A couple weekends ago, Mr. Ahi Tuna man did the worst thing he could possibly do: He brought up lemon squares in conversation. Ok, maybe that’s not the WORST thing he could do. I mean, it’s not like he wore Crocs on a date or something. But you know what I mean. It did, however, remind me that I haven’t had a lemon square in an unacceptable amount of time, and caused me to have a mild lemon bar recipe obsession, and maybe a couple dreams about bathing in lemony topping. Which is totally not weird at all. Pssh.
So I decided that lemon squares must be mine.
They will be mine.
And they were.
I shared, though, because I’m nice like that, and it WAS Mr. Ahi Tuna Man’s idea, and I guess he’s nice sometimes, except when he dumps milkshakes directly in my lap and stuff.
Dislaimer: It’s quite possible that upon finishing these lemon squares, you MAY want to sit down with a tall vodka & cranberry, and immediately shove four of them in your mouth. Not that I did that. Nope. But you have been warned.
Paula’s Lemon Squares
Prep time: Between the crust and the filling, meh, about 20 minutes.
Baking time: Altogether, 50 minutes or thereabouts. This is a very technical blog, obviously.
Stuff you need:
For the crust:
- 12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly (Salted or unsalted butter, whatever you prefer. I can never tell a big difference. Butter’s butter where I come from.)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the lemon goo:
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ¾ cup lemon juice (You may be able to get away with the stuff in a bottle, but I do not recommend it at all. I cannot guarantee they will come out delicious. I just squeezed the crap out of 5 lemons with my strong, Hulk-like hands.)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, just for dusting the tops after they’re done
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line a 13×9 metal pan with aluminum foil, and make the edges overhang so you can lift the bars out easily later. Coat sides of foil with cooking spray so the lemon goo won’t stick.
- In a medium bowl, dump the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla, and use a fork to mix it all together until it’s sort of moist and crumbly. Throw in your flour and butter, and continue mashing it all up with a fork until it’s a crumbly dough.
- Press dough evenly into the bottom of your 13×9 pan, then poke some fork holes all over, just so no bothersome air bubbles happen. Lemon bar air bubbles would be a disaster. A DISASTER!! Sorry I yelled. Ok, now stick that pan in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm up the dough a bit.
- Once the dough is sufficiently chill (Duuuuude. That freezer was bitchin’. *dough takes drag off cigarette*), bake in preheated over for 25 – 30 minutes, until slightly golden.
- While your dough is baking, make the lemon goo! Basically, you just stir together the dry ingredients and the lemon zest, then whisk in your eggs and lemon juice. Ta-da! Lemon goo! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Haha! Sorry. Moving along…
- Once crust is done, remove it from oven and raise your temp to 350 degrees.
- Pour lemon goo on the crust, and return to the oven to bake for another 20 – 25 minutes, until you can shake shake shake the pan and the lemon goo doesn’t shake shake shake with it.
- Cool bars completely. If you’re really impatient (or really hungry), you can put them in the fridge to speed things up.
- Once cool, lift out of the pan using your overhanging foil. If you skipped that part, you are now just screwed. Haha! Anyhooo… Peel away the foil and chop your big hunk o’ lemon into cute little squares, however big you want to make ‘em. You’re in charge of your own lemon bar destiny. Dust with powdered sugar, and you are now ready to shove multiple lemon bars into your face. Again, not that I did that. Gotta run now.