Line your baking pan with heavy-duty foil for easy removal and cutting. Turn the pan over and form the foil over it, then turn the pan upright and drop the foil in, gently pressing it into the corners. Fold the foil overhang over the top edges of the pan.
Grate just the lemony-yellow part of the lemon skin—the zest, which contains the essential flavor oils of the fruit. The underlying white part, called the pith, is bitter. Use a Microplane grater or the small hole side of a box grater to remove just that very top layer.
This lemon squares recipe yields bars with a mild lemon flavor. If you enjoy a lemon square with a little extra zing, try doubling the amount of lemon zest and lemon juice. The editors tried it and loved this version!
More About This Recipe
Betty Crocker published the first lemon bars recipe in 1963, in Betty Crocker’s™ Cooky Book. The recipe was an instant success, and within just a few short years, lemon bars had become a cookie tray classic. And what’s not to love? When we say these bright, sunny squares are “luscious,” we really mean it. Their toothsome, crunchy shortbread base, tart curd filling and powdered sugar topping make them the perfect combination of crunchy, creamy and sweet. If you’d like to change things up and make them even fancier, skip the powdered sugar sprinkle and top your bars with freshly whipped cream instead. Want to keep the lemon love going strong? We’ve got lots more lemon bar recipes where this one came from.