Lemon-ies. Photos by Keri White

You may recall my New Year’s resolution to experiment with different flavors and mix up techniques and ingredients. This recipe does just that.

It is essentially a brownie — simple to make, dense and chewy — but swaps out the chocolate for lemon. I adore lemon desserts and am a sucker for the traditional lemon bars that feature a shortbread crust and a custardy topping, but I am not a fan of the labor they require.

This recipe basically accomplishes the flavor and texture of those lovely bars without the crust, the custard or the two-step baking process.

Makes 1 square pan, 9 or 12 bars depending on how you cut them.

For the bars:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1½ lemons)
2 eggs
1¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
⅔ cup powdered sugar
Juice of one whole lemon

Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a square baking pan with cooking spray.

Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the zest and juice; mix again. Add the eggs, and mix again. Add the flour and salt, and mix until just blended. Do not overmix, or the texture will become cake-y.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 25 minutes until it is just browning around the edges and set in the middle.

While the lemon-ies bake, make the glaze: Mix the sugar and juice in a small bowl with a whisk or fork until smooth. It should be thin enough to drizzle without running all over but not so thick that you have to spread it like frosting.

When the lemon-ies are done, cool them for about 45 minutes and pour the glaze over the top; tilt the pan to spread the glaze over the surface. Let the glaze set before cutting.


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