The best thing about this week was making lemon bars. I’ve never made lemon bars before. I don’t know why, I sort of think of them as a snack food cliche. Like Suzy Homemaker who makes lemon bars for the new neighbors. But I came home Wednesday after work with this weird craving for them, and I looked through all my cookbooks until I found a recipe for them that used ingredients I already had on hand (2 giant lemons and no graham crackers). And they were awesome. So awesome they have consumed my thoughts for days, and now I have this new love affair with citrus curds. I’ve found recipes for key lime bars, bars with graham cracker crusts, all kinds of things. These have more of a shortbread crust, which Adam and I weren’t sure about at first. But now we’re both addicted. The crust has a buttery, salty flavor that cuts the extreme lemon flavor of the curd. It works on all levels.

Lemon Squares from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
Note: The book is very adamant that the filling and the crust both be warm when assembling the bars in step 4, so they bake through evenly.

Makes: 16 bars

1-1/4 (6.25 ounces) cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened

7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup (7 ounces) plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon zest (the book says about 4 lemons, but I had 2 giant ones and got enough)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (again, the book says 4 lemons. I only had 2 huge ones and got almost enough juice–had to use maybe 1 Tbsp of bottled juice)
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 Tbsp heavy cream
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

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