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Lemon Squares

April 27, 2011

For my birthday at the end of March, one of my friends gave me the juicer attachment to my KitchenAid mixer.  I hadn’t had an opportunity to pull it out until I made a lemon-blueberry yogurt cake last weekend for an Easter brunch.  But did I fall in LOVE.  It was super simple to assemble, clean up was easy, and I didn’t have to worry about too much pulp or any seeds making it into the dish.  So now, I’ll be pulling it out a lot more often and I found the perfect excuse last night.

One of my new friends is celebrating her birthday tonight, so of course, I’m bringing her a baked treat.  Being a new friend, I wasn’t sure what her favorite baked goods are, so I had to ask.  And among the list of deliciousness she mentioned lemon squares.   Lemon squares are also one of my favorites: the tartness of the lemon combined with the sugar in the mixture, and finished off with that delicate sprinkling of powdered sugar…. YUM.  So the juicer attachment came out, and away I went.  They turned out great, and I can’t wait to bring them tonight to share with my friends!

Lemon Squares

For the crust:

2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

4 extra-large eggs at room temperature (I didn’t have extra large, so I used 5 large)
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (This was exactly three large lemons for me)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Gather the dough into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a bit of an edge on all sides. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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