I’m a huge fan of lemons, so much so that you can find a few in my fridge at any given time. I use them when I cook, and I always keep a pitcher of lemon water in my fridge, so you’ll be surprised to hear I don’t bake with them. For some reason my love of lemons ends at dessert, and in all honesty I’m pretty disappointed when I find out a dessert is lemon flavored. Don’t worry – I’m well aware that this is pretty weird.
Well, this week my coworker asked if I would bake some type of lemon dessert for her birthday. Of course I wasn’t going to say no, but at the same time I was a little concerned – I don’t have many (or any) good lemon recipes on hand. Thankfully I found this recipe for lemon sugar cookie bars from The Salty Marshmallow that looked pretty tasty. I mean, how could something made with cream cheese not be good?!
I wasn’t able to find my square baking dish, so I decided to use my 9×13 cake pan instead. Since the pan was bigger than the one recommended in the recipe, and I didn’t want my bars too look to thin, I decided to double up on the recipe. In reality I probably didn’t need to double the sugar cookie recipe portion – I could have just made another half portion. I ended up with a lot of extra sugar cookie dough, which you could easily roll out to bake a few cookies or store in your freezer for the next time you need something sweet in a pinch.
In the recipe the author makes note that the bottom cookie crust should be completely cool before adding the cream cheese. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to wait, so when the crust was done baking I put the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes, and that seemed to do the trick.
Also, if you’re wondering how many lemons you will need for the juice and zest, I used two large ones. I used the entire rind of one of the lemons for the zest and one and a half lemons to get the juice (remember I doubled the recipe). If you don’t have a zester, you can easily use a fine cheese grater on your lemons.
As for the final product? Well, I can tell you I am now a fan of lemon desserts…or at least this dessert! Actually, this recipe ended up being so good that my husband requested I make another batch that he could take to work! So, if you’re not a huge fan of lemon desserts this is a great introductory recipe. Or, if you love lemons you are going to love this! I will say that lemon flavor in this recipe is pretty mild, so if you prefer a more tart flavor profile you could always add more juice and zest to your recipe. This ended up being a great and easy go-to dessert if you don’t have a lot of time for baking. Perfect for these warm weather months right around the corner!