Saturday, January 26, 2013

Perfect Lemon Bars






I've kind of been on a lemon kick lately. They just seem so refreshing and bright, the exact opposite of these colder winter days.  A few weeks ago, I even used lemons to decorate my dining room hutch once I took Christmas decorations down.  Then, just couple of days ago our neighbor gave me a bag full of fresh lemons.  I was so excited!  I wanted to try a new recipe which called for fresh lemon juice.  I came across a recipe from Averie Cooks, and couldn't wait to try it!
Well, I have to tell you that they turned out to be the perfect lemon bars.  They were not too tangy, not too sweet.  Just perfect!  When you bite into these bars, you think you've just had a swig of fresh lemonade!  And the consistency was just right.  So here is the recipe:




Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 heaping cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • pinch salt

For the Filling:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice  (if you don't want it to be too intense, I'd add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons).
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 


Directions:

For the crust:  Combine all of the dry ingredients.  Flour, confectioner's sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Then mix in the butter.  I just use my fingers, but feel free to use a food processor, or a pastry cutter.  Line a 8"X8" pan with foil, then spray the foil.  Pour the crust mixture into the pan and gently press it down.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 min.  You don't want the crust to brown (see picture below).  You just barely want it to seal together.  Remove from oven.


While the crust is baking mix the filling together.  Combine the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice and half and half.  Whisk until smooth.  Then add the vanilla, flour and lemon zest.  Whisk until all the little flour lumps are gone.  Pour on top of the crust and bake about 18-22 minutes.  The key here is that you want the filling to just barely set.  I was a little confused at first because it wasn't supposed to look like liquid at the top, but yet it could be jiggly.  At 20 minutes mine still looked a little liquidy to me.  I cooked it about 22 minutes, but it probably would have been ok at 20, now that I know what I am looking at.  (If you have made plenty of cheesecakes, you probably would be a better judge at this than I am.  :0)

Let the bars cool and then place in the fridge to chill anywhere from 3 hours to over night.  When it is ready slice yourself a peice sprinkled with powder sugar. Then sit back, close your eyes and enjoy the rich lemony flavor of summer!


These are definitely a new favorite at our house, and a perfect way to brighten up these grey weary days!




For complete nutritional information, click the button below:


29 comments:

  1. I love lemon bars, these look amazing! I just started a new link party and would love for you to come over and share your post or any social media sites. Talkin’ About Thursday - http://designeddecor.com/talkin-about-thursday-link-party4/
    DeDe@DesignedDecor

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  2. These look delicious! Pinning them so I can make them some time very soon :)

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  3. Wow these look totally scrummy. I love anything tangy and citrusey (is that a word?. Always makes a welcomed change to the sweetness of chocolate. Thanks for popping by and commenting on The Velvet Moon Baker :D

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  4. Heart be still. I love lemon treats, and bars, and your pictures are gorg too. Sharing on my FB page now. Hugs, jen

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  5. WOW. Those are gorgeous. Fantastic photos :) Pinning now!

    If you don't mind I wanted to invite you to come link up at Recipe Sharing Monday and share your favorite recipes. Have a super week. :)

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  6. Mmmmm. Lemon bars are my favorite. Your photos are gorgeous and seriously have me salivating. I'm pinning this and the next time I bake this is what I'm going to make.

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    1. Thank you Crystal! You'll have to let me know how you like them when you make them. :0)

      Melissa

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  7. I love lemon bars! Or really, anything made with lemon! :)

    I would love it if you would link up at Martha Mondays, open now through Wednesday night!

    http://www.watchoutmartha.net/2013/01/martha-mondays-link-up-party-128.html

    ~Amanda
    www.watchoutmartha.net

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  8. I love anything lemon! These look fantastic. Thanks for sharing!!
    Oh and I am following you!
    Hope you have a great week :)
    Nancy

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  9. Lemon bars are my favorite dessert! I will try this recipe. I am a new follower. Patsy

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  10. Hello!
    Show and Tell Saturday at Sassy Little Lady is LIVE! I’d love to have you share your post!

    http://www.sassylittlelady.com/blog/show-and-tell-saturday/show-and-tell-saturday-2

    Kathie

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  11. Oh, these are gorgeous! What a perfect way to warm and brighten up these chilly days. I used to love lemon bars as a kid, but haven't had them in years. I'm going to try converting this recipe gluten free.
    -Dana (in awe of your photography too!)

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  12. Hi Melissa,

    I haven't gotten around to making them yet, but I sure have been dreaming about them. :) I just featured the recipe on Sew Creative in my Weekly Inspiration Post on Valentine’s Day Baking. I’d love for you to take a look!

    http://www.sewcreativeblog.com/weekly-inspiration-5-valentines-day-baking-recipes/

    Best Wishes,

    Crystal

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  13. Those look amazing! And your pics are making my mouth water!

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  14. In the oven right now....can't wait to taste!!!!

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  15. These were absolutely delicious, my new favorite. And they were so easy. Thank you for sharing this.

    Donna

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  16. do u think u could make this with lemon juice from a bottle? would the amt need to be adjusted?

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    1. I would think that would be fine Carlie. I would imagine that it wouldn't be quite as potent though. The lemon is quite strong, so I don't know that I would adjust the amount to more until after you've tried it once. You may find that the same amount, but with the juice from a bottle works just right. :0) Hope that helps.

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  17. thanks for replying! I will try it somtime and let you know how its goes!

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  18. This recipe is delightfully dreamy! I love anything lemony right now and prefer these with slightly less sugar to bring out the tart flavor of the fruit. It's been a long winter and these brought some sunshine smiles to my family's faces when the days were gloomy. Thanks!

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  19. So easy a husband can do it. :) Thanks!

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  20. Is there any sustitute for half n alf ? i cant find it here :(

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  21. Is zest of lemon essential for the taste ? N one more thing how many does this recipe make as we are only two

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  22. Just made this, and waiting for lemon bars to cool down! cant wait to try them

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  23. Just made this, and waiting for lemon bars to cool down! cant wait to try them

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    Replies
    1. Great! What did you think? I just made them last week too! Soooo yummy!

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  24. Making these! Melted butter or room temp? Thanks for sharing!

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