Zesty Lemon Squares
These yummy squares can satisfy any lemon craving. A soft lemon topping sits on a crunchy cookie base. Although these cookie squares aren’t complicated to prepare, they take a little extra effort because you have to prepare a crust and a topping. But they’re well worth it.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Yield: 24 2-inch squares
2 large lemons
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup, plus 3 to 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9-x-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Zest 1 lemon and finely mince the zest.
Cut the butter into small pieces.
Combine lemon zest, butter, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, the salt, and vanilla extract in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
Process until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute.
To make the crust using a mixer and mixing bowl, soften the butter to room temperature and then beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and cream together well. Stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the salt, lemon zest, and vanilla and blend well. Add the flour in three stages, blending well after each addition.
Dust your fingertips with flour and press the crust evenly into the pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden.
Remove the baking pan from the oven and cool on a rack.
Using a mixer, beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Gradually add the sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and holds a slowly dissolving ribbon as the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour and the baking powder in a small bowl.
Zest the remaining lemon, finely mincing the zest.
Juice both lemons.
Add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and the lemon zest to the mixing bowl.
Pour the topping into the pan.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the topping is set.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack.
Dust the top heavily with the remaining 3 to 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar.
Cut into squares.
Store in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Per serving: Calories 184 (From fat 78); Fat 9g (Saturated 5g); Cholesterol 56mg; Sodium 26mg; Carbohydrate 25g (Dietary fiber 0g); Protein 2g.