The Best Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars Recipe
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I don’t know about you, but we have been SO good here! We have cooked a lot of meals at home, and occasionally ordered meals from local restaurants to support those small businesses during this tough time. That means, when we get a sweet tooth and want to whip up something to appease it? We do! These Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars were just the ticket to help the last time.
Why lemons? That tart and tangy flavor just screams to our taste buds and the promise of sunnier days ahead. Just so you know, the “boozy” part of this recipe is optional. You can leave out the vanilla vodka if you want.
Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars
Let’s start with a little lemon FAQ:
What are the best tasting lemons?
“Meyer” lemon trees produce abundant fruit year-round. The fruits are juicy, sweet and thin-skinned. They are less acidic than other lemons and lack the familiar punch of tartness. “Eureka” lemons are the type you most commonly find in the grocery store. We suggest using the “Meyer” lemons.
How do I buy good lemons?
When choosing a lemon, one should hold the fruit and determine if it is heavy. The heavier the fruit and the thinner the skin, the more juice it has. A ripe lemon should be firm, with a fine textured peel with a deep yellow color. Acidity varies with the color of the lemon, so the darker the better.
Do you wash lemons before zesting?
Wash the lemon first: Before zesting the lemon, scrub the fruit with a sponge and warm, soapy water. Rinse it well and dry it with a paper towel. This not only removes the traces of hands that touched it before you at the grocery store, but helps remove the wax on it that they use for shipping.
Should Lemons be refrigerated?
While there’s nothing wrong with keeping your lemons out on the counter (especially if you don’t buy more than you can use before they dry out), they’ll definitely stay fresh longer if you put them in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag.
Let’s get started on the Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars!
For the Crust, you will need:
- 1 ¾ Cup Flour
- ¼ Cup Cornstarch
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 tsp Vanilla Vodka (Optional)
For the Lemon Filling, you will need:
- 1 ½ Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2-4 Tbsp Citrus Vodka (Optional)
For the Meringue, you will need :
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 disposable piping bag with a star tip
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla vodka and salt. Cube the butter into smaller pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands cut the butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and starts to come together. Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down into one even layer. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
To make the Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars filling:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and flour. Add in the eggs and lemon juice and citrus vodka and mix until fully combined. Pour the lemon filling over the crust and return to the oven. Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until the lemon filling is set. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.
Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars Meringue topping:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a standing mixer, whip the egg whites until they are glossy and smooth, then add the cream of tartar to help the egg whites hold their form. Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites and then add vanilla. Scoop into the piping bag. Pipe the meringue on top of the lemon bars and place into the oven that is preheated to 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting and enjoying these Boozy Creamy Lemon Bars.
Tip: to cut through the meringue and lemon bars cleanly, take a mug of hot tap water, and dip the knife in it between slices. This will keep the meringue from sticking to it and make for a cleaner cut.