Jun 1

Lemon Shortbread Bars

in Uncategorized

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been in a lemon mood lately. I have always loved lemon bars and have been tweaking my lemon bar recipe over the last couple of years, trying to make the “perfect” bar. As of my most recent lemon bar tweak, I may actually be done tweaking. I think I have finally found a version that I love so much that I don’t want to try changing it any more. If you are looking for a healthy dessert, walk away now, because these bars do not fit the bill. (Nor do I want them to!)
First I made a thick rich and buttery shortbread crust.
Once I had baked the crust I poured on the lemon filling (making sure it was nice and tart),
and then baked it until the edges were just starting to turn brown, and all but a slight jiggle was left in the center (it finishes setting up once you pull it out of the oven).
The result is a lemon bar with a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie bottom, topped with a tart lemon-curd like topping. If I wasn’t worried about developing lemon bar hips, I would eat a whole pan of these by myself.

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FM’s Lemon Shortbread Bars

Makes one 9×13 pan of bars

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (plus additional sugar for dusting top of bars)
1 1/2 cups butter, softened

4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lemon juice

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting finished lemon bars

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

2. Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and butter. Pat dough into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until slightly golden.

4. While the crust is baking, prepare next layer: Beat eggs slightly; add sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Mix well and pour over hot crust. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Let cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Fuji Nana June 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

FM shared with me and I can say that these are truly wonderful. I could have eaten the whole pan.


Jen @ MyKitchenAddiction.com June 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

These look delicious! I love lemon bars… and I have never had any with shortbread on the bottom. What a wonderful idea!


Lo June 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Ah! Lemon bars. One of my bigger weaknesses when it comes to sweets. I particularly love the shortbread layer!! These look scrumptious.


HanamiGallery June 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm

oh these look sooo good. oh man. oh man oh man. send us all some!!! hahah


Nicole-Lynn June 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm

These look amazing. Thank you!


Chris June 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I am so unskilled in the kitchen, but I love your recipes – they all sound so delicious! Some day, I’ll go crazy and attempt them…maybe I’ll even succeed!


Kathy June 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I’ve been trying to find good lemon bars too! But I was wondering, is the lemon juice squeezed out of fresh lemons, or is it the type you buy in plastic bottles?


Bob June 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I love lemon bars! Those looks amazing, love the shortbread crust.


krismakes June 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Hi Fuji Mama
I have made lemon bars before, {they were called something else but from what I can see they are basically the same as yours} and they are devine. Oh I just remembered they were called Devine Lemon Squares! I have to make this again soon, thanks for reminding me. Recipes like these are great for when you seem to have a glut of fresh lemons. I always either have too many or none, strange indeed!
Note to Kathy, try to get some fresh lemons {try neighbours, markets etc} and stay away from the plastic lemon juice aarrgghhhh!!! If you’re desperate see if you can find the juice in a glass bottle. Good luck Kathy :o)


Pocky June 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm

These look awesome! My boy loves lemon bars but the stuff from the box mix isn't too tasty. I definitely need to try this


Nila Rosa June 1, 2009 at 8:10 pm

MMM lemon bars. We have a lady that drives an hour just to buy the lemon bars we sell at the bakery I work at.


mamakd June 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Oh great…I have to make some lemon bars now! How ever will I survive?


mushroommeadows June 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm

my husband just picked some lemons from our tree, and you gave me just the perfect thing to use them in!!! thanks! :)


Cate June 2, 2009 at 7:08 am

these look just so yummy. lemon is my favorite flavor-besides chocolate of course.

gave you an award on my blog. go take a peek.


Fuji Mama June 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

Kathy– As Krismakes said, fresh is always better! But if you don’t have any, you can use the kind in a bottle and it will still taste delish!


Kelly June 2, 2009 at 9:13 am


I made this with lemon juice from a plastic bottle and it turned out delish, so lemony, like a lemon tart!

The only problem was that the mixture on the top sunk into the pastry below, so that when I took it out of the over it was more like a baked pudding. It was yum with cream while it was hot.

Now that it has cooled the shortbread base has soaked up the juice so it’s more like a bar, but the shortbread is still a little moist. It’s really yummy though I must say, and I and hubby couldn’t help ourselves!!

Is it normal for the mixture to soak into the shortbread or not, and if not, why would this happen?
It doesn’t worry me because it still tastes ok but I just wondered. :)


Kelly June 2, 2009 at 9:14 am

Oh I forgot to say, there was still the lemon layer at the top, but the liquid sort of moistened the shortbread is a better way to put it. I still ended up with 2 layers though.


Fuji Mama June 2, 2009 at 9:23 am

The top does sink into the shortbread a bit, which I personally love (then you don’t have a dry base)! Did you bake your base long enough? Some ovens may require a longer baking time to achieve a slightly golden crust. Also, what is the butter like in Australia? I found it to be quite different in Japan than it was in the US, and sometimes had to use a bit less for my baked goods to turn out the same. That could be another problem! Also, with lemon bars, you definitely want to let them cool completely before cutting them, because they have to set. These definitely aren’t “finished” until they have finished cooling!


Kelly June 2, 2009 at 10:34 am

Hi FM, I made a long one, and it looked exactly like yours when it came from the oven (i had the webpage open when I was baking so I knew what it was supposed to look like). I think I must have done it right then! :)

The butter, I’m not sure because I didn’t eat it when I was in Japan.
Though I used the same amount as you and the shortbread has a really nice buttery flavour but without being too strong.

Thanks for your help! This has just made my absolute all time favourite with fuji mama’s almond crunch. :)


Fuji Mama June 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

Kelly– No problem! I’m glad it turned out! :-)


janet June 3, 2009 at 6:55 am

These look fabulous!


Vrinda June 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm

The lemon bar looks so delish..,bookmarked it,Congrats on being Today's top 9..


Emily June 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I'm currently using this recipe to bribe the kiddoes into cleaning the house. We'll see if they love lemon as much as their Mommy. If not then I'll just make it and eat it all up myself. (evil Mommy laugh)


Fuji Mama June 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Emily– You totally crack me up! Let me know how the bribery works out. :-)


Sheri Ann June 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Lemon bars are one of my top three desserts! Thanks for the killer recipe!!


Fuji Mama June 11, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Sheri Ann- You're welcome!


Sara June 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

This looks delicious! Lemon desserts always hold a special place in my heart…


Anna July 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I made these and they turned out horrible. I dont know what went wrong, but I threw out the whole batch.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) July 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

@Anna, I’m so sorry to hear that! What didn’t work for you?


Anna July 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm

@Fuji Mama (Rachael),

The lemon topping did not test well, I like it tart, but I couldn’t taste anything but the lemon. The topping itself did not set well and the shortbread was too buttery, though I understand that is because shortbread anything in general must be buttery.


Melissa August 15, 2010 at 3:41 am

These look yum!
I recently made some lemon bars from a very similar recipe – the results of which can be viewed on my blog at http://www.bakingmakesthingsbetter.com
Delicious :)


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