Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cake of the Week: Lemon Bars

The first time I made lemon bars was for a French class party in 8th grade. In case you’re wondering, no, they’re not French…I don’t remember my reasoning there.

And on that day, in between memorizing  -ir verbs and the words to Je Suis Une Pizza, I learned one more very important lesson: everyone loves lemon bars.

Since 8th grade I made them for numerous other celebrations – class parties in high school, potlucks, dinner parties, picnics, etc. And this past Sunday I made them most recently for my book club discussion of Freedom. Much like the French class situation, lemon bars have almost nothing to do with Jonathan Franzen’s book. But they are both good, and that’s good enough for me!

I was quite the hostest with the mostest – iced peach tea, cute napkins, lemon bars, a (coughcoughkindasorta) clean apartment. What more could you ask?

Occasionally I’ve experimented with other recipes, but I always go back to the classic Betty Crocker version - it's the easiest and best. 

Luscious Lemon Bars
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel, if desired
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Powdered sugar

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar. Press in ungreased square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, building up 1/2-inch edges.
  3. Bake crust 20 minutes.
  4. Beat granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, baking powder, salt and eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust.
  5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Cool; dust with powdered sugar. Cut into about 1 1/2-inch squares.
  6. Makes 25 squares

I challenge you to find a person who doesn't love these bars!