Crumbly Lemon Crème Bars 16.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

This recipe comes from medal-winning U.S. volleyball player Lauren Gibbemeyer, and it combines the sweet-tart creaminess of lemon filling with a sturdy rolled-oats cookie base.

Make Ahead: The bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

16 bars

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 16 bars

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking or instant)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 or 3 lemons)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with a little butter.

Whisk together the flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add both sugars, stirring until no clumps remain.

Stir the vanilla extract into the melted butter, then pour this mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until you have evenly moistened the crumbs. Sprinkle half the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan, gently pressing it into an even layer. Bake (middle rack) for 15 minutes, then transfer the pan to a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

Whisk together the condensed milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth and well combined. Pour it over the warm, par-baked crumb crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle it evenly with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake (middle rack) for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature (about an hour). Once cool, cover and refrigerate for another hour, then cut into 16 squares (trimming the edges, if desired).

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Hungry Fan's Game Day Cookbook: 165 Recipes for Eating, Drinking & Watching Sports," by Daina Falk (Oxmoor House, 2016).

Tested by Danielle Newman.

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