Sneak Preview: Making Meyer Lemon Bar Cookies have a coconut shortbread base with a light and creamy lemon layer over the top. Not as rich and heavy as traditional lemon squares, but every bit as delicious.
When you make bar cookies, how hard is it to get the first cookie out in one piece? I no longer have to eat ugly corner cookies because I have found a better way. Non-stick aluminum foil is my secret. I’ll show you how I use it in this post.
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In the past, I often ended up using a spoon to dig out the first piece of any pan of bar cookies. Then, I felt compelled to eat that cookie because I didn’t want to spoil the looks of my pretty cookie tray. Not good. Keep reading to learn my easy trick.
Can I substitute regular lemons for Meyer lemons?
I do not recommend it. Regular lemons make a much more tart and intense flavor that only the most die-hard lemon lovers would appreciate.
Have you tried Meyer lemons yet?
The tartness of a lemon + the sweetness of a tangerine = a Meyer lemon. Perfect for these lemon squares. They’re in season from January to April, so act fast.
Even though I borrowed ideas from many places, these lemon squares have a different flavor, texture, and composition than any other lemon square I’ve ever tasted.
- The crust is adapted from the shortbread cookie base in Pam Anderson’s The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great (one of my favorite cookbooks). You’ve seen the same buttery crust before in my Toffee Bars Made Easy
- I read about lemongrass bars in a recent issue of Bon Appetit with coconut added to the shortbread base. Subsequently, I tried it and now you should, too, if you’re a coconut lover, that is.
- Dorie Greenspan gave me the idea to use a blender to pulverize a whole lemon in her recipe for Tartest Lemon Tart published in Baking From My House to Yours. As a result of this this revolutionary method, no squeezing or grating is required. Show me another lemon bar recipe like that!
- I wanted a creamy lemon layer as opposed to a clear, lemon pie-like filling. I always have Greek yogurt in the refrigerator. Yogurt turns out to be the perfect addition for making these lemon cookies smooth and creamy.
How to remove sticky cookies from the pan:
Line your baking pan with aluminum foil to make serving sticky cookies neat and easy. It also saves clean-up time. This tip works exceptionally well for bar cookies, Rice Krispie squares, candy, etc.
I recommend non-stick aluminum foil. It’s the easiest. If you don’t have it, use regular foil and spray it with vegetable oil.
How to prepare the Meyer lemon yogurt layer:
Recipes for lemon lovers:
Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, leave a rating 🤩 inside the recipe below. No comment required. If you have any questions or suggestions, email me privately: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula
Meyer Lemon Bar Cookies
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ teaspoon table or sea salt
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 whole Meyer lemon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
Making the cookie layer:
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ F
- Prepare 8-inch square pan by lining with non-stick foil. Mold foil to shape of pan by turning it over, using hands to shape and then placing molded foil back inside. See pictures above. I highly recommend the foil as the lemon filling can leak under the base and make the finished bars difficult to remove.
- Melt butter in the microwave for 50 seconds on HIGH in a quart-size glass dish. Add flour, powdered sugar, salt, and coconut. Lightly mix with a fork just until all ingredients are moistened. Pat into prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Making the lemon layer:
- Quarter one washed and dried Meyer lemon. Trim center core and remove ALL seeds. (If you miss one, you'll have dark specks in your lemon layer.)
- Place lemon in a blender with sugar and pulse on high until mixture is homogeneous throughout, cleaning the sides often. Add flour, salt, and baking powder, pulsing until mixed. Add eggs and yogurt, pulsing only 3-4 times or until batter is just mixed but smooth.
- Pour lemon mixture over warm crust immediately after removing the crust from the oven. Put back into the oven and bake at 300˚F for 20 minutes or until the middle is set.
- When cool, place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. Pull bars out of the pan with the foil still attached. Peel foil away and cut into squares while cold. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. Serve chilled. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.