Traditional recipes

Double-Lemon Bars

Double-Lemon Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with pulp
  • 1/4 cup finely grated lemon peel (from about 6 large lemons)
  • Additional powdered sugar

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in 2/3 cup powdered sugar. Add 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup at a time, beating until moist clumps form. Using back of fork, press dough over bottom of nonstick 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Bake crust until light golden, about 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, beat 2 cups sugar and eggs in medium bowl until blended. Beat in fresh lemon juice with pulp, lemon peel, and baking powder, then remaining 1/4 cup all purpose flour for filling.

  • Pour lemon filling over hot crust. Bake until filling is set in center and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

  • Cut pastry into 24 bars. Transfer lemon bars to serving platter and dust with additional powdered sugar.

Reviews Section

Easy Lemon Bars with Buttery Crust

My favorite lemon bars recipe! These classic lemon bars have a crisp shortbread crust and a creamy delicious tart lemon topping. These bars need to be made in your kitchen, ASAP. Jump to the Lemon Bars Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.


A classic bar cookie, a crowd pleaser, a dessert that's just right for all kinds of occasions from afternoon tea to after school to after dinner, lemon bars are one of our favorite desserts. Our founder loves them, too. Martha has developed a number of melt-in-the-mouth and downright dreamy lemon bar recipes over the year, including the gorgeous Atlantic-Beach Tart-Bars that you see right here here. This recipe is a bit of an outlier&mdashits lemon top is made with sweetened condensed milk and its crust with saltine crackers, so it's really a hybrid of the classic lemon bar and Key lime pie.

Just what is a classic lemon bar? Most of the bar cookies that have this name sport buttery shortbread crust that mellows the tart citrus top. And that topping always includes lemon, but there can be variations. In most traditional recipes, the filling is a thick lemon curd, which is a slow-cooked mixture of butter, eggs, and lemon. This isn't the only option, though. In other recipes, the filling is more like a custard or a cheesecake. Other flavors even enter the game from time to time, as evidenced by our delicious Cranberry-Lemon Squares. Another incredible option? Our Lemon-Date Bars, which showcases a truly sublime flavor combination.

Despite the fact that they are generally called lemon bars, we see this dessert most often cut into squares (which explains why they're also often called lemon squares). That said, we're not here to prescribe what shape&mdashor size&mdashportions should be. That's totally up to you. Ready to make a delicious dessert? However you like them&mdashcreamy, tangy, topped with meringue&mdashwe have a recipe here for delicious, decadent lemon bars that you're sure to love.


Zesty Lemon Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of oven. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

To make crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and salt process to combine. Add butter to processor and process until mixture is pale yellow and resembles a coarse meal, about 10 seconds. If you don't have a food processor, whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and work into flour mixture using a pastry blender or your fingers.

Pour crust mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing down with your fingers to create a 1/4-inch-thick layer along the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides, pressing firmly at the edges to seal. Transfer pan to freezer and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan once during baking, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and flour stir in lemon juice, milk, and salt until well combined.

Remove baking pan from oven. Stir topping and pour into warm crust. Return pan to oven and continue baking until topping is just set but not browned, about 20 minutes.

Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 20 squares. Serve immediately or wrap each bar tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


Double Lemon Bars

My mom just left town today. She was visiting from the Midwest, where the temps there lately have been insanely frigid. We were hoping for some bluebird days during her visit, but Colorado decided it would be overcast, cloudy, and snowy instead. We still had a great time though, and she also got to meet her grandpuppy Abe.

While she was here we made up a batch of these double lemon bars. We also baked a pan of chocolate brownies (at the same time!), but the lemon bars surprisingly were the overall favorite because we gobbled them up in no time. The pan of brownies still remains.

I think it had something to do with the fact that the lemon bars were so brightly flavored, refreshing, and the perfect combination of buttery shortbread with creamy, tangy lemon filling. The ratio of shortbread to filling was just right, and the filling didn’t have that unappealing ‘eggy’ taste that custard/curd-style bars can sometimes have.

Simply put, if you’re in search of a tasty lemon bar, this is it. If you’re looking for something to brighten up your mood because you are afraid winter is going to last forever, these are it.

How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:

Double Lemon Bars
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine


Sweet Baked Life

Lemon lovers are you there? If you love lemony sweets as much as I do, you’ve got to try this mouth-watering recipe for The Best Double Lemon Bars ever! How do I know these are the best? Well, if my hubby has seconds, thirds, or pretty much finishes off the entire pan of these heavenly yellow squares then, for me, they are The Best Double Lemon Bars that I have ever made!

It’s true. I am usually the one that is always thinking of tart lemon goodness, however when I made this batch of bars, it was my better half that was in awe! You see, normally he wants me to make one of his favorites such as some kind of fruit pie, apple strudel or a basic chocolate chip cookie. Yes, he is a traditionalist at heart, and the way to his heart (and stomach!) is with a basic and tried and true recipe.

But for some reason, he had a thing for these Double Lemon Bars. Not sure if it was the soft buttery crust, or the sweet yet tart and tangy lemon filling or because it was a warm day and they just tasted so darn good. But whatever it was, I know he loved them and that by itself made me happy! He was beginning to see things my way! There was a whole lot of lemon love going on here!

The Best Double Lemon Bars
(recipe adapted from Epicurious )

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2-1/4 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice with pulp
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon baking powder

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13࡯-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add the confectioners sugar and beat until combined. Add the 2 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, beating until moist clumps form. Using the back of a fork or your fingers, press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of your prepared pan. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

White the crust is baking, in a medium bowl add the granulated sugar and eggs and beat well. Then add the fresh lemon juice and pulp, lemon zest, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 cup of flour and beat until well combined.

Remove crust from oven and pour the lemon filling on top, then return to oven and bake until filling is set in the center and begins to brown on top, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool completely before cutting into squares

These really are The Best Double Lemon Bars! And oh how I wish I had more of these tangy treats to enjoy right now! So come on — spread the lemon love with your friends and family, you’ll be glad you did!


Double Lemon Pudding Cookies

This past weekend, with both our significant others out of state on business travel, Dad and I planned an extra special father-daughter date. I rose with the sun on Saturday morning to get ready, pull on my favorite green blouse, and pack my purse with all the essentials before heading out to our favorite place…

At the Oakland A’s Coliseum, we snaked through the security line, snagged two of the exclusive promotional items—yellow “AL West Champs” fleece blankets—and wove through the thick throngs of fans to find our season ticket seats. As we climbed down the steps, we realized that they were less than 10 rows back from the field, right behind the A’s dugout! (Although partway through the game, we joked they were almost too close for comfort… A towering foul ball landed just 2 seats away! Definitely bringing a glove next time.)

We always arrive at the ballpark 2 hours early, just to watch batting practice, so I camped out while Dad found the hot dog stand. (I held out for a gourmet lunch instead!) I scanned the field, tracking the long fly balls and powerful home runs screaming into the outfield stands, and smiled at the young kids crowding around the dugout, hoping and praying for any player’s autograph.

As the grounds crew cleaned up the cages, I slathered on sunscreen, opened my scorecard to a fresh page, and started scrawling players’ names, numbers, and positions in the boxes. After the National Anthem and Ceremonial First Pitch, we cheered, booed, and held our breaths with the rest of the crowd.

A little disappointed when the A’s starter gave up a few homers in the 5 th , we continued to root for our boys. They made it interesting in the bottom of the 9 th , barely missing tying the game by a long shot a few feet to the left of the foul pole, but we still left after their loss with happy smiles from our warm sunny day at the ballpark.

Just like our date, these Double Lemon Pudding Cookies are bright, sunshiny, and a real sweet treat! Summery citrus flavor infuses every bite of these cute pastel cookies. With their soft chewy texture and rich buttery taste, you’ll have a hard time believing these are actually lightened up and low in both fat and calories!

Up until early last fall, I never knew “pudding cookies” existed. Only after quitting my chemistry job and beginning blogging full-time did I finally discover these little gems! After I lusted after a few decadent recipes from Dorothy and Averie, those two ladies inspired me to try creating my own healthier version.

Adding dry instant pudding mix to the dough works true cookie magic! It (a) contributes another flavor and (b) creates the softest texture imaginable due to the cornstarch in the mix. Not convinced? It gets better—the cornstarch helps keep the cookies soft for an entire week! (It’s why I add cornstarch to all of these cookies too!)

Note : You’ll just use the dry instant mix do NOT prepare it according to the package directions!

For this recipe, I tweaked one of my favorite cookie dough bases. I swapped out the brown sugar for the white to preserve the pretty pastel lemon color, and I reduced the amount of flour and sugar to compensate for the sweetness and dry ingredients in the pudding mix. I also added in lots of fresh lemon zest, which really amplifies the citrus flavor. Please oh please, do not skip it!

Treat the pudding mix like sugar, not flour like sugar, it dissolves in liquid. Skip whisking it in with the dry ingredients and stir it into the melted butter instead. (Yup, melted butter—no mixer needed for today’s recipe!)

Believe it or not, chilling is optional for these cookies! Low fat cookie dough does not spread as much as standard recipes. (My “clean eating” cookie series is an exception due to the extra moisture added from the liquid sweeteners.) Chilling this low fat cookie dough completely prevents any spreading, so you’ll need to flatten it before baking.

For the cookies in these photographs, I did not chill the dough. If you don’t either, simply drop the freshly mixed cookie dough onto the baking sheet in rounded scoops. They’ll flatten to about half their height in the oven—still thick enough to taste their softness and chew, but not as thin as pancakes or crêpes!

If you’ve been around a while, you’ll already know my special secret to soft and chewy cookies : underbake them slightly then leave them on the warm baking sheet for 10 minutes after pulling them out of the oven. This allows the centers to continue cooking without turning the outsides crisp and crunchy. If stored in an airtight container, they’ll stay soft for an entire week!

Light and summery, these Double Lemon Pudding Cookies will brighten your day with their sweet citrus taste. With their cute pastel hue and incredibly tender chew, you’ll need to pour a glass of milk—or maybe two. It’s practically impossible to stop after just one!

And don’t forget to enter the Target Gift Card Giveaway! There’s only 1 day left for your chance to win!


Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

  • 52 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 packages of 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ cup of water

Instructions

1. Heat your oven to 325 F.

2. Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil, and having the ends of the foil extend over the sides of the pan.

3. Mix your wafer crumbs and butter until it&rsquos blended press into prepared pan.

4. Separate 1 egg and refrigerate its yolk until ready to use.

5. Mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of your lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl mixer until it&rsquos blended.

6. Add egg white and remaining 3 eggs, 1 at a time, at low speed until each egg is just blended.

8. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set.

9. Cool 1 hour then refrigerate for 4 hours.

10. Before you pull it out of the refrigerator, you make the glaze.

11. To make the glaze, you will mix your cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan and gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice until well blended.

12. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and stir constantly. You will cook and stir until the mixture is thick and clear.

13. Lightly beat the remaining egg yolk you had refrigerated with a fork. Then, stir in 2 tablespoons of your glaze mixture.

14. Then you will return the tempered egg into your mixture and stir until blended. Then, cook an additional minute while stirring constantly.

15. Let this cool slightly.

16. Spoon your lemon glaze over your cheesecake. Refrigerate for an additional hour or until firm.


Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

52 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

32 ounces cream cheese (4 8-ounce packages)

2 tablespoons corn starch

Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Mix wafer crumbs and butter until blended press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Separate one egg refrigerate yolk until ready to use. Beat cream cheese, one cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, two tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add egg white and remaining three whole eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 minutes of until center is almost set. Cool one hour. Refrigerate four hours.

Mix corn starch and remaining sugar in medium saucepan gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice until blended. Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly cook and stir until clear and thickened. Lightly beat reserved egg yolk in small bowl with fork until blended stir in two tablespoons of the hot corn starch mixture. Return to remaining corn starch mixture in saucepan stir until blended. Cook one minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

Spoon lemon glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate one hour or until firm. Using foil handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to share.

The base cheesecake baked without any cracks forming on top and produced a dense, sugary cream cheese base. Using the tinfoil "handles" made it easy to left out the finished dessert for slicing. (Photo: Daniel Higgins/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

TASTING NOTES: This double-lemon cheesecake lacks a big pucker-inducing punch desired by lemon lovers. However, there's just enough lemon flavor to invoke a polite "no, thank you" response from the lemon-averse.

It's a dessert most likely to appeal to tastes that fall between the lemon extremes.

I can't say that the vanilla wafer crust is vastly superior to a tradition graham cracker version.

The cheesecake itself is dense with sugary cream cheese flavor that improved the next day.

Overall, it's a good cheesecake but not likely something that will improve upon or be mistaken for a slice from your favorite restaurant or bakery.

EQUIPMENT: Food processor, stand or hand mixer, whisk, fork, spatula, four measuring cups, two measuring spoons, two small bowls, large mixing bowl, 9x13 baking pan and sauce pan.

PRACTICALITY RATING: Making the crust and cheesecake base are simple enough. It's even easier if you have a food processor to turn the wafers into crumbs and a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to power through the cheesecake mixture. After that, it requires nuanced skills often learned through trial and error.

Making the lemon topping requires you to know the exact moment when the corn starch solidifies enough to create a nice gel coating when cooled. It's a small window of time between runny and rubbery consistency. Also, there's a skill to judging when the mixture cooled enough that it doesn't cook the egg yolk and create scrambled egg bits in the topping.

HACKS/INSIGHTS: Budget an entire day to make this recipe. Active time, measuring and mixing is minimal, but six hours of cooling makes this a "plan ahead" dessert. Also, it gets better with more time in the fridge. Just make sure to cover it if leaving it overnight.

My trusted cheesecake recipe, which I found somewhere online some years back, isn't much different from this. It uses less lemon zest and no lemon juice while using a ½-cup heavy cream. The result is a creamier texture. I make it in a round spring-form pan, so I'm not sure if using a 9x13 pan would affect the results.

I used the trick of rolling the lemons on the counter while applying pressure then puncturing the bottom of the lemon with a skewer and squeezing the juice from the lemon into a measuring cup.

There were thin spots when pressing the crust into the bottom of the baking dish. I busted up another dozen (or so) wafers and used an extra tablespoon(ish) of butter to prevent thin spots.

Using tinfoil to lift out the cheesecake works great and makes cleaning the pan easier.

The egg yolk gets semi-hard when left uncovered in a fridge for hours, so cover it up.

My lemon topping remained runny and unfortunately that's where most of the lemon juice, and thus the lemon tartness and flavor, resides. If it had formed a thin gel layer, I suspect the lemon flavor would have been stronger.

I will stick with my trusted cheesecake recipe and maybe search for an extra-tart lemon curd recipe that guests spoon on top of slices to get their level of lemon satisfaction.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: I test recipes found on food packages in my very average kitchen with my moderately above-average cooking talent and meh presentation skills. I'll provide some insights and basic cooking tips. If you don't find these stories useful, hopefully you find them entertaining.


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