Monday, March 8, 2010

Lemon Bars

When Gabe and I first started dating, he made these lemon bars for me.
He's never made them for me since. That's not his fault really, I don't let him in the kitchen to make any meal other than breakfast. The man can cook a mean sunny side up egg.

Lucky for me, the recipe's his mom's and he wrote it down (however illegible the handwriting). It comes together pretty easily and they're YUUUUMMY. Hope you give them a go.

Start w/ some flour. I saw some post last week that spelled 'flour', 'flower'. This was some chick who claimed to love baking. I'm a bit of a spelling nazi. It annoyed me.

Powdered sugar:
Now, let it be known that I regularly think one stick of butter is only 1/4 cup - it's not. ONE stick of butter is 1/2 cup. Say it again: ONE stick of butter is 1/2 cup. I've corrected myself several times but I failed today and made the same mistake again. The real recipe only requires ONE stick of butter, which is how much, class? 1/2 cup.
I was clever enough to use the butter wrapper to grease the pan - which, let's face it people, when you use a whole CUP of butter when only 1/2 is required, the greasing of the pan is ridiculously redundant.
See how clever I am? Thought I was being smart.
That extra stick of butter is shamefully rich. But I have a bit of a secret: it made them even better. I'm going to continue writing the recipe and pretend like I made it w/ the correct amt of butter, but you'll know the truth. It'll be our dirty little secret.
Cut the butter into the flour and powdered sugar until it resembles a coarse meal texture.
One of these helps:
Wow..that crust looks pretty buttery, doesn't it? It is.
Press into an 8 x 8" pan:
If it sticks to your fingers, dust a little flour on your fingertips.
Should look something like this. This is the point where I did a double take on the recipe and realized my mistake. I thought about making another crust but then I would've just wasted TWO sticks of butter. No. I shan't. Charge forward. Stay the course. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
For the filling:
Two room temperature eggs.
Beat until incorporated.
Whisk in sugar.

Juice a lemon - you'll need 3 tbsp.
Meyer lemons, I'm having a love affair w/ them.
This lemon produced about 4 tbsp. and I just used all 4. I already screwed up the recipe, I thought. Go big or go home.
Mix 2 tbsp. flour and 1/2 tsp. baking powder.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.
I did it in a few batches.
This is what it looks like when it's all mixed. A little foamy on top - don't be alarmed.
It's actually a pale yellow - here's a picture w/ flash to show the color. Pour this on top of the baked crust (no need to cool) and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
I was so annoyed w/ myself at the butter ordeal, I didn't take a photo of my crust of shame. This is what it looked like:
Cut into about 12 squares.. ..and sprinkle w/ powdered sugar to make them SUPER pretty.
The crust was SUPER buttery.
In fact, you can't tell where the crust and filling end and meet.
Then I ate one and had to slice up some lemon slices to cover up the empty spot where I just ate one of the bars.

Lemon Bars

1/4 c. butter (ONE stick, people)
1 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the flour and sugar together, cut in the butter (room temp is fine) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal texture. Try not to overwork the dough. Press the dough into an 8x8" square pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Beat the eggs until incorporated. Whisk in sugar until melted - about 5 minutes. Mix in lemon juice. Mix flour and baking powder together and sprinkle in slowly to egg mixture. When the crust is finished, pour the egg/lemon mixture on top and put back in the oven (still at 350 degrees) for 20-25 minutes until filling is set.

Let cool and cut into 12 squares, sprinkle w/ powdered sugar. Enjoy!


  1. Oh no! Now I'm craving lemon bars!!! The real problem is no one else in my family likes them so that'd leave the whole pan for only me. Guess I could share them with the neighbors!

  2. I love seeing new people! Sometimes I wish I had that problem so I wouldn't have to take all my goodies to work. Gabe skips meals and eats a few of these if left to his own vices. Thanks for the comment Sarah!