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Easy Lemon Bars Recipe with Cream & Cookie

This deliciously easy lemon bars recipe is the most perfect combination of chewy cookie and creamy citrus – they will melt in your mouth!

Cream & Cookie Easy Lemon Bars Recipe

With Easter and then Mother’s Day coming up, I am always looking for the perfect dessert to make the holiday day extra sweet.

Right now a major contender is the recipe I’m sharing with you today, the most perfect combination of chewy cookies and creamy lemon bars, aptly named cream and cookie lemon bars recipe.

This lemon bar recipe is the perfect mix of sweet and tart, and the creamy texture puts them over the top.

They are downright decadent, and your mother will love them (that is, if you can save any for her), and you’ll love making them.

Best lemon bar recipe with a bite taken out

Easy Lemon Bars

There are several steps to this lemon bars recipe, but it’s not hard. For the cookie crust and cookie crumble, all you’re going to be doing is a bit of mixing. You’re going to bake the crust after pressing it into a pan.

The lemon filling should be made in a double boiler. If you don’t own one, here are three ways to make one with what you already have.

After you heat the filling up to temperature (in about 8 minutes), you’ll cool it down and mix in the butter.

It’s nice if you have a thermometer to measure the heating and cooling of the filling, but I wouldn’t let it stop me from making this lemon bars recipe.

Just let the filling cool down a bit and then mix in the butter. You want it to be able to flow somewhat easily over the crust before you chill it.

Ready to make this easy lemon bars recipe? Scroll down!

Lemon bars made from scratch on a plate

Lemon Bar Recipe

Ingredients

For the cookie crust:

  • 12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the cookie crumble:

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/2 T sugar
  • 1/2 T honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the lemon filling:

  • 1 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 T unsalted butter, softened to room temp

Tools

  • Parchment paper
  • Mixer
  • Double boiler
  • 9 x 13 pan
  • Candy thermometer (optional)

Directions

  • Line bottom and sides of baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add butter, sugar, and salt to mixing bowl. Cream with mixer on low until combined and lightened. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine. Add flour and mix on low until combined.
  • Press dough evenly into a layer in baking pan. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  • While dough is chilling (or after dough has chilled 30 min), continue with recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • When dough is chilled, prick several times with a fork. Bake 30 – 35 min or until light brown in color. Set aside to cool.
  • Add butter, shortening, and sugar to bowl. Cream with mixer on low until combined and lightened, scraping bowl as needed. Add honey, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  • Stop mixer; add flour. Mix until pea-size crumbles form.
  • Spread evenly on separate baking sheet. Bake 8 – 10 min or until brown. Let cool. Break apart if necessary.
Stacked lemon squares with cookie topping

Make the Lemon Filling

  • Sprinkle gelatin over the 4 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Stir together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the top of double boiler. Heat to 170 degrees on MEDIUM, stirring occasionally, about 8 min. Stir in softened gelatin. Remove pan from stovetop; let mixture cool to 130 degrees.
  • Place lemon cream mixture in a separate bowl. Mix in butter with mixer on low. Pour lemon cream mixture over cookie base; sprinkle crumble evenly on top.
  • Cover; chill approximately 3 hours. Once cooled, cut into bars (makes approximately 24 squares).
Lemon bar on a plate and lemon bars in a baking pan
Yield: 24 squares

Lemon Bars

Lemon bars made from scratch on a plate

This deliciously easy lemon squares recipe is the most perfect combination of chewy cookie and creamy citrus - they will melt in your mouth!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Cookie Crust

  • 12 T unsalted butter, (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk(s)
  • 3/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cookie Crumble

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/2 T sugar
  • 1/2 T honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 3 large egg(s), (slightly beaten)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 13 teaspoons lemon juice, (a little over (1/2 cup)
  • 18 T unsalted butter, (2 sticks + 2T, softened to room temp)

Instructions

Cookie Crust

  1. Line bottom and sides of baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Add butter, sugar, and salt to mixing bowl. Cream with mixer on low until combined and lightened.
  3. Press dough evenly into a layer in baking pan. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. While dough is chilling (or after dough has chilled 30 min), continue with recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. When dough is chilled, prick several times with a fork. Bake 30 - 35 min or until light brown in color. Set aside to cool.

Cookie Crumble

  1. Add butter, shortening, and sugar to bowl. Cream with mixer on low until combined and lightened, scraping bowl as needed. Add honey, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  2. Stop mixer; add flour. Mix until pea-size crumbles form.
  3. Spread evenly on separate baking sheet. Bake 8 - 10 min or until brown. Let cool. Break apart if necessary.

Lemon Filling

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Stir together eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in top of double boiler. Heat to 170 degrees on MEDIUM, stirring occasionally, about 8 min. Stir in softened gelatin. Remove pan from stovetop; let mixture cool to 130 degrees.
  3. Place lemon cream mixture in a separate bowl. Mix in butter with mixer on low. Pour lemon cream mixture over cookie base; sprinkle crumble evenly on top.
  4. Cover; chill approximately 3 hours. Once cooled, cut into bars (makes approximately 24 squares).

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Happy baking (and eating)! And be sure to come visit my sister and me as we blog about style, food, and the things we love over at The Pretty Life Girls.

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Diana Larsen

Friday 19th of February 2016

what size pan? 9x13 or 8x8? they look amazinng

Amy

Friday 19th of February 2016

Hi Diana! We used 9 x 13!