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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

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Entries in lemon (1)


Favorite Lemon Bar No. 2.


The boys love, love, love lemon bars--which makes me laugh.  I mean, I love lemon bars, too.  But I'm pretty sure I didn't discover just how much until well into my college years.  Before that it was all chocolate, all the time--it often still is but now I love just about every dessert.  In fact, I am the absolute worst person to be with when it's time to order dessert.  As I look over the menu, the convo in my head goes something like this, "oooh, chocolate molten cake.  Hmmm.  But I've had that a gazillion times.  Ohhh, blackberry fool.  Yum!  I love berries.  Oh! Oh! Oh!!!! Burnt sugar flan with coconut sauce.  That sounds amazing--and different.  But then there's a banana bread pudding--you can't go wrong with a bread pudding."  And so it goes, round and round, my own version of dessert roulette until someone makes me choose.  But in the end, I actually don't choose.  I just go with wherever my mental ball lands when the waiter arrives, declaring the choice in a flustered manner with my eyes shut tight, scared stiff that I'm making the wrong choice.  My poor husband. 

Anyhoo.  Back to lemon bars.

The boys like to bake with me and one of our past favorite lemon bar recipes called for cutting in chilled butter for the crust dough.  I'll go ahead and pass on that when cooking with children.  So I started looking for a new recipe that still gave us a to-die-for crust without fussing with airborne butter (more specifically, butter bits flicked by a four-year-old with remarkable aim). 


I found one that used softened butter and brown sugar.  You give up the flaky, shortbread crust you get with the cut-in cold butter.  But you get a nice, chewy crust--almost carmelized--due to the brown sugar and softened butter.  The filling could be tarter in my opinion so I plan to tweak that a bit.  I did not have enough lemon juice for the recipe, so I added some lime juice.  Maybe that made a big difference?  Next time, I will play around and add at least another 1/4 cup of lemon juice (or maybe lime juice--I liked the flavor it brought).  I think with all the eggs, the filling will still set up, as it was plenty firm.

Lemon Bars (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, May 2008)


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar (*I used less, about 2 cups total)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (*I'm going for a generous 1/2 cup next time, plus the juice of one lime)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 13x9x2-inch pan with heavy foil; set aside.
  2. For crust, in large mixing bowl, hand beat softened butter with wood spoon then add brown sugar, beating until combined.  Beat in 2 cups flour until crumbly.  Evenly press on bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for filling:  in medium bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, remaining 1/2 cup flour, lemon/lime juice, and baking powder.  Beat until well blended.  Remix right before pouring onto hot crust.  Bake 20 minutes more or until edges are browned and center appears set.
  4. Remove to rack, allowing to cool in pan for 1 hour.  Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours.  To serve, lift from pan using foil and cut into bars.
  5. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days.