Lemon Bars


So last night I found myself with a ton of leftover lemons from the Damp Lemon and Almond Cake I had made last week. For some people, when life gives them lemons, they make lemonade. I make lemon bars. I will henceforth nickname these lemon bars as “LiveMaster TicketNation Lemon Bars,” seeing as how they came on the day that the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger was announced, thus bursting my happy job security bubble. These lemon bars have been a comfort – I think I’ve polished off half the pan on my own. The best part is that they’re so easy to make!

I decided to revist the Joy of Cooking before it goes back to the library. There’s no actual recipe for lemon bars, but no big deal. Lemon bars are simply about combining a shortbread recipe with a lemon curd recipe, both of which I easily found in the book. Make the shortbread recipe first, since it needs to be in the oven for at least half an hour:


Butter. Sugar. Flour. Brilliant.

Bake until barely golden brown around the edges and you end up with a slab of awesomeness! At this point, you COULD stop the recipe and just eat the shortbread straight, and perhaps with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea, but then you’d be depriving yourself of the joys of lemon curd!


Lemon curd is so deceptively simple to make as well. Butter, sugar, lemon, eggs.  There’s definitely a theme of butter here today…


For those who have had my lemon bars in the past, then you know I can make a mean lemon curd. I was skeptical of the recipe from Joy at first, but the flavors are good, even if the end product doesn’t look like the pretty, transculent lemon curd that I normally make. I think I’ll stick to my perfected recipe in the future, but this one will do quite well in a pinch – or basically when you’re too lazy to separate egg yolks from the egg whites.

So you’ve got your lemon curd and you’ve got your shortbread. Now pour that curd over the shortbread, bake for another 10 mins, and you’re in business! Mmm, action shot!eimg_2362

Lemon Curd | Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition


  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 c. Sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 c. Lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract


Whisk together eggs, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan until light in color. Add in lemon juice and butter, and cook while whisking over medium heat until the butter is melted. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and simmers gently for a few seconds.

Using a spatula, scrape the filling into a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl and strain the filling into the bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Scotch Shortbread | Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition


  • 3/4 c. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 c. Granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 c. Flour


Cream together the butter, sugars, and salt. Stir in flour. Lightly knead until blended. Press dough evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until the edges turn slightly golden brown.

Lemon Bars

Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F, pour lemon curd over the shortbread, return the pan to the oven for 5-8 minutes.


2 Responses

  1. mmmm lemon bars 😀

  2. […] homemade marshmallows are today’s theme. This actually relates a bit to my lemon bars post. My usual lemon curd recipe calls for egg yolks only, so when it came time to separate the […]

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