Shortbread Lemon Bars

I have been looking for to cheap to buy my self  a citrus zester for a long time.  While visiting Sister in Iowa we stopped at the second-hand store.  This is a big store with lots and lots of stuff.  With patience and perseverance “stuff” turns into treasures.

This store had a section full kitchen cast-offs.  The pretty dishes caught my eye.  I love dishes, but I really didn’t want to haul them back to South Dakota.  I have no room to display more dishes or store them for that matter.  Behind the dishes were shelves of gadgets, kitchen tools, silverware, etc.  I dug, I searched and I found … a citrus zester!  Just what I had in my mind.  25 cents later it was mine!

I used the zester to make these bars for the Improve Cooking Challenge (ICC).  It is so much more fun than using my box grater’s small holes.  January’s ingredients are lemon and sour cream.  I love lemon bars!  Combined with the a citrus zester, it’s a perfect fit.  I found this recipe in my Taste of Home’s New Baking Cookbook.

1-1/2 C All-Purpose Flour
1/2 C Confectioners’ Sugar
1 teaspoon Grated Lemon Peel
1 teaspoon Grated Orange Peel
3/4 C Cold Butter, cubed

4 Eggs
2 C Sugar
1/3 C Lemon Juice
1/4 C All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Grated Lemon Peel
2 teaspoons Grated Orange Peel
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

2 C (16 Ounces) Sour Cream
1/3 C Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

In a food processor, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, lemon and orange peels.

Add butter; cover and process until mixture forms a ball.

Pat into a greased 13 X 9 inch baking pan. I used 2 – 8 X 8 inch baking pans.

Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until set and the edges are lightly browned.

In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients.

Pour over hot crust and bake for 14-16 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients and spread over filling.
Bake 7-9 minutes longer or until topping is set.

Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight.

Cut into bars just before serving.

Store in the refrigerator.

When you bite into these bars sugary lemon flavor floods your taste buds.  Then a hint of orange pops through!  All on a crisp shortbread crust.  These bars are delicious; husband and co-worker approved!

Oh, and I love the citrus zester.  It’s my new favorite thing.  Did I mention it cost me 25 cents.

Do you have a citrus zester?  What is one of your favorite kitchen gadgets?



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28 Responses to Shortbread Lemon Bars

  1. Jen at The Three Little Piglets says:

    I think I have that exact same zester actually! It looks just like my Pampered Chef one! Although I didn’t get mine for a quarter… what a perfect way to try it out.

    • Candy C. says:

      Shortbread and lemon, what a great combo! Those bars look divine and I love your pictures with the lemons and oranges scattered around! 🙂
      I DO have a citrus zester and use it quite frequently. I think my favorite kitchen gadget is my mini whisk, it gets quite a workout!

  2. Joan@Chocolateandmore says:

    These bars look wonderful, so glad I found you at the improv challenge!

  3. carolinaheartstrings says:

    Hello fellow Improver! I have a zester which I use a lot. An invalabuble kitchen tool for sure. This recipe looks delicious. Delicious. Come on over and visit. We made a terrific soup for the challenge.

  4. These lemon bars look absolutely delectable.

    Congrats on scoring the lemon zester!!!

  5. These look fabulous. I think your recipe is wonderful with the icing and the orange added to the crust and the filling! Yum! My zester looks just like yours, only mine has a red handle. I stopped by from the Improv Challenge. Great recipe!

  6. Kiri W. says:

    I have an utter shortbread addiction, and your bars look amazing – so creamy! Wonderful take on the challenge ingredients, gotta love being a part of it 🙂

  7. Pat says:

    Oh boy, these sound delicious! I love lemon bars to begin with and love shortbread. Thank you for sharing. Pat

  8. Meg says:

    wow these shortbreads look so good! what a great recipe

  9. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl says:

    I love lemon bars–these look great! And I have that same zester; works like a charm!

  10. I love these! Not only do I love the flavor of lemon, but shortbread is my favorite cookie. So these bars are definitely for me! Good job on this challenge. (And on snagging your zester for just 25 cents!!!) : )

  11. Robyn says:

    Thank You for all the lovely comments, Ladies. Hope you have the need to satisfy your shortbread addictions and cravings with these Lemon Bars!

  12. Lisa~~ says:

    Great props and you lemon bars look and sound delicious!

  13. beti says:

    the lemon bars look pretty good! I just love shortbread

  14. Little Mommy says:

    I love lemon bars! Looks fantastic!

  15. Kim says:

    I got a zester last year and I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I’d always tried to use the grating tool on a box grater. The zester works so much better. I liked it so much that I put one in my daughter’s Christmas stocking. I didn’t get either of ours for 25 cents, though. Good find! I like lemon bars, too, but the hubby doesn’t, so I’ll probably need to wait until I need a recipe to take someplace.

  16. Kristen says:

    Those bars are wonderful. The sour cream topping is different than most lemon bars. I like that addition. So glad you found that zester for such a steal. I think I got mine when I hosted a Pampered Chef party years ago, but I only started using it often just recently. They sure are handy!

    • Robyn says:

      The zester is FUN! My recipes might have a little more zest than called for … maybe.

      I am not a big sour cream topped cheesecake person, so I was a little hesitant to make these bars. The topping is very good. I think the vanilla, which I would not have thought to combine with sour cream, works very well.

      I hope you try and enjoy them, Kristen!

  17. These look ahhhh-mazing. Thank you so much for linking them up at Weekend Potluck. I love lemon! Pinning these to my desserts board and offering one little tip for our linky… You will get more clicks if you use your recipe name in the name/description of the linky form. We want you to get a ton of exposure!

  18. Cathy says:

    Lemon bars are the bomb and yours look great! 🙂 I know what you mean about wanting a zester. I finally ordered one with a gift card that I needed to use…boy do I love it. Suddenly, everything I make has touch of citrus!

  19. Miz Helen says:

    Great photo’s and a great recipe. I really need one of those awesome Lemon Bars to go with my afternoon tea. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  20. Hearty Appletite says:

    I love shortbread and I love lemon! Great combo! Glad you got a zester. I use my microplane and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it 🙂

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