Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars aren’t exactly Holiday fare, are they? But maybe they should be.

Last weekend we had a family party at our house and I made a trio of cookies for dessert: Peppermint Bark Brownies (watch for the how-to sometime this week), Cranberry Bars (quite possibly the best bar cookie EVER), and Lemon Bars.

(There aren’t any pics of the Cranberry Bars because they didn’t last long enough. Seriously, if you want people to love you, you need to make those cookies. Click here for the recipe and scroll down a bit.)

Anyway, I love Lemon Bars. The bars my mom usually makes don’t have enough filling for me. They are good. (Don’t get me wrong, Mom.) But they do need more filling.

Enter my old favorite: The Joy of Cooking.

The Joy of Cooking has a great recipe for filling, but the crust is not as substantial as I like it. So I took my favorite recipe for crust, from Lion House Classics, and my favorite recipe for filling. And there you have my version of the perfect Lemon Bar.

Lemon Bars
adapted from The Joy of Cooking and Lion House Classics
Makes eighteen 3″by 2″ bars


For Crust:

16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (optional, but I happen to like salt in the crust)


6 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
grated zest of two lemons
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting


For crust:
Cream butter and confectioner’s sugar using an electric mixer; add the flour and salt, if using, a little at a time. Continue mixing until crumbly.

Press into the bottom and a little bit up the sides of a 9″ by 13″ baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Prepare filling while crust is baking.

For filling:

Whisk eggs and sugar together until well combined. Add the zest and juice; whisk well. Sift the flour over the top and stir until well blended.

Pour filling over the cooled crust. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. (They should just jiggle a bit when you shake the pan.)

Remove pan to a rack to cool completely before cutting into bars. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

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  1. I am so happy you enjoy our favorite family recipe…the cranberry bars. They are divine!

    Lemon bars are my FAVORITE dessert. Seriously. (Well…and key lime pie.) I have been in search of a fabulous recipe. Can’t wait to try yours.

  2. I normally don’t like lemon bars because they are all mushy. These look amazing.

    One time I put chocolate in the cranberry bars and they were good. I’m sure Sarah would die, but I loved them.

  3. Yum!! I love lemon. Sounds great, and looks great! now i’m craving them..(sigh) thanks, Lindsey…will have to make these for sure.

    jenny from Ky!

  4. I LOOOVE Lemon bars! I have never made them but I may just try!! Isn’t the “Joy of Cooking” a great book!?
    Thanks for posting…I may have to try this in the cranberry version too!

  5. Ha, not exactly holiday fare eh?
    My aunt makes these every year for Christmas eve, simply because I like them. Nobody but her and I eat them but we have an absurd amount of fun with the process.

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