Tuesday, April 3

Em's Lemon Shortbread Bars - You're welcome

You think I’m kidding? I’m not. I swore at the beginning of this blog that I would only put my very best and favorite recipes on the blog- and this one is absolutely freaking awesome. If I do say so myself. And easy too! You will never, ever, buy the ready-to-make box of pseudo-lemon bars again. This one is the be all and end all.
When I was about nine I made lemon bars out of a little green peanuts cookbook, and from then on I was hooked. My recipe has been tweaked and twisted a little here and there over the years to produce the most perfect lemon bar I can imagine!
Now I know that everyone's tastes are different, but let me just explain a bit about this bar and you will see that its just what you've always dreamed of in a lemon bar:)
The crust is made of the most perfect buttery, buttery shortbread that will flake and crunch with every bite, and that my friends is topped with the lightest, gooiest, tart and tangy lemon curd. Oh goodness. You just have to give them a try to see what I'm talking about:

Em's Lemon Shortbread Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Shortbread Ingredients:
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of butter (3 sticks) melted completely
1. Mix the flour and powdered sugar together with a whisk, then pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients. Mix together gently with a wooden spoon, stirring than turning over until just mixed. 
2. Lightly coat a 9 x 13″ casserole pan with olive oil, and then press the crust mixture firmly into the pan in an even-ish layer. (Don't forget to give the crust a little taste first, ya know, just to make sure its edible...) 
Don't worry about the bumps from your fingers, I think they give a rustic texture and help it cling to the curd better. Poke with a fork here and there, about a dozen times. Bake for 15 minutes at 350.
While that’s baking, make the curd:
Lemon Curd Ingredients:
  • 6 whole medium eggs
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • the outer yellow zest from 2 lemons.
  • juice from your two lemons (about 1/3-1/2 cup). Don't even think about skimping with that bottled or frozen stuff here people! Please, don’t do it.
Curd Method:
1. In your bowl (I just used the same mixing bowl as for the shortbread, just rinsed out) whip the six eggs with a mixer until they are well combined and uniform. Add the sugar, baking powder and flour, and mix together on your slowest setting to combine well. 
2. With a small grater, zest only the outer yellow skin from your two FRESH lemons. Probably about 2 Tablespoons. Add to he egg/sugar mixture. Squeeze the lemons, (make sure to strain out any pips) and add the 1/3 cup of juice.
3. After 15 minutes (which has probably passed by now, especially if you were trying to fit in a small bite of lunch in-between:)), pull the crust from the oven, and immediately pour the curd mixture over the hot crust, scraping the bowl to get all that lemony goodness (conveniently leaving just enough to sample afterwards however). 
4. Pop it back in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until its set and doesn't jiggle, even in the center. (note, my curd usually tints a bit brown on top as it cooks, but never fear as you're going to cover it with powered sugar and no one will be the wiser!)
5. Let cool COMPLETELY (it will be a mess if you rush it, trust me!) before slicing into neat squares. Dust with desired amount of powdered sugar, and feel your knees give out as you taste them.
Don't forget the milk:)
Store the leftovers (if there are any...which there had better be if you made a 9x13 pan and you're one of only two people eating them. You naughty thing!!) in the fridge, and enjoy for the next day or so as you type on the computer, sharing this recipe with all your friends on pinterest! haha
Make them. Now. Today. And then return and report. I want to hear how they made your knees weak…

xoxo, Emily


  1. WOW! these look absolutely delicious!!! i am huge lemon bar fan - cannot wait to try these!!
    so glad to have discovered your blog. you take fabulous pictures!!! can't wait to follow your adventures (and learn more from your tips and tricks!!)

  2. I'm beyond excited about this! I love anything lemon or lime.. and I was looking for some new treats to make for Easter! Can't wait to try these out!!

  3. Awesome! let me know if you have any questions! I'm excited to hear what you think of them!

  4. How timely! I've been looking for the perfect lemon bar recipe for the past week or so... If the crust isn't good, they can be just mediocre, but this one looks great! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing :)


  5. ADORABLE blog, Miss Emily! I must admit that lemon bars are my guilty pleasure. I'm pinning this recipe stat!

  6. I love LEMON BARS! I dream about them actually, there are so many out there on pinterest and things but since you have tried and tested this one, it is my next project! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. They sound great! I may steal your recipe and try to create a gluten-free version... ;>

  8. Seriously, Emily!? I have to try your lime cake yet - must you keep tempting us!? ;D

    My mom loves to make lemon bars - they are always so yummy!

  9. Those look incredibly delicious! Can't wait to try the recipe!!! :)

  10. These looks so good! Definitely putting them on my "to cook" list!

  11. Oh yum! i love your blog, and i love the look of these!

  12. yum! my husband would LOVE these!

  13. i LOVE lemon bars!!!!! they are so yummy!!! thank you

  14. those lemon short beard looks so good. I have never try lemon short bread before.

  15. Wow wow wow! These lemon bars do look so amazing! I can just feel the texture and tast the of flavour when I imagine biting into it. Yummy!

  16. Ohmygoodness, I need to make these ASAP. I love citrus anything, and lemon bars are one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing my dear!


  17. I'm so glad! you're welcome! Any questions please ask anyone! I hope they come out just right for ya'll and you can taste the heaven! haha

  18. you are adorable and this looks delicious! i love love love your blog! :)

  19. Hi Emily! Thank you for finding my blog & following! :) I'm following you back. xo

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  20. oh my heavenly!! these look beyond delicious! now if only i could bake ;)
    xo TJ

  21. Oh my goodness these look perfectly divine! Also, you communicate the process so well! Love this post.

  22. Oh these look dangerous yet so delicious!

  23. I'm definitely going to try these! I JUST started to bake from scratch and this recipe looks surprisingly easy... and super delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  24. @E For sure Dangerous!! haha and for sure delicious:) @Faith, I'm so glad!! they ARE easy. and you'll be so proud of yourself when their done!
    lemme know if you have any questions!

  25. These are super delicious, and I especially love the shortbread crust! I made these when visiting my parents' for the holidays, and my brother insisted on using lemon juice from concentrate because he was too lazy to go to the store. They definitely weren't as tart and fresh as with real lemons, so I'll just have to try them again! (Actually, I just made the shortbread alone for a study snack. Not too healthy, but oh so good!) Thanks for the recipe!