Lemon Gems

These Lemon Gems were shared at our annual cookie exchange recently and they were delicious!  Bonnie offered this recipe as a Christmas dessert, but these could be an anytime-of-the-year bar cookie on your dessert menu.  Bonnie said she received this recipe from a friend, a former school secretary, who brought these Lemon Gems to school holiday breakfasts.

(Printable Copy)
2 1/3 cups unsifted flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup butter or oleo, softened
4 eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a 13×9 pan, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar and lemon peel.  With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Press crumbs evenly in pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees F. until lightly browned.

In blender, combine remaining 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice and baking powder.  Cover and blend another 5 seconds.  Scrape down sides of container and blend another 5 seconds.  Pour over baked crust.  Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool. Cut bars into diamond shapes or squares.  These bars can be made ahead and frozen.  

Bonnie DeLaney (Cookie Exchange, 2011)