As a self-proclaimed chocoholic and cupcake connoisseur, I don’t need to remind you what my go-to desserts are. For Easter, I thought I’d switch it up a bit and make lemon bars, which I’d never tried. I know. It’s such a classic dessert and I figured it was high time I try my hand at it.
I’ve always turned up my nose at “fruity” desserts and candy, until recently. Don’t feed me fruit salad and call it “dessert.” I was always a Snickers and Reeses gal, never the Twizzlers-chomping, Skittles-eating, Starburst-popping friend. I used to believe that if it wasn’t chocolate, I didn’t want it. Somewhere along the line, I became a convert. Either that, or my sugar addiction just took over my body and it didn’t matter what form the sugar took, so long as it was pumping through my veins.
This is the perfect example of “don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” I loved these lemon bars.
It took me two recipes and three attempts to perfect these luscious treats. I’m not sure why I had such a tough time, since the recipes I tried were not difficult or very involved. If this batch hadn’t worked out, I was done trying. As they say, third time’s a charm. My solution was to double the shortbread crust to make the bars a little sturdier, as well as line the pan with foil for easy removal, which resulted in prettier bars.
Yields 16 bars
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- additional confectioners sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350. To make the crust, combine the confectioners sugar, flour and sea salt in a large bowl. Cut in the cold butter and work with your fingers until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
- Press into a greased nine inch pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
- To make the filling, whisk together the granulated sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the zest and the juice and mix until everything is smooth and combined.
- Pour filling over hot crust and return to oven to bake for another twenty minutes. When done, the filling will no longer jiggle. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing and dusting with powdered sugar.
These bars were thick with an amazing consistency. Despite doubling the crust, the lemon filling was still the dominant layer. The crust was buttery with a nice bite: slightly crumbly, but not hard or soggy. The lemon filling was bright and tangy, with a great balance of sweet and tart. These bars were rich but refreshing.
I think Jenna describes these best when she says, “These are for the serious lemon lover….or the chocoholic looking to branch out.”
Consider me a branched-out chocoholic.