Glad you’re Cookin’ with me today!
When I first started dating my husband, we would hang out with a group of couples our age almost every weekend, and most of us ended up getting married the same year….1985. One of my friends, Angela, was (and still is) an awesome cook, and she knew I loved to cook as well. She gave me a cookbook that a cousin of hers published called, “Magic Keys to Cooking”, and one of my favorite recipes in that book that I adapted is the Lemon Bars! You will want to make these over and over again! The buttery crust and homemade lemon filling are a taste of heaven in your mouth and just make you think of sheer sun, happiness, and gratefulness! These bars are known as my, “Call 1-800-LEMON BARS” because it reminds me of the time I tried to make a go of my food business, Madeline’s Meals & More, and was blessed with more help than I could ever imagine. I could always call on my family and friends for their support. It was utterly amazing!
When I started my business of cooking and delivering fresh meals in 2008, I made these bars as a small treat to go with my family sized meals, and they were a hit! So, I decided to also sell them separately from the meals. Everyone seemed to LOVE them and constantly asked for them.
At the time, my dear colleague and friend, Kim, helped me by working side-by-side with me during the time I rented a commercial kitchen space to make my chicken pot pies (another recipe I can’t wait to share), and she created a marketing plan, and helped me prepare for a wholesale state license. Another dear friend and mentor, Kristina, worked with me in my business, and taught me more than I can say about cooking and kitchen operations. I am forever grateful to these women. Kristina and I were also very blessed to have a young girl work with us as well, and her name was Becca. Such a tremendous young woman who worked so hard to help us prepare, label, and package the meals, and clean up the kitchen late at night. As I think back to that time between 2008 and 2011, we would bake the lemon bars in large 36-inch aluminum pans, and after cutting then up and assembling them in their containers, the remaining butter crust would tend to stick to the bottom and sides of pans and they were a bear to clean.
Well, if I would only have used a magic invention called “parchment paper”, Becca could have been home an hour earlier every night! What an idiot I was for not thinking about using parchment paper! Now when I make my lemon bars, I line the pan with parchment paper, and they lift right out! Boy do I owe Becca a HUGE apology! Why none of us thought of that I’ll never know!
I remain so grateful for the help everyone gave me during the few years I tried to make a go of my food business. Help came flooding out of everywhere, and so many helped me with no ask in return. There are many, many names I’ll share as time goes on, but I hope those of you are reading this post know who you are, as I certainly do!
So, when you go to make these Luscious Lemon Bars and share with family and friends, I know they will certainly brighten their day. Maybe take pause to think about those who are near and dear to you who helped you out at a time in your life when you took a risk and needed someone to believe in you. Who did you make the 1-800-LEMON BARS phone call to and come to your rescue?
And DON’T FORGET THE PARCHMENT PAPER! It will make this dessert easy-peezy!
Let’s Get Cookin’
Luscious Lemon Bars
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter - softened 1 cup = two, 8 tablespoon sticks
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon rind
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup = 1 medium lemon
- 2 tbsp Limoncello Limoncello is a lemon liquor
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1. Preheat oven to 325⁰ on Bake setting.
- 2. Line a 9” x 13” glass dish or baking pan with parchment paper covering the bottom and up about an inch on the sides. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.
- 3. Combine flour and powdered sugar in a medium size mixing bowl. Cut in butter until course crumbs form and dough starts to come together.
- 4. Press the flour and butter mixture into the pan to cover the bottom and up about an inch on all the sides.
- 5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly browned.
- 6. When the crust is dome, remove from oven but keep oven on at 325⁰.
- 1. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and Limoncello. Beat well.
- 2. Add flour and baking powder and stir until well combined. Pour over baked crust.
- 3. Return to the oven and bake an additional 25 minutes.
- 4. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
- 5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before cutting into squares for serving.