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When Life Gives You Lemons: Make Lemon Squares


We’ve certainly been given A LOT of lemons this past year. I’m hopeful and optimistic that things have started to turn around and we will be able to resume a somewhat normal life soon. I’m celebrating by baking in the kitchen and sharing some delicious creations with those I care deeply about. I hope that dropping off homemade treats at my family’s and friends’ doorsteps will make them feel loved and connected, rather than overwhelmed and isolated.

I know that lemons are technically a spring and summer fruit, but in my mind, they’re are always in season, as I add them to my recipes all year long. I love baking with them in sweet desserts, adding them to savory recipes for a lively burst of flavor and squeezing wedges into a tall glass of water. When I can taste the zest and/or juice of a fresh lemon, I instantly feel healthier and more alive. During these long, cold winter months, a little all-natural pick me up is an absolutely necessity!

If you’re looking for a mood booster, then this recipe does not disappoint. It’s full of tart, tangy, lemony gooey-ness. It’s not overly sweet (like many lemon square recipes) and the crust is crumbly and rich. Be prepared: your kitchen is going to smell like a health spa, a lemon orchard and a bakery all at the same time, so get baking!

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • 5 TBSP coconut oil, melted (you can substitute butter)

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (you can substitute honey)

FOR THE LEMON FILLING:

  • 3 large free-range eggs

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)

  • zest of 1-2 lemons (make sure to zest before you squeeze them for the juice!)

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)

  • 2 tablespoons oat flour

  • 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 9 thin lemon slices

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, melted oil (or butter) and maple syrup (or honey). Stir until well combined.

  3. Scoop the dough into the lined pan and using the back of a spoon (or wet fingers) to spread it out to the edge of the pan. (It should be a thin layer to just cover the bottom of the pan.)

  4. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, combine all of the lemon filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until smooth…no yogurt lumps!

  6. Pour the filling into the baked, slightly cooled crust and smooth out the top.

  7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until set (not jiggling when you move the pan).

  8. Let the lemon bars cool completely. Gently lift the parchment paper out and place on a flat surface. Use a sharp knife to cut the lemon bars into 9 squares.

  9. Use a small mesh strainer to sprinkle the powdered sugar over the bars and garnish with thin lemon slices. Enjoy!


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