These lush treats are wonderful on any dessert table.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Slice lemons as thinly as possible; remove seeds. Toss slices with 2 cups sugar; transfer mixture to a flat resealable plastic container. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

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  • Place butter, salt, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is crumbly and starts to hold together.

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-by-17-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Press dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, making sure there are no holes. There should be at least 1/2-inch crust of dough going up the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes

  • Place lemon-sugar mixture and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Process until lemon rinds are in 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces, 30 to 40 seconds. Pour mixture over cookie crust. Bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Trim 1/2 inch around edges of pan. Cut into about 60 1 1/4-by-2-inch pieces. Sift confectioners' sugar over cookies.

Cook's Notes

Begin step one the day before you plan to bake these cookies.

Reviews (42)

112 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 20
  • 4 star values: 24
  • 3 star values: 38
  • 2 star values: 24
  • 1 star values: 6
Rating: Unrated
06/03/2016
Followed recipe a bit too closely.....overcooked....i know....all ovens are different.....I'd choose 375 degrees or lower and keep an eye on it. A lot of butter to waste....especially pasture fed butter from Ireland...ugh...oh well...what wasn't too well done was delicious!
Rating: Unrated
11/10/2013
Strain the lemon-sugar mixture before combining with eggs otherwise the rinds make the bars too bitter.
Rating: Unrated
12/19/2012
These are the best lemon bars -- bar none! You do need a mandoline to get the slices really thing. Cutting just isn't going to do it. I make these every Christmas.
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Rating: Unrated
11/17/2012
I sliced the lemons as thins as possible and let them sit overnight with the sugar and processed the heck out of them in the cuisinart and still had rather chewy tough flecks of rind in the final bars. Also it was super tart, could have used more sugar. My best bet is, it could have spent another 24hours in the fridge macerating with the sugar before being cooked. Given all the rave reviews here, I guess it depends on the kind of lemons you use.
Rating: Unrated
11/17/2012
I sliced the lemons as thins as possible and let them sit overnight with the sugar and processed the heck out of them in the cuisinart and still had rather chewy tough flecks of rind in the final bars. Also it was super tart, could have used more sugar. My best bet is, it could have spent another 24hours in the fridge macerating with the sugar before being cooked. Given all the rave reviews here, I guess it depends on the kind of lemons you use.
Rating: Unrated
06/08/2012
I actually cheated and did the lemon/sugar about 2 hours before I baked these and they turned out fine. I love this recipe! Will definitely make them again- I just need to reduce the sugar next time around!
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Rating: Unrated
01/28/2012
I found all that lemon rind too overwhelming although it was a good twist on the usual lemon bars I make. I decided to just grate one of the peels of lemon and added walnuts to the crust which I did with all the time in lemon bars. I also cut out 1 whole cup of sugar! Much better!
Rating: Unrated
09/17/2011
amaziiiiing ... us and our friends LOVED it .. i used the pastry blender instead of the food processor to make the crust ...
Rating: Unrated
07/24/2011
yes, a stick of butter is 1/2 cup.
Rating: Unrated
07/23/2011
I'm Canadian...what measurement is a "stick of butter"...1/2 cup?
Rating: Unrated
07/21/2011
These were absolutely delicious with bits of the lemon and pure lemon juice!! YUMMY!!! I only baked the final bake for 15 minutes and it was set but will let bake for the full 20 minutes to set more. Highly recommend!!
Rating: Unrated
07/17/2010
These lemon bars didn't turn out the way I expected. The lemon filling was very thick. The crust is too buttery. I would use half the amount needed.
Rating: Unrated
05/20/2010
I may be late in making a comment about this recipe but just have to respond. as I have just made the "bars". I was expecting lemon bars not a thin ultra chewy outcome. I followed the directions to the letter and ended up with a tough textured crust and a thin gummy layer of the lemon filling. It was labor intensive, expensive and a recipe that will not be repeated in my kitchen. I am no novice and do many different recipes in my kitchen-lab. Mykele
Rating: Unrated
05/10/2010
Yum Yum! Made this recipe for an Easter Dessert and family and friends loved them. I used fresh lemons but peeled some of the zest away to even out the bitterness.
Rating: Unrated
05/04/2010
Just made these. I didn't have meyer lemons, so used 1 lemon and 1 lime. I cut away most of the pith of the lemon and some of the lime, used the peel. They are still very bitter. However, I think if you used the zest and the meat of the lemon/lime, they would be exceptional.
Rating: Unrated
05/03/2010
I forgot to let the crust cool before adding the lemon mixture, but it doesn't seem to have harmed it at all. I used "normal" lemons available at the grocery store, and it did turn out a little bitter. It's definitely edible, but I'm not thrilled with the texture. Next time I'll use the lemon zest, remove the pith, and then slice the lemons.
Rating: Unrated
05/03/2010
I have made these bars and unfortunately, they turned out bitter. The pith of the lemon has a bitterness that even soaking in sugar does not remove. I recommend a more traditional lemon bar recipe. No one would eat more than one of these so I had to throw the rest away.
Rating: Unrated
05/01/2010
Ladies, I think that cc94115 likes this recipe VERY WELL or the site has hiccups...7 postings is a bit much. I'll just have to try this recipe as I love lemony recipes. Thank you all for helpful comments...can't make a mistake now. Mykele
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2009
This is the BEST Lemon Bar recipe EVER. the first time i made it, it turned out perfect. Tastes great, with the right balance of sweet and tart, and I personally love the little pieces of peel...it looks real and not out of a box. Mine did not turn out bitter at all, but I used Meyer Lemons, which have a thinner peel and pith. OMG - you cannot go back to any other lemon bar recipe after this one. Followed it exactly.
Rating: Unrated
01/17/2009
This is my favorite recipe of all time...so far. I've made it a lot and most people go nuts over them, including me.
Rating: Unrated
10/18/2008
This was delicious, despite some goofs! As it happened, we saw AFTER we started cooking that we had 1 lemon and 1 orange (which at 1st glance, appeared to be a lemon...) We used it anyways (but peeled them both with a vegetable peeler) and loved the way the sweetness of the orange balanced out the tartness of the lemon. We definitely recommend making this mistake! To even out the consistency, we blended the lemon mixture in the blender before cooking it and this worked. Final Verdict: Excellent!
Rating: Unrated
10/18/2008
This was delicious, despite some goofs! As it happened, we saw AFTER we started cooking that we had 1 lemon
Rating: Unrated
10/18/2008
This was delicious, despite some goofs! As it happened, we saw AFTER we started cooking that we had 1 lemon
Rating: Unrated
08/09/2008
I went to an excellent reception for a chamber music concert in NYC and these bars were served. The guests loved them, they were devoured. One person even described their deliciousness as being "an orgasm and a half." I couldn't even try one because they were gone so fast. So, I am planning to cook the bars myself!
Rating: Unrated
07/07/2008
I feel like the peel made the bars really bitter, but I loved the crust. The second time I made them I peeled my lemons then continued on with the recipe.
Rating: Unrated
07/04/2008
My guests didn't like this cookie at all. Everything else disappeared, but these were hardly touched. My kids said they didn't like the consistency (very chewy) and the occassional bitterness from the peel.
Rating: Unrated
06/16/2008
My family did not like the consistency of this bar. They felt that it tasted like it had coconut in it. The taste was good - but the consistency is not nice.
Rating: Unrated
06/09/2008
2 1/4 sticks of butter = 9 oz = 18 Tablespoons
Rating: Unrated
06/07/2008
1/4 stick = 4 tablespoons
Rating: Unrated
06/04/2008
One stick of butter is equivalent to 4 oz or one quarter pound. As a pastry chef, I work with weights and measures all the time...
Rating: Unrated
06/04/2008
One stick of butter, in Canada, is equal to 1/2 pound.
Rating: Unrated
06/04/2008
Can some one confirm the amount of butter in a stick in Canada we buy it by the pound and I'm not sure of the conversion I think 1 stick is 1/2 cup or 4 oz. Please advise
Rating: Unrated
04/14/2008
MMMMMM........Yummy! Shirley W.
Rating: Unrated
03/20/2008
Thank you web staff for correcting amount of butter. I made these twice. The first time I used regular lemons. The cookies were SO bitter that I threw them out. The second time I used MEYER lemons ( a sweeter version of lemon) and processed the lemon-sugar mixture first until lemon pieces were very fine before adding the eggs. They tasted great (no bitterness) even though they were somewhat overdone. Because of this I would recommend decreasing oven temp to 375 if you use a dark coated pan.
Rating: Unrated
12/14/2007
this recipe says 2 1/4 cold butter, but does not say cup or oz. thank you, I used 1 cup 1/4 zulay
Rating: Unrated
12/14/2007
this recipe says 2 1/4 cold butter, but does not say cup or oz. thank you, I used 1 cup 1/4 zulay