lemon crunch bars

Remember when I made the ginger crunch bars?
Me too.
Those were so good.
Actually I had kept them in the back of my mind to re-create with a new flavor.
And finally that new flavor hit me: lemon!
Lemon is the perfect match for these buttery, sweet, crunchy critters.
Seriously, you need to give these a go, and if you can get your hands on Meyer lemons then please do so.
I know you're going to ask me what can I use instead of golden syrup?
I just don't know, as golden syrup is really the perfect base for the glaze here because is thickens up as it cools.
Please invest in a small can of golden syrup, it's not that pricey and a little bit goes a long long way.
As I type this post up, I am thinking in the back of my head how I can sneak in another bar without ruining my gym workout.  I promised my doctor he and his wife would get this tomorrow, but I don't know if there will be any left!
They are that good. Thin, crispy, buttery, and full of lemon flavor.
Isn't that yellow color pretty too?  That would make a fabulous wallpaper color for a second bathroom.
Mix the lemon zest with the sugar and the lemon juice; let it sit a bit to marinate.
Make sure to push the dough down in all the little nooks of the tart pan.
Time for a glaze bath.
Note: I only used half the glaze for this and saved the other half for a cake, muffin or loaf.
The glaze is sweet and very tangy, so you only need a little bit.

lemon crunch bars
adapted from here and here

cook notes:
I used an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom. 
You could use another size/shape tart pan with removable bottom.

cookie base
9 TB unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 ts baking powder
a huge pinch of sea salt
zest of 2 lemons
juice of ½ a lemon

5 TB unsalted butter
2 TB golden syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter and/or spray up an 8 or 9-inch square tart pan.
You can use a stand mixer—I mixed by hand. 
In a small bowl, put in the sugar, add in the lemon zest and lemon juice, mix, set aside.
In a large bowl cream the butter and the seasoned sugar until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until well combined. Turn the dough out onto the pan and spread it out, making sure to get into all the corners.  It’s not a sticky dough, so this part should be relatively easy.  The dough is a bit crumbly/dry—don’t panic. 
Bake the dough for 18-20 minutes, until it’s light golden brown or if you want really crunchy then golden brown (I did somewhere in between).
When the dough is almost done baking, make the icing by heating the butter and golden syrup over low heat in a small pan; add in the powdered sugar and lemon zest.  Keep stirring until it’s all smooth. Take off heat.
Once the cookie dough is done baking pour the icing over the top (I used about ¾ to ½ the glaze and save the rest for a bread).  When smoothing out the icing try not to let it get into the edges.  You want the edges to be seen as it gives a nice decorative appeal when it’s all cooled.
Let this sit for at least 30 minutes to let the icing harden up/set up. 
If your kitchen is hot, then pop in the fridge.
Use a sharp knife to slice into bars or squares.


  1. Oh how yummy yummy yummy :) I find myself baking very little because I just can't leave it alone when I eat it. These would be a big problem for me and everyone else. Me because I'd eat them all by myself and everyone else because they wouldn't get any!

  2. Mmmm for lemon desserts. So delish! I love tgat they have a nice crunch too!!

  3. Oh I can almost FEEL the snap as I take an imaginary bite out of them :) They look wonderful!

  4. I saw your preview photo yesterday - excited to have the recipe. I love lemon, these look amazing!

  5. Golden syrup is the nectar of the gods - lemons are their fruit. Which means you are a goddess. I must have these bars! xo

  6. These look amazing! I have to ask, though.....what is golden syrup?

    1. there is a link above and here is a bio of it:

  7. Perfect summer (or anytime) treat!

  8. I would have a very hard time sharing these beauties. I have a massive weakness for lemon desserts. They look incredible Dawn.

  9. I love chocolate but lemony desserts are my true weakness! They somehow are so light tasting that they never feel like too much...these would definitely be a danger in my apartment but one that I'm willing to risk!

  10. Oh man, that looks unreal, plus I've been craving lemon lately. Plus, plus I could make them in my sisters kitchen and not have to clean up! Heh.

  11. This looks delicious and would love to try it, not sure if can get the golden syrup around here but will try. But one question please, why the heck would you make double the amount of the glaze if you are only using half of it for this recipe.... I guess its fine IF you are already planning to bake something else anyway and would use it for something else but if just making these squares what do you do with the leftover glaze? :)

    1. Hi Cathy!
      First off it's not my recipe, I didn't create it, so when I went forth with the recipe I found out that I didn't need as much.
      So I wanted to pass it all along to everyone.
      And as I mentioned in the post above, the leftover glaze is fabulous on a loaf of lemon bread, muffins, cupcakes, etc... Keeps well in the fridge for a couple days until you decide what to do with it.
      I hope this helps you??

  12. These look so delicious and refreshing! Lemon desserts are one of my favorite flavors!

  13. Ooooh! Thank you for this recipe! Everyone loved the ginger crunch bars and I think they will like the lemon even more. And agreed on the wallpaper color.

  14. I've always wondered about golden syrup! I guess I'll have to keep my eyes open...

    Love the soft yellow of these bars!

  15. These look super tasty! I absolutely love golden syrup and use it in my baking all the time.

  16. a lemon lover would probably do backflips for these!

  17. I need these - they look perfect!!

  18. holy crap, yum. i haven't played around too much with my lyle's, but this sure makes me want to get busy in the kitchen :)

  19. When you posted this a week or two ago all I could think about was making them. I looked up where to get Lyle's and World Market was the only place by me. Then I was there this weekend and thought, Hmm, I know I need something here but what is it? I saw a bottle of coconut syrup which made me remember it was the Lyle's golden syrup. But then I couldn't remember what the recipe was! I searched through Google Reader (help me come July 1) but your RSS feed didn't have enough of the recipe to pull up the golden syrup. But scrolled through ALL my recipes and found it, hooray!! Can't wait to make these!

  20. Hi! Hope you read this.. This looks delicious! Would like to make them but was wondering how long you can keep these outside of a refrigerator? Was planning to make them on Wednesday but they have to hold for a week or so. Is that possible?

    1. an whole week? is that correct?
      yikes I just don't think they will make it.
      I was thinking (haven't tried this yet), maybe you could make the dough, press it into pan, put in ziplock bag, get all the air out, and freeze it, then bake just before your event? Maybe?

    2. Thanks for your swift reply. No that won't be possible. I have to make and bring them on Wednesday, they will be tasted on Friday, and then sold in the next three or four days. I will be making Moroccan cookies and they hold for weeeeeks if stored properly (cool and dry). Was wondering if that would be possible with these because of the butterglazing but guess not.. :( I'll just have to eat these all by myself then and make something else for the event. :p Thanks!!

  21. What is powdered sugar? I am in Australia so what would be our version of that

    1. confectioners sugar.
      a powdered sugar, don't know the name of it in australia

    2. Icing sugar would be what you would use.

  22. Oh my! Wish I didn't have to order Lyles from Amazon. Will trader joes carry it?


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