Recipe: Basic Lemon Bars

Sometimes you need to cut the crap and get down to basics. And that is what this recipe is all about. I remember making these basic lemon bars with my babysitter during the summer when my parents were at work. They're everything that you want in a lemon bar. Gooey, buttery crust, tart, and slightly sweet. Sometimes you don't need to mess with the basics.

Basic Lemon Bars

Yields 9-12 bars (depending on how big you cut them)

  • 1c flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4c powdered sugar
  • 1c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In an electric mixer, combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter until crumbly and the butter is evenly distributed throughout. Press the dough evenly into the pan with your hands, making sure to go up the sides slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Whisk together eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder, sugar, and salt until combined and fluffy. Pour over hot crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until no indentation remains when touched slightly in the center and is slightly darker in color.

Let lemon bars cool completely, then cut into 1 1/2 inch squares. Dust with powdered sugar.

They're as good as they look. No joke.