When it comes to vintage cookies, there are certain goodies that are more well-known than others. Lemon bars, for example, are pretty widely known but they still don’t get the amount of love that chocolate chip cookies get. If you ask me, it’s time to change that. People need to taste the delicious tartness of these bars to understand why they’re so awesome.
The best way to make a person fall in love with a type of cookie is to give them a recipe for it that’s easy to do and tastes great. So, that’s how I’m going to make it happen. Check out this recipe for mouthwateringly tart lemon bars below.
Why Make Lemon Bars?
Lemon bars are one of those treats that just scream “summertime!” They’re tart, are easy to make, and also seem to go surprisingly well with a chilled rose wine. Beyond that, there’s another good reason to make lemon bars: they’re historic. Lemon bars have been around since the 1920s, and are a part of American culture. That’s like taking a bite of history!
Go Shopping: What You’ll Need
Making these tangy-tart bars is a cinch, but you’re still going to need to get the right ingredients. It’s worth pointing out that this is not a vegan recipe. If you’re looking for vegan desserts, check out these options instead.
Here’s what you’re going to need for this superbly easy recipe:
- 10 Tablespoons Butter. Keep this at room temperature, softened.
- 1 1/4 Cups + 3 Tablespoons Flour. Sifted all-purpose flour is best.
- 3 Large Eggs.
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar.
- 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar.
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest. Zesting a fresh lemon is ideal.
- 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice. Freshly squeezed is best. This will take about three lemons.
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt.
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda.
How to Make Lemon Bars
Making a good batch of bars is a process that can be separated into two mini-recipes: the delicious shortcake crust and the lemony filling. To make things easier, we’re going to separate instructions based on whether we’re doing the crust or the filling.
How to Make the Crust
Believe it or not, the shortbread crust that people love is remarkably easy to make. It also tastes pretty good solo, if you’re a fan of shortbread.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grab the butter, 1 1/4 cups of flour, salt and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Mix the powdery ingredients together, then fold in the butter.
- Press the dough into a tray and bake. Your crust should be done in 15 to 18 minutes.
How to Make the Filling
While the filling is not exactly edible on its own, it still is pretty easy to make. And by pretty easy, I mean that you should have no problem making it.
- Grab all the other ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. Use a whisk to mix them. You want the consistency to be even throughout.
- Pour the mixture over the crust and place it back in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes. When it’s done, you shouldn’t see any wiggle in the filling.
- Let your tray cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar. A light sprinkling will suffice. Once you’re done sprinkling your powder, you can cut the cake into squares to get the “bar” shape everyone recognizes.
Having a lemon bar alone is pretty awesome, but I’m a fan of jazzing up my food. If you want to make your bars look just a little better, here are some of the cooler ways you can add some pizzazz to your cookies:
- Use a stencil to brush the powder on. Using a stencil (or even just a paper cutout) is an easy way to get some pretty patterns on your lemon bars.
- Add mint leaves on top. Mint and lemon go together surprisingly well here.
- Top your lemon bars with berries. Raspberries and blueberries tend to look the best. If you can find currants in your local store, you can try those too.
- Garnish your bars with flowers. Orchids, for example, are edible and beautiful.