Barefoot Contessa Lemon Bars

If we’re friends on Facebook or you follow me on Instagram (@pngpics) you may remember this picture I posted of lemons on the Fourth of July with the caption, “What became of all of those lemons?  The answer…coming soon.”

But the answer never came. I absentmindedly got caught up in the day baking, surviving the 100-degree plus heat, enjoying a wonderful BBQ with friends, watching fireworks, and trying to figure out whether it was Wednesday or Sunday. As a result, I totally forgot to snap a picture of the answer: These delicious lemon bars.

Then, on Sunday (actual Sunday, not middle-of-the-week Sunday) my friend Stefanie (who hosted the awesome, Pin-worthy BBQ that I brought these to) sent me the sweetest e-mail with the photo above of the lemon bars because she saw I forgot to take a picture. That’s a great friend, folks. Not only that, but it’s now officially the best photo that has ever appeared on this blog. Thank you so much, Stef. That was so incredibly thoughtful : )

I’m still not sure what drove me to make these lemon bars (except, of course, the abundance of lemons leftover from these lemon sugar cookies). I’m not even sure I’ve ever had more than a bite of a lemon bar in my life. My Grammy used to make them for my Dad whenever my family would visit my grandparents in Ocean City, Maryland, but I always skipped the lemon bars and went straight for the frozen chocolate chip cookies. But when lying in bed the morning of the 4th, pondering the fate of my stockpile of lemons, this was the answer that came to mind. A quick Google search on my iPad landed me on a Barefoot Contessa recipe. Since Ina can do no wrong it was pretty much a done deal. I just had to get out of bed.

Since my lemon bar eating history is extremely limited, I’m far from the lemon bar expert. Still, I think I know what makes this recipe work: The ratio of crust to custard. It’s just shy of 50:50, which means the light, buttery crust balances out the denser, sour-sweet filling in every single bite. When I took the crust out of the oven at 15 minutes, just as the recipe suggests, I contemplated putting it in for another five because there was one barely noticeable area that had started to brown. But something held me back and I’m so grateful whatever it was (divine Grammy intervention?) did. The crust remained so light it practically melted on the tongue followed quickly by the bright, smooth filling.

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing dessert this recipe is a surefire winner. And, speaking from experience, remember to take some leftover bars home with you so they’ll be there when you wish you had a bite the next day : )

Find the Barefoot Contessa Lemon Bar recipe here.

Thanks again, Stefanie, for hosting an incredible BBQ and for making this post possible!

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