Lemon Bars

May 13, 2012

lemon bars

When I was baking professionally, I made many hundreds, if not thousands, of these. There are many recipes for lemon bars out there, and all are based on the same basic formula – a tangy lemon filling baked over a buttery shortbread crust. Lemon bars are easy  to make and nearly everyone loves them.

My recipe has a nice balance of sweet and tart in the filling, with a tender crust and a lemony glaze drizzled over the top.

I’ve been using this recipe for years.
lemon bars

Press the crust into the prepared pan.
lemon bars

If needed, flour your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to them, and press it evenly into the pan. 
lemon bars

A microplane grater does a lovely job on zesting the lemon. 
lemon zest

Pour the filling over the hot crust and continue baking.
lemon bars

Let the baked bars cool a bit, then drizzle the glaze over the top.
lemon bars

 To make the bars easier to cut, once the glaze is set use the parchment paper to lift the entire cookie out of the pan.
lemon bars

Missy’s Famous Lemon Bars

Crust
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

Filling
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup lemon juice
finely grated zest of 1 lemon (yellow part only)

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough to extend at least 1 inch up all four sides. Spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

For crust: beat butter and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. Add flour and mix well. Press into prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes, until very lightly browned.

Mix all filling ingredients until smooth and pour over top of hot crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until filling is set. Cool.

Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the crust in a decorative pattern. Allow glaze to set and use parchment to left the entire cookie out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into squares. Makes 16 large or 24 smaller bars.

(If you don’t have parchment paper, spray the pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray. The filling is quite sticky.)

lemon bars

lemon bars

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