Easy Lemon Bars
I am still pining for spring, and mother nature is still laughing at me. Isn’t March supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb? We’re expecting 6 inches of snow in the next day! Well if you’re as tired of winter as I am, come over to my kitchen where spring is in full bloom 🙂 The climate is warm, the time is always 350, (sugar cookie) flowers are springing up and lemon bars are cut and ready to eat.
If you can’t make it to NY before I eat all the lemon bars (highly likely), I’ll at least share the recipe so you can create your own spring. These are buttery, tart and sweet all at the same time and are super easy to make. The recipe comes from my favorite bed and breakfast, The Angel of the Sea in Cape May, NJ. The bars, along with a variety of other delicious sweets, are served at 4 PM tea time on the front porch overlooking the ocean.
Press into pan and bake until golden around the edges
Pour the batter into pan and bake
Adapted from the Angel of the Sea Cookbook
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed (and strained) lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional) see note*
1. For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 Degrees (F). Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over opposite sides of pan. Repeat with second piece of paper in opposite direction. Butter the parchment paper liberally. I also butter each step to help keep the parchment paper in place.
Sift together flour and confectioners sugar. Cut in butter until mixture clings together. You can do this with a pastry cutter, two knives, a fork or with the paddle attachment on your standing mixer. Press the dough into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. For the topping: While the crust is baking, prepare topping by whisking eggs together with the sugar and lemon juice and zest, if using. Sift flour and baking powder together and gradually whisk into egg mixture. Pour topping over baked crust and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
3. Let bars cool completely then remove from the pan by the parchment paper. Cut into squares and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
*note on zest: I don’t always use zest but if you like your lemon pastries particularly tangy or your lemon don’t seem as pungent as normal then add some zest.