My Favorite Lemon Bar recipe and bonus recipe

Happy Spring Everyone!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is usually soggy, but this year the first day of spring was dry and sunny. It was such a beautiful day that we had to get out to one of our favorite local parks. While taking advantage of the dry day, we found a lone daffodil standing optimistically over the bark. It was a sweet and bright sign that spring is coming.

Happy First Day of Spring!!

Now on the second day of spring, the rain started again, so I started thinking of other things that are bright and remind me of spring, my mind went immediately to lemons. Judging by the things popping up in my Pinterest feed , I am not the only one who thinks of lemons when thinking of spring.

When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars!!

Lemon tree in Sorrento, Italy. April 2007

For this post, I want to share with you my new favorite lemon bar recipe. I have tried many different lemon bar recipes over the years. I have tried Martha’s, Ina’s,  a lightened up lemon bar recipe I found in Prevention magazine and several others. I know it  is sacrilegious to say Martha’s recipe is not my favorite, but I will give Martha the benefit of the doubt;  it must have been user error. All of  these recipes were good, but not quite what I was looking for.

My dream lemon bar would have a slightly sweet softish crust, a luscious, bright lemony layer and it had to be super easy to prepare. After scrolling through the many, many lemon bar recipes on Pinterest, I found one that met my criteria. I love this recipe, it turns out amazing every time! It has a simple, yet delicious shortbread crust and the lemon layer is bursting with lemon flavor. The best part, it only takes 5 ingredients. You probably already have 4 of the 5 ingredients on hand, you just have to get your fresh lemons!

Only 5 ingredients! Thank you Rock Recipes for my new go-to Lemon Bar recipe!!

Here is what you will need to make these delicious lemon bars:

2-3 lemons (zest and juice)
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter (I used unsalted, but I think salted would be fine too).

In the last few weeks, I have made these lemon bars for family dinners, a baby shower, and I always bring home an empty pan. So if you are looking for a lemon bar recipe has a slightly sweet shortbread crust, a lemon layer that is luscious and really lemony and is by far the easiest to make then your search is over!

Here is a link to the lemon bar recipe, I will be using from now on! Super Easy Lemon Bars by Rock Recipes, http://www.rockrecipes.com/super-easy-lemon-bars/  Thank you, Chef Barry Parson, for making the recipe I have been looking for!!!

Some notes:
*I made it with and without parchment paper. I just put a thin layer of butter or coconut oil on the pan to make it easier to remove the bars.
*Pay attention to the different cooking temps in the recipe depending on the kind of pan you are using.
*If you want your crust to be on the crunchier-side, then you will need to bake a bit longer and look for golden brown color to start to appear on the sides and top.
*I have also used a gluten-free one-for-one baking mix to sub for the all- purpose flour. The crust was a little sandier, but still good.

Bonus Recipe: Easy Berry Sauce

3 ingredients: berries, sugar and lemon.

This sauce is great on pancakes, shortcake, ice cream, and stirred in to plain yogurt. You can even use it to add a little splash of contrasting color to your lemon bars. It is really simple to make; you only need 3 ingredients: berries, sugar, and a lemon.

You will need:

2 cups of berries of your choice
( I recently made it with blueberries, but it also works with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.)

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Zest of half or whole lemon

Juice of a half or whole lemon

Note: if you use the juice and zest of the whole lemon, there will be a really pronounced lemon flavor and a little bit of a bite.

All you need to make this sauce is berries, sugar and a lemon.

Put the berries, sugar, zest and juice of half a lemon in to a sauce pan and turn on medium heat.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down a bit to generate a slow simmer. Simmer until thickened. Usually takes 15-20 minutes. It will get thicker as it cools too. Cool and store in the fridge for a week. My family enjoys the sauce so much that it doesn’t last longer than a week.

Hope you give the lemon bar recipe a try and the berry sauce too. I love that these recipes are simple and taste great!

Cheers, Amy