Many of the most distinct memories that I have from my childhood all revolve around food. I remember baking bread with my classmates in the fourth grade. I remember decorating a gingerbread house with my mom. I remember rolling out my own pizza dough at my eighth birthday party. And I remember a failed whoopie pie fiasco not so long ago. But the fondest memories of my childhood are of being in the kitchen with my grandma. I love watching her work, knowing that the end product will always be delicious. I loved baking with her, and I still love it to this day.
I vividly recall the first time that me and my grandma made her famous lemon bars together. She let me get my hands dirty and press the crust into the pan. I got to zest and juice the lemons and whisk together the yummy filling. I looked through the oven door as they baked, anticipating how great these lemon bars would taste. I then proceeded to cover the lemon bars (and myself) in powdered sugar. These zesty treats are everyone’s favorite dessert and we work hard to find excuses to make them for almost every family gathering. They are just that good. A buttery shortbread crust is topped with a sweet and tart lemon filling.
I love these lemon bars because they are not too sweet, yet not too tart. If you ask me, they are perfect. Grandma always knows best, and I will never make any other lemon bars as long as I live.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the flour and mix until well incorporated. Press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- Whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl until smooth. Pour the filling over the crust. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the top is firm to the touch and the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and cut into squares.