Lemon bars

Lemon bars recipe

Savor the fresh-squeezed flavor of Hallmark's Lemon Bars. Here you'll find a classic Lemon Bar recipe complete with a crisp crust, tangy lemon filling and a dusting of powdered sugar. We also squeezed in a few variations: Orange Creamsicle Bars, Chocolate-Orange Bars, Lime Bars and Lemon-Raspberry Bars.

Yield: 3 dozen bars

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Ingredients

For the crust

2 cups flour
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoons

For the topping

4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ cup lemon juice (3 large lemons)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Make the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, blend together the flour, confectioners’ sugar and butter until crumbly. With lightly floured hands, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown.

Make the topping

  1. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix in the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Remove the crust from the oven, quickly remix the lemon topping and pour it over the warm crust. Return it to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar through a strainer. Cut into 36 bars, 1½ inches by 2 inches.
Tasty twists

Orange creamsicle bars
For the crust, add 1 tablespoon grated orange zest to the mixture. For the topping, use orange juice instead of lemon juice. Decrease the sugar to 1 cup. Stir in ½ cup sour cream.
Chocolate-orange bars
For the crust, decrease the flour to 1 cup and add 1 cup finely ground almonds. For the topping, use orange juice instead of lemon juice and decrease the sugar to 1 cup. Sprinkle the hot crust with 1 cup chocolate chips and let sit to soften. With a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the crust. Add the orange topping and return to the oven.
Lime bars
For the topping, use lime juice instead of lemon juice. Decrease the sugar to 1½ cups. Use lime zest instead of lemon zest. Add ½ cup flaked coconut to the topping when you add the zest.
Lemon-raspberry bars
Spread ½ cup raspberry jam over the baked crust before pouring on the lemon topping.