Rosemary lemon bars

Ready for summer

Sometimes called lemon squares, sometimes called lemon bars, this batch that ended up in rough rectangles was a winner.

I discovered this recipe in April when faced with “the Rosemary Challenge,” which is to say that a friend of mine said she had an abundance of fresh rosemary (in Jakarta, no less) and I got to work thinking about how to highlight it in our meal that evening.

Chop finely

♫ Suggested listening: something unsquare.  ♫

Dave Brubeck Quartet: “Unsquare Dance”

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!


For the crust

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling

  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 4 to 6 lemons)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  That, or with your trusty wooden spoon.  I sure don’t have an electric mixer. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and a few tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary.

Lemon mixture

I might have gone a little overboard with the rosemary.   Nobody complained.

Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles, squares, rectangles, stars, trapezoids or whatever shape floats your boat, and dust with powdered sugar.

One thought on “Rosemary lemon bars

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