Lemon Bars | Magnolia Days

Lemon seems to be quite the popular ingredient these days. Perhaps it has been that way all along and I never noticed. Only in recent years has my taste for lemon grown. I really didn’t care for it all that much for the longest time. Now I cook and bake with it often. A squeeze of fresh juice or a bit of zest can perk up so many things.

Lemon desserts have a certain lightness to them. At least it seems that way to me. It may be the balance of sweet and tart or the freshness of citrus. Either way, they don’t feel as heavy as other desserts. When it came time to make a dessert for a recent celebration, I chose lemon bars. One reason is because my friend Terry very much enjoys lemon. It was her birthday and I knew we would be going out for a big sushi dinner. I felt a heavy cheesecake or chocolate cake would be too much. The small bars were just right for the evening.

The lemon bar recipe is a quick and easy one. It’s pretty much two bowls and a square pan. Well, there may be some measuring devices and a grater involved too. Oh, and a hand mixer. The steps are basically mix, bake, mix, bake, dust, cool, and cut. That is what I call easy. The longest time is waiting for it to cool before cutting. The flavor is lemon through and through. The bars are sweet but not overly sweet.

Would you like more lemon recipes? Take a look at my lemon pie tartlets, oil and lemon dressing, lemon parsley cocktail, and lemon clarified butter. There are also these recipes from some of my fellow food blogger friends:

So go get some lemons and head into the kitchen. Bake lemon bars and keep on cooking. Make it an adventure and try something new. You never know when you will discover a new favorite.

Lemon Bars

1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes 12 bars or 16 squares

Lemon Bars

For the crust:

    • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • Pinch of salt
    • Zest from 1/2 lemon

For the filling and garnish:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

For the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom only of a 8- X 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, add all crust ingredients. Beat using an electic hand mixer on medium speed until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Spread and press down evenly. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

For the filling and garnish:

While the crust is baking, make the filling. In a medium bowl, add all filling ingredients. Beat using an electric mixer on low speed until well combined and scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the filling over the partially baked crust. Contine baking until filling is set, about 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Cut into rectangle bars or squares and serve immediately. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from one on the Land O Lakes website.