I lived for a short stint in Tennessee at one point in my life. Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was like this little “blip” along my journey, sort of random and completely different from both Asia and the New York/ New Jersey area, where I live now. Mind you I moved from Bangkok, one of the craziest cities in the world. Bangkok is wild, busy, and houses more than 8 million people. Chattanooga is quiet, wholesome, and definitely houses way less than 8 million people. The two places couldn’t be more different but there is something wonderful about both of them. Even as a city girl, I enjoyed the years I lived in Tennessee. The people were so welcoming and it was a nice place to transition and get used to living in America.
This may seem like a long introduction to a lemon bars recipe, but these lemon bars remind me of everything about Tennessee. The recipe comes from one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I call her “aunt Billie”, although she’s not really my aunt. We met her when we moved to Chattanooga. Not only was she welcoming and friendly, she was also a fabulous cook. I have many recipes in my recipe drawer that come from her, but out of all of them, these lemon bars are hands down my favorite. They may be my favorite dessert of all time (although cheesecake and mangos and sticky rice probably top the list). I know there are lots of recipes for lemon bars out there but I PROMISE you this is the BEST one you will find. They are incredible and everyone who has ever tried them has loved them. My boss requests them every year on Christmas and his birthday.
I am not a baker and I don’t have a huge sweet tooth but this is one dessert that even I can’t pass up. Maybe it’s because they bring back memories of those sweet, simple days in the south but no matter where you live, this recipe is a winner. Also, every time I eat them I think of sweet aunt Billie.
Ingredients & recipe for the crust:
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks softened butter
1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2. Cream together all the ingredients and press into a 2″x9″x13″ pan
3. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes
4. Take out of the oven and let cool
Ingredients & recipe for the filling:
2 cups of sugar
4 tbsp. of flour
zest and juice of 2 lemons
powdered sugar for dusting the top
1. Turn up the oven to 350 degrees
2. Beat eggs slightly
3. Add the sugar and flour gradually and mix them into the eggs slowly
4. Add the zest and lemon and mix
5. Spread the filling over the cooled crust and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar
8. Cut into bars
Thanks aunt Billie!
Here are the lemon bars front and center at a church picnic