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Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioner's (powdered or icing) sugar

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

Lemon Filling:

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 tablespoons (5 grams) grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons (20 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large (100 grams) eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml/grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately two large lemons)

Garnish:

Confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar


Instructions:

Lemon Bars: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan with foil (or parchment paper) and butter the foil.

Shortbread Crust: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until creamy smooth. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just starts to come together. Press onto the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

Lemon Filling: In a bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Stir in the flour and salt. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs. Gradually whisk in the sugar mixture until smooth. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or just until the filling has set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the bars for about one hour or until firm. This will make it easier to cut the Lemon Bars.

To Serve: Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Lemon Bars can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about three days.


Description:

Lemon Bars are a favorite in my home. Everyone seems to enjoy the combination of a buttery crisp shortbread topped with a tangy lemon filling. The lemon filling actually separates into two layers as it bakes, so you have a thin cake-like crust with a soft and creamy lemon filling underneath. Lemon Bars, also called Lemon Squares or Lemon Slices, are instantly recognizable because of their liberal coating of snowy white powdered sugar. They are wonderfully addictive.

In order for these Lemon Bars to have a nice citrus flavor, you need to use fresh lemons, so try not to use the imitation lemon juice that comes in a bottle. When choosing lemons make sure to look for ones that are fragrant with bright yellow skins. They should be firm, plump, and heavy for their size. Avoid lemons that have blemishes, soft spots, green spots, or are hard and wrinkled. Lemons consist of a yellow outer rind (skin) that contains the fruit's oils and perfumes. This outer rind, of varying thickness and graininess, can have either a bumpy or smooth glossy texture that contains most of the lemon's wonderful tangy flavor. Before removing the outer rind (zest) make sure you wash the lemons thoroughly (soap and water is best). The rind (zest) can be removed using a knife, vegetable peeler, grater or microplane zester. Inside the outer rind is a white membrane (pith) that is very bitter and should not be used. Small vessels called 'pulp vesicles' make up the inside of the lemon and contain the pleasantly acidic lemon juice and seeds. Squeezing the lemon by hand or with a lemon squeezer or reamer releases this clear tart juice.