Whole Lemon Bars

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.

7 Notes Leave a Note

  1. I love how food is so attached to our life memories. I feel this way about so many things. But I also love how food travels through time with us, adapting just as we do. Good like with an exciting new change! Are you moving?

    • Kasey – That is so true. I love that about food, too. We aren’t moving, but his commute changes from 8 minutes (spoiled!) to 30 minutes. We work at the same company (on opposite sides of the building) and it will be an adjustment for both of us! We had to purchase another car, too. Lots of changes 🙂

  2. Sounds like exciting times at the Dula House! Congrats to Marc on his new adventure! Thanks for sharing your lemon bar recipe! I’m making Lemon Olive Oil Cake tonight. The name doesn’t sound very good, but the ingredients are divine!

    • Nancy – Exciting times, indeed! It is bittersweet because Marc will miss the great people he works with, but things just really fell into place for this new opportunity. Is it the Lemon Olive Oil Cake from Completely Delicious?? I want to make that, too!! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  3. We’ve made whole citrus sangria, whole citrus marinade/sauce for chicken, and I once made a whole orange olive oil cake. Obviously we like the idea and the incredible flavors whole citrus provides. I’m still searching for the perfect lemon bar recipe (as it’s one of Dan’s favorites); I’ll have to employ the Nicole + David version soon! Not that I buy them often, but I wonder how Meyer lemons would stack up here?

    Cheers and congratulations to your husband on a new position,


    • Heather – I think you’ll really love this recipe, it was a hit with everyone who tried it. I think Meyer lemon would be wonderful and my suggestion would be to start with dialing down the sugar by 1/4 C. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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