Lemon Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
lemon bar crust that can be overly butter laden, these bars are made with a vanilla cookie crust. The lemon filling is sublime, both sweet and tart, and sets up to a firm texture that is easy to cut and serve. Traditional lemon bars are sprinkled with powdered sugar before serving, but they are just as delicious without the sugar sprinkle – you choose.
Recipe type: Dessert | Bar Cookie
Vanilla Cookie Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
Lemon Filling:
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons grated lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • Tip: Use a citrus zester and citrus juicer for fresh zest and freshly squeezed juice.
Topping (Optional):
  • ¼ to ½ cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Prepare one 13x9x2 inch oblong pan; line with heavy duty aluminum foil, allowing extra foil to overhang the edge to make easy to remove after baking. Use a pastry brush to brush softened butter over bottom and sides of the foil.
Vanilla Cookie Crust:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolks, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons cream. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together and can be formed into a ball. Tip: If the dough seems too dry add another tablespoon of cream.
  3. Sprinkle dough evenly into prepared pan. Use your hands to press dough into pan, smoothing the surface and spreading in the pan as evenly as possible. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, at least 30 minutes.
  4. While dough is refrigerating, preheat oven to 350 degrees F, allowing 15 to 20 minutes for the oven to preheat before baking.
  5. Bake: Remove pan from refrigerator, place in oven and bake 30 minutes or until the edges of the crust turn a light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside while preparing lemon filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Lemon Filling:
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan over low heat, combine sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and butter. Cook and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until butter is melted and mixture is thickened, about 7 to 8 minutes or registers 170 degrees using a candy or instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. Remove from heat.
  2. Immediately pour hot mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean nonreactive bowl to strain out the lemon zest and any pieces of cooked egg. Stir in the whipping cream, and then pour into the baked crust.
  3. Bake: Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the center 3 inches is almost set but still jiggles slightly if pan is shaken. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When cool refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to serve.
  4. Use the foil overhang to lift bar from the pan, and cut into 2 inch squares. Tip: My favorite tool to cut bars is a stainless steel dough scraper; simply push the dough scraper straight down into the bar for straight cuts. Or use a pizza cutter or small kitchen knife to cut into squares.
Topping (Optional):
  1. Just before serving, use a fine mesh sieve to dust the top of the bars with powdered sugar. Refrigerate leftovers. Tip: Add the powdered sugar just before serving as the sugar will soak into the bars as they sit.
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 13"x9"x2" Oblong Pan Prep: Foil Lined and Buttered Pastry: Vanilla Cookie Pastry Prep: Baked Starting Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 2 Dozen bars Storage: Cover, Cool Place or Refrigerate

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips

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Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cookie/lemon-bars/