In the name of great fruit cookies – you’ve got to try these once in a lifetime lemon blueberry bars! They’re better than cream cheese cookies and better than lemon cookies, if that’s even possible. I think they’re better than cookies, period – because they’re easier to make and they have that element of nutrition which is a great excuse to scarf some down.
These tasty little gems are more than a delicious treat. They’re like a divine experience for your mouth. Once you gobble up the first batch you may be inclined to try your hand at some coconut cream pie bars or pumpkin bars. No one would blame you one little bit. Pecan pie bars are another dreamy option you can follow up with. If you love blueberries, you gotta try my blueberry cobbler too!
Here’s what you need to know.
- Great for breakfast, an afternoon snack with a cup of tea, or of course, for dessert.
- They make a nice big 9 X 13 pan so they’re great to bring to share at a picnic or barbecue.
- Yummy, rich, and ever so slightly addictive!
For the absolute best lemon blueberry bars possible, start with room temperature ingredients. Your butter should be soft and spreadable but still, hold its shape. Even your blueberries should be room temp and completely dried after washing. Also, don’t forget to spray your foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
This recipe calls for rolled oats – not quick oats. You’ll also need a large egg, but you want it separated. Here are a few of the best techniques for getting that done. The yolk will be used in the lemon filling and the white will be used elsewhere in the recipe.
These moist rich bars need to be stored in the fridge. You can keep them in an airtight container or covered casserole dish, but they need to be kept cool and protected from moisture.
Can You Freeze This?
Affirmative!! These puppies freeze really well. After cooling, take the time to double wrap them before sliding them into the frozen abyss, and don’t forget to label them. Simply move them from the freezer to the fridge and let them sit overnight to thaw.
Make Ahead Tips
Being that these yummy bars are ‘built’ while they’re warm, there’s really not a ton you can do ahead of time, besides salivate. You can always blend up the dry ingredients and have them ready to go or keep a couple of completed batches in the freezer. Simply move them from the freezer to the fridge the day before you want to serve them.
How Long Can You Keep This?
Your bars will stay fresh and yummy in the fridge for up to 5 days when stored properly. It’s best to reserve the FDA recommended 2-hour serving rule when you pull these babies out.
These rich scrumptiousbars are a very forgiving recipe. You almost have to try to mess them up. That said, there are lots of delicious recipe variations you can try. Here’s a few of the most popular.
- Switch out a few simple ingredients for some sweet luscious strawberry bars.
- Opt for blackberry pie bars with a sweet-n-tangy disposition, no utensils required.
- Swap the blueberries for coconut to make mouth-watering lemon coconut bars.
- Omit the blueberries for some tangy refreshing lemon bars.
- Leave out the lemon to whip up decadent blueberry bars.
Lemon Blueberry Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1 1/3 cups light brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg separated
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 1/2 cups (about 13 ounces) blueberries at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 13x9 metal baking pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang on both sides to lift the bars out. Spray the pan/foil with cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender (or your fingers) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients completely. (In other words, until the pieces of butter aren't visible anymore.) Set aside and reserve 2 cups of these crumbs for the topping. Beat the egg white with a fork until broken up and foamy. Add it to the crumbs and mix to incorporate. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form an even layer of crust. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the top starts to look dry.
- Meanwhile, whisk the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk together in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes; the mixture will begin to thicken slightly.
- When the crust has finished baking, transfer the pan to a wire rack and sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the hot crust. Drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries then spread the lemon mixture gently to distribute it. Work carefully so you don't crush the berries; the lemon layer doesn't have to cover every bit of the crust. Bake until the lemon layer begins to form a shiny skin, about 7-8 minutes.
- Remove the pan to a wire rack and use your fingers to press the reserved crumb mixture into small clumps and sprinkle them over the lemon layer. Use all of the crumb mixtures to cover the lemon layer completely. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling at the edges and the streusel topping is golden brown.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool for about an hour, until just warm. Remove them from the pan using the foil overhang and let cool completely on the wire rack. Cut into squares before serving. The bars should be stored in the refrigerator
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Cookie bars should be a food group in my humble opinion. They’re rich, sweet, delicious and many times nutrient-dense. Plus, you don’t need a fork. Here are even more cookie bars recipes you may enjoy.
- Apple Bars – Full of flavor and fiber.
- Apple Pie Bars – Sweet cinnamon decadence.
- Cranberry Bliss Bars – (Starbuck’s copycat) are even better than any you can buy.
- Peach Crumb Bars – Everything we love about peaches in a sweet-n-tasty bar.
- Pumpkin Pie Bars – The best way to enjoy pumpkin pie with your fingers.
Sweet decadent lemon blueberry bars are a culmination of 5-star flavor and 20 minutes in the kitchen. These delicious little treats make fabulous afternoon snacks and even better desserts but they’re also great with your morning cup of joe.
There are many versions of this lovely recipe, but this is one version you don’t want to be without. One bite and you’re hooked plus they make the day a little brighter.
Source: Fine Cooking