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Lemon Bars

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Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Time: approximately 50-60 minutes to prepare and bake, plus a few hours to cool and 10 minutes to cut

Serves: makes 40 bars that are about 1.5 x 1.5 inches

Inspired by: I love lemon much more than chocolate and have always enjoyed any type of lemon dessert – cupcakes, cakes, candied lemon rind…  I don’t remember when I first made these or where I found the recipe, but they are so easy, and always come out just right. They are a nice balance to all the other flavors I often make for desserts at parties.

Ingredients:

CRUST

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (plus a little extra for dusting at the end)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

  1. To make the crust – preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish with foil, extending the foil over the rim: spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and butter with fingertips until well blended. Press mixture firmly (pack it down) into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly brown, 20-25 minutes.
  3. To make the filling – in a medium to large bowl, whisk sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until blended. Add eggs, lemon peel and lemon juice and whisk until blended.
  4. Pour filling over hot pie crust. Put it on a level shelf in the oven and bake until set – about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Dust top lightly with confectioners’ sugar. To serve, use foil “handles” to lift crisp out of pan. Place on cutting board and cut into squares.

Notes: I’ve used granulated sugar instead of confectioners’ sugar in the crust when I only had enough confectioners’ sugar for the dusting at the end. It worked out just fine but the crust gets harder. I think the finer confectioners’ sugar is the better way to go. Once I used raspberry preserves instead of the lemon juice and lemon rind and those came out great too.

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