easy lemon squares
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Easy Lemon Bars

Easy Lemon Bars with a shortbread crust that can be made in one bowl!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: bars
Keyword: bars, lemon
Servings: 12 large bars, 24 small
Calories: 379kcal
Author: Heather Perine

Ingredients

For the shortbread crust:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) white granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups (297 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup (151 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons

Instructions

  • `Pre-heat oven to 350oF/180oC. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Make the shortbread crust: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Then using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Then press into the bottom of the your 9x13 pan. You can use the bottom of a dry measuring cup to press the mixture into the pan or just use your fingertips.
  • Bake the crust for about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, while the crust is baking prepare the filling. In the same bowl, whisk together all the filling ingredients. 
  • When the crust is done, remove from the oven. Immediately pour the lemon filling over the hot crust. Then return to the oven again for another 20 minutes or until the filling is set. 
  • Immediately dust the top of the lemon bars with powdered sugar. Allow the bars to cool completely and set up in your refrigerator (usually about 2 hours). Then cut into bars and serve. 

Notes

  • Make sure to measure your lemon juice. Not every lemon gives the same amount of juice. To be on the safe side I'd buy 4 at the store. Sometimes it only takes 3 but I like having an extra just in case. 
  • Make sure to measure your flour accurately by scooping with a spoon and leveling with a knife. For a complete tutorial, read this post
  • You need to make sure you are using softened butter for the shortbread crust so it's incorporated easily.. Here are 3 ways to soften your butter quickly. 
  • When the crust is done, you want to pour the filling over it immediately. This kind of makes like one beautiful crust to lemon layer.
  • Dust the bars with powdered sugar when the bars are warm so the sugar sticks. I like to dust them twice. The first time the sugar sort of melts in, and the second time creates a beautiful layer of powdered sugar on top. 
  •  
  • If you want thicker bars, use a smaller pan - 8x11 pan. You will need to bake the crust and filling for a few extra minutes.
  • If you want less zesty of a bar, omit the lemon zest. 

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g