Ah, lemon bars!  Wonderful, scrumptious, unforgettable lemon bars!  When life gives you lemons, forget lemonade, make lemon bars!  I have compared several recipes, but this is the most luscious combination of sweet and lemony.  The recipe comes from Sunset Cookies.

There are actually many tips and secrets for absolute success.  I have previously had some failures, although my family was happy about that.  That was because I was making them for pioneer school and they got to keep the whole batch while I had to start over.  Thankfully, I did figure out what the problem was so that I can avoid the same disaster.  Disaster is in a relative sense, since it is still delicious, it was just that the filling never set properly.  It is very important to pour the filling on the HOT crust.  When I had the lemon bars not set up, I had been making two batches and I took the base out of the oven and it sat while I finished mixing the lemon-egg filling.  No matter how long I would continue baking, it stayed runny.  So, now if I don’t have the egg mixture ready when the crust is done, I take it out and then return it to the oven a few minutes to make sure it is still very hot when I pour in the lemon filling to finish baking.

Limoncello liqueur and lime juice are a couple more secrets that enhance the flavor.  I add about a tablespoon of liqueur to the base as well as one or two tablespoons to the lemon-egg filling.  If I have limes, I like to add a couple tablespoons of juice in addition to the lemon juice.

I like a powdered sugar glaze rather than sifting powdered sugar over the warm bars.  I have accidentally inhaled powdered sugar as I took a bite and the choking episode that followed just took away from the pleasure of eating lemon bars.  Additionally, with a glaze you get more lemon flavor.  To make a glaze, sift two or three cups of powdered sugar and stir in a tablespoon or so each of lemon juice and limoncello until it is a nice consistency.  Be sure to carefully spoon the glaze on as soon as the bars come out of the oven.  Do not pour it on, especially not on the center or it will break through the fine crust on top and make a mess.  Just spoon it on, starting at the edges.  After a few minutes, you may carefully spread the glaze evenly, if desired.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided use
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel {or a few drops lemon oil}
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice {and 1-2 tablespoons each lime juice and limoncello, optional}
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until creamy; beat in 2 cups of the flour, blending thoroughly.  Spread mixture evenly over bottom of well-greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350° F. oven for 20 minutes.  {So that my non-stick pans don’t get scratched, I line the bottom and two ends with a piece of parchment paper.  Then I can take the whole thing out of the pan after it is cooled and cut it up on a cutting board.}

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs until light.  Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until mixture is thick and lemon-colored.  {This can take about 15-20 minutes.}  Add lemon peel, lemon juice, remaining 1/3 cup flour and baking powder, beat until smooth and well combined.  {I mix all but the baking powder and then lastly add the baking powder.  Make sure it is all ready to go in the oven when the baking powder is added.  The baking powder activates as soon as it comes in contact with the lemon juice.}

Pour lemon mixture over {HOT} baked crust and return to oven; bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until topping is pale golden.  Place on a rack to cool.  Immediately spoon glaze gently over top.  To serve, cut into bars when cooled off.  Store airtight.  {I keep refrigerated.}  Makes about 20.

Famously Delectable Lemon Bars

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