Lemon Bars

My boyfriend has been requesting lemon bars for quite some time, so I finally broke down and decided to make them. Specifically, I decided not to make them from a box.

I searched various recipes, all very similar, and decided to go with the Betty Crocker Luscious Lemon Squares. How could you go wrong when the word ‘luscious’ is in the title? A quick scan of the comments section made me consider amending the original recipe, if only just slightly, to increase the lemony tartness of the bars. Since I didn’t taste test the original recipe and the amended recipe side to side, it is impossible to stay whether one was better than the other. But I am willing to trust the commenters.

Below please find the recipe for the bars that I made:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup (or one stick) of butter/margarine 
  • ¼ cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt (I just poured some in the cup of my hand, a la Rachel Ray) 
  • 2 eggs
  • + Additional powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Optional – yellow food coloring (5-6 drops to enhance yellow coloring. I added a sprinkle more sugar to the mixture to counter the additional liquid.)

Mix flour, softened butter and powdered sugar to form the crust. Spread and press firmly in round cake pan. Place into a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake for twenty minutes.

In the meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients. The original recipe calls for you to beat the mixture with an electric mixer for three minutes.Alas, I only had the patience for one minute.

Once the crust is done, pour the entire egg and lemon juice mixture over it and place back in the oven for an additional 25-30 minutes. At 25 minutes my lemon cake was looking a little brown on top. Not sure why, but it made me nervous. However, I opted to leave the cake in for a few more minutes – pushing the suggested 30 minute mark – because the top would continue to leave indents when pressed lightly with my finger. The original recipe suggests that the bars are done once its passes this test.

It is crucial to let the lemon bars sit out for a while to make sure it sets properly. Next time I make these, I plan on letting them set overnight (as oppose to just two hours) before giving them a final sprinkle of powdered sugar and digging in.

Since my boyfriend ended up consuming every last drop of the dessert within 36 hours, I can officially declare them a success.

Want to make them yourself? You can find the original recipe here or try my amended version above.