Today was a lemon bar kind of day, but I didn’t want to make the usual type and was glad to stumble across this recipe. Unlike typical lemon bars, this one has a streusel topping.
I found the original version in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Wellesley Cookie Exchange. That book never lets me down, but I have to say these were even better than expected. The streusel layer added a new level of texture to the mix and overall, the bars reminded me of the ones I tasted last year in Minnesota which seemed have an extra layer of cake. But these were better because I could really taste the butter in the shortbread and the balance of salt was just right.
These weren’t too lemony and without any adornment on top, looked kind of plain. An opaque lemon glaze solved that problem so I included glaze in my version of the recipe. I also made these in the food processor which saved a lot of time.
- 2 cups (252 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz (228 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups (294 grams) granulated sugar (castor sugar)
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons (31 grams) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9 inch metal pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Measure out 1 cup of crumbs and set aside.
- Pour remaining crumbs into prepared pan and press them down slightly (they’ll be very dry). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the filling. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of flour and baking powder. Spread over top of baked crust. Sprinkle reserved cup of crumbs over top. Bake on center rack for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Lift from pan and set on a cutting board. Drizzle cooled bars with glazed (below). Let the glaze set then cut into 36 bars (or however many you want).
- To make the icing, melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the sugar and stir until thick and pasty. Add the lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until smooth and a drizzling consistency. You may drizzle it onto the squares or put it in a bag, snip off the corner and pipe it on.