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liz lemon bars

April 23, 2011

Someone recently asked me why I love baking. There are a lot of answers to that question, but really it’s for the smell. And at the risk of offending any nearby loaves of freshly baked bread, I have to say lemon bars are the best-smelling thing to put in your oven. Lemon is a very welcoming smell, and when it spreads through your whole house as it bakes (mingled with browned butter and lots and lots of sugar), you feel very at home.

Lemon gives baked goods a refreshing, crisp flavor. Even when bogged down with a can of sweetened condensed milk (!), these treats manage to stay juicy and light. That said, camera-friendly they are not. If these lemon bars joined, they’d have to rely heavily on their sense of humor to distract from the profile pic.

I modified Martha Stewart’s Creamy Lemon Squares to make this recipe. I like a little more oomph in the crust, so I made one with Trader Joe’s Vanilla Joe Joes. Besides…I feel a little squirmy just doing exactly what Martha tells me to. I’d love to hear how they turn out in any variation you try!

liz lemon bars

2 rows (about 30) vanilla sandwich cookies (I always use Trader Joe’s Vanilla Joe Joe’s)

1 stick sweet cream salted butter, melted

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 egg yolks

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8″x8″ baking dish.

In a sealed, one-gallon ziplock bag, mash cookies until crumbly. Blend well with melted butter and salt. Press the cookie mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, and set aside.

While baking, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Whisk in one egg at a time, until mixture is smooth. Pour over prebaked crust, and bake for 30 minutes, until set. Refrigerate at least two hours before slicing, preferably overnight. Lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.


From → eats

One Comment
  1. They sound great. Did you know that there aren’t any Trader Joe’s in Houston? It’s on the (longish) list of problems with this city. Love how you said you don’t want to do exactly what Martha says – I totally agree 🙂

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