Winter Sunshine Lemon Bars

winter sunshine lemon bars

These lemon squares are just so outrageously good: perfectly balanced between tart and sweet, between buttery richness and the fragrant slap of citrus. You could cheat the zest in this recipe, and just use the juice and zest of one large lemon. But it's that extra zest that makes the lemon bars uniquely excellent.

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

    For the crust:
    1 cup flour
    1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
    4 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1 stick unsalted butter, softened

    For the filling:
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    Grated zest of 2 lemons
    1/3 cup lemon juice (around one lemon)
    2 eggs, beaten

    Powdered sugar for topping

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350.
  2. In a mixer, beat the butter into the flour, salt, and sugar and mix until it forms a bowlful of sandy crumbs. "Really?" I said to Michael. "It's really supposed to look all floury like that?" And yes. Yes it is, apparently.
  3. Pat this unlikely-looking mixture firmly into a well-greased 8- by 8-inch pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, until deeply golden.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, flour, and baking powder, then whisk in the lemon juice and zest and the eggs. Whisk until smooth, then pour over the partially baked crust and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. Cool, then sift powdered sugar over the top, cut into squares, and eat.

Read more about Catherine making Winter Sunshine Bars with her family.

See more recipes from Catherine Newman at her "Dalai Mama Dishes" blog.

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