Classic Lemon Bars

Well, hello again! I’m fresh back from five days in Cancun and feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to share some of my summery inspiration with you. Austin welcomed us back with a bit of a chill, but that hasn’t put a damper on my delicious memories of Mexico. My favorites from our stay? Juicy plates of sliced papaya, kiwi and watermelon, citrusy grilled fish with pico de gallo, and of course, freshly made guacamole at every meal. Who says it doesn’t go on top of eggs, or serve as a dipping sauce for French fries?

Check out some of the snaps from last week’s trip:

And now, onto the lemon bars that got me into a festive, summery mood for Mexico!

I’ve loved lemon bars for as long as I can remember, but never thought to make them from scratch. They were always just THERE at every barbecue, sitting pretty on plates, begging to be snatched up and savored alongside ribs and potato salad. It never occurred to me to actually try baking a batch instead of just making them disappear at parties!

Well, this baby belly that demands to be filled with all things lemon was just the kick I needed… Luscious, light lemon bars with a buttery shortbread crust would be mine!

And now, they can be yours, too…

These decadent bars definitely aren’t in the bikini-friendly category, but that’s the beauty of bars! Cut them into tiny bites instead of big squares, why don’t ya? Perfect diet control.

These bars are made 100% from scratch and with a whole lotta love (and eggs and lemons and sugar). I know you’re gonna absolutely flip for them, and your friends will, too. For your warm weather parties and backyard barbecues, I can’t think of any better dessert that would be a bigger hit!

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Classic Lemon Bars

Yield: Makes 16-20 bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 4-6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4-6 lemons)
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

For the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add flour and salt; mix on low until just combined. Dump dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten dough with floured hands and press it into a lined 13x9-inch baking pan, forming a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill for 30 minutes.

Once crust is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and maintain oven temperature.

For the filling: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour mixture over crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature, or chill until firm.

Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares of desired size.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Ina Garten

      

30 Responses to “Classic Lemon Bars”

  1. #
    1
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 10, 2014 @ 1:26 am

    What a fun trip – love the pics! And portion control – I’m definitely in need of that. Jason and I are heading to Cabo in May so I need to gear up for bikini season!

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — March 10, 2014 @ 5:40 am

    Gorgeous snaps of your Cancun vacay, Georgia! I’m so glad you had a chance to get away and have a good time. And, I absolutely LOVE lemon bars. Yours look divine! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely week, my friend. Pinning!

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 10, 2014 @ 7:42 am

    I absolutely love lemon bars. This recipe is lovely!

  4. #
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    Marie @ Little Kitchie — March 10, 2014 @ 7:43 am

    So glad you had a great trip, Georgia!! These lemon bars are SO pretty!

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    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — March 10, 2014 @ 8:36 am

    My husband looooves lemon bars, and these sound amazing, I’ll have to make them for him asap!
    Also, the photos from your trip are absolutely adorable-love the bedding, it’s so fun and vacationy looking :)

  6. #
    6
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — March 10, 2014 @ 8:45 am

    What a wonderful trip! I can almost feel the warmth!
    Love lemon bars and yours are gorgeous!

  7. #
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    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — March 10, 2014 @ 9:45 am

    These look scrumptious and you look fabulous on your vacation! Hope you got some great R&R in :)

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    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — March 10, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    Now these are classic lemon bars. Perfection. I am almost puckering just looking at the beautiful photos!

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    Ashley — March 10, 2014 @ 10:40 am

    It looks like you had a great time! I hope some of that warmth comes our way soon here! haha And these lemon bars look great – I was never big on lemon in desserts but the last few years I’ve really gotten into it!

  10. #
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    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — March 10, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    Welcome back! Lovely pics. I’m a big fan of lemon bars too – and you just reminded me that I haven’t made a batch in ages, which I should remedy soon!

  11. #
    11
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — March 10, 2014 @ 11:58 am

    I am living vicariously through your vacation photos — so fun (and sunny and warm and gosh, that water… ;)). And lemon bars are my favorite things, ever — love how tall these ones are!

  12. #
    12
    cheri — March 10, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

    Photos from your trip are just gorgeous, love these lemon bars, working on a bag of lemons from my mom’s lemon tree.

  13. #
    13
    Annalise @ Completely Delicious — March 10, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

    These lemon bars sound fabulous! And so does your trip. We’re actually heading to the Cancun area in a few weeks. I’ll have to hit you up for some recommendations!

  14. #
    14
    Maria G. — March 10, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

    I like lemon as an ingredient for bakery. It always makes the dessert piquant and unusual. I like this recipe that is why I often bake such bars for tea. I can eat lots of them at once!

  15. #
    15
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — March 10, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful, Georgia! And I love keeping up with your travels!

  16. #
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    Gaby — March 10, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

    I need these! They are so bright and delicious!

  17. #
    17
    Marie @ Not Enough Cinnamon.com — March 10, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

    I love me some good lemon treats and these bars look absolutely delish! Your vacations look like a lot of fun! And I totally agree: fresh guacamole on everything is what real life is all about ;)

  18. #
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    Tieghan Gerard — March 10, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

    Such a fun trip, wishing I was there now!!

    Love these bars and their bright colors!! Bring on spring and then SUMMER! Ya!

  19. #
    19
    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living — March 11, 2014 @ 6:48 am

    SO glad you were able to get away – beautiful pics and your lemon bars are so bright and fresh!

  20. #
    20
    Sara — March 11, 2014 @ 7:11 am

    Dang that vacation looks awesome!!!! and beautiful!! mm lemon bars, trying to lose some winter weight but maybe over the summer! ;)

  21. #
    21
    Kitchen Belleicious — March 11, 2014 @ 7:55 am

    oh my! the cake looks amazing and so beautiful. Much like your trip last week of which I am so jealous! We are going to playa de carmen at the end of may and I can’t wait!

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    22
    Pam — March 11, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    I am glad you had a fun time on your trip! Great photos.

    The lemon bars are beautiful. These guys are one of my all time favorite treats & yours look exceptional!

  23. #
    23
    Tracy | PeanutButter and Onion — March 11, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

    I would love to get away.. instead we are waiting for another winter storm… but these classic lemon bars are making me smile… little bit of sunshine. :)

  24. #
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    Anna (Hidden Ponies) — March 11, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    Can’t beat a classic lemon bar – yours are gorgeous! I love the Mexico pics and the sunny lemon pics equally…so much warmth!

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    John@Kitchen Riffs — March 12, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    Glad you had a good time! And also glad you’re back — we’re famished! And you made lemon bars, one of my faves. Thanks!

  26. #
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    Nicole — March 13, 2014 @ 11:33 am

    I’m so jealous! You got to vacay in Mexico and eat these lemon bars!?! These look amazing!

  27. #
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    Jennie @themessybakerblog — March 13, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

    Welcome back! It looks like you had a great time. That blue water is gorgeous. I love a good lemon bar. These look wonderful. Pinned.

  28. #
    28
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — March 16, 2014 @ 12:04 am

    Beautiful spring bars, Georgia! Glad you had a relaxing time in Cancun!

  29. #
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    Su — May 24, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

    May I please ask where did you stay in Cancun? The views and photos are just magnificient! Congrats!

    • Georgia — May 25th, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

      Thanks! We stayed at the Live Aqua resort.

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