There are times when you just need comfort, usually in the form of some sort of food or drink. Whether your idea of that is a bag of chips and a beer and old reruns of Andy Griffith, some chicken & dumplings and a cold glass of milk, sitting under a warm blanket reading Little Women while you sip at some tea or anything involving chocolate, or downing a bottle of Smirnoff, going clubbing dressed in only a thong and high heels and then spending the night over a toilet (which btw, if that’s your form of comfort, I have some numbers you may want to call for help 😛 ) you just have to have some form of comfort. For me, it always involves baking and usually not something new, but something tried and true, something that brings back good memories, which for me would mean when my kids were little. One of the things I baked often then was lemon bars. I mean, who (other than my 17 year old and he’s strange) doesn’t like lemon bars? Well, except for (also) those strange people who just don’t like lemon desserts at all. personally, I think they are aliens come to destroy our world. but I also watched War Of The Worlds last night so I may still be caught up in bad 1950’s movie effects.
Lemon Bars have always been one of those quintessential “you need to know how to make these” sort of recipes to me. SO when I realized that after almost 3 years of blogging, I hadn’t yet posted my go to lemon bar recipe, I knew I needed to change that. These are the ones I have been making for about 20 years, though with some changes form the original, which came from (again) one of those monthly Pillsbury cookbooks. You will notice however, the addition of Boyajian Lemon Oil . I have always added either lemon extract (back in the day) or lemon oil (when I realized it was better than extract) but it’s just been in recent months that I have gained an extreme fondness for their specific brand. Give it a try. You can omit the lemon oil but it does definitely add to the overall flavor.
These have a lemony crust, a tart lemon filling and a glaze that I make using lemon zest and lemon oil, but very little lemon juice so that it can offset the tartness of the filling. These have been worked on over the years to make, what I think is, the best lemon bar around. These make a nice thick bar so cut the pieces small unless you’re trying to send everyone, even your healthy friends, into a diabetic coma 😀
You know the drill… 🙂
Triple Lemon Bars
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon water, if needed for crust to come together
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (if you don’t have it, these will be almost as delicious without it; just not quite as lemony)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (use room temp lemons to get the most juice)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Few drops of lemon oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with non-stick foil. That is of course optional, but I highly recommend it.
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on low speed, combine all the crust ingredients until mixture is crumbly and holds together when pressed in your hand. if you need to add more water, add a little at a time to get it crumbly and not dry.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make your filling- combine the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon oil, flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add in the lemon juice.
- When the crust is browned, pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust. Return to the oven and bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is firm, lightly browned and set. If you insert a skewer halfway to the center, it should come out just moist, not liquid, rather like a thick lemon curd. It will set up more as it cools.
- Cool the bars completely before glazing. For the glaze, simply whisk all the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over the cooled bars and spread gently.
- Cut these into small squares or triangles and you can either store them, covered, on the counter for a day or two, or in the fridge for about a week. The fridge is a better bet because they become quite soft and hard to handle when left out.
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