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Lemon-Lime Bars

This recipe for lemon-lime bars is from the cookbook, Cookies: At home with the Culinary Institute of America.

lemon-lime bars - cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

lemon-lime bars

Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cook Donna, on Lemon-Lime Bars:

I landed on the lemon bar recipe, but substituted lime for lemon as suggested in the recipe. I had plenty of limes on hand, and this was the perfect way to use them up. And I love the sweet-sour combo.

The lemon bars start with a shortbread crust that needs to be baked and cooled completely before the filling is added for a second run through the oven, which makes this a great recipe to do over two days, but not so great if you’re in a hurry to be eating lime bars. They need to cool a second time before cutting, so figure that into your schedule.

The result, though, is well worth the wait. The tartness of the lime paired with the shortbread and the sprinkle of powdered sugar was just the right combination of tart and sweet.

The only oddity in this recipe is the suggestion in the note to strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer before pouring it into the crust for a smoother mouthfeel. The problem with that instruction is that the fine mesh strainer will catch all the lemon or lime zest that is in the curd. So if you plan on straining, strain into a container, add the zest, stir to distribute the zest, and then pour it onto the crust. Then again, you don’t have to strain it if you don’t want to.

lemon-lime bars

Photo credit: Donna, Cookistry

We hope you enjoy this recipe for lemon-lime bars!

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Lemon (Lime) Bars

Featured Recipe From: Cookies: At Home with the Culinary Institute of America



  • 1¾ cups all-purpose fl our
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • 6 oz (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose fl our
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • Confectioners sugar, as needed, for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, line it with parchment paper or foil, letting the ends hang over, and spray lightly with cooking spray.

2. Make the shortbread crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients and mix on medium speed until a smooth dough forms, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until just barely golden brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Remove the crust from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 325°F. Cool the crust completely in the pan.

4. While the crust is cooling, make the lemon filling: Combine the sugar and fl our in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and whisk to form a paste. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Pour onto the crust.

5. Bake until the filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting.

7. Cut into bars and dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.

Lime Bars: Replace the lemon juice and zest with equal amounts of lime juice and zest.

Note: If you like, you can strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve before
pouring it on the crust this will give it a smoother mouth feel.

© 2011 The Culinary Institute of America

Reprinted with permission from Cookies: At Home with the Culinary Institute of America, by Todd Knaster (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

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