Creamy Lemon Bars

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Lemon Bars are one of my favorite desserts, but I always feel it is hit or miss whether I like it or not. When I’ve tasted it at parties, cafes, and coffee shops, I either love it or hate it.  Sometimes the lemon flavor tastes way too artificial or way to pungent.  The level of sweetness has to be perfect too.  Most lemon bars to me don’t taste sweet enough to me.  I’ve also tried the lemon bar mixes in a box and have found the filling way too “gel like”.

Why is there so much inconsistency in the taste of a lemon bar?

So here is a recipe for lemon bars that suits all of my tastes and my family loves them too!  The key ingredient?

Condensed milk.

Oh my goodness I love condensed milk.

It makes it creamy and combined with the fresh squeezed lemon juice, it makes it PERFECT!!!  I’m thinking if you switch lemon juice to lime juice, they would make awesome key lime bars!! (boy do I have to try that some time…)

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The shortbread crust is awesome too.  I love the saltiness it brings to the sweet.

Sweet and salty…hmmm…a running theme with my palate!

Here it is!

Creamy Lemon Bars

For the filling…

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  •  3 Tbs flour
  •  3/4 cup lemon juice or juice from 4 lemons
  • a pinch of salt
  • grated lemon zest

For the shortbread crust…

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 13 X 9 baking dish.
  2. Cut the butter into separate tablespoons into a bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes to get to close to room temperature.
  3. Once the butter is close to room temperature, add the remaining ingredients for a crust.  In a food processor or using an electric mixer.  Lightly pulse/mix until everything is blended into a grainy meal.
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the 13 X 9 pan.   Bake the crust for 20 minutes.
  5. When the crust is done, remove it from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 F.
  6. Mix all of the ingredients for the filling using an electric mixer.  Pour over the hot crust.  Bake for 25 minutes (or until center is firm).
  7. Let cool for 30 minutes.  Sift powdered sugar on top.

Enjoy!

~Lani

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