lovely lemon bars

Last week as I was browsing some of my favorite food blogs, I came across this post for lemon shortbread bars from La Fuji Mama. Then I discovered this lemon bar post by Smitten Kitchen. You see, I have a thing for lemon bars. You may have guessed that.

lemon shortbread bars

So, after a tough week, I thought making a nice batch of these tart but sweet treats might lift my spirits and brighten the weekend.

lemons for lemon bars

I wanted to use Meyer lemons, but my impatience got the better of me. I sent my husband to the closest grocery store to see what he could find, and regular ol’ lemons it was. No Meyers.


I used a blend of recipes for these lemon bars. I slightly modified La Fuji Mama’s recipe for the shortbread crust by adding a half teaspoon of Kosher salt. For the filling, I used this recipe from Gourmet magazine, but I added a teaspoon of lemon zest and half teaspoon of good vanilla.

shortbread crust, ready to bake


freshly dusted

I loved the thickness of the shortbread. The ratio of lemon filling to shortbread was essentially one to one, and this helped cut down on the tartness of the lemon in each bite. The best thing? Watching my family devour them. It worked — my spirits were lifted.

lemon shortbread bars

lemon shortbread bars

Lemon Shortbread Bars

(Adapted from La Fuji Mama & Gourmet)

Ingredients for Shortbread Base:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus 3 tbsp for dusting the top of the bars)

1-1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Ingredients for Lemon Filling:

4 large eggs

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, strained

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon good vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish.

2. Make the shortbread base: Using a food processor, combine the flour, confectioner’s sugar, butter, and salt. Pat dough into greased baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes (crust will be slightly golden-colored).

3. While shortbread base is baking, make the lemon filling: Whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until combined well. Stir in lemon juice, flour, vanilla, and lemon zest.

4. Pour lemon filling into baking dish, over the hot shortbread filling. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until filling is set.

5. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. Sift confectioner’s sugar over bars prior to serving.



Filed under cookies, dessert

14 responses to “lovely lemon bars

  1. Certainly “lovely” šŸ™‚

  2. Wow, they came out beautifully!

  3. I absolutely LOVE lemon bars – they remind me of my childhood. Now that spring is here (kinda sorta!) I think I will make a batch of these too!

    • Cooking Rookie & Liren – thanks so much! I was really happy with how they turned out. Nice to have something work out the way it’s supposed to. šŸ™‚

      Mardi – I’ve only discovered lemon bars in the last five years, and I’m so glad I did! Yes, they do seem to usher in springtime. Just wish the weather would follow suit!

  4. tina

    Lemon Bars – I love them too, and yours are perfect!

    You may have just given me a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

  5. Think I like that half cookie/half filling combo. Nice post! A good thing to read on this dreary, rainy day.

  6. Belinda

    Looks great, MJ! Thanks for posting the recipes too!

  7. I love lemon bars, my grandmother always made them for me! So delicious. Her recipe was a little different so I am excited to try this one out.

  8. I am such a fan of utterly anything lemon, so can never resist lemon bars. Love the thick shortbread layer – delicious and beautiful.

  9. We never get sick of lemon bars at my house! I have to be careful about when I make them though, because if I don’t have enough people around to eat them, I end up eating way too many myself.

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