Mrs. Field's Triple Layer Lemon Bars

Ingredients

  • Crust

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup flour

    Cream Cheese Filling

    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

    Lemon Curd

    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 2 medium lemons, grated, for 2 teaspoons lemon peel, and squeezed for 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened

    Topping

    • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

    Instructions

    1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
    2. Shortbread Crust: Cream butter and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer set on high speed. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add flour and mix at low speed until fully incorporated. Press dough evenly into bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
    3. Prick shortbread crust with fork and bake for 30 minutes or until crust turns golden brown.
    4. Cool on rack to room temperature.
    5. Cream Cheese Filling: While crust is baking, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth in medium bowl with electric mixer set at high speed. Add egg and lemon extract and beat at medium speed until light and smooth. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate.
    6. Lemon Curd: Blend the egg yolks with the cornstarch and sugar in a medium non aluminum pan. Place over low heat and slowly whisk in water and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium low and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add lemon peel and butter and cool for 10 minutes.
    7. Assemble the bars: Spread chilled cream cheese filling evenly over cooled shortbread crust with spatula. Spread lemon curd evenly over cream cheese filling. Place pan in center of oven.
    8. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until edges begin to turn light golden brown.
    9. Cool to room temperature on rack.
    10. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into bars.
    11. Topping: Dust top with confectioners' sugar.

    Yield: 12 bars

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