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Lemon Bars



Crust
  • Cake flour, 2 cups
  • Vegetable shortening, 3/4 cup
  • Powdered sugar, 1/3 cup
  • Pure Vanilla extract, 1 tbsp

Filling

  • Sugar, 1 1/3 cup
  • Lemon zest, 4 sm-med lemons
  • Eggs, 4 large 
  • Flour, 2 tbsp
  • salt, dash

Give yourself a day ahead of when you want this....(you'll need to cool it off before you serve and that will take at least 3-4 hours in the frig).  And, other than a little manual labor on the crust, lemon bars are fairly easy to make....so the flavor payoff is huge for the minimal effort.  A fav at alot of parties.  

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9" x 12" pan.  If you have parchment paper, I recommend you line it as well.

Crust
In a mixing bowl, combine crust ingredients until it clumps into about pea size granules.  Either press this into the pan, or roll it out on a table and then lay in pan, whichever way is more convenient for you.  I happen to like to press it in.  Chill the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then bake in oven for about 20 minutes or so(I know, seems silly, but it keeps the dough formed).  

Filling
If you've got a food processor, all the better.  Combine sugar and lemon zest and fire that puppy up to high for a minute or so.  Add the rest of the ingredients and give it the same treatment until its all smooth.  (Funny, beating something until it's smooth is a good thing in cooking.  Elsewhere, it'd get you arrested.  Of course, justifiably so.....) 

Grand Finale
Once the crust is nice and golden brown, add remaining ingredients.  Lower oven to 325 F  and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until firm in the center(you can check this with a knife or toothpick).

Cool first on a rack, then in the fridge.  For added decorative points, dust the top with a little powdered sugar when it's cool.  Cut it into small(about 2") squares. 

Now set it out on serving tray and keep your fingers and such clear.


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