Shaker-Style Lemon Bars

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

Shaker-Style Lemon Bars
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
Yield:
18 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread Dough

  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup of sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Filling

  • 1 large, firm lemon, scrubbed and halved lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 large eggs

Directions

make the dough

  1. 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.

make the filling

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, butter and eggs until smooth. Fold in the lemon-sugar mixture.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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