Lemon Bars

     Growing up Better Homes and Gardens played a big part in our home and gardens.  My parents subscribed to the magazine and my mom was a loyal follower of the recipes and gardening tips.  Together my Mom and Dad transformed their 1+ acre yard into a lovely garden that I still say should have adored the cover of at least one of those magazines.  My Mom also purchased a series of the cookbooks from Better Homes.  My favorite of that series to this day is the book entitled Homemade Cookies Cookbook.  I loved looking through this volume.  In fact I did it often as a girl, reading the test kitchen tips and gawking over the many photos.  The book my mom has was published in 1975 and I believe today is out of print.  The styling and photos of course are very 70’s but I still love looking through it today. When I left home I wanted this book but my mom would not part with it.  Imagine my delight when one day, I happened upon a pristine copy of this identical book at my local Goodwill.
     As children my siblings and I loved to bake and were always making snicker-doodles, lemon meringue pie, french puff muffins, chocolate chip cookies, and other such goodies.  By far my all-time favorite in this book is the recipe for lemon bars.  With a beautiful shortbread type crust, a tart sweet and gooey lemon custard, and powdered sugar top, these are by far the best this book delivers.  The recipe in the book makes use of a 8x8x2 inch baking pan but I have adapted it for a 13x9x2 pan.  It is far better to have more of these bars than less. Make sure to use fresh lemons.

Lemon Bars adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter softened (not melted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • additional powdered sugar for top

Directions:

     Preheat oven to 350º F.  Stir together 1 1/2 cups flour and 6 Tbsp powdered sugar in mixing bowl. Using a mixer cut in butter until mixture comes together. Butter is evening distributed resembling small peas.  Pour mixture into 13x9x2 inch pan. 
Pat evenly over bottom and slightly up edges with fingers.  
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
     
     In clean mixing bowl beat eggs, adding sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  
Beat until sugar is well incorporated, mixture is somewhat thickened and smooth about 10 minutes.  
This is were a kitchenaid comes in handy
Stir together 3 Tbsp flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and add to egg mixture blending just until incorporated.  Pour egg mixture over baked crust.  Bake at 350º F for 20 to 25 more minutes.  Sift additional powdered sugar over top.  Cool and cut into bars.  Serve with tea, milk or coffee.

  

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