These really are my mom’s lemon bars. I’m not sure exactly where the recipe came from, but I think I remember her saying she cut it out of a magazine years ago, like before I was born years ago.
Lemon bars are one of my favorite bar cookies. The zesty lemon, the buttery crust, the gooey center with the crunchy top covered in powdered sugar. I love them, and I’m wishing right now I hadn’t sent so many of them up to Ben’s office!
I didn’t grease my pan because I figured there is so much butter in there, they won’t stick. The crust didn’t, but some of the filling clung a bit to the sides of the pan. You could spray the pan with cooking spray or grease it, but it wasn’t a disaster without doing so. Do it if you’re worried about them sticking.
Mom’s Lemon Bars
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
zest of 1 lemon
5-6 teaspoons lemon juice, from about 1 large lemon
Sift together flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until fine crumbs form and there are no huge chunks of butter. Pat the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
About 5 minutes before the crust is done baking, in the same bowl whisk all the filling ingredients together until combined and foamy.
Pour filling mixture over warm crust, then continue to bake for 20-25 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar while bars are warm from the oven, then let cool completely before cutting.
Since I am kind of a hermit these days as a new mommy, I have been raiding my pantry in search of things I can cook or bake with instead of going to the grocery store. I found a jar of lemon curd in there and so I made these bars.
My mom makes the BEST lemon bars, but these were pretty good and different enough not to be a competitor. My mom’s are super simple with a buttery crust topped with a tart lemon filling and dusted with powdered sugar. In contrast, these bars have a crumbly almond and coconut topping that makes them a little special.
I found the recipe on allrecipes.com. Here is the link. The recipe calls for a jar of lemon curd, but I think you could easily use any lemon bar filling as a substitute. This basic filling would be a good one.
Lemon Curd Bars
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 (10 ounce) jar lemon curd
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter. Add the flour, sugar and baking soda. Mix until the mixture forms coarse crumbs
Pat 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of one 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
Spread the lemon curd over the baked layer. To the remaining 1/3 of crumb mixture add the coconut and the almonds. Sprinkle over the top of the lemon curd.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake bars for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.