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Home | Blog | (12 Days of Holiday Sweets) Day One: . . .

(12 Days of Holiday Sweets) Day One: Lemon Bars

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December 1, 2011

Welcome to December! I can't quite believe it's here, can you?

For the next 12 days, I'm posting recipes that make the holiday season sweeter. These are my 12 Days of Holiday Sweets and Treats.* And at the end? There's a sweet little surprise for you.

*I know that the traditional 12 Days of Christmas run from Christmas Day to the Epiphany but I thought this would be fun.

Gluten-Free Lemon Bars

Sure a tall, icy glass of lemonade makes summer sweeter but I really love citrus in winter. These lemon bars are great made with lemon, of course, but they also work with any tart citrus. Try the bars with grapefruit or lime juice.

If you plan to give these as gifts, cut them into squares and separate the bars with a little square of parchment paper to keep them from sticking.


Non-stick cooking spray

For the Crust
2 ounces (1/2 cup) white rice flour
1.25 ounces (1/4 cup) sweet rice flour
1.25 ounces (1/4 cup) cornstarch
1.25 ounces (1/3 cup) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons water
For the Filling
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
Zest of one lemon, about 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons white rice flour
Confectioners' sugar for dusting, optional


  1. Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray eight-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line pan with two pieces of parchment paper. (Paper should crisscross in the pan and overhang the edges by about two inches.)
  2.  In bowl of food processor, combine white rice flour, sweet rice flour, cornstarch, confectioner's sugar and xanthan gum. Pulse to combine. Add butter. Pulse until no large pieces of butter remain. Add water. Pulse until water is absorbed and dough forms, about 45 seconds of long pulses. (At first dough will be sandy. Keep pulsing until it comes together.)
  3. Turn dough out onto counter. Press into a ball.
  4. Press dough evenly into prepared pan. (To make this easy, I divide my dough in four pieces and place one piece in each corner of the pan. I then press the dough down and toward the center of the pan until the pan is evenly covered by the dough.) Chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake crust until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
  6. Prepare the filling While crust is baking, rub sugar and lemon zest together in medium bowl.
  7. When crust is golden brown, remove pan from oven. Set aside on a wire rack. Add eggs, lemon juice, and white rice flour to granulated sugar. Whisk until smooth. Pour over crust. Return pan to oven. Bake until filling is set and does not jiggle, about 12 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Chill bars for two hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator. Lift bars, using parchment paper as an aid, out of pan. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired. Cut into squares.
Makes 8-12 bars






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