“They’re a welcome surprise after all the hearty Super Bowl fare,” says the founder of BIRD Bakery in San Antonio and Dallas’ Highland Park Village. “I cut mine into squares, then quarter the squares and place them in small cupcake liners for added presentation—the cupcake liners (go for a metallic or gold!) make each bite feel more special.”
Elizabeth Chambers Hammer’s Lemon Bars
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3½ cups granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided 5 whole large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1½ Tbsp. fresh lemon zest, plus ¾ cup fresh juice (from 3 lemons), divided
1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack in center position. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Coat paper with cooking spray.
2. Beat butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed for 30 seconds. Add ½ cup granulated sugar; beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add beaten egg, vanilla and 2 cups flour to butter mixture, beating on medium speed just until mixture is uniformly crumbly, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping often to scrape bottom of bowl. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Chill 20 minutes. Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together whole eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl until thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add lemon zest and remaining 3 cups granulated sugar. Whisk in lemon juice alternately with remaining 1 cup flour, beginning and ending with flour, whisking until just combined after each addition. Chill 20 minutes.
4. Pour chilled lemon mixture into prepared crust. Bake until filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes, covering with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent browning. Let cool to room temperature, 3 to 4 hours, or refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
5. Using parchment paper overhang, lift lemon bars from baking pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 20 bars.
Makes: 20 bars
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Quick Tip! Show team spirit: Cut your favorite jersey numbers out of parchment paper. Place stencils on the bars, and sprinkle with powdered sugar; carefully remove the paper before serving