Sweet and sour mix together to make these the best Lemon Bars for your tastebuds. They are the perfect treat for Spring parties or Easter diner tables.
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I’m not a big fan of sour things. My kids think it is the funniest thing to try to trick me into eating sour patch kids or sour gummy worms. They have gotten me a few times, but now I know better than to take candy from them. Unless it is chocolate…then I grab it faster than they can take it back.
Since sour things tend to make me pucker just thinking about them, I usually avoid lemon desserts. If you have been following along with my dessert journey here on the blog, you know that chocolate and peanut butter reign supreme.
But then I decided to give lemon another chance. Last spring I branched out and made these lemon sugar cookie bars and realized that I do like lemon in small doses.
Ok, so what I really realized is that I like cookies laced with lots of sugar and some lemon. But hey, it was a start into the lemon world that I had been avoiding.
Fast forward a year and I’m giving lemon another chance. And I’m still liking it.
A few weeks ago I got a call from a girl from our new church. She runs a local bakery here in town, and her resident baker had left a few months ago. They had an order for lemon bars, and the current recipe in their folder was not working at all. It turns out the former baker must have been tweaking things.
Sadly I wasn’t much help for her that day. BUT…it did get me motivated to buy some lemons and a zester and work on some lemon bars in our kitchen.
After much research on lemon bars and looking at all my old recipes, I came up with a version of the best lemon bars. Now I realized that calling something the best is very relative. Your best might not be my best and vice versa.
Since I’m a fan of sweetening my lemon to keep my cheeks from puckering up too much, I wanted the base to be more cookie like. I had a feeling that the bottom of these salted caramel shortbread squares would work, so I tweaked the base to fit a smaller pan. I also changed out the regular sugar for powdered sugar.
The bottom of these bars worked so well, that I’m pretty sure I will be changing up the original every time now. Now on to the lemon filling. Fresh lemon juice and zest will give you more lemon power in these bars. Also, the more zest you use will amp things up more.
Since I’m working my way into loving lemon, I only used 2 Tablespoons of zest. If you are a lemon lover, go for more! You could also add some zest to the crust if you wanted to give it more pucker.
A light dusting of powdered sugar gives it a light and sugary finish. For someone who proclaims to not like lemon, I sure ate my fair share of these bars. Like I said, they are the best lemon bars because I gave them a slightly sweeter twist. That’s how I roll around here.
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