I have fond memories of lemon bars. When we were first married, I moved from one side of Michigan to the other. I did not have a job at first, but there was plenty to do to get settled into our new apartment and we thought we had some time. Unexpectedly, my husband lost his job at a profitable company that sadly was never good at the book-keeping. While Marc was lining up interviews, I was trying to find recipes for inexpensive meals. He was quickly offered several jobs and the pressure was off, but our fresh-out-of college selves wanted to be smart about money. We also wanted to show our friends and family the new place and one evening we invited Marc’s adorable grandparents over. I decided to make an easy pasta dish, but dessert was another matter. The invitation had come up quickly and I looked around to see what I could whip up. Looking at what I had in our empty fridge, I came up with lemon bars. I had all I needed to make a crowd-pleasing, but simple dessert. Since then I have expanded my recipe collection, but I like to think back to that dinner where simple worked.
After 6 years at his current job, Marc has accepted another position and is excited about this new opportunity. I just happened to make this recipe at a similar time of change in our lives and I suppose lemon bars have unintentionally become a metaphor for new possibilities for us. These whole lemon bars are a grown-up treat. Using the whole lemon kicks up the lemon flavor and ensures the tart and sweet are in harmonic balance. The crust is golden and sturdy while the lemon topping is soft and delicious. In my opinion, the powdered sugar is a must. I sifted the sugar on top of the lemon bars and it reminded me of the new blanket of snow we had just received. I decided to set the plate of bars on a pile of new snow and snap away. If you are anxiously awaiting spring, this burst of citrus might just be the ticket.