52 Weeks of Cookies~Buttery Lemon Bars (Take 1)

19 01 2010

This recipe will come around again because there are some structural flaws in it.  They can only get better, and they’re pretty darn good to start with.  The crust is a very delicate, buttery shortbread that crumbles if you breathe on it, it’s so tender.  It’s also extremely susceptible to the heat, and knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t bake it in a pan I couldn’t see through.  Since it bakes twice you don’t want it to color the first time except perhaps barely.  Second…since it doesn’t specify salted or unsalted butter…I used unsalted and added salt to the dough…maybe it needed just a wee bit more.  Yet there’s no salt in the recipe.  I also put a bit of salt into the lemon filling, which could still have been more lemony to me.  So the recipe is a good place to start, but I’m going to play with it some, and we’ll be back with it when it’s been renovated some.

Buttery Lemon Squares

Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Notes: The lemon squares can be chilled airtight for up to 2 days.

Yield: Makes 24 bars

* 1  cup  (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
* 1/2  cup  plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
* 2 1/3  cups  all-purpose flour
* 2  cups  granulated sugar
* 1  teaspoon  baking powder
* 1 1/2  teaspoons  grated lemon peel
* 6  tablespoons  lemon juice
* 4  large eggs


1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 cups flour until dough is no longer crumbly. Pat into a ball.

2. Press dough evenly into a buttered and floured 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven until golden, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, or in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, whirl or beat granulated sugar, remaining 1/3 cup flour, baking powder, grated lemon peel, lemon juice, and eggs to blend. Pour onto hot crust.

4. Bake until lemon mixture is no longer runny in the center (cut to test), 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with remaining 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.

5. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Tasting Notes:
These bars tasted fine, with the following exceptions:
•  They over bake very easily, and I feel the temp is too high in the recipe, try 325°
•  Bake in a clear glass baking pan to be able to monitor the darkness of the crust on the bottom
•  And as we already noted there’s no specification of salted or unsalted butter, or salt in the crust.

Needless to say, I over baked these little gems.  They handled it well, and tasted fine regardless, but they were still over cooked.  Since I know we’re going to run this play again…sorry…it’s football season…I’ll be increasing the lemon juice to 1/2 cup, and the lemon peel to 1 Tbsp.   Those adjustments aren’t enough to keep it from gelling.  With that many eggs, you could easily add quite a bit more lemon!  I think the lemon curd will cook up nicer at a lower temp also.  So…watch this space.  These will be back in the not too terribly distrant future.  They were tasty and rich, oh my, but they’re rich!  LOL!



One response

5 02 2010

I am a pushover for anything lemon, and these look particularly delicious to me! I wish I could lift one off the page right now.

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