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My daughters and I were sitting in a waiting room, and on television was a woman sharing her recipe for lemon bars and feeding them to a crew of construction workers. The next morning, Pioneer Woman scrolls across my Facebook newsfeed with the status, “Here are the lemon bars I made on television yesterday.” I looked at the description of the episode, and it was the same one we’d seen. Coincidence? I don’t know, but you don’t have to say “lemon bar” twice. It was Father’s Day, and I was prowling for a dessert idea. Caveat, the recipe was not gluten free. I looked around online to find a similar, but gluten and dairy free recipe, but didn’t find one I liked quite as much. I decided to wing it, simply substituting ingredients, seeing how the dough seemed, and fiddle as necessary.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Using this recipe, I substituted a gluten-free flour blend in the crust (one that includes xanthan gum), and for the butter I used half coconut-oil, half non-hydrogenated dairy-free butter. The crust came together perfectly. The lemon filling required no substitutions. I noticed the filling was a very thin layer compared to the crust, but according to the recipe, that’s how Pioneer Woman likes her lemon bars. By the time they were out of the oven, the kitchen smelled so good that we couldn’t want to try them. After letting them cool, we sliced them up and bit in. YUM. They didn’t even need powdered sugar on top. The only thing I recommend? Make them when you’re about to see friends or family, because you’ll want to eat all of these yourself. They lemon was just right, not overpowering or tart, and the thick, cookie-like crust was just sweet enough. This is definitely one we’ll be making again! Perfectly portable for your summer excursion.

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