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Pioneer Woman Lemon Bars Recipe

If you’re anything like me, you know there’s nothing quite like the zesty zing of lemon bars to brighten up your day.

The crust is just the right amount of crumbly, and that lemony layer on top? Pure, tangy bliss.

My top tip for these lemon bars: zest your lemons first—it’s a must to get the best flavor!

It’s my go-to for picnics, potlucks, or when I need a little slice of sunshine on my plate. 

How to Make Pioneer Woman Lemon Bars

pioneer woman lemon bars

Creating the perfect Pioneer Woman Lemon Bars is all about find the balance between tart and sweet, and achieving that buttery, flaky crust paired with a smooth, citrusy filling.

I’ll guide you through every step, so you can nail this dessert every single time!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Step-by-Step Instructions

First, let’s tackle the crust.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Press the dough evenly into your prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Next, it’s time for that zesty lemon filling.

  1. While the crust is baking, you can get started on the filling.
  2. Whisk together 2 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup flour in a bowl to avoid any lumps.
  3. Crack in the eggs and add the lemon zest.
  4. Juice your lemons to get that fresh lemon flavor – you’ll want about 2/3 cup of lemon juice.
  5. Stir the lemon juice into the sugar, flour, and egg mixture until well combined.
  6. Pour the filling over the baked crust and return it to the oven.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling is set.

Finally, let it cool.

  1. After removing it from the oven, let your lemon bars cool to room temperature.
  2. Then, chill them in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to set completely.
  3. Before serving, dust the top with powdered sugar for a sweet finish.

Tips and Tricks to Making This Recipe

bowl of lemon zest for bars

Quality ingredients make all the difference. Use fresh lemons rather than bottled lemon juice for the best flavor.

Don’t rush the cooling process. The bars need to chill in the fridge to firm up, so they slice neatly.

Experiment with the zest. If you like it extra lemony, go ahead and add zest from an additional lemon to the filling.

Monitor your baking time. Keep an eye on the bars as oven temperatures may vary; you want a set filling and a crust that’s just golden brown.

Remember, making lemon bars should be a fun and rewarding experience.

Take your time, enjoy the process, and you’ll end up with a dessert that’s both a joy to make and a delight to eat!

Serving Suggestions

lemon bars on table ready to eat

When I make these lemon bars, I always think about what to pair with them to create the perfect dessert experience.

What to Serve with Pioneer Woman Lemon Bars

You’re going to love how easily these tangy treats pair with other dessert elements.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream complements the zesty lemon flavor beautifully, providing a creamy texture that balances out the crispiness of the crust.

It’s all about balance, so consider serving something simple alongside your lemon bars.

A cup of black tea or coffee can offer a subtle bitterness, which helps to clean the palate between each bite of sweet and tart lemon goodness.

Remember, when you serve your lemon bars, the goal is a complementary array of flavors that bring out the best in your main treat!

Variations and Substitutions

When it comes to lemon bars, I absolutely love playing around with different tweaks to match my mood or the occasion.

Extra Tang?

If you’re looking for something a bit more tangy, try increasing the amount of lemon zest in your lemon curd.

A Sweetened Touch

For an extra bit of sweetness, add more sugar to the lemon mixture or sprinkle a generous layer of powdered sugar on top of your finished bars.

Not a fan of super tangy desserts? It’s okay to cut down on the lemon juice a smidge and add a splash of vanilla extract for a subtle depth of flavor.

Some Unique Slants on this Recipe

Swap out the lemon curd with homemade chocolate pie filling for a rich and gooey twist!

I also recommend using kosher salt in the crust for its clean, distinct flavor over regular table salt.

Sometimes the crust can feel too buttery or sugary for your liking; in such cases, substitute a portion of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a nuttier, less sweet base.

Remember, the key to your lemon bars is in the filling, so ensuring that the consistency of your lemon curd is just right—neither too runny nor too thick—is crucial.

Keep in mind that baking is as much about fun and creativity as it is about following recipes—don’t be afraid to experiment to find your perfect balance of flavors!

How to Store Pioneer Woman Lemon Bars

After you’ve made the delightful lemon bars, your next step is to keep them fresh.

Wrap Them up!

Use plastic wrap to cover the lemon bars tightly.

This helps to maintain their moisture and flavor in the fridge.

Storing in the Refrigerator is Crucial

Pop those zesty treats into the fridge to keep them safe from bacterial growth.

Remember, your cookie crust won’t hold up well at room temperature.

Freezer Storage Tips

For a longer shelf life, try the freezer.

The bars can last up to a month in there, properly sealed.

When you’re ready to enjoy them, thaw the bars in the fridge overnight.

Refrigeration is the way to go to keep those lemony squares tasting just-baked!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

 

Lemon Juice

When you’re making lemon bars, one easy blunder is skimping on the quality of lemon juice.

Always opt for fresh-squeezed lemon juice rather than the bottled kind to give your filling that vibrant zing.

Crispy Crust

Your crust should be buttery and crisp, not crumbly or dense.

Make sure to measure your all-purpose flour accurately; too much can lead to a thick, hard crust.

Get the Butter Right

Don’t melt the butter too much; you want a solid, even mixture.

Softened butter is key to a crust that bakes up golden and holds together just right.

It’s tricky to get the lemon filling just perfect.

Get that Smooth Mixture

You need to whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon juice until smooth to avoid a separated or uneven texture.

Don’t Overbake the Filling

One thing to watch is not to overbake the filling.

Bake just until it’s set; it shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes, or you’ll lose that creamy, lemony goodness.

Go for a Good Finish

Some forget the allure of a beautifully finished dessert.

Sift powdered sugar on top of your cooled bars for a sweet and professional touch.

Be mindful of your diet, especially when it comes to sweet treats.

While lemon bars are delicious, they do pack calories, total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugars.

Regarding nutrition, consider portion size to manage intake of cholesterol and sodium.

pioneer woman lemon bars

Pioneer Woman Lemon Bars

Indulge in the Pioneer Woman's lemon bars: a sweet and tangy dessert with a buttery crust and luscious lemon filling, perfect for citrus lovers.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Ingredients
  
For the crust:
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Instructions
 
Crust
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  • In a bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Press the dough evenly into your prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Lemon Filling
  • While the crust is baking, you can get started on the filling.
  • Whisk together 2 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup flour in a bowl to avoid any lumps.
  • Crack in the eggs and add the lemon zest.
  • Juice your lemons to get that fresh lemon flavor – you'll want about 2/3 cup of lemon juice.
  • Stir the lemon juice into the sugar, flour, and egg mixture until well combined.
  • Pour the filling over the baked crust and return it to the oven.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling is set.
Cooling
  • After removing it from the oven, let your lemon bars cool to room temperature.
  • Then, chill them in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to set completely.
  • Before serving, dust the top with powdered sugar for a sweet finish.

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