Lemon Bars

by Liz on February 5, 2012

lemon bars

Please forgive me, but this is the only photo I have of these beauties. I’ve been doing a fair amount of cooking lately, but most of it has been around 10 p.m., which is just not a good time for food photography. Besides these lemon bars, this past week I’ve made a really great salmon dish, mango curry chicken, and a chocolate peanut butter layer cake for my husband’s birthday. I’ve also been busy with school, as usual. This semester, I’m only taking four classes, which is still full-time, but on the lighter side of full time. I’m glad that I have a couple of days without classes this semester so that I’ve got a little more time to cook and bake. These lemon bars have been on the “must make” list for a long time, and I’m happy to have finally had the time and inspiration to make them! I am a lover of all things lemon, so these are right up my alley. I’m also one of those weirdos that if it’s a choice between a lemon bar or chocolate cake, I’ll probably choose the lemon bar. And with these, the choice is that much easier.

Lemon bars
Adapted only the tiniest bit from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

6 large eggs at room temperature (if you’re like me and always forget to take them out of the refrigerator early, just put them in a bowl of slightly warm water for a minute or two)
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (should take about 4-6 lemons, depending on size of the lemon)
1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed, about 6 lemons (I highly recommend investing in one of these to juice lemons.)
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation:

For the crust, use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Then add the salt and flour, reducing speed to low, mixing until just combined. Take the dough out of the bowl and place onto a well-floured counter or board. Gather it into a ball, then flatten a bit and place into a 9″x 13″x 2″ baking dish, pressing dough into an even layer, coming about a 1/2-inch up the sides. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes until very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack, leaving the oven on.

While the crust is cooling, whisk together all the ingredients for the filling.(Tip: On the reviews for this recipe, one reviewer suggest whisking it for about 8 minutes to make sure that the filling stays set if you’re going to have these around for multiple days. I put the whisk attachment on my mixer and let it go for about 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Everything seemed really well combined, and my bars did stay set for multiple days.) After crust has cooled, pour the filling on top and bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature or chill in the refrigerator. I prefer them cold, but it’s up to you. Dust with powdered sugar if you choose. Enjoy!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Oh my…. Chocolate peanut butter layer cake….. Lemon bars are always a surprise. I usually pass them in a buffet but every time i decide to give it a chance, it was worth it.

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