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Lemon Bars

The filling in these is pleasantly tart and the crust tastes like shortbread—delicious! If you don’t serve these right away, sprinkle them with extra confectioners’ sugar for a snow-white topping.

Serves3 dozen bars

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Game Day

Recipe CourseDessert

EquipmentBaking/gratin Dish, Electric Mixer, Food Processor

MealTea

Taste and TextureSweet, Tart

Type of DishCookie

Ingredients

  • Butter for the baking pan
  • 14 tablespoons (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 or 5 large lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

  2. TO MAKE THE CRUST:

  3. Cut the butter into chunks and place in a food processor. Add the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and salt. Process until a firm, slightly crumbly dough forms.

  4. Press into the bottom of the buttered pan.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F when you remove the bars from the oven.

  7. TO MAKE THE FILLING:

  8. Finely grate the zest of 1 of the lemons and squeeze the juice from all the lemons. You should have about ¾ cup of juice, and you’ll need 1 teaspoon of the grated zest; set aside.

  9. In the bowl of an electric mixer, lightly beat the eggs. Beat in the granulated sugar, flour, salt, milk, and lemon zest.

  10. Add the lemon juice and beat well.

  11. When the crust has cooled for about 10 minutes, pour the filling over the top.

  12. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is set and the bars are golden brown.

  13. When the pan has cooled, generously dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into bars.

  14. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered in a single layer, for up to 2 days.

Notes:

Lemon Bars do not freeze well.

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