Monday, January 27, 2020

Easy Lemon Bars + Recipe Video

These lemon bars have a creamy texture and are bursting with citrus flavor. Make this bar dessert recipe with just 7 simple ingredients!

titled photo (and shown) Easy Lemon Bars

Bar dessert recipes are always a crowd favorite at parties and social gatherings since they’re perfect for grab-and-go snacking. 

Not only that, but there are also so many flavor possibilities to choose from!
Salted Caramel Toffee Bars and Pecan Pie Bars are perfect for sharing during the holiday season. 
Both desserts have classic, sticky-sweet fall flavors all wrapped up in the perfect bite. 
 
Or, make No Bake Rocky Road Bars for the perfect balance of chocolate and peanut butter- no oven necessary!


3 homemade lemon bars, slightly stacked

Helpful tips and tricks
  • Easy removal - Use a long enough piece of parchment so it hangs over both sides of the pan. Then, use these as handles to lift the dessert out of the pan once cooled.
  • Forming the crust - If the dough is too sticky to press into the pan, sprinkle a little flour on your hands.
  • Clean cutting - Allow the dessert to cool completely before cutting into lemon squares. Use a sharp knife to get perfectly clean edges. It can also help to place the pan in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours once cooled, and the chill just enhances the lemon flavor.
  • Make a larger batch - You can easily double this recipe and divide it into two separate pans.
How to get more juice out of a lemon 
 
The simplest method is to use the palm of your hand. Apply gentle pressure on the fruit as you roll it across a cutting board or counter top. 

This is a great idea if you will also be zesting the lemons because the rolling will thin the outer layer. 

Another option is to warm them first. Do this by either microwaving the whole lemons for 10-20 seconds, or by soaking them in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes. 
 
After you have softened the lemons, slice them in half lengthwise.This exposes more pulp, which releases more juice.

Recipe notes for lemon bars


  • Prepping the lemons
Before you zest citrus, it’s important to clean the fruit first. This removes any dirt or grime.
Gently scrub the fruit under cool running water, then dry them with a paper towel or clean cloth. Zest the fruit first, then slice them in half and juice them.
  • Air bubbles
If you notice a layer of bubbles along the top of the bars, don’t worry! This can happen when the air from the eggs rises to the surface during baking.
The flavor will be the same, and also, a dusting of powdered sugar covers the bubbles.
  • Storage
This lemon dessert may be kept either covered at room temperature for 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Store it whole and slice as you go, or cut the entire
batch into bars. Then, transfer;them to an airtight container.

How to freeze lemon bars

These bars freeze beautifully and stay fresh for up to 4 months.
To freeze an entire batch of them, first allow the bars to cool completely. Then, cover the pan tightly with foil and place it into the freezer.
Or, slice and freeze the bars in a single layer on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Then, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator first, then dust with powdered sugar. You can even enjoy them straight from the freezer if you’d like!

Watch how to make this lemon dessert recipe!



2 lemon bars with dusting of confectioner's sugar

Kitchen tools you’ll need
  • 9x9 Baking Pan
  • Citrus Juicer - This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing lemons so much easier.
  • Mixing Bowls - It’s good to have a variety of mixing bowls and prep bowls, and this set has them all!
  • Whisk - I’ve had this set for over 10 years, and it is still as good as the day I bought it. With 3 different sizes, there is a whisk for every job.
  • Microplane/Zester - Not only is it great for zesting citrus, I like to use it to grate garlic as well.
Enjoy!

With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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close up photo of a lemon dessert with powdered sugar on top




Yield: 16
yellow cookie bars dusted with powdered sugar

Easy Lemon Bars

Easy Peasy Lemon Bars are my go-to bar dessert recipe. This mouthwatering treat is bright, vibrant, and utterly delicious. The creamy texture and lemony flavor makes these a crowd favorite! Easy prep, easy cleanup and gone in a snap. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon finely zested

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.   Prepare a 9x9-inch pan with baking spray, then line the pan with parchment paper (this will make it easier to remove the lemon bars in one piece so you can cut them properly on a cutting board).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, butter, and salt with a fork until a crumbly dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pan so it covers the bottom and goes about 1/2 inch up the sides. Bake about 10 minutes or until it is a light golden brown.
  3. While the crust is baking, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and fine lemon zest.
  4. Remove crust from oven, pour the lemon mixture over the crust.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the center is set (doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pan).  Allow lemon bars to cool for 30 minutes in pan.  Using parchment, remove lemon bars and set on cutting board.  Allow to cool completely or refrigerate until completely cooled.
  6. Cut into 16 squares. Sprinkle the remaining powdered sugar over the cooled lemon bars before serving.

DONNA'S NOTES

  1. Recipe doubles perfectly

titled photo collage of lemon bars

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46 comments:

  1. These desserts look so good. I love anything lemon! Thanks for sharing the recipes and have a great weekend!
    Theresa

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  2. Love lemon bars - you can't go wrong with these!

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  3. And it's not fair, you probably have lemon tree in your back yard too! Some people bring back souvenirs when they travel but not me; when I've visited my sister in Phoenix I've brought back big bags of lemons! These bars look amazing and I just happen to have a bunch of lemons ..............

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  4. All the desserts are gorgeously done! Look scrumptious!
    I love chocolate; however the lemon bars truly look beyond delicious :)

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  5. These are probably the best lemon bars I have ever made! Super easy too. My family has already requested them twice.

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  6. These are probably the beast lemon bars I have ever made! Super easy too. My family had already requested then twice.

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  7. These sound wonderful! Would you happen to know if this recipe can be made with Splenda? Also, could lime or orange juice be used instead of lemon?
    Thanks for all of your great recipes!

    Kind regards, Kitty >^..^<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would substitute lime for lemon, but orange may not work exactly the same. As for splenda I have never tried it, but if you use the splenda baking mix you should be fine. Let me know how it comes out.

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    2. Thanks, Donna. I'll report back with my results!

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  8. These sound awesome! Have to try them.

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  9. They are amazing. Let us now how it goes. Enjoy.

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  10. made these! They ARE as yummy as they look!!

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  11. Lemon is such a refreshing taste. I love lemon bars!! Pinning it!

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  12. These lemon bars look great! You mention the recipe can be doubled. What size pan would I use? Also, how would I adjust to make these in a half sheet pan? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Double the recipe would make a 9x13. To make a half sheet pan it would theoretically be 4x the recipe, but I have not tested that and am not sure that it would come out perfectly.

      Let us know how it goes and enjoy!

      Delete
  13. This may sound really silly :( but I have never worked with zest. ...how do you "lightly zest" the lemon. Thank you for your patience! !!!!!

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    Replies
    1. The recipe calls for fine lemon zest. You can achieve fine zest by using a zester or the small side of a grater and then chop it up so you have small pieces of zest. Enjoy!

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  14. Do you store these in the refrigerator or at room temperature?

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    Replies
    1. Either would be fine, but I store my covered on the counter top.

      Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

      Delete
  15. WHAT IF YOU WANTED TO USE LEMON JUICE INSTEAD OF REAL LEMONS. HOW MUCH WOULD YOU USE?? THANK YOU

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    Replies
    1. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. I would not recommend the bottled lemon juice the flavor is very different. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

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    2. I have made these bars many times- everyone loves them! And I must admit- I have used bottled lemon juice, every time. I use a 1/2 cup and they're perfect!

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. To add to the mixture, or in place of the juice and zest? I have not tested it with lemon extract. Let us know how it goes and enjoy.

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  17. Hi Donna, I was just wondering if their is a substitute for the bass, I'm thinking crushed biscuits with butter, then poor the filling over, then bake.

    Thanks
    Gerard

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gerard,

      That would work perfectly. Like a no-bake cookie crust. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

      Donna

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  18. If anyone has tried this gluten free, would you let me know. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I did use cup4cup as a flour replacement and they came out great. Enjoy and let us know what you use and how it goes.

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  19. No way this serves 16, in my house the serving size is 1, which is me unfortunately.

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  20. This recipe was super simple and required zero adjustments. I have happily pinned it to my recipe board and will be trying it with limes tonight! Thank you :)

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  21. I doubled the recipe and used white whole wheat flour for the crust. Brought it into work and got rave reviews! It's a keeper for sure. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. These are the best! And thank you for the link to your lemon pins! I'm drooling on my keyboard...

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  23. Has anyone tried freezing these? I want to make them ahead for graduation and freeze them.

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  24. Can you put a double batch of lemon into the same pan?

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    Replies
    1. Double the recipe....use a 9x13 pan.

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  25. Yum! Pinning these to try later! I might need a lemon love pinterest board too...

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  26. Has anyone substituted a Graham cracker crust, and how did it turn out?

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  27. They look terrific. How and where can I add coconut? Much appreciated. Thank-you. 🐼⚘

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  28. The filling was great the crust was awful

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  29. This recipe looks awesome! I think I may try it out soon! Thank you for sharing!

    Charlie @ www.ArmMyKitchen.com

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  30. Can these be frozen?

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  31. Did anyone ever try it with Splenda? I sure would love to know how it turned out. Some of us who love your recipes would really love a diabetic version

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  32. If you double the recipe do you double the time in baking?

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  33. Hey
    Can I try the recipe with limes instead of lemons?
    Can I even zest limes (I guess I can not)?
    Just seeing them makes me hungry and my mouth starts watering....
    Want to make these and THIS IS GOING TO BE MY FIRST TIME BAKING

    ReplyDelete

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