Ok so for Easter, or Mother’s Day, or a graduation party, or any day in between, lemon bars are the perfect spring time treat! I recently posted more cheesecakey lemon bars, but this recipe is closer to the classic.
It originally called for a bigger pan, but I made them in a 9 x 9 pan so they came out super thick!!! They are super fun and yummy, but if you want to make them thinner, I recommend using a 13 x 9 pan instead.
Instead of a graham cracker crust, this bar uses a shortbread-type crust. It’s more hardy and durable. I also added some crushed slivered almonds to give it more crunch. Yum!
I also used Meyer lemons, which I’ve written about in the same previous post as mentioned above, but they are basically a lot less tart, and a lot more orange in color than a regular lemon. If you wish to use a plain old lemon, though, go right ahead!
Oh, and the marshmallows are optional of course, but let’s face it, you’ll want to have them to garnish because they’re just so gosh-darned pretty!
You will need:
A food processor
A 13 x 9 or 9 x 9 pan (depending on how thick you wish your bars to be!)
2 Large mixing bowls
1 cup melted, unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra fine baker’s sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup crushed slivered almonds
2 cups flour
Dash of cinnamon
2 cups extra fine baker’s sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
1 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
Powdered Sugar to top the bars
Marshmallows optional for garnish
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes total
Chill time: 4 hours
Preheat oven to 300ºF
Line the pan with aluminum foil. You may even want to double it up because this will allow you to lift the bars out of the pan. Leave about 2 inches of overhang on the sides!
Grease the prepared pan with cooking spray and set aside.
For the crust:
1.Using a food processor, pulse the almonds until slightly crushed. You do NOT want a fine powder. Just broken up enough to add some texture to the shortbread crust!
- Using a rubber scraper, stir together the melted butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla and almond extracts in your large bowl, until well blended. Add the flour and gently fold all the ingredients together until combined. Add a dash (or more) of cinnamon to taste.
Press the mix until the prepared pan and push it down evenly using the bottom of a flat glass or measuring cup. This will ensure a proper crust level all around!
Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
For the filling:
Make the filling while the crust bakes!
1.Whisk sugar and flour in your other mixing bowl, until combined.
- Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk until you have a fine mixture.
If crust is finished baking, remove from oven and set on a heat-safe surface.
Pour lemon mixture onto crust and return to oven to bake for an additional 25 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and if the bars do not dance when you jiggle them, then they’re ready to be cooled.
Take your zester and zest some lemon peel onto the top of the bars while they’re still warm.
Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours. They may be frozen, but make sure they are in an air-tight container. They will keep 4-5 days in the fridge. Freezing will likely be longer, but I wouldn’t keep them for more than a month.
When completely chilled, dust with powdered sugar and then surprise and delight your family and friends with this special treat!
Yields 12-24 bars.
So that’s it! A simple twist on a classic lemon bar recipe that can be yours to keep forever! I hope you love them. They are quite tart, but delightful. Don’t forget to share 😉