Chocolate desserts reign supreme to me. The more and the darker, the better. However, in the summer citrus-y sweets get my mouth watering. And these lemon bars are one of my absolute favorites. They are perfectly balanced with a buttery, shortbread crust, tart, almost mouth-puckering filling, and sugary topping. I love how light they are, which is why they are always a winner on a hot day. Like this post, this recipe is short and simple. I figure you can use the extra time to get baking.
I have been dying to try a meringue topping on these, so if you do have the extra time on your hands, I suggest whipping this up to spread over the bars. Just be sure to let me know how it turns out, please.
Classic Lemon Bars
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 5 tbsp light brown sugar
- 8 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 3/4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- To make crust, mix flour and light brown sugar using a food processor until fully incorporated. Toss butter into flour mixture and pulse to combine using short bursts of power until butter is cut into tiny pea-sized pieces and dough appears lumpy. Sprinkle crust mixture onto an ungreased 11 X 7X 2-inch baking pan as evenly as possible; press down with a spatula to create a packed surface. Place crust in middle of oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make lemon topping, beat eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Add vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar; mix well. Add lemon juice and remaining powdered sugar; mix until powdered sugar is completely dissolved and then add zest.
- As soon as crust is finished, remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Immediately pour lemon mixture over hot crust. Bake completely, about 30 minutes; once completely cooled, cut into bars.
What’s your favorite summertime sweet treat?