Lemon Bars, A Fun Treat for your Holiday Dinner By Alisha Mehta

lemon square

It’s December and the holiday season is in full swing. The lights are up, malls are open late, and you’ve already begun planning this year’s holiday meal. Before you set your menu in stone, be sure to consider these lemon bars to end your perfect night. It may not be your traditional holiday pie, but it is definitely a surprisingly fun way to freshen up your usual routine. These are a sweet, tart, lighter version of your usual lemon bars that I adapted from Sidney Fry, MS, RD’s recipe in Cooking Light.

While I’m all for holiday traditions, I will definitely be adding these to the dessert table this year for a fun, new twist!

Lemon Bars:

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cooking and cooling time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Makes 16 2-square inch bars


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. blanched almonds (can be purchased at grocery store or see blanching instructions below)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil

Lemon Filling

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • ½ fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white

For Dusting

  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar (or more)

To blanch raw almonds:

  1. Boil a small pot of water, remove pot from heat, and place almonds in water for one minute (no longer than one minute or they get soggy!).
  2. Remove almonds and rinse under cold water. The skins should then easily slip off the almonds. Remove skin from each almond.

For Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Roughly chop almonds so they will be easily processed.
  3. Place flour, powdered sugar, blanched almonds, and salt in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. (You may need to coax the mixture out with a spoon or spatula.) Use the back of the spoon or spatula to pat the mixture smoothly onto the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Turn the oven down to 325°.

lemon before

For Filling:

  1. While the crust is in the oven, place sugar, flour, grated lemon rind, lemon juice, eggs, and egg white into a bowl and combine with a whisk until it becomes thick and smooth.
  2. When crust is done, pour mixture into the pan and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the filling has set.
  3. Cool completely, then chill for two or more hours in the refrigerator.
  4. When ready to serve, sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

lemon after

While passing these delicious treats around the holiday table, be sure to save one for yourself!

lemon after sugar

Alisha is finishing up her last semester as a Nutrition Communications student and is both sad to be leaving Boston soon and excited to finally have her MS degree, officially be a Double Jumbo, and move back home to northern California.

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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