Sunny lemon bars recipe


The buttery shortbread crust has a nice crisp texture that is balanced by the tart and creamy lemon curd topping. Serve the bars with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top.

  • Yield: 12 large or 24 small bars


For the Crust
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Filling
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
How to Make It
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan.
  2. To Make the Crust
  3. In a medium bowl, stir the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until well blended. Add the flour all at once and stir until it is just incorporated.
  4. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden.
  5. Make the Filling
  6. While the crust is baking, In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the granulated sugar and the flour together until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk until well mixed.
  7. When the crust is done, carefully remove it from the oven, set the pan on a heatproof surface, and pour in the lemon filling. Turn the oven temperature down to 300°F, return the pan to the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling looks puffy on top and the center no longer jiggles. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  8. Cut into bars and sprinkle the tops with confectioners’ sugar. Serve chilled. The bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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