Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Perfect Lemon Squares

Confession time: I listen to music when I cook or bake. More like blast music. And more like terrible top 40 songs, not really music. My soundtrack for this recipe? "Can't Hold Us" by Mackelmore and Ray Lewis and "Heart Attack" by Demi Lovato. 

I've been inexplicably obsessed with both of these songs lately. I just want you to picture a freckled white girl in a cardigan, dancing around her kitchen, rapping or belting out pop songs into her mixing spoon. Either way it's a scary thought even to me. I shudder to think what would happen if anyone ever saw me. 

ANYWHO...lemon squares. It's getting warm outside in New England finally. I'm not sure if it's the smell of zesting a lemon, or the bright yellow color of beating eggs and lemon juice together that makes me happy, but lemon squares are one of my favorite things to make. They are one of the first things I learned to bake. 

I used to use the recipe in my mom's old Betty Crocker cookbook, but as I got older I found that recipe to be a bit lacking. Looking for a new recipe, I of course turned to The recipe I found made way too big a batch and the crust was way too thick for my liking. The filling was also too sweet for me, but it had really good lemon flavor. So I took the elements I liked from the Betty Crocker recipe, the elements I liked from the recipe, tweaked some of the measurements, and behold! My ultimate lemon square recipe. 

Everyone has different preferences. Some people may not like how lemon-y these are, but I've tested them out on many people and they all came to the same consensus I did. DELICIOUS! Enjoy!

Perfect Lemon Bars

For Crust:
½ cup sifted flour
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup butter, softened

For Filling:
4 large beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

  • For the crust beat the butter, flour, and sugar.
  • Press into an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan.
  • Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • For the filling, beat together eggs, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Sift together flour and baking powder.
  • Stir into egg mixture.
  • Pour over baked, hot crust.
  • Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes, or until set.
  • Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Cut into bars.

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