HOW TO MAKE CREAMY LEMON SQUARES
To all those who like lemons, please listen up! And those who have no interest in lemons! Because, even if you believe that lemon is not one of your favorite flavors, I am going to make an effort to change your mind with these Creamy Lemon Bars.
I’ve never been much of a fan of classic lemon bars, but I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making creamy lemon bars instead. YES! This one is filled with cream cheese rather than lemon curd, and it also contains some lemon zest. It’s not exactly like cheesecake, but it’s also not like a traditional lemon bar. The truth is that it lies somewhere in the middle of the two.
This recipe for Lemon Bars yields a bar that has a buttery crust and a lemon filling that is very smooth and creamy. The filling does not have an overwhelming lemon flavor. It is discernible enough for you to be aware that you are consuming a lemon dessert, but it is not intense enough to cause you to pucker your lips. You may use additional lemon zest if you want the lemon taste to be stronger in the finished product. It is not recommended to add more juice since the additional liquid may cause the filling to become excessively runny.
THE INGREDIENTS LIST:
FOR THE CRUST, YOU’LL NEED:
½ Cup.Of unsalted butter – softened.
½ Cup.Of granulated sugar.
1 ¼ Cups.Of all-purpose flour.
⅛ Tsp.Of salt.
FOR THE FILLING, I USED:
Softened cream cheese; I used 12-ounces.
¾ Cup.Of granulated sugar.
3 Tbsp.Of all-purpose flour.
2 whole eggs.
3 Tbsp.Of finely grated lemon zest.
1 Tsp.Of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
¼ Cup.Of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Sweetened whipped cream.
THE CRUST PREPARATION:
Turn the temperature up to 325 degrees in the oven. Prepare an aluminum foil or parchment paper lining for a 9×9-inch square baking pan. Grease it thoroughly, and put it aside.
Beat together the butter and sugar for one to two minutes, using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment, until everything is incorporated and smooth. After adding the flour and salt, continue beating the mixture until it is smooth.
Place the dough in the pan that has been prepared and smooth it out with your hands to create a uniform layer. It is important not to pack it in too firmly, as otherwise, the crust would be difficult to cut through.
To prevent the dough from adhering to your fingers or palm, you may, if required, wet it with water. Cook the crust for ten minutes at 400 degrees. Prepare the filling in the meanwhile that the crust is baking.
TO MAKE THE FILLING, FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS:
In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), beat cream cheese until blended and smooth. After adding the sugar and flour, continue to whisk the mixture until it is smooth.
After adding the eggs, mix in the lemon zest and vanilla until it is all incorporated. While the mixer is running, the lemon juice should be added in a slow, steady stream, and the mixture should be beaten until the juice is completely integrated.
After pouring the batter into the crust, place it back in the oven for another twenty-five minutes, or until the filling has reached the desired consistency. Put the dish on a cooling rack, let it get to room temperature, then cover it and put it in the refrigerator until it is totally cooled (several hours).
Please note that I like to serve them with a mild cold. I take them out of the refrigerator half an hour before we are ready to serve them to enable the crust to get to room temperature. With whipped cream on top, please serve.