Lemon Bars, like this one from a vintage recipe card, were ubiquitous during my childhood -- a plate of these tart and sweet treats appeared at nearly every gathering, from the ladies' afternoon card games to pot luck dinners. Created by Betty Crocker in in 1963, the lemon bar caught on like wildfire. And for good reason -- they are a delicious combination of a cookie base topped by a tart lemon custard. They are still quite popular, albeit with some modern twists, like the addition of lemon zest to ramp up the lemon flavor.
Did I mention these are a snap to make? I whipped these up for my dear friend Suzanne, a huge fan of my red velvet cake. And I hope these lemon bars too!
Let's get started. Using a stand or electric mixer, combine the flour, butter and confectioner's sugar for the base. Place the mixture into the baking pan and, using your hands (I always wear gloves), press it down...
Until it is spread evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes. It will look rather raw, but remember, it will get a second baking.
Prepare the lemon topping, which you can do while the crust is baking. Beat the eggs well, and add the sugar, flour and baking powder. Mix it well.
It should look like this.
Pour it over the prepared crust and pop it in the oven.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool a bit.
Sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar, using a strainer for even coverage. Let cool completely and cut into squares.
Production notes: I followed the recipe almost exactly, but have typed out instructions below this rather stained recipe card. I tried to create a sling with parchment paper, but didn't cover the entire pan as I usually do. It was a big fail, and I could not get the cake out in one piece. I also beat the eggs first, really, really well (not to the point where they form a ribbon, but almost).
Sophie's Lemon Bars
Preheat oven to 350F
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. confectioner's sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well (w. electric mixer)
Place into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch square pan.
Press into pan.
Bake 15 minutes.
4 T. fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
Beat eggs a lot. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very well.
Pour over crust and bake for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar when almost cool.
They will firm up while cooling.
Cut into bars.