Thursday, June 7, 2012

lemony lemon bars

When life gives me lemons, I make lemony lemon bars. Lemon bars are the perfect treat to make during the summer months. These luscious square bars have a buttery shortbread crust with a tangy citrus topping. They are perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day.

We have several lemon trees in our yard and during the summer, when lemons are abundant, I enjoy picking them off the trees and making these fresh lemony lemon bars. These bars are really simple and can be quickly whipped up.

My daughter, Gigi, had one of her girlfriends, Izzy, over to our house, so I made them lemony lemon bars. They helped me pick some lemons off from our lemon trees.  The tress are still a bit sparse with lemons, since it is only June, but there were more than enough (3 to 4) for these lemony lemon bars. 

Grate the zest from the lemons prior to juicing them.

I cut my lemony lemon bars into large squares. After everyone has eaten their bar, my hubby then recuts them into smaller ones for himself. Maybe he thinks that he isn't eating as much if they are smaller, but somehow every square disappears.

Once cooled, I take a small strainer, usually one use for tea, and sprinkle lots of powdered sugar on top.

Meet Izzy, a few of her favorite things are friends, food, books, the ocean, and laughter.  She is a bright, spunky, and beautiful girl.  We just love having her over to our house.

Meet Gigi, a few of her favorite things are the beach, Instagram, the TV show Nitro Circus with Travis Pastrana, and Rob Dyrdeks Fantasy Factory.  Gigi is very intelligent, super sweet, and gorgeous! She is a very special person in my life.

Both Gigi and Izzy ate their lemony lemon bars and quickly took off to meet up with their friends, leaving me with recollections of my younger teenage years with my friends during the summer.

Lemony lemon bars
Adapted from Cookies and Brownies, by Alice Medrich


For the crust:
1 stick unsalted butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8-teaspoon salt
1-cup all-purpose flour

For the lemon topping:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3-tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
½ cup strained fresh lemon juice (approximately 3 to 4 lemons)
1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Line an 8-inch square pan on the bottom and up all 4 sides with foil or parchment paper.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Using your fingers, press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden.

Meanwhile, stir together the sugar and flour in a medium bowl until well mixed. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

When the crust is ready, remove from oven and lower the oven down to 300 degrees F. Carefully pour the filling over the hot crust and return to oven.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is puffed at the edges and no longer jiggles in the center, when the pan is tapped. Chill to cool completely. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut into 3 rows by 3 rows for large bars or 6 rows by 6 rows for smaller sized bars.

Serve and enjoy!


  1. I just love lemon bars! These look like the perfect consistency, too!

    Such a great idea to use a little loose tea ball to sprinkle powdered sugar! I'll have to try that. I use a bigger strainer and it ends up getting powdered sugar all over the counter as well as the plate, so thanks :)

  2. These lemon bars look delicious. I'm gonna try to make them for fathers day, they are my husbands favourite, your recipe looks like it will be a winner, thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you Alessandra for your comment. I'm sure these will be a hit with your hubby - Enjoy Father's Day!



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