: 2 days

Season: Spring and Summer

Level: Beginner

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