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Shaker-Style Lemon Bars

Photo: Christina Holmes
Active time 30 mins
Total time 2 hrs
Yield makes 18 bars
These grown-up lemon bars are made with paper-thin slices of lemon, giving the sweet filling a pleasant bitterness.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (large) egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (large) lemon, firm, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 (large) eggs

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter with the sugar and egg yolk until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat at low speed until evenly moistened, about 2 minutes. Using your hands, knead once or twice to bring the dough together.

  2. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the lemon halves as thinly as possible and transfer to a medium bowl; pick out the seeds. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Butter a 9-inch square metal baking pan. Pat three-fourths of the dough into the baking pan in an even layer. Roll the remaining dough into eight 9-inch-long ropes. Transfer to a plate. Refrigerate the crust and ropes until firm, about 10 minutes.

  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the flour, butter and eggs until smooth. Fold in the lemon-sugar mixture.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the filling over the dough and arrange the ropes of dough on top in a crisscross pattern. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the ropes are golden. Let cool completely.

  6. Run the tip of a knife around the edge of the pan. Cut the square into 18 bars and serve.