Simply Perfect Lemon Square Recipe

Ever since I started Tasty Treat Thursday (stolen from Kitty's Tasty Treat Tuesdays) at the office, a particular IT guy has been bugging me about bringing in lemon squares. After an unfortunate run in with my mandolin slicer, I had to put them off for a few weeks because of the hands-on part of the recipe. As they were a new recipe, a much anticipated treat, and since I couldn't try them myself (damn healthy living!) and I had to have my very kind neighbors try them I was more than a little nervous about how they would be received. Clearly there was nothing to worry about :) My co-workers loved them (I'm really hoping the ones that see this don't tell me I'm wrong!) and they were a hit. I think they are the perfect combination of sweet, soft, crumbly crust and tart, tasty, lemon filling. I'd love to hear if they are a hit for you too!

Here is the recipe download for Simply Perfect Lemon Squares.

*Recipe adapted from Baked Bree Lemon Bars 

Crust

1 Cup Salted Butter (softened)

1 Cup Powdered Sugar (sifted)

Pinch of Sea Salt

2 Cups All Purpose Flour (sifted)

Filling

4 Medium Eggs (at room temperature)

2 Cups sugar

4 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 2 lemons)

½ Teaspoon Pure Lemon Extract

½ A Packet (about 2 ½ tsps) of Unflavored Gelatin

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1.    Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.    In mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and powdered sugar until silky smooth.

3.    Add salt and flour, mix on low speed until well combined. When well combined the mixture will be crumbly.

4.    Grease bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  You’ll get the most even results by using shortening and flour to grease. Do this spreading a thin layer of shortening on bottom and sides of dish with a cloth or paper towel. Sprinkle flour on top to cover. Turn dish over sink and tap out excess flour.

5.    Pour crust mixture into pan and press down. Make sure it is firmly pressed down and even for even baking.

6.    Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until just before golden brown. Remove and place on cooling rack. It is important you take it out before it actually starts to brown as it will continue to bake a little while after it’s been removed.

This is what your crust will look like when you take it out. Barely browning on the edges. Seriously, I could just eat this crust.

7.    Start working on filling. Place eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon extract, and gelatin in a blender and blend well.

8.    Right before pouring on cooled crust (cooled here meaning warm, but not hot to the touch) add the baking powder to the blender and mix one more time.

9.    Gently pour onto crust. This is best done out of the wide side of the blender, don’t use the spout as it will create a small stream that can create holes in the crust.

10.    Cook for another 20 minutes until filling no longer jiggles and a thin flakey crust has formed on top.

11.    Remove from oven and cool for about an hour to let the filling set.

12.    Cut them up into however many pieces you would like and enjoy!