I know I have posted quite a few lemon recipes already…but what can I say? I love lemon.
My sister and I made these bars on Easter Sunday. I had originally made a cheesecake the night before but it was a total flop. Don’t you just hate it when you spend so much time creating a beautiful dessert and it doesn’t turn out right? Ugh. Anyways, since we needed a fast backup dessert my sister Natasha and I worked together to make these bars in time for dessert!
Wow. Just wow. When my sister and I tasted these bars, we decided we needed to bake together more often. These are the BEST lemon bars I have ever tasted in my life. And that’s saying a lot, since we’ve made lemon bars countless times. The basil is subtle but adds so much depth to the flavor. The crust (made with half powdered sugar) has an amazing cookie-like, melt-in-your-mouth texture. And the balance between the sour and sweet is perfect. YUM.
You need to try this recipe! You won’t regret it.
Lemon Basil Bars
Original recipe for Joy the Baker
Makes 16 squares
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar (we used raw sugar)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large fresh basil leaves
2 large fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
For the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and salt. Beat on low speed until dough is incorporated.
Dump the crust into the prepared pan and press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just lightly browned around the edges. Don’t overcook, or else crust will be hard.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined and slightly thick. In another small bowl, squeeze your lemons and add the basil to the lemon juice. Use a pestle to crush the basil into the lemon juice. Strain the basil from the juice. Don’t worry about the green color, when it bakes it will turn yellow again. Add the lemon basil juice into the egg mixture, along with the flour and lemon zest. Whisk until blended.
As soon as you take the crust out of the oven, pour your lemon filling on top. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and no longer jiggling in the center.
Allow to cool completely in the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Use the over hanging parchment paper to lift the squares out. Cut them into 16 squares. Store them in an airtight container, if you have any left. We didn’t. 😉
Yummy! Again, these look and sound tasty. My mom makes a tasty lemon bar but these sound a tiny bit different and since we’re huge fans of lemon treats, we’ll have to try them. Sometime. 🙂
Bekah M. says
Thanks, Rissi! This is a great lemon bar recipe, but if you want you can even just try adding basil to your own. It’s the perfect pairing and gives an extra “wow” factor to the bars! I hope you get to try it out…let me know what you think when you do!