Lemon Chess Bars




  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into chunks
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice water


  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

How to Make Lemon Chess Bars

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and position the rack at the lowest level. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease it with butter or nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare the Crust:
    • In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and chilled butter. Pulse until the mixture forms pea-sized chunks.
    • Gradually add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the dough comes together.
    • Transfer the dough to the lined baking dish and press it evenly to the edges.
  3. Prepare the Filling:
    • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and salt.
    • Add the egg yolks, whole eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until well combined.
    • Slowly pour in the melted butter, continuing to whisk until the filling is creamy and smooth.
  4. Bake the Bars:
    • Pour the filling over the crust in the baking dish.
    • Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden and a crust has formed.
  5. Cool and Serve:
    • Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
    • Optional: Lightly dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Enjoy your delicious Lemon Chess Bars!


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