My family heard that I was making brownies for Easter, so they showed up ready to get their sweet teeth tickled.
“That is not a brownie,” my grandmother informed me, pointing to a yellow rectangle I was cutting. “And hi, dear!”
She was right, the brownies were set aside (more on those brownies next week, by the way), and I was working on lemon bars. Not just any lemon bars, Gooey Lemon Bars with Blueberry Glaze.
“Well, I don’t really like stuff like that. I’m not big on lemon, but I’ll try it,” my grandmother told me after I offered her an end piece. My Grandma Sandy often says this, but she will never turn down a taste-test. Ever. Even if she knows, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that she will not like it.
And don’t you know after she tried it, it was all mmms and wows and can I have another pieces from then on out?
That is exactly what happened when every single member of my family took a lemon bar. “I guess I’ll try this,” followed by “oh I’m actually in love with these and can I please just have the whole pan, prettyprettyplease?” These Gooey Lemon Bars with Blueberry Glaze actually made my chocoloholic family forget for a few hours that there were brownies to be eaten!
What makes these lemon bars so amazing? A buttery shortbread crust is topped with a simple lemon juice, sugar, flour, and egg mixture that turns into a sweet gooey center with a crackly top when baked. While lemon bars are traditionally topped with powdered sugar, I decided to mix up some powdered sugar with blueberries and just a bit of basil to create a tasty blueberry to top them off with. It really brings out the fresh, bright flavors!
This recipe is especially easy if you have a food processor handy– you can just whiz together the crust, then the filling, and then the glaze! Great for lazy bakers like myself.
When you make these, take a photo and tag #hostthetoast on instagram to show them off in the Host the Toast feed! I can’t wait to see them.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 7 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (from about 6 lemons)
- 1 cup flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup fresh blueberries, (plus more to top, optionally)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoons lemon zest, divided
- 2 leaves fresh basil (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, butter, and salt. Pulse until the dough comes together in large crumbs.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined baking pan. Bake until just lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
- Combine the filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until evenly blended and smooth.
- Pour the filling on top of the shortbread crust and bake until the filling is set and the top is beginning to brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, and then transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for at least an hour before cutting.
- Cut the lemon bars as desired. Combine the blueberries, powdered sugar, ½ tablespoon of the lemon zest, and the basil in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer the lemon bars to a wire rack on top of foil or parchment paper and top with the glaze, allowing the excess to drip onto the foil or paper below. Sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest and top with blueberries. Let the glaze set and then serve.
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