Lemon Bars

My grandmother had this amazing Betty Crocker book of cookie recipes called The Cooky Book--it has all kinds of amazing ones I just can't wait to try.  She passed away last year, but left a legacy with not only loads of fun, warming memories, but also the best baked goods (I have yet to recreate her very own chocolate chip cookies). This book has been so used over the years that the cover is taped on and the pages are yellowed with age.  To have the opportunity to keep something my grandmother held this dear is just so special.  When it came time for the holidays this past year, I decided to make something from her cookie book. It also just so happened that a friend kindly gave me a ton of fresh lemons from her tree.  Upon flipping through with my mission in mind, lemon bars caught my eye and I decided to make my first tray.


I found a copy of the cover thanks to a site that came up in my Google results - check out all those different types of cookies on the cover!



Lemon bars are basically a cookie bottom with a lemon topping baked over them.  Ridiculously easy is the best way to describe them--you just have to mix the 2 parts and get them in the oven.  No dough balls or baking trays required!

The cookie part was simple--I just mixed flour, butter, and powdered sugar together with my stand mixer until it formed a dough.


After pressing the dough into a square pan, I baked it for 20 minutes.


While the crust baked, I mixed together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, coriander and lemon juice with my wire beater attachment until it was smooth.  I read a while back that coriander makes a good accent to lemon flavors, so I added a little bit to the lemon topping.  I can't resist a little experimentation!


I poured the filling over the still-warm crust, then baked the whole thing for another 20 minutes to get the top layer baked.


These were such a big hit!  The whole first tray I made disappeared as soon as I started handing them out to my family - I had to turn around and make a double batch just to have enough to give out!  Everyone that touched one of these lemon bars said they were utterly awesome.  The lemon juice was just perfect - fresh is always best, and the filling had a lemon flavor without being bitter.  The cookie bottom, though incredibly simple, was chewy and not too crunchy.  It all held together quite well.  These are nothing short of awesome!

Lemon Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

For the dough:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the lemon filling:
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  To make the dough, add flour, butter, and powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl.  Blend well, then press into a 8 x 8" pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, mix the filling by beating together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, coriander and lemon juice with a whisk until combined.  Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust and bake 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

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