A chewy, fudgy white chocolate brownie base + a tangy, creamy lemon bar filling = lemon bar white chocolate brownies. And they’re next-level amazing.
These lemon bar white chocolate brownies definitely fall into the category of recipes I wish I could make you make. Like, today. No delays. ASAP.
They are next-level delicious! I am a huge lemon dessert fan, and these are easily on my top favorite lemon desserts of all time list.
The combination of the soft and chewy white chocolate brownie-blondie bar with the bright and zesty classic lemon bar filling is so insanely good, these should come with a warning label: must get them out of house ASAP.
White Chocolate for the Win
White chocolate, more often than not, annoys me. I really don’t like it. Unless it is melted and incorporated into something. Like these stellar recipes:
Thanks to the white chocolate that is melted in the base of these ultra-chewy brownies*, I just don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied with an old school shortbread crust for lemon bars again.
*let’s not spend our precious time debating about whether these are technically “brownies” or not.
The simple white chocolate brownie base starts with…you got it…white chocolate and butter.
Since white chocolate chips are notoriously bad melters, I always stick with the white chocolate baking bars. NOT almond bark or candy coating.You want real, live white chocolate.
The Ghirardelli white chocolate bars are pretty readily available in my small town grocery store right above the chocolate chips.
At first, the butter and white chocolate mixture will act like it doesn’t want to come together, but with a little aggressive whisking, it will.
Into the batter goes the sugar, eggs, vanilla and fresh lemon zest. Don’t skimp on that!
Are you loving the one-bowl aspect of this recipe so far? I am too! Don’t worry, we’re about to crash that party pretty quick.
But for now, the flour, baking powder and salt get mixed in. The batter is soft and spreadable but still a bit thick. Slather it evenly in the bottom of a foil-lined metal baking pan. Foil = easy cleanup.
And then bake the crust until just barely set, about 18-20 minutes.
It’s bright and fresh and creamy and perfect. And it’s really easy.
Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, sugar, flour and lemon zest. And then pour it over the baked and still-warm crust. At this point, it should feel like a regular day at the office making a glorious pan of lemon bars.
Now, I’m just speaking truth here, but when the bars come out of the oven, they kind of look a mess. A little splotchy. Some bubbles. And if your oven racks for some odd reason aren’t completely level like mine (apparently), the filling may be a little thin on the edges or skewed to one side.
We don’t stress about those things around here. We champion the wins. And we also champion what we learn from life lesson #49: powdered sugar fixes all the things.
Powdered Sugar Tips
As the bars cool, the warm filling sets up to a pudding-like, lemon curd consistency. And before you serve them, you’re going to dust the guts out of the bars with powdered sugar.
One thing to remember is that the powdered sugar melts into the top of the bars the longer it sits, so dust the bars with powdered sugar right before serving.
I’m not entirely sure the pictures do these magical little bars the justice they deserve.
But if you’re a fan of lemon bars in any form (or if you love desserts like these epic lemonies), you should probably put these lemon bar white chocolate brownies into your baking schedule. Today would not be too soon.
Cut them into small squares or larger, more ambitious servings. On a platter, they can easily be picked up and eaten out of hand, but it’s totally ok to plate them and dig in with a fork, too.
Honestly, don’t overthink the details. Just make them.
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons, 6 ounces) butter (I use salted)
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped (see note)
1 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Lemon Bar Layer:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups (9.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4-5 lemons)
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan (I use metal) with foil (for easier cleanup). Grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
For the white chocolate brownies, combine the butter and white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1-minute increments, stirring in between, until smooth.
Stir in the granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix until evenly and well-combined. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder until smooth.
Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the brownies are just slightly set but still soft in the center.
For the lemon bar layer, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour until smooth and well-combined.
Pour the lemon mixture over the top of the warm white chocolate brownies. Return to the oven and bake until the lemon layer is set, about 18-20 minutes. It’s ok if there are bubbles on the surface of the lemon layer. They won’t look very pretty coming out of the oven but they’ll get pretty in just a sec.
Let the bars cool completely in the pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, dust the top of the bars with powdered sugar. Cut into squares and serve immediately (the powdered sugar melts into the bars the longer they sit, so dust only when ready to serve).
White Chocolate: white chocolate chips are notoriously bad melters. So I recommend using the white bar chocolate (NOT candy coating or almond bark) for this recipe. I can easily find the Ghirardelli brand at my local grocery store (right above the chocolate chips).
Lemon Juice: fresh lemon juice makes all the difference and will produce a much brighter flavor than bottled lemon juice.
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Recipe Source: adapted from Food Network magazine Jan/Feb 2020
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