Since I’m on a lemon kick, I thought I’d post a recipe that’s been in our family forever. My Mom has made these sweet, tart, lemony bars that has a little bit of a stickiness and gooey consistency for as long as I can remember. It’s also published in her own cookbook called “Food Lovers Collection” by Rita D. McMahan.
My son, Kyle, made a request for these in the next “Care Package” I send to them. I decided to bake them in a disposable aluminum container that comes with a lid, feeling that would keep the bars safer from destruction by mail handlers. And since I already knew these bars inside/out and understood the texture and consistency of them, I went right by my Mother’s recipe……. Well…. with one minor tweak. Read on….
Here’s how I made them.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
My pictures here show how I made them to ship to Kyle.
For the crust: In a large bowl, beat together the room temperature butter, powdered sugar and all purpose flour with a hand held mixer.
Beat until the butter is blended and it’s the texture of cornmeal with little specks of butter throughout.
Press in the bottom of an 8x8x2 baking dish or a 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 2 aluminum pan (for delivering or shipping to someone). Bake in the preheated 325 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until it starts to turn a golden color.
This pan pictured here is 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 2 inches deep and it comes with an aluminum/cardboard cover that makes for a great way to ship to someone via mail, or if you just want to deliver to a friend!
While the crust is baking, let’s make the batter: In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, all purpose flour and baking powder. Beat with your hand held mixer for a minute or so until it’s nice and creamy.
OK, so… I said I went right by my Mother’s recipe… except for one thing. That one thing is, I added cornstarch. Why? Well, her delicious decadent lemon bars tend to be a bit sticky and gooey. Since I was shipping this a few states away, I wanted it to set up firmer and minimize shifting and making a mess. So, I added a rounded Tablespoon of cornstarch to the batter. It doesn’t change the taste, which is crucial because it is delicious just as is! It just allows the bars to set up firmer.
Add the lemon zest… I do declare, the picture looks like orange. I promise it’s really lemon! Gotta work on my picture taking skills!
And stir until it’s well distributed throughout the batter.
Pour the batter over the baked crust and return it to the 325 degree oven and bake an additional 20-22 minutes.
You can see a crust has formed on top and turning a golden color. That’s when you’ll know it’s done.
Dust with powdered sugar to make it all pretty and extra delicious! I have an old hand held strainer that I like to use. Just put a small bowl under it to catch the powdered sugar when not in use.
The top crust will crack and settle. We’ll call that “character”.
Let the Lemon Bars cool for awhile before cutting. Honestly, if you can let it sit a few hours, it’s best, or put it in the refrigerator to help speed up the cooling process. If it’s still warm, it’ll make a gooey mess. Not that that would be all bad mind you, just be aware…
I made these one morning and cut them that evening after dinner.
See how it’s set up, not oozing, but yet still moist? That’s the cornstarch I added. I just think the bars are just easier to handle.
For other bar cookie ideas, check out these!
Couldn’t you just sink your teeth into those bars? They are just simply divine!
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.