Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lemon Square Bars

According to my family, there is this awesome bakery on Oahu that makes lemon bars. They had tasted some of them and raved about them ever since. They believe that no homemade lemon bar can possibly compare. Oh we'll see about that. Challenge, accepted.

Since I had never tasted one of these lemon bars, I would have to rely on their descriptions to try and find a recipe that might match. All they could tell me was that it had a shortbread crust and a filling that was not too tart and not too sweet. Unfortunately, that basically described every single lemon bar recipe that exists.

I still had no idea of how tart or how sweet. So, I decided to try a couple of recipes and see what they thought. The first recipe I tried was the Lemon Square Bars from Allrecipes. It had a moderate amount of lemon juice so I figured it would be good to start there and then work my way up or down the tartness scale.

The only changes I made was to halve the amount of sugar in the crust (since my family wanted buttery rather than sweet) and to use cold butter instead of melted (me and melted butter just don't mix).

I may have overbaked them just a little too much, but it all turned out okay. The bars had a good crust to filling ratio and the filling had a mild lemon flavor. My family thought they were quite good. But, I'm not quite satisfied so I think I'll try another recipe to see if we can up the tartness just a bit.

Lemon Square Bars (Allrecipes)

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, melted

4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5/8 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and confectioners' sugar. Blend in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 1/4 cup of flour so there will be no flour lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven.

Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.


  1. If you are up for another try...after years of testing these are my favorites:

  2. I love lemon bars...I haven't made them in a while...when you find the perfect recipe let us I can try them!

  3. Lisa, We must think alike...I'm baking lemon shortbread today. Feeling lemony as I'm missing my grandson, who left yesterday to return to Spain. XOXO

  4. Yum! Lemon bars are so cutesy to go with tea. I used this recipe from Southern Living

  5. My husbands grandfather has a thing for lemons! I bet he would love this!

  6. I have been craving lemon bars forever and still haven't made them. Yours are making my mouth water. I can't wait to see any other recipes you might try.

  7. Love your new profile pic! You always look great!

    I always like reading how you explore to make the best kind of cookies and dessert for your family. This lemon bars "challenge" is very interesting!

  8. Oh my. I love lemon bars and now I want some so badly.

  9. I love lemon bars! I'm sure they were delicious, but if you need to make them again to make them even better, no big deal. You can never have too many lemon bars!!


  10. Mmmmm...lemon bars are one of my favorite desserts! :)