Monday, January 10, 2011

luscious lemon bars

Jessica visited Cville yesterday! I haven't seen that girl in...half a year? More than that? Failed skype dates, busy schedules, being about 10 hours apart, yadda yadda yadda. So she decided to visit; came over in the evening, stayed the night, we grabbed some breakfast [i.e. 32 ounces of iced coffee] this morning, and then parted ways as I went to work and she went to visit other friends.

Not gonna lie, about 2 months ago she sent me a message asking if I could mail her some food after a tough week. And I said "Yes! Of course!"

...and then I got busy, promptly forgot, and ended up not doing it.

But after she told me that she was coming by, I knew this was my moment of redemption.

Luscious Lemon Bars
Adapted from The Cookie & Biscuit Bible

For the crust, you'll need:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes 
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

For the topping, you'll need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • juice of one large lemon, about 1/3 cup [add bottled lemon juice as needed]
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • confectioner's sugar, for dusting 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8-inch square cake pan with aluminum foil, and grease the bottom and sides.

To prepare crust, process flour, butter, and confectioner's sugar in a food processor or stand mixer on high speed until mixture firms into a dough. Add cold water, one tbsp at a time, if dough isn't coming together. Press dough evenly into the base of the tin and spread smoothly using the back of a spoon. Bake for 12-15 minutes until crust is lightly golden. Set aside and let cool.

To prepare topping, whisk eggs until frothy. Add sugar little by little, whisking in between additions. Whisk in lemon juice, zest, flour, and baking soda until mixture is smooth. Pour onto cooled crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set and golden. Leave bars to cool completely before cutting. Refrigerating until serving. Sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top, right before serving.

I love lemon bars. I think everyone else on the planet does, too. The shortbread-like crust, the silky smooth, tart, bright yellow topping, the combination of both textures when you take a bite. What's not to love?

The particular cookbook I used for this recipe has about 4 other 'lemon bar' recipes, all unique. I want to try them all and figure out which are the best. When I initially made this following the book's ratios and took a test bite, though, I found the bars to be slightly too sweet and not tart enough [though, the lack of actual sugar for the past while may have contributed to the massive sugar rush that ensued]. Nevertheless, the ratios I've typed above are altered to how I would bake them in future.

...should have sprinkled some powdered sugar on top. curse my impatience.

Hmm. I really need some new serving plates. So I don't resort to white, paper plates for contrast. Plates that make everything else seem more orange than they actually are. Or maybe that's just my coffee table. Ugh. -overly dramatic sigh-

Photographic aesthetics aside, I hope these made up for my forgetfulness last semester, Jess!


  1. Ooooooooooooh they look soo delish!Do you have any leftovers?

  2. Oh and I like this new look!But then you keep losing your previous posts.
    You will love to cook in our new kitchen .we have top of the line appliances!


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