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Three Many Cooks: Luscious Lemon Bars
Three Many Cooks: Luscious Lemon Bars: Three Many Cooks whips up mouth-watering lemon bars that are quick and easy.

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Maggy: I'm known as the chocaholic in our family, but I must admit I've got a soft spot for lemon bars. Bold lemon and buttery crust? Say no more! Pass the bars and a cup of Earl Grey.

Pam: Teatime is almost a daily ritual for me. One of these lemon bars is the perfect accompaniment, though I'll admit eating just one is a real challenge!

Sharon: Maggy thinks I'm crazy because I'm just not that into chocolate. Fruit desserts are much more my type, and anything with lemon is usually love at first taste. These little bars are simply heaven: crispy crust topped with smooth, sweet, tangy lemon curd. I like to make these with organic lemons for the purest flavor.

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The perfect lemon bar is equal parts soft, bold lemon filling, melt-in-your-mouth crust and easy recipe. Make a simple crust. While it bakes, make a simple filling; bake again. Cool, cut, share (and sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top if you like). Be prepared to share the recipe.

Luscious Lemon Bars

For crust: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/8 tsp. salt cup confectioner's sugar 1 stick (8 Tbs.) butter, melted but not hot

For filling: 2 large eggs cup sugar 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour 6 Tbs. juice from 2 lemons 2 tsps. finely grated lemon zest

Steps:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Fit an 8-inch by 16-inch piece of heavy-duty foil across pan bottom and up the 2 sides as foil overhangs to pull bars from the pan. Spray foil with vegetable cooking spray.

Mix flour, salt, confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl; stir in butter to form dough. Press dough into pan bottom (the bottom of a measuring cup dipped in flour helps). Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes.

While pastry bakes, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl.

Remove pan from oven. Add lemon mixture and continue to bake until just set, about 20 minutes longer; let cool in pan for a few minutes and then using foil handles, pull bars from pan and set on a wire rack. Cool until room temperature. Cut into squares and serve.

YIELD: 16 small bars

Per serving: 143 calories, 20g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 0g dietary fiber, 78mg sodium

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Meet Pam Anderson and her daughters, Maggy and Sharon, together known as Three Many Cooks. Pam and the girls are contributing editors who write our CookSmart column. Check out their blog threemanycooks.com.