Tuesday, January 1, 2013

{Meyer} Lemon Bars a winter birthday treat

2012 seems to have come and went.  I don't do the whole resolution thing on New Years.  I really don't think about New Years as a holiday; to me it's always been my brother Michael's birthday.  I've heard friends lament that they are robbed of their birthdays when their big day collides with the holidays.  I wanted to be sure Michael's birthday didn't get lost in the holiday shuffle this year, so I asked him what his birthday dessert request was and then quickly went about whipping it up.

He requested lemon bars and luckily for him I replaced my beloved dwarf Meyer lemon tree that I had to leave behind back in March when we moved.  I planted this tree in April and was surprised by the nice little crop of lemons I got.

Meyer Lemon Bars

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest from one Meyer lemon

4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
Zest from one Meyer lemon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add butter, sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until still slightly crumbly but starting to come together.  You can also use a pastry cutter to do the same thing.

Spray a 9" x 13" pan with no-stick spray (for even easier removal of the bars cut a piece of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the pan).  Spread the crust mixture over the bottom of the pan and press it down with your fingers.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice, zest, baking powder, and salt and pour over hot crust.  Bake for 25-30 more minutes or until the filling is set and no longer wobbly.

When completely cooled dust top with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Meyer lemons are sweeter and milder than regular lemons.  I think they make the bars a touch sweeter and less tart, but feel free to substitute regular lemons if you can't find the Meyer ones in your area.

I know I can't get enough of these when they are in season here.  Matter of fact if you can't find them; maybe you should head over my way.  Besides you'd be just in time to enjoy the pig we will be grubbing on this Sunday.

My apologies for not returning comments and e-mails promptly the last few weeks.  Besides all the craziness of Christmas and another one right around the corner, I had to spend my precious free minutes fawning over my newest nephew my brother Michael and his wife gave me.

Don't be alarmed if you hear a loud crash and some crazy snoring.  It will just be me crashed out on the couch taking a long overdue winter nap.

Happy New Years!!!



  1. What a refreshing treat. Happy Birthday to your brother and a warm welcome to your precious nephew...what a cute little bundle! I'm not really a resolution girl either, but if I was I'd say love more, give away more kindness daily and set a goal to live somewhere warm and grow a meyer lemon tree of my own! Your photos make my mouth water!

  2. Happy New Year Gina!! I have to say your Lemon Bars are beautiful. Perhaps it is a good thing the Baker Challenge didn't pick me, Lemon Bars are something I find difficult. I've never actually made a good one.!
    While these are gorgeous, that precious little baby steals the post. What a sweetie!! Congratulations to your brother and his family. What a wonderful year they will have!!
    Enjoy that nap, I think I may join you!

  3. Gina,

    Your lemon bars are gorgeous, as well as your pictures. I'm sure that your brother appreciated his sunny birthday treat.

    You sure look like that proud Aunty holding your adorable nephew. Enjoy him and your nap:)

  4. Happy New Year, Gina! What a precious, beautiful bundle to hold and cuddle and reaffirm life. Enjoy. Skip the commenting! Wishing for a dwarf lemon tree - I have been eyeing lemon trees for 3 years and my son says I do not want to care necessary for pruning and bringing in and outdoors - but a dwarf one would do the trick! Your brother has good taste in desserts!

  5. Mmmmm! Meyer lemon bars! I am green (then ripening to yellow) with envy you have so many more lemons on your tree than I do! :) Happy new year, girlfriend!

  6. Happy New Year, friend! I'm so excited to see your lemon tree growing in a large planter. I definitely think my backyard needs one of these. Is there also a lemon bar tree? ;)

  7. Beautiful photo of you and your nephew, Gina! Congrats to all, and happy new year!

    (Oh, and your lemon bars are gorgeous, too! ;))

  8. I am always a fan of tangy lemon bars!
    A wonderful photo of you holding your nephew ;-)

  9. I loved our Meyer lemon tree that we had when we lived in Florida. Way too cold here in St. Louis for one, alas. Really nice recipe, and wonderful picture of you holding your nephew! Happy New Year!

  10. What lovely lemon bars! Happy New Year and congrats on the birth of your nephew! - Lisa

  11. I love this.
    beautifull picture with the baby :-)

  12. Awwee.. the little one is just so adorable..I wish I could grow a Meyer Lemon tree here. Love Lemon bars and I can never resist myself from them. Hope you have a wonderful New Year and I too have no resolutions, simply because I don't follow them diligently. LOL. Here's to another year of fabulous food blogging and hopefully I get to be back soon. I can't stop thinking of wanting to catch up with all of you awesome ladies. ♥ ♥ Jo

  13. Wonderful.
    If that is the tree that you have planted and if that is the yield, then I am going to do the same :-)
    (like those lemon bars)

  14. Oh sweet sweet baby! (Can you tell I'm pregnant...it's always the first thing I notice now!) And these lemon bars look glorious. They would be my must-have on my birthday too! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I needed some culinary inspiration! I hope you are having a wonderful start to 2013.

  15. Thanks everyone. I love having my lemon trees in planters, it's great for a small yard or if you know you might move again in a few years.

  16. Happy 2013 to you, Gina!

    And congratulation too with your newest nephew. He is such a cute angel :D

    We have a dwarf lemon tree too but is never as productive as yours... Our tree only bear one fruit for us for the past 3 years! *sign*

  17. Congratulations on your new nephew Gina!! Love the photo. I've always wondered about people with birthdays on big holidays. Your brother is lucky to have you bake him this special dessert. They look perfect!

    I hope you had a great Christmas and enjoyed the pig and tamales. hugs

  18. Congrats Gina!!! How sweet a new baby;-)
    Oh be still my heart....please bring me a pan of Meyer lemon bars..after I lose 10 pounds,lol!!!
    Lunch, maybe a salad?

  19. WHat a way to start 2013, Gina. Great idea with the lemon bars (one day I'll get to actually taste a Meyer lemon!) for a fabulous bday. Congrats on that cutie nephew and many happy moments to come (and naps, hehe.)

  20. Wow, Gina, these lemon bars look awesome...I am so jealous of your Meyer lemon tree...I've been trying to harvest some lemon that I planted a few year ago...and so far nothing.
    Congratulations on your little nephew.
    Happy 2013 and have a great week!

  21. You have a Meyer lemon tree! I want one... not sure if my house is suitable for a tree or plant (I live off canyon so it's windy and lots of animals). Your Meyer lemon bars look so good! I would prefer to eat Meyer lemon version for sure. Happy New Year, Gina!

  22. I wish my Meyer Lemon tree had a crop like that! Before we moved, my husband planted several fruit trees in pots, but none of them have really thrived :( I want one of your lemon bars!

  23. Aren't Meyer lemons the best? I just made bars with them myself!