Easy Lemon Bars

Since I am not drinking any caffeine I often crave a little late afternoon pick me up.  Baked goods have been calling my name lately.  It has been tough coming up with things that are dairy and chocolate free.  I found this recipe for lemon bars and decided to tweak it a little to suit our dietary needs and up the lemonyness.  I hope to blog a lot of recipes that don’t require any substitutions but I decided to break out  the “special butter,” (the butter replacer I use),  for this one.

Lemon Bars

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cups confectioners sugar

3/4 cup Earth Balance Dairy and Soy Free spread, slightly softened (or other safe spread)

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

zest of one lemon

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup confectioners sugar for decorating top of bars

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 F.    Grease a 9×13 pan.  Don’t skip that step!    To make the crust, in a medium bowl combine the flour, 2/3 cup confectioners sugar and butter replacer (Earth’s Balance).  Pat the dough down into the prepared pan.   Moist fingers, a moistened cup bottom or a spatula can make this easier.  Make sure to push all of the dough edges touching the side of the pan down so they will not stick up through the lemon part or else they may overcook.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until just slightly golden.  While the crust bakes, use a whisk to combine the eggs, white sugar, flour, zest and lemon juice until frothy.   When the crust is finished pour the lemon mix over the hot crust.  Place the pan bake in the oven and bake for another 18-20 minutes until the top is just slightly golden.  Cool completely.  Finish the bars by dusting the top with the 1/3 cup confectioners sugar.

I have also made these in a smaller pan for thicker lemon bars but found it necessary to reduce the heat to 350 when cooking the lemon layer so that it would cook through without the top turning too brown.

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