Not Your Grandma’s Lemon Squares

My friend Danielle is one of the best cooks I’ve ever known.  She doesn’t think so, but I’ve never had anything she made that didn’t absolutely rock.  She made this Raspberry Lemon Shortbread Tart for our second son’s baby shower, and it’s been one of my favorite desserts ever since.

I make it into bars instead of a tart. Mostly so I can eat them without getting a plate and fork dirty. I’m lazy that way.  If you’d prefer to be all civilized and serve it as a tart, just use a springform pan rather than the 9×13 pan.

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Raspberry Lemon Shortbread Bars
12 oz frozen raspberries, thawed and drained well
1 stick plus 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 to 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Confectioners sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In food processor, combine butter, 1-1/2 cups flour, and 1/2 cup sugar and pulse until coarse crumbs form.  Alternatively, combine using your fingers until crumbly. Press firmly and evenly into ungreased 9×13 pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
2. Remove the shortbread from the oven and reduce oven to 325 degrees.  Sprinkle the drained raspberries over the crust.
3. In food processor (or medium bowl, if you didn’t use it to make the crust), combine eggs, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup flour until pale yellow and creamy. Pour lemon cream over crust and sprinkle with white chocolate chips.
4. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes, until custard is set.  Let cool, then dust with confectioners’ sugar for serving.

These bars combine the best aspects of classic lemon squares with the fresh surprise of raspberries and a hint of white chocolate. They’re sure to be a hit at your next get-together. Of course, you really need to make a batch for yourself, just to test the recipe first!

Makes 24 bars. Enough for you and a couple of others you really like.

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