Lemon Bars with Candied Lemons XOXO’s

Lemon Bars with Candied Lemons Wow, just wow.  The minute I hit Hugs and Cookies XOXO’s website I felt like I was at the fun-est and tastiest house on the block.  Danielle is obviously an energetic mum, 1st grade teacher and she loooooves sweets and baking. And she’s my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month.

If any of you know me, you know I don’t do sweets and I begrudgingly do baking.  If I bake something sweet I really have to have a wild hair. I’m more savory and sassy unlike Danielle who is sweet, and well, sweet.

At first I thought about making a savory dish from her site, she does have some savory food.  But I thought I wouldn’t be doing her justice if I didn’t choose one of the many, many, many, sweet options.  I started browsing her categories, thinking I ‘d try a favorite of hers.  Did you know that she has 166, yes I said 166 posts on decorated cookies!  Since I have the patience of an ADHD kid on energy drinks I certainly wasn’t going to get myself into a decorating cooking situation.

Scrolling, scrolling and then the heavens opened up and the angels sang.  I saw the category “Lemon”.  It is no secret that I have an affinity for all things lemony, and citrusy in general.  After that, it became a no brainer.  I had to make lemon bars!

Candied Lemons ©Rhonda Adkins-2

Because most recipes aren’t lemony enough for me, I upped the lemon ante by increasing the lemon juice, adding some lemon zest to the custard and topping it off with none other than a candied lemon slice.  Oh the lemon haven that I created (thanks to Danielle).  I also put the bars in a 9×9 pan versus a 9×13 since I like a thick, sink my teeth into lemon bar.

Special note: If you make the candied lemons, which you totally should, save the simple syrup (see note on recipe).

I took these bars to a meeting of the Great Falls Downtown Chicks Association.  I heard quotes like “Oh my God”, “these are the best lemon bars I’ve ever had, no really, they are”.  What didn’t get eaten was gladly whisked away to their homes to share (or maybe not).  It was my first time attending an association meeting and I have to say that I (the lemon bars) made a great impression.

Candied Lemons ©Rhonda Adkins-1

Danielle has every kind of treat recipe you’d ever hope for, so stop on by.  And don’t forget to check out all of the other SRC reveals.


Lemon Bars
Yields 24
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
  1. 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 2/3 cups organic powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
  3. 12 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  1. 4 eggs, room temperature
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  4. Zest of lemons
  5. ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar, add flour, and salt. Mix until it becomes uniformly crumbly. Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment paper. Pat the crust mixture into the lined pan evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or just until the edges turn a light golden brown, remove and set aside.
  2. Filling: In a larger mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add eggs, sugar, lemon juice, zest and flour. Mix until smooth and homogenous. Pour onto baked crust. Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator until set.
  3. Remove from pan and cut into squares or triangles. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with candied lemon slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  1. Do not make the custard to soon, wait until the crust is done. The lemon can start to “cook” your eggs and you will get an unpleasant result.
  2. Danielle recommends for a Gluten Free version use BETTER BATTER FLOUR in place of all-purpose flour.
Adapted from Hugs and Cookies XOXO
Adapted from Hugs and Cookies XOXO
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/


Candied Lemons
Yields 16
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
24 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
24 hr
  1. 2 organic lemons, washed
  2. 2 cups water for boiling
  3. ice water bath
  4. 2 cups raw cane sugar
  5. 1 cup water
  6. 1/2 cup granulated or crystallized sugar
  1. Cut the lemons into thin slices (not too thin or else they tear apart too easily) removing seeds and the ends. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and blanch the lemon slices for about 5 minutes. Drain the lemon slices and plunge them into a bath of ice water. Drain. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a large saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add the lemon slices. Let simmer (don’t boil) for an hour (you can simmer as much as 2 hours). Remove slices from hot sugar syrup and set on a cooling rack over a baking sheet to dry for 1 hour. Place a ½ cup or so of sugar in a shallow bowl and coat both sides of the slices. Return to cooling rack. Let dry 12 to 24 hours (place in front of a fan if you want to speed up the drying time).
  1. I highly recommend using organic lemons, since you'll be eating the lemon peel and all.
  2. Yellow crystallized sugar makes a beautiful candied lemon coating.
  3. Save the simple syrup, add 3/4 water and mix well. Perfect for other uses.
Adapted from Martha Stewert
Adapted from Martha Stewert
The Kitchen Witch http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/

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37 Responses to Lemon Bars with Candied Lemons XOXO’s

  1. Veronica March 18, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    You really did Danielle justice with these bars because she loves to take recipes over the top, and you did that with the candied lemon slices. That was such a brilliant move-it really adds to the beauty of the bars–love that vibrant yellow! I make lemon bars at least once a year and these will be the next recipe I try, probably for Easter. My SIL loves lemon anything and she would love me to bring them for Easter!

  2. Debra March 18, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    I received Danielle for one of my early SRC assignments and her oreo brownies that I made and posted is one of my most hit posts. You did her proud with these beauties. Hopefully all those blossoms on my lemon tree will produce something this year. If not, I will seek out Meyer lemons in the produce aisle! 🙂

    (I LOVE your candied lemon pictures!)

    • Debra March 18, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      And so far, I have counted at least five lemony dessert posts this month. Great minds…..

      • Giggles March 18, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        I know, it must be the spring thing…well for everyone else. Me, I do lemons any time.

    • Giggles March 18, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      I’ve got a few lemons on my tree but they haven’t ripened. I’ve been giving my tree a water spritz 2 to 3 times a week and it seems to like it. It actually bloomed again!

      The candied lemon photos were just for fun…gettin a little artsy fartsy on the food photos.

  3. Melissa March 18, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Delicious! I love the addition of the candied lemon slices!

    • Giggles March 18, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Melissa, I wondered why I never thought of it before, they look beautiful and taste great! Although you do have to plan ahead and that would be one reason I wouldn’t get them done.

  4. Jen @JuanitasCocina March 18, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Lemons are like crack to me. Must turn away…

    • Giggles March 18, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Jen, you are obviously a soul sistah!

  5. A Couple in the Kitchen March 18, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    Ha! Lots of lemon bars today, including ours. But I have to admit, yours are the prettiest!

  6. Liz March 18, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I love Danielle’s blog, too, and must have missed her lemon bars! Yours look phenomenal!!!

  7. gloria March 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I love lemons bars!!

  8. Deanna Segrave-Daly March 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Love that there are a few lemon bar recipes this month but they are all unique. I’m with you – can’t get enough lemon flavor and love your addition of the candied lemon.

  9. Aimee @ Chickenville March 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Danielle is the sweetest, I agree! Beautiful lemon photos.

  10. HUGS & COOKIES XOXO March 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    I Just WISH you could see the huge smile on my face right now after reading this beautiful post!!! I am honored that you loved the recipe and what kind words you wrote-thank you!! I MUST try these asap with your lemon slices-awesome idea!!! xoxo

    • Giggles March 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      I had a great time looking at your site, glad that I could do you justice.

  11. Toni March 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    OMG!!! Those are some of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen! I bet they taste as good as they look. Rhonda, you are fabulous!!

  12. Janice March 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Boy oh boy, Rhonda, you chose the best recipe to feature and then upleveled it to perfection with your gorgeous photographs and great sense of humor.

  13. Manu March 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    These look great and I LOVE the candied lemons! They look so pretty! I will definitely give them a go!
    Rhonda, I was thrilled to have your blog this month and loved the recipe I picked (and many more I have bookmarked)! 🙂

    • Giggles March 19, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Manu, so happy that you got my blog, it’s great to have the love reciprocated!

  14. Denise Browning@From Brazil To You March 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Gorgeous pictures!!!!!!! I love lemon bars and yours look luscious and very, very delicious. The candied lemon on top added a special touch to them indeed.

    • Giggles March 19, 2013 at 9:19 am #

      Thank you so much, I think my undying love for lemons comes through in my photography!

  15. Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} March 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    What a great recipe and looks super tasty. Love the addition of the candied lemon. Glad to be part of SRC group C with you!

    • Giggles March 19, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Lisa, glad to be a part of Group C with you also.

  16. veronica gantley March 19, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    OH MY!! This looks so good, look at all the wonderful ingredients. It must have such a depth in flavor. Delish!!

    • Giggles March 19, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Truly, it doesn’t get much lemon-ier than this.

  17. Feast on the Cheap March 19, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I just, as in 20 minutes ago, bought a bunch of Meyer lemons at Whole Foods with no recipe in mind. Obviously it’s a sign

  18. Karen March 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    LOVE lemon bars, love the idea of garnishing with candied lemons!

  19. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen March 20, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Oh yum, I love lemon bars – yours look delicious!

  20. Ron March 20, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Wow! Really looks fantastic! I love lemon desserts

    • Giggles March 20, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Thanks Ron, lemon desserts are some of the best.

  21. Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow Rhonda you did such a great job with these bars. My mouth is watering now. I’ll have to give them a try soon.

    • Giggles March 21, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      Thanks Nancy, its the candied lemons that make them special. So glad I put that little extra effort in.

  22. Gloria - The Ginger Snap Girl March 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Wow is right when it comes to Danielle’s blog! I had her recently and was blown away by all the decadent treats.

    A good lemon bar is hard to come by. Sounds like this one made you a few new friends! Nice touch with the gorgeous candied lemon slices.

    • Giggles March 21, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      I totally agree that a good lemon bar is hard to come by! Nothing like bribing people with food!

  23. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) March 24, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Great choice! Those lemon bars look incredible. And great photos Rhonda. I need a touch of spring-ie goodness with the foot of snow we have on the ground.

  24. Feast on the Cheap June 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    These look so insanely delicious! Your blog just gets more and more beautiful Rhonda