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Lemon Squares
From The Berghoff Café Cookbook, by Carlyn Berghoff

There are dozens of lemon bar recipes, but I believe this is one of the better ones. The crust is tender and crisp and the lemon filling is a perfect balance between sweet and puckery. In addition, these bars freeze well if stored in an airtight covered plastic container.


For the Crust:

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus additional for garnish
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

For the Lemon Filling:

5 large eggs
1-3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the crust: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, mix the flour and sugar. With the motor running, add the chunks of butter and process just until a dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl (it will be crumbly) and press into an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

To make the filling: While the crust is baking, cream together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice with an electric mixer. Add the flour, zest, baking powder, and salt and mix until smooth. Pour over the baked crust, return to the oven, and bake until the custard is firm and thick, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with additional confectioners' sugar. Let cool on a rack completely, at least 2 to 3 hours, before cutting (4 x 5) into twenty 2- by 2-1/2-inch bars. Or, make this a day or so in advance and refrigerate it uncut, without extra confectioners' sugar on top. It cuts more easily when cold. Finish with confectioners' sugar after cutting. These freeze well for up to 1 month.

Yield: Makes twenty 2 by 2-1/2-inch bars

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