Momma Betty’s Lemon Squares (using wheat flour) are the best version of these amazing bar cookies. Tangy and sweet, and just the right texture.
Our oldest daughter, Abbi, uses this Lemon Squares recipe and I have to admit, her recipe is tastier than my Gluten Free Lemon Squares cookie recipe that I’ve been making since the 1980s. The difference is not that these are made with wheat and mine are made with gluten free flour. Some of the quantities of ingredients are different in the two recipes.
This recipe came from Don’s mom, Momma Betty. She taught Abbi how to make them when Abbi was a youngster.
Old Recipes Can Be A Challenge
When I first looked at Momma Betty’s recipe, I was stymied. I found it was written like this (no title, but filed under “L” in the recipe box):
Butter 1 stick + 1 tbl.
1/2 c powdered sug
1-1/2 c flour
350 20 min
Juice + Rind 1 lemon
1-1/2 c sugar
3 tbl flour
20 min 350
Knowing What It Looks Like Is Helpful
Although I thought I understood the recipe, it had been awhile since I made Lemon Squares, so I thought I’d better stick with a more developed recipe first. And my Gluten Free Lemon Squares are excellent. You won’t be able to tell they are gluten free.
Here’s what my Gluten Free Lemon Squares (which have way too much powdered sugar on them) look like (not as pretty, are they?):
After I made my recipe, I made a second batch with Momma Betty’s recipe. Making my original recipe reminded me of the three-step process, so I was comfortable making Momma Betty’s recipe.
And truly, this recipe is better than mine. It is more tart and not so sweet. Abbi always makes a batch and gives them to Don for his birthday. He loves them. And they freeze well, so you can keep some in the freezer to pull out whenever you want some.
I recommend that you do not double the recipe. I tried that, thinking it would be perfect for a normal Jelly Roll Pan (cookie sheet), and there was way too much filling. Instead, make a single batch and bake it in a nice Calphalon Cake Pan (9″ x 13″). I love my Calphalon bakeware. It doesn’t scratch easily and is very durable.
You’re gonna wanna eat these cookies. They are so good.
What You Need
You will need an electric mixer, cake pan, lemon zester, and measuring cups and spoons. But what you really want is some lovely dinnerware, excellent coffee and a fabulous coffee maker, right?
Momma Betty’s Lemon Squares Cookie Recipe
Momma Betty's Lemon Squares Bar Cookies
Excellent, yet easy, lemon bar cookie. Tart and sweet.
Layer 1: Cookie Base
- 1 lemon (juice only, about 1/4 cup)
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (cool and firm, but not hard)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour (or Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 All Purpose Baking Flour for gluten free)
Layer 2: Filling
- 1 Lemon (juice and zest, about 1/4 cup juice and 1 tablespoon zest)
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour (use gluten free flour to make this gluten free)
Layer 3: Dusting/Garnish
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Layer 1: Cookie
- Heat oven to 350F degrees.
Cream together the juice of one lemon, butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 cups flour until the dough is mixed but still a little crumbly.
- Press the dough into a 9" x 13" ungreased cake pan.
- Bake at 350F degrees for 25 minutes, until the cookie has browned slightly.
- Remove from oven and add Layer 2 on the top.
Layer 2: Filling
While the cookie base is baking, mix thoroughly the juice and zest of one lemon, eggs, granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons flour.
When the cookie base is baked, pour the mixture for Layer 2 over the top of the cookie crust. There is no need to cool it first.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the filling is set and staring to brown.
Remove pan from oven and let cookies cool.
Layer 3: Dusting/Garnish
Using a sieve, sprinkle a tiny bit of powdered sugar over the top of the cooled Lemon Squares.
- Cut into 2" squares to serve.
You can make these cookies gluten free by simply substituting a good gluten free baking flour for the all purpose wheat flour.
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Recipe Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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