Sweeten summery lemon bars with diced strawberries


Lemon bars need no gussying up—they're perfect as they are, tart-sweet squares of delight. But if you get the urge to change things up, strawberries are the perfect companion.

This recipe from the Bakeaholic Mama blog (bakeaholicmama.com) is for lemon bars sprinkled with diced strawberries. They're more akin to a lemon sugar cookie bar than the traditional light lemon curd on a crushed-cracker base.

Chewy, rich and dense, these bars are excellent when cut into bite-size, fudge-style squares.

Strawberry Lemon Bars

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup of butter, softened

1 egg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons lemon zest

1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8-by-8 baking pan with cooking spray, parchment or foil lining.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer, cream the sugar and butter together. Add the egg, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

Fold in the diced strawberries.

Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the bars fully cool before cutting.

If desired, add a lemon glaze to the bars. Whisk together 1 cup of a confectioners sugar and the juice of half a lemon, then pour over the cooled bars.

— Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.