My parents live in Minnesota. Every winter they visit my aunt and uncle who live near San Diego, California. And, every year they bring home a supply of Meyer lemons. My uncle has a Meyer lemon tree in his yard and the lemons are ready for picking during my parents’ visit. This tree also happens to be quite productive so there are lots of lemons to use up. Lemonade, lemon cake, lemon bars, etc. What does one do with all these lemons? I happily take a few home to bake one of my favorite bar recipes, Tangy Lemon Bars.
Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross between lemons and oranges so are a little sweeter than the lemons I purchase at the grocery store. Tangy Lemon Bars really tastes best made with regular lemons but, when one has Meyer lemons on hand they work just fine too. The bars are just a little less tangy and a little more sweet.
Tangy Lemon Bars have an easy pat-in-the pan crust, a luscious lemon filling and a quick glaze as a finishing touch. They are a great addition to a cookie and bar plate since they add a refreshing flavor to complement the usual chocolate and butter cookie varieties.
Start by heating your oven to 350° F. In a large bowl combine all the crust ingredients (flour, sugar and softened butter). Beat at medium speed until the mixture forms fine crumbs. This mixture will not form into dough; it will be a dry crumbly mixture that will be easy to press together when patted into the pan.
Evenly press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Remove from the oven.
While the crust is baking, make the filling by combining the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, grated lemon peel and salt in the same bowl where you mixed the crust mixture (saves on clean up!). Beat at medium speed until well mixed.
Add the flour and baking powder.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat until well mixed.
Slowly pour the filling over the hot partially baked crust.
Continue baking for 23 to 25 minutes or until the filling is set and the top is light golden brown. Cool completely.
Once the bars have cooled completely make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, softened butter and vanilla.
Beat at low speed, gradually adding enough lemon juice to reach desired glazing consistency.
The easiest way to glaze the bars is to just spread the glaze over the cooled pan of bars.
Then cut into bars with a sharp knife.
If you want to make fancier bars, first cut the bars into diamond shapes. Start by cutting diagonally across the length of the pan of bars.
Then make cuts parallel to the short side of the pan, creating diamond shaped bars. Remove the bars and place on a wire cooling rack.
An easy way to drizzle the glaze over the bars is to place the glaze in a plastic food storage bag.
Gently press the glaze down into one corner of the bag.
Now snip off the very end of the corner with clean scissor to create a hole where the glaze can come through.
Use the bag like a pastry bag “pipe” to drizzle the glaze onto the cooled bars.
Won’t these dress up your cookie plate? Or, they’re pretty enough to stand on their own.
What lemon recipes do you like to make? If you try Tangy Lemon Bars, please rate and review the recipe.
Easter's around the corner and you will want to see the fun Bunny Cake Julie is making on Thursday.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchen for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.