Today we’re on lemon bars again. I’ve got a few lemon bar recipes on Dough-Eyed, but this is a simple, classic version, and I think we can all use a bright, lemony dessert right about now! I know you guys are still home and baking, and this is a solid recipe to take us into the weekend.

Lemon bars are typically two layers; the first is a butter shortbread crust. I’m using my favorite shortbread cookie recipe here, cut down to fit into an 8×8 inch pan. The second layer is a lemon custard, and when baked, it becomes a smooth, jammy, tart filling that we all know and love. Let’s get to it!

How To Make Classic Lemon Bars

Let’s start with the crust. We’re using a super simple shortbread cookie recipe for it. You’ll want to start by lining a square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave some overhang so you can easily remove the bars once they have baked.

Then, the crust comes together very quickly. Simply beat together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl for several minutes until combined. It should be a thick dough, but soft enough to smooth out into the pan. Then, we’re baking the crust alone for 10-12 minutes, or until it just started to become golden brown on top.

While the crust bakes, you can start on the filling. In two separate bowl, we’re whisking up the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry, and whisk until you have a smooth mixture.

Once the crust has baked, you can pour the filling right into the still-hot pan. Then, pop it back in the oven to bake the filling for 18-20 minutes. The filling should look set, and should no longer look liquidy in the middle if you give the pan a jiggle.

Cool the bars completely at this point- they are actually best served cold, and with a generous dusting of powdered sugar over the top. Enjoy!

Classic Lemon Bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs. lemon zest (from one large lemon)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 8x8 inch square cake pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.

  2. In a medium bowl, beat together all of the ingredients for the crust at once. It will take several minutes for everything to come together. It should be thick, but spreadable. Spread the dough into a thin, even layer in your prepared pan, and bake it for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust becomes a light golden brown around the edges and on top.

For the filling:

  1. While the crust bakes, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and whisk until smooth. It will be fairly thin.

  2. Once the crust is baked, pour the filling on top. The crust should still be hot, just from the oven. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 17-19 minutes, or until the filling looks set, and no longer looks liquid when you jiggle the pan lightly.

  3. Cool the bars completely, and then chill before serving for at least one hour. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!


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