Strawberry Lemon Bars


For the macerated strawberries

1 1/2 - 2 pounds Strawberries

4 tablespoons Granulated sugar

For the For the bars

1 cup 2 sticks Unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups Granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 Large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla bean paste

2 lemons Zest and juice

3 cups scooped then leveled flour

For the glaze

1 cup Confectioner's sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons Milk

Macerate the strawberries:
Hull and slice the strawberries in half. Sprinkle sugar over the berries. Stir with a spatula and set aside for one hour.

Bake the batter:
Preheat the over to 350. Spray a 9" x 13" dish and line with parchment.
Cream butter, sugar, lemon zest, and salt until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time and mix well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add lemon juice and vanilla bean paste. Mix to combine.
Add flour in two parts, mixing until combined. Remove from mixer and fold to incorporate any dry bits that remain in the bowl.
The batter is a bit stiff and not very pourable. Measure 3 1/2 cups of batter and drop into pan. Smooth and even out.
Take spoonfuls of macerated strawberries and drop into the pan. Drizzle 6-8 tablespoons of strawberry syrup that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.
Drop random spoonfuls of remaining batter over the strawberries.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the top is a golden brown and the strawberries are bubbling. Remove pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely before galzing.

Make the glaze::
In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time and mix with a whisk.
Cut the bars into squares and drizzle glaze over the bars. Top with a strawberry half.
Makes 24 large bars.
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