Magical mood changers, these lemon bars feel like spring and will brighten up the kitchen for sure.
By Lizzy Wolff
To make things feel a bit more like Spring, I like to bake with lemon. But this, what I’ve done here, is so much more than baking with lemon. These are bright and happy magical mood changers.
Now, I like my sugar cookies a little softer, but if you want them more done than pictured, keep baking for an extra 3 minutes. You can always cut into them to check their doneness, too. You obviously want to do this before you frost them.
- ¾ cup butter (1½ sticks) softened to cool room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ powdered sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon lemon zest
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 3½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean extract
- ¼ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
- Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with coating spray. Press and/or spread the sugar cookie mixture gently into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.
- Bake fore 10-13 minutes. Do not over bake. The bars should not have any color and should be barely set.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
- Slowly add confectioners sugar, beat to combine, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Add vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Slowly add milk and continue beating on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.