Around three times a year, I sell these lemon bars on campus. Each bar is priced at $3—a price I've heard many complaints about. However, every single person I've sold them to has said it was worth it. I had a friend spend $30 one time.
All I can say is that these lemon bars are pure magic. They're cheap and easy to make and, for $3 a bar, are guaranteed to make your parents proud.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Assemble the ingredients needed for the shortbread crust (2 cups flour, salt, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup butter).
Make sure the butter is slightly softened with a texture like ice cream. If you have time, you can just leave it out at room temperature.
#SpoonTip: If you're lazy like me and just took your butter out of the fridge, microwave it for 20 seconds for the perfect texture.
Cream your butter, either using a whisk or an electric mixer on "low." Slowly add the salt and the powdered sugar.
Slowly add your 2 cups of flour, still beating on speed "low."
#SpoonTip: If you want to avoid a huge mess, add the flour a little (i.e. 1/4 cup) at a time. Trust me, if you add it all at once, your kitchen will look like a coke factory.
After you've added ~1 cup of your flour, scrape down the edges of the bowl with your favorite spatula (I chose a snowman spatula).
Your dough should now have a rough texture with small peaks. Grease a 9 x 13'' baking pan and cover the bottom in dough.
#SpoonTip: Use butter to grease your pan instead of PAM. It tastes WAY better.
Pop the crust in the over for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool for ~20 minutes before adding the filling. If you don't wait, the filling and crust in the final produce will separate.
Now it's time for the filling. First, grate the rinds of your two lemons. Try not to scrape your fingers.
Juice those same two lemons. If you're lucky like me, you'll have your grandmother's juicer from the 60's on hand and you can take some #vintage photos. If not, simply hand juicing will work. Just make sure your filling doesn't have any seeds in it!
With the mixer on "low," beat your 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar into your lemon mixture.
#SpoonTip: Add more sugar if you want a sweeter bar, and less sugar/more juice if you want a tart bar.
Add your 4 remaining tablespoons of flour. Continue beating on "low."
Beat in the 4 eggs, adding them one at a time. Make sure you don't have any egg shell or lemon seeds in the filling!
Right after you're done beating in the eggs, pour the filling over the cooled crust. Do not let the filling sit! Bake at 350 ˚F for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out relatively clean.
#SpoonTip: Sometimes, the edges of the lemon filling will crystallize and turn brown. This happens—it tastes fine, it's just ugly. You can easily cut it away.
Once the bars are done, let them cool down. Serve at room temperature with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.