Glazed Lemon Pie Bars
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My daughter adores lemon desserts and I wanted to make something she’d love.
However I’ve made umpteen lemon desserts over the years including a Better-Than-Starbucks Copycat Lemon Bread, lemon Cookies, multiple lemon Bars, lemon cakes, and was trying to think of a new and unique lemon dessert.
Then I remembered that the Glazed Cherry Pie Bars I recently made would be great with a lemon filling. I swapped cherry pie filling for lemon filling and topped the bars with a lemon glaze to boost the lemon flavor even more.
The crust is buttery, soft, and tender while the filling is juicy and luscious with the perfect amount of sweet-yet-tart flavor. And pie bars are so much faster and easier than making a pie. A definite bonus.
I baked the bars using a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan and appreciate that they don’t turn out overly thick. However, you could probably use a 9×13-inch pan noting the bars will be thicker and the baking time will be longer.
It’s a great recipe for parties, events, and holiday celebrations because it makes enough to feed a crowd. But not an issue here with my little lemon lover.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or 1/2 teaspoon if you love almond extract; lemon extract may be substituted)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- two 23-ounce jars lemon pie filling
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted if yours is particularly lumpy)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (lemon extract may be substituted)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, as necessary for consistency
- Bars – Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray; set aside. Optionally, line the pan with a sheet of foil and spray with cooking spray. The advantage is you can lift the bars out by the foil and cut them more neatly on a cutting board.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and handheld electric mixer), add the butter, sugar, salt, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the extracts and beat on medium-high speed to incorporate, about 30 seconds.
- Gradually add the flour and beat on medium-low speed to incorporate, about 1 minute.
- Turn about 75% of the dough out into a prepared pan and spread with a spatula to create a smooth, even, flat layer. It’s sticky, tacky, and requires some patience, but just keep spreading and finessing it into the corners.
- Add the pie filling and spread to evenly distribute leaving a 1/4-inch bare margin from edges of pan. It spreads while baking and trying to prevent filling from sticking to sides of pan is advised so it doesn’t burn.
- Drop remaining dough by 2-teaspoonfuls over pie filling. It’s very sticky and I find it easiest to use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop filled about halfway. The dough will spread together somewhat as the bars bake.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until dough on top and around the edges is very lightly golden brown. Allow bars to cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
- Glaze – To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, extracts, and enough lemon juice to reach desired consistency. Evenly drizzle glaze over the bars and serve immediately. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days, noting crust will soften as time passes. I like the bars at room temp but my family enjoys them chilled. They will keep in the fridge airtight for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Adapted from Glazed Cherry Pie Bars
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