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Best-Ever Lemon Bars

Yield Makes 16 bars.
One part tart and one part sweet, these luscious lemon bars have the perfect pairing of flavors.


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 2 T. sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 3 T. all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Garnish: powdered sugar

How to Make It

  1. Stir together butter, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt. Add one cup flour; mix just until incorporated. Press evenly into the bottom of an aluminum foil-lined 8"x8" baking pan. Place a rack in the lower 1/3 of oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges are golden and center is lightly golden. While crust is baking, stir together remaining sugar and flour in a separate bowl. Whisk in eggs; stir in lemon zest and juice. When baked crust is done, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Pull out oven rack without removing pan; pour filling over hot crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, until topping is puffed at the edges and no longer jiggles in the center. Set pan on a wire rack; cool completely. Lift the ends of the foil; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars with a long sharp knife. Keep bars refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days. Dust with powdered sugar at serving time.

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