Lemon Bars

For Paul Chazan, who can’t get enough of them.

Makes one 9- by 13-inch pan, or 36 bars

1 cup unsalted butter

21/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

21/4 cups sifted flour

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons grated lemon peel

ATTNThere is an alternate crust recipe below if you prefer something with a bit of crunch from some cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 350° F. To prepare crust, beat

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

until creamy. Stir in

  • 2 cups sifted flour

until evenly blended. Spread evenly into an ungreased 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Beat

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar

until light and fluffy. Stir in

  • 1/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Pour filling over hot crust. Return to oven and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Make glaze by combining

  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons hot water

Stir until sugar is dissolved. This makes a sweet, fairly thick white glaze. We prefer a thinner, translucent glaze. Start with 1 cup of sugar and add water, or more sugar, as desired. Spread over top and finish cooling. Cut into bars. They keep well wrapped in foil or in an airtight container.

Adapted from The Old-fashioned Cookbook, by Jan McBride Carlton

I recently discovered an alternate crust I like for lemon bars, from the wonderful book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy, by Alice Medrich.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9- by 13-inch pan with aluminum foil. In a bowl, combine

  • 11/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

In mixer bowl, beat together

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Add

  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 TBL buttermilk or yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat the least possible amount of time on the lowest speed to combine in the flour. Knead by hand to ensure flour is incorporated. Press into lined pan, prick everywhere with a fork, then bake for 25 minutes until deep golden brown. Continue by pouring filling over hot crust as describe above.

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