Tart lemon filling and a buttery crust are the perfect combination in these extra thick Lemon Bars.
Everyone needs a really good lemon bar in their recipe collection and this one definitely fills the bill! What makes them so perfect, you ask? For starters, these bars are a little thicker than most other recipes, which means more cookie-licious crust and extra lemony goodness! The other bonus is that it makes a 9×13-inch pan! Yay! Many recipes for Lemon Bars make a square pan. In my house, that would disappear waaay too fast. Making a bigger pan means more for you and some extras to share with a few close friends.
This winter has been filled with baking all things chocolate, pumpkin, gingerbread, and more. But daylight savings time was this weekend, which means spring is just around the corner! What better way to celebrate than baking some refreshing, luscious lemon bars!
These little bites of springtime go together quickly, starting with the crust. Compare different recipes and you will find all kinds variations in the crust. Basically, it’s a combination of butter, sugar, flour and a bit of salt. Some use cold butter, cutting it into the flour and sugar with a pastry blender. Other recipes use softened butter, creaming it into the sugar and then mixing it in with the flour. I prefer the second option, because it’s a little quicker to mix up, which means the sooner they are ready to eat! The crust ingredients get mixed together, pressed into a pan and partially baked.
While the crust is baking, you can mix up the lemon custard layer. This tart lemon filling uses a whole cup of lemon juice. Use fresh-squeezed juice for the most refreshing flavor. If you don’t have that many fresh lemons in your frig, then you can substitute some bottled juice. Preferably don’t substitute more than half with bottled juice, but if you are in dire need of a lemon fix and lacking in lemons, you can use more. Just know that the absolute best flavor comes from squeezing.
Simply whisk the filling ingredients together in a bowl. You can even use the bowl from making the crust…no need to wash extra bowls! The filling gets poured over the baked crust and it all gets popped back in the oven until set. When the bars have completely cooled, you have two choices. Do you prefer room temperature Lemon Bars or do you like them cold? It’s up to you! You can either give them a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar, cut them into bars and keep at room temperature OR you can refrigerate them and serve them later. Either way, these tart and sweet bars are a sure sign that warmer weather is on the way! Happy Baking!
Yields 24 bars
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup flour
- -powdered sugar for dusting
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In large bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until well blended.
- Stir in 2 cups flour and salt; mix just until blended.
- Press dough into bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Chill 10 minutes.
- Bake crust at 350 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile,in same bowl, whisk together eggs, 3 cups sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until well blended. Whisk in 1 cup flour and mix until well combined.
- Pour filling mixture over partially baked crust. Bake 30-35 minutes, until filling is set in the middle, but not browned.
- Cool completely. Dust generously with powdered sugar and serve at room temperature or chill until serving time and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.