My mom recently baby-sat my seven year old niece for a couple of days since her Summer vacation is officially underway but my brother and my sister-in-law’s work schedules haven’t changed quite just yet. My mom had a full itinerary for the whole two days- including arts & crafts, a Super Soaker watergun fight- and plenty of baking since my niece’s stomach is essentially a bottomless pit where no amount of food ever satisfies her hunger.
I digress. Apart from cookies, brownies, and pastries- the two made boxed lemon bars my mom had picked up on a recent shopping trip. Since I have a love of all things lemon in the Summertime- I had stopped by during my lunch break to pick up a couple to take back to my office with me- only to be told they had come out horrible and tasted like “battery acid” (my mom’s descriptions are really great, for the record.)
Sure enough, when I opened my mom’s refrigerator to take a look for myself- I was greeted by the most unappetizing and orange (I’m still not sure why or what happened there?) colored lemon bars I’d ever seen in my life. I thought for sure my niece, who would eat literally ANYTHING– would be excited about them- but even she was grossed out by their taste and texture.
Inspired by their kitchen disaster, I decided to seek out a lemon bar recipe on my own- and voila! I found this one through PureWow that seemed easy enough. I gave it a try- with my mom present- to show her how it’s done.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 16 ounces refrigerated sugar-cookie dough
- 2¾ cups sugar
- 1 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 7 eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Confectioners’ sugar, as needed for finishing
OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper with nonstick spray.
2. Press the sugar-cookie dough into the base of the prepared pan in an even layer. Dock all over with a fork and transfer to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
3. Bake the cookie crust until it’s lightly golden at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. When you remove the pan from the oven, hit it firmly on the counter to help flatten the crust. Let cool while you make the filling.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and flour to combine. Whisk in the lemon juice, eggs and lemon zest. Mix until well combined.
5. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake until the filling is set and lightly golden at the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely.
6. Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar all over the surface. Cut the bars into 12 even squares, and then cut each square in half to make two triangles. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve.
These bars were awesome. They were gooey, tangy- and actually yellow (the way they’re supposed to be!) I actually had some extra filling left over from this batch that I used to make a lemon custard that turned out just as delicious. I’m really looking forward to making more of these throughout the Summer. They’re a perfect and refreshing treat!