It was a dark and rainy day today. I totally missed the sun, so I decided to make my own little piece of sunshine. Yep, Lemon Bars. Such a treat. I can remember my first lemon bar at our 5th grade bake sale. The kids were lining up like they were giving away Disneyland tickets. I wasn’t sure if I’d go for the rice krispy treat, or the lemon bar. The lemon bar was a bit cheaper, about 35 cents. So I took the plunge and went for the lemon bar. Boy, oh boy was I glad I did! I think I took one bite and must have done three internal cart wheels. My friend asked, “So, do you like it?” Did I like it? Did I like it? I wanted to name my first child lemon bar! Now of course I came to my senses and didn’t name my first child lemon bar. But on rainy days like this one, I kinda wish I would have…. 😉
Lemon bars are truly one of my guilty pleasures.
Lemon bars are truly one of my guilty pleasures. There’s just something about that tangy sweet, lemony taste that sends my taste buds soaring. I’m drooling just thinking about them! Typically you’ve gotta wait until the church bake sale, or for the annual farmers markets, right? Well forget that! I mean don’t forget that, but forget waiting. When you’ve got the craving, YOU’VE GOT THE CRAVING! Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. This recipe is so simple, you’ll be in lemony bliss before you know it.
Another thing that I love about this recipe, aside from it being so simple, is that you can change it up however you want. You can add more lemons, a dutch crumb topping, fresh blueberries, raspberries, or even strawberries. I like to use honey in my bars, but I mostly see others using white sugar. This recipe also translates perfectly to a sugar free version (using sugar substitutes). There are so many variations, you’re going to love this recipe. Not to mention that it’s a pretty forgiving recipe, in other words goof proof. The hardest part of the whole recipe is waiting for the bars to cool (they take a couple of hours). I like mine cold.
I didn’t have a zesting tool so I decided to use my potato peeler. It worked perfectly, just make sure to not dig in too deep. You don’t want to get the white bitter part.
Overall, the hands down, most important thing to remember is to use FRESH LEMONS. Come on guys, there’s no time to skimp now. Go all out, well at least just go to the grocery store, and get some lemons. Pick the best of the litter. That usually means the brightest, plumpest, and bruise free. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
Once I juiced and zested the lemons I used my Cuisinart knives to chop the lemon zest into small bits.
Making the crust
Making the crust is so simple. Follow the recipe below and you’ll have great results. I always use King Author white whole wheat flour. I try to sneak in healthy things into our diet. It really doesn’t make any difference. Taste-wise it’s just delicious.
I used a fork here to dock my dough. Docking is just a fancy way of saying “poke holes.”
Making the Lemon custard
After baking my crust, I added the lemon custard on top and baked an additional 20-25 min. See the foamy egg stuff around the edges? It’s totally normal and I promise it won’t be a bit lemon scrambled egg. LOL!
All baked! See the lemon zest on the surface? It’s going to give us that delicious tart flavor. Now it’s time to cool these babies.
Within about 2 hours your Lemon Bars should be cool enough to eat. Now you’ve just got to sprinkle them with powdered sugar and you’re good to go.
Best Ever Lemon Bars recipe
2 cups flour **
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup melted butter
**(I used white whole wheat)
2/3 cup fresh lemons juice
2 lemons zested
3/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients for crust.
Press gently in a baking dish (8×10).
Bake crust for 20 min.
Mix all ingredients for Lemon Custard.
Pour onto warm crust.
Bake for 20 min.
Sprinkle with powder sugar.