King Arthur Baking put out a lemon bars recipe that I adore. With some quick adjustments, these lemon squares turned into hearts, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Of course, chocolate remains my favorite, but this was a fun attempt at a different kind of treat. Plus, we had a lot of lemons from our neighbor’s tree to put to use. If you are looking for a lemony treat, give this lemon bars recipe a try – and get creative with your shapes, too.
Lemon Bars Recipe Ingredients
1 Cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
8 Tablespoons Room Temperature Unsalted Butter (half a stick)
4 Large Eggs
1 Large Egg Yolk
223 Grams Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Confectioners’ Sugar
1/4 Cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/8 Fine Sea Salt
2/3 Cup Lemon Juice (we used fresh squeezed because we had lemons on hand, but any lemon juice will work)
Confectioners’ Sugar at Serving
Lemon Bars Recipe Steps
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Step 2 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and confectioners’ sugar to form the base of the crust.
Step 3 Cut the room temperature butter into smaller squares and then cut in the butter with the dry ingredients. The mixture will be relatively dry and crumbling. Note: I cut the butter into squares first because I find it easier to distribute it evenly.
Step 4 Pour the crumbly mixture into an ungreased 8×8-inch baking pan. Press the crust dough down to get it even and into the corners. You want it to be pressed firmly against the sides of the pan to avoid the filling from getting into the cracks and burning.
Step 5 Bake the crust for approximately 30 minutes.
Step 6 While the crust is baking, prepare the lemon bar topping. Whisk together all of the eggs and sugars until it is thoroughly blended. Slowly add in the flour and the salt, mixing as you go.
Step 7 Gently add the fresh lemon juice and stir.
Step 8 Let the mixture sit for approximately 15 minutes. You’ll see a lot of air bubbles. Those should calm down as you let it rest.
Step 9 Pull the finished crust onto a heat-safe surface when it is golden brown. Turn the oven temperature down to 325° F.
Step 10 All it to cool slightly, but only for a minute or two. You want the crust to be still verging on hot when adding the topping.
Step 11 Pour the topping onto the crust and then return the pan to the middle rack of the oven for another 30 minutes. Note: If you see it starting to brown, don’t panic. If it looks like the lemon bars are ready, you can pull it out earlier. If it still seems a little too liquid, you may want to tent the top with foil to stop it from burning. It’s okay if it does slightly because you’ll be covering the top in powdered sugar before serving anyway.
Step 12 Take the lemon bars out of the oven and allow them to cool completely before cutting into them. When you are ready to serve them, you can lightly (or not so lightly, in my case) sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over them.
Step 13 For Valentine’s Day – Instead of just slicing them into the traditional bar or square shapes, I used a large cookie cutter to create a lemon heart. It wasn’t the most perfect-looking heart ever formed, but it was adorable. And it is a nice treat for Valentine’s Day that is perfect for loved ones who want something other than chocolate.
Step 14 Keep leftover lemon squares in the refrigerator for safety.
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