Hoffman Lemon Bars
How nice to kick off The Monthly Cookie with this recipe for Hoffman Lemon Bars. To my mind, they hit the perfect summertime note because of all that lemony goodness. They are just the thing to eat when you're craving something rich & sweet. I first tasted these delicious cookies back in college, at a reception held for my friend Ashley Hoffman. It was her mother Nicole who made a batch of them for the occasion, and I seem to recall devouring two on the spot. You can imagine how glad I was when they kindly allowed me to share this recipe with you. The cookies themselves are crumbly & buttery, rich & tasty, sweet & tart, all at the same time. You'll see how simple they are to assemble and how quickly they'll disappear from your kitchen.
The Ingredients: Cookie Crust
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream your butter and sugar. Slowly add your flour and mix well.
Pat your cookie dough into a 9x13" pyrex dish that's been lined with parchment. The parchment will help release the bars quite easily.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove the dish from the fridge and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cookie base should be cooked & have a very light golden color.
The Ingredients: Lemon Filling
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- juice of 2 large lemons (1/2 cup juice)
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
Whisk the eggs and sugar. Add your lemon juice, zest, flour and pinch of salt. Mix well.
Remove the cookie base from your oven & immediately pour the custard filling over it. Return the entire dish to your 350°F oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. The top will take on some color, but it shouldn't brown excessively. Let cool completely.
To get perfectly smooth slices, run your knife under very hot water, wipe dry & make your slice. Repeat this process with every cut until you end up with about 24 squares. Remove & dust liberally with confectioner's sugar. Inhale!
Nicole says that the recipe was originally given to her by a friend named Dianne Hansen, who used to bake these for church socials in Newport News, Virginia. Although it does instruct you to inhale the lemon bars after they've been cut & dusted with confectioner's sugar, we strongly advise you against it. It's best to just devour one or two the old-fashioned way. Incidentally, don't blame me if you fail to show restraint around these cookies. Have I enticed you yet to give these lemon bars a try? I certainly hope so. Cheers!
Thank you Ashley & Nicole!