IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Kathie Lee Gifford's favorite lemon bars

Kathie Lee Gifford's favorite lemon bars
Brian Doben


  • 2 cups loosely packed all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more to garnish
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 9 egg yolks, plus 3 whole eggs, size large
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 plump lemons, zested and juiced (zest of 1 lemon used in crust)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces

Chef notes

Kathie Lee is letting people into her home, life and faith through her new book, "The Good Gifts: One Year in the Heart of a Home." In it, she chronicles the 20th anniversary of life in the Giffords' home with recipes, memories and scripture. One of those recipes is lemon bars.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan, or spray with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper so that it extends 1" over each long edge of pan.


Place flour, confectioners' sugar, salt and zest of 1 lemon in food processor and process briefly. Add butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, not yet forming a ball. Transfer to prepared pan and press into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Set aside in a cool place until filling is made.


In a large non-reactive saucepan, whisk together yolks and eggs until combined. Whisk in sugar, 1 ½ cups lemon juice, remaining zest and pinch of salt. [Any leftover lemon juice can be frozen for future use.] Place butter pieces in a large glass or other non-reactive bowl and set aside.


Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Allow mixture to come to a very gentle simmer, whisking constantly.


Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine mesh strainer into the glass bowl with the butter. Use a clean, flat spatula to press the filling through the strainer, leaving the pieces of zest behind. Scrape all the filling from the outside of the strainer into the bowl, and discard the zest inside the strainer.


At this point, put the crust in the oven and bake until light golden brown, 20-25 minutes.


Whisk the lemon filling and butter together well, until smooth and shiny.


When crust is a light golden brown all over, remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 300`F. Pour the still warm filling over the hot crust and return to the oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until the edges are beginning to bubble and the center jiggles only slightly. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.


Once cool, bars can be cut into squares. Or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before cutting. Dust with confectioners' sugar right before serving.