Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars

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Lemon is one of my favorite things on the planet.  It spans all meal parts, snacks, drinks, soaps, lotion… anything seems to be a little better with a bit of lemon. Lemon usually doesn’t get the chance to be the true star of a treat and that’s what makes lemon bars so great.  Lemon is the whole point and I love it. These lemon bars get lightened up with some greek yogurt (another favorite of mine) and the outcome is awesome.  These won’t exactly set like a lemon bar or a cheesecake (best eaten with a fork) so make sure you slice them when they are nice and chilled and store them in the fridge (these can definitely be made ahead- up to five days).

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You’ll need (I actually doubled this recipe but you get the idea):

For the Crust:

  • 0.75 cups (85 grams) graham cracker crumbs (about 6 full graham cracker sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 0.75 cup full fat greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (from roughly 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan.
  2.  Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Press into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth, roughly 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in yogurt like you mean it. Beat in eggs and egg yolk until combined. Beat in sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until everything is combined- no lumps!
  4. Pour filling onto the crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center of the bars no longer jiggles.  Allow the bars to cool at room temperature set on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for at least 4 hours.  You want them to be really chilled when you slice, you also want to wipe your knife clean between each slice so you get nice and neat squares.

 Inspired by SallysBakingAddiction

 

 

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