When I announced at the dinner table that I was going to do a Paula Deen recipe for next months celebrity cook off, my son immediately took over. He thought he should make the lemon bars while I took pictures of him since he LOVES Paula Deen and her lemon bars.
This recipe is pretty simple, but oh so amazing. It's the crust that makes these so good. It is a thick and tender shortbread crust, but when it cooks, the sugar caramelizes ever so slightly and it is just amazing!!! The best part is the edges. The two of us fight over the edges. Luckily the rest of the family has not yet figured out what they are missing. The board of ingredients, so simple. But YOU MUST USE FRESH LEMONS! Do not try this with the bottled lemon juice. Besides you need lemon zest anyway. Trust me that it is worth the effort.
Start with 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl. Sorry my pictures are so dark...but it was literally a dark and stormy night.
Add confectioners' sugar and salt.
And then do what Paula does best...add butter!
Daniel likes to mix it all up with his hands.
Work the crust until it comes together and can form a ball. Do not over mix.
Give your 9 by 13 pan a coat of non stick spray.
And then pat that crust into place.
This is a thing of beauty. :-)
It goes into a 350°F oven for 15 minutes to pre-bake.
While the crust bakes, we can start mixing the filling. Use the same bowl that you made the crust in.
Get crackin'. You need 6 eggs.
Whisk the eggs.
Then add lemon juice,
and stir it all together.
Next in is the last cup of flour,
until the filling is smooth and everything is combined.
When the crust comes out of the oven it is time to add the filling.
Pour it right over the crust.
Do not waste a drop of the filling.
Back in the oven for thirty five minutes.
This is what you get.
We like to add a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar on top after it has cooled to make it pretty.
Now all we have to do is cut them and enjoy them.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. Especially Daniel. :-)
Paula Deen's Lemon Bars
1 Cup (2 Sticks) Melted Butter
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Confectioners' Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Salt
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Grated Lemon Zest
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
Additional Confectioners' Sugar For Dusting
Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.
2. To make the crust: Combine the butter, flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a glass bowl. Mix with spoon or fingers until well combined. Shape into a ball and pat into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until set and just beginning to turn color.
3. To make the filling: While the crust is baking, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the baked crust and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely then sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Cut then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving. Makes 24 larger or 48 small bars.
For a printer friendly version of this recipe click here.
I am linking to Happier Than A Pig In Mud for Celebrity Cook-Along.
I am also linking up to Foodie Friday from Designs by Gollum