Apr 4, 2011

Classic Lemon Bars

A luscious, tender, melt-in-your-mouth burst of sunshine to enjoy any time of the day.

Classic Lemon Bars

Makes 9 generous or 16 regular portions.

Ingredients

1 cup + 2 tbsp [250 + 30 ml] all-purpose flour
1¾ cup [437.5 ml] powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
2 tbsp [30 ml] finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
Pinch salt
½ cup [125 ml] chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (1 stick)
½ tsp [2.5 ml] baking powder
3 large eggs
¼ cup + 3 tbsp [62.5 + 45 ml] freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

Method

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.

Whisk together 1 cup of the flour, ¼ cup [62.5 ml] of the powdered sugar, the zest and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Knead the dough in the bowl until it begins to come together.

Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press it evenly into the bottom. Bake for 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

Whisk together the remaining 1½ cups [375 ml] of powdered sugar, the remaining 2 tbsp [30 ml] of flour, and the baking powder in a small bowl.

Beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high speed in a medium bowl for about 2 minutes, or until tripled in volume. Reduce the speed to low, add the sugar mixture, and beat just until blended, scraping down the side of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and beat just until blended.

Pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Just before serving, lightly sift powdered sugar over the cookies and cut into 2- or 3-inch squares. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Credit: Luscious Lemon Desserts, Lori Longbotham.

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