THE SCENE: A breezy Sunday evening in spring. Dinner is over and Mommy is cleaning up the kitchen. Hot Dog Boy, the nine-year-old son, enters the kitchen. Fresh from the shower, he's wearing green pajamas and carrying his toothbrush.
HOT DOG BOYMommy, you know those lemon bars you make sometimes? Those are my favorites and we haven't had them in a really long time. When are you going to make them again?
MOMMY[Heart melting but trying to play it straight]: I don't know, honey. We'll see.
EARLY THE NEXT MORNING: Hot Dog Boy emerges from his bedroom wearing his school uniform and rubbing his eyes. He shuffles into the kitchen.
MOMMYGood morning, sweetie. I've got a surprise for you - look on the counter.
[Hot Dog Boy shuffles over to the kitchen counter and sees the pan of lemon bars Mom made after he went to sleep the night before. He smiles.]
HOT DOG BOYCan I have three for breakfast?
Easy lemon bar recipe
This is the easiest lemon bar recipe I've found, and it gets rave reviews every time. Chill the pan at least a few hours before cutting.
- 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9-inch pan with baking spray, then line the pan with aluminum foil (this will make it easier to remove the lemon bars in one piece so you can cut them properly on a cutting board). Spray the aluminum foil with baking spray as well.In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of the flour, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, the melted butter, and the salt with a fork until a crumbly dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pan so it covers the bottom and goes about 1/2 inch up the sides. Bake the crust about 15 minutes or until it just starts to turn golden. While the crust is baking, whisk together the remaining 1/8 cup flour, eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder and lemon juice. (I always put the baking powder through a little strainer to be sure the lumps are gone.) Pull the crust out of the oven, pour over the lemon mixture, and return the pan to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles when you shake the pan.Cool the lemon bars in the pan for half an hour, then refrigerate at least two hours before cutting. This will help you get nice, even edges - and believe me, rushing the process ensures a mess. Cut with a large knife into 9 even squares, like a tic-tac-toe board. Dust the lemon bars with the remaining 2 Tbsp powdered sugar before serving.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 9 lemon bars