Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Be forewarned. These delectable lemon bars are positively addictive.

For the shortbread crust

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) butter, softened, and cut into 1-inch pieces

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

Pulse flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Add butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press crumbs firmly in pan with fingers into an even layer on bottom of pan and about -inch up sides. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. While crust is baking, make the filling.

For the lemon filling

4 large eggs

11/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2 large or 3 medium lemons will yield about 1/2 cup juice)

Grated zest of one fresh lemon

1/8 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in the same food processor work bowl used to make shortbread crust. Process for several seconds until mixture is well blended. Pour mixture over warm crust.

Lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling has just set and is lightly browned.

Let cool 30 minutes, or refrigerate several hours before cutting with a sharp knife or pizza cuter. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 12 bars or 16 squares.

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