Shaker-Style Lemon Bars
© Christina Holmes

Shaker-Style Lemon Bars

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: makes 18 bars

These grown-up lemon bars are made with paper-thin slices of lemon, giving the sweet filling a pleasant bitterness.

Shortbread Dough

  1. 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 cup of sugar
  3. 1 large egg yolk
  4. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt


  1. 1 large, firm lemon, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
  2. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  6. 2 large eggs
  1. make the dough In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter with the sugar and egg yolk until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat at low speed until evenly moistened, about 2 minutes. Using your hands, knead once or twice to bring the dough together.
  2. make the filling Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the lemon halves as thinly as possible and transfer to a medium bowl; pick out the seeds. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Butter a 9-inch square metal baking pan. Pat three-fourths of the dough into the baking pan in an even layer. Roll the remaining dough into eight 9-inch-long ropes. Transfer to a plate. Refrigerate the crust and ropes until firm, about 10 minutes.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, butter and eggs until smooth. Fold in the lemon-sugar mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the filling over the dough and arrange the ropes of dough on top in a crisscross pattern. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the ropes are golden. Let cool completely.
  6. Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the pan. Cut the square into 18 bars and serve.
Make Ahead
The bars can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.