Easy Lemon Bars

I’m not really big on lemon desserts, but today I spent the majority of my time outside and it was super hot! So thinking of something sweet but also tart and lemony, just sounded like it would hit the spot!

These little lemon bars were just the trick, and oh so easy to do. I whipped them up together and only dirtied one bowl and one pan, yay for less dishes to clean. Ya know, sometimes baking just leaves a huge mess behind in the kitchen, but I was pleased that this recipe didn’t leave my kitchen destroyed.

I used a shortbread cookie recipe for the bottom crust in the lemon bars. The crust is just the right amount of sweet. The tart lemon custard was so good, I kept licking my mixing spoon! These bars need to be allowed to cool completely before cutting. It’s important that the custard is allowed to set. And to me, these are best served chilled! So pop em in the fridge for a couple hours and enjoy!!

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Ingredients:

For the crust:

- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 
  soft
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp baking powder

For the lemon filling:

- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tbs flour
- juice of 2 lemons squeezed
  (About 1/4 of a cup)
- zest of 2 whole lemons
  (About 1 tbs)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the crust, have a large bowl and combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt, vanilla and baking powder into a bowl. Make sure the butter is room temp. With a spatula, work the ingredients to combine into the butter. Once you have a dough like consistency you are done mixing. Lightly grease a 8×8 baking dish and gently spread the dough mixture into the pan. Use two fingers to press the dough flat and as even as possible to make your crust. Take a fork, and poke a few times throughout the crust. This will help the crust bake evenly. Now pop the dish into the oven, center rack, for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

To prepare the custard, combine the eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder together and beat very well. Now add in the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and mix with a whisk for about 3 minutes. Pour the custard over the crust layer and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until you see a thin white crispy sugar layer form over the custard. Once you remove from the oven, give the pan a slight wiggle to make sure the custard isn’t too jiggly and that it’s set. Allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, cut the bars and place them on a serving platter. Dust each bar with powdered sugar and serve!

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