Lemon Bars

by Beth on April 14, 2009

I’ve always been a fan of lemon-flavored treats. When I was growing up, my family would often pick up doughnuts at the local Honey Dew Donuts after Sunday mass. My favorites changed from year to year, but I always loved the lemon filled powdered sugar doughnut. Since powdered sugar + lemon filling = delicious, it certainly makes sense that I would love lemon bars!

I finally took the plunge and made my own bars this past weekend. They were the perfect Easter dessert – sweet, fruity and light-tasting. With the flaky crust and light, tart filling, it’s easy to forget that these bars aren’t exactly good for you. :)

I searched high and low for the perfect recipe, and ended up using one from my classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. The crust and filling were quite easy to make. Since I like my lemon bars to taste quite lemony, I doubled the amount of lemon zest. This recipe also gave me the opportunity to try out my nifty new Wilton pastry blender. I made the mistake of sifting powdered sugar over the bars several hours before serving them. The sugar pretty much melted away, and I had to re-sift right before dessert.

These bars were a hit, both at Easter dessert and at my husband’s office. The bars disappeared quickly and garnered rave reviews.

Lemon Bars

Yields 24 bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1-2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup half and half, light cream or milk
powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp cornstarch and salt.
3. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Press mixture into baking pan and bake 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden.
5. Meanwhile, whisk together egss, granulated sugar, 3 tbsp flour, zest, lemon juice and half and half.
6. Pour filling over hot crust and bake for 15-20 minutes more, or until center is set.
7. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
8. Sift with powdered sugar and cut into bars.
9. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

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