Meyer Lemon Yogurt Squares

Lemon Yogurt Bars new post red

Lemon Yogurt Squares contain a whole Meyer lemon (including the rind) for extreme flavor.

Have you tried Meyer lemons yet? The tartness of a lemon + the sweetness of a tangerine = a Meyer lemon. Perfect for these lemon squares. They’re in season from January to April, so act fast.  Otherwise, you can use regular lemons.

Over at Will Write for Food (an interesting website about the art of food blogging), Dianne J. recently hosted a lively discussion concerning what constitutes an adapted or inspired recipe, an original recipe and outright stealing. After testing and tweaking these bar cookies at least 4-5 times, I’d like to think this recipe is all mine but I actually borrowed ideas from many places.

  1. The crust is adapted from the shortbread cookie base in Pam Anderson’s The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight & Eating Great (one of my favorite cookbooks). Can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed this recipe. You’ve seen it before in my Toffee Bars Made Easy and you’ll be seeing it again
  2. I read about lemon grass bars in a recent issue of Bon Appetit. They added coconut to the shortbread base so I did it too. Wow!  If you’re a coconut lover or even if you’re not, don’t miss this one.
  3. Dorie Greenspan gave me the idea to use a blender to pulverize a whole lemon in her recipe for Tartest Lemon Tart published in Baking From My House to Yours. Sure beats grating lemon rind and I’m more than happy to skip squeezing lemons with their nosy seeds.
  4. I wanted a creamy lemon layer as opposed to a clear, lemon pie-like filling. Since I always have nonfat Greek yogurt in the refrigerator, it turned out to be the perfect addition to these lemon cookies.

My co-workers have been bugging me for this recipe for some time now so here it is as promised.  Since I’m pretty sure you won’t find it anywhere else, print and save it.  It’ll be a treat for the lemon lovers in your life.

 

lemon yogurt bars storyboard shortbread layer_edited-1

Preparing 8-inch pan with nonstick aluminum foil

 

lemon yogurt bars storyboard lemon layer_edited-1

A blender is necessary to get the smoothest mixture possible.

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Squares
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lemon Bars with a coconut shortbread base and a creamy lemon layer over the top. Uses the entire lemon (minus seeds)--no grating or squeezing required.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 squares
Ingredients
Shortbread Base
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
Lemon Layer
  • 1 whole Meyer lemon (may substitute a medium-size regular lemon)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
Instructions
  1. Prepare 8-inch square pan by lining with non-stick foil. Mold foil to shape of pan by turning it over, using hands to shape and then placing molded foil back inside. See pictures above. I highly recommend the foil as the lemon filling can leak under the base and make the finished bars difficult to remove.
  2. Melt butter in microwave for 50 seconds on HIGH in 4 cup or more glass measure. Add flour, powdered sugar, salt, and coconut. Lightly mix with a fork just until all ingredients are moistened. Pat into prepared pan. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
  3. Quarter washed and dried Meyer lemon. Trim center core and remove ALL seeds. (If you miss one, you'll have dark specks in your lemon layer.) Place in blender with sugar and pulse on high until mixture is homogeneous throughout, cleaning the sides often. Add flour, salt, and baking powder, pulsing until mixed. Add eggs and yogurt pulsing only 3-4 times or until batter is just mixed but smooth. Pour lemon mixture over warm crust immediately after removing crust from the oven. Put back into the oven and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until middle is set.
  4. When cool, place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. Pull bars out of pan with foil still attached. Peel foil away and cut into squares while cold. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. Serve chilled. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Notes
* Do not layer bars when storing or serving. The crust will soften where they are stacked on top of each other. * Regular lemons may be substituted for Meyer lemons but the taste will be a bit more tart--still very good.

 

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{ 152 comments… read them below or add one }

Sondra Payne March 31, 2011 at 7:02 am

We love lemon bars!! This recipe sounds fabulous. I will give it a try.
This summer we are going on a road trip. My loving husband, our three year old daughter, our 16 month old son, and myself are driving to North Dakota to see family. Thank God for the in car DVD player and of course all the Barney & Dora DVD’s we will have to bring to keep kids happy .

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carolyn March 31, 2011 at 7:15 am

This is the first year of retirement and I plan to learn how to say no when my former employer calls me to come in and work extra,( if she can find me on the lake or in the garden). Carolyn

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Jeanine - the Baking Beauties March 31, 2011 at 7:28 am

Oh, what a beauty! Both the bars and the blender. And, well, I really need a new blender for the iced coffees I’ll be making this summer (fingers are crossed!).
We go camping in the summer, and can not wait to head out again. The beach, the hiking, the camp fires, it’s all fantastic family time.

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Pam Clifford March 31, 2011 at 7:55 am

These sound yummy…but I’d need to win the blender, so please consider this my entry if you can.

Hope to get lots of yard re-work done this summer. To be 79 here on Saturday, so we should get a start on it then! Yay, Spring!!!

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Pam March 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

Can’t wait to try this recipe. As excited as you are about the Meyer lemon, that’s how I feel about using some of my homemade Greek yogurt for this recipe. It sounds SO GOOD! I also like that the finished product is a creamy filling rather than a clear pie-like filling. I am not familiar with the Meyer lemon but am going into a larger city today for errands — will check at the grocery store there. Thanks!

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Pam March 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Found them! Now I am even more excited about this recipe! Making them tomorrow.

This summer, I’ll be expanding the vegetable garden with Earthboxes. It will be a new experience. Also, will be getting around to yardwork and landscaping after renovating the inside of our home for . . . FOREVER! (Actually a little over a year, but it feels like forever.) Ready to get outside.

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Valerie March 31, 2011 at 8:54 am

I developed my love of lemon bars from my mom – she’ll love this recipe! For fun this summer, I’ll be camping with the family in Missouri! Yea!

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Rebecca March 31, 2011 at 8:54 am

Absolutely making these this weekend!!!! This summer some time will be spent in upstate New York on a lake. A whole week to totally relax.

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Susan March 31, 2011 at 9:00 am

What a great prize and great recipe. I love iced coffees..sot his blender would be just great. I’m looking forward to planting flowers and a garden and watching it grow. I also enjoy watching and feeding the birds..

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Myra March 31, 2011 at 9:05 am

You had me at Meyer Lemon Squares. I’m dreaming of summer here in Chicago where Spring has yet to arrive. But this summer we plan to explore our new city and go the the beach (even though I’m sure Lake Michigan will still be quite cold). I’m also planning to get in some good cuddle time with my new nephew who should arrive any day now.

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TheKitchenWitch March 31, 2011 at 9:07 am

I’ve made those coconut-lemon bars before from Bon Appetit–weren’t they amazing! Me love da lemon!

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Becky March 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

I’ve been following silently for awhile now, but lemon bars are my favorite thing ever. They remind me of summer! Unfortunately, I don’t do well in the sun, so I don’t spend too much time out doors here in VA, but my boyfriend and I are planning to visit somewhere cool, (literally and conceptually) which will be my first time out of the state! I’m so excited. :)

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Janell March 31, 2011 at 9:13 am

I can’t wait to try these lemon bars. I think the addition of coconut to the crust is genius!

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Jackie E. March 31, 2011 at 9:24 am

I really really love lemon squares! Will try this very soon!

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Lissa March 31, 2011 at 9:32 am

I’m dreaming about going up to our lake house in the summer! We’re in MI so it’s cold here too, but come 85 and sunny in the summer, we’re packing up and going north every weekend possible!

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Melissa Hayes March 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

Anything lemon is wonderful in my world! Can’t wait to try these.
This summer I plan to camp at least once or twice with my husband and two sons. I grew up camping in the summer. My husband isn’t much of a camper but will give it a try. The family time around the fireplace, daily explorations through the woods and fishing is what we’re after!

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Tracey March 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

I am taking my 5yr old daughter on her first plane trip. We are going to Colorado to visit all my frineds from the 7yrs I lived there. Can’t wait to see all of you and you too Colorado.

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Brittany March 31, 2011 at 10:09 am

Lemon has never been my favorite dessert flavoring, but my mom loves it! Maybe I’ll make these for her when I visit this summer. :)

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Jana March 31, 2011 at 10:09 am

I found your blog on Blog Catalog and I am so glad I did! I absolutely love your blog and will definitely be back for more. I am sorry about the loss of you father, by the way. Losing Dad, it is a terrible loss.

This summer I am gardening all summer long, I can’t wait. I will be posting photos on my blog at http://www.adoctorandanurse.com as it starts to bloom.

Thanks for this great blog, I am enjoying. Jana

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Carol March 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

I love lemon squares but have never made them. This summer I plan on expanding my garden to grow more organic vegetables, more work but more good safe food!

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Jenn Haynes March 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

These look delicious & thanks for running such a great contest! I am looking forward to a summer full of gardening & laying in the hammock!

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Crystal March 31, 2011 at 10:15 am

I’m taking my mother to Europe for her 60th birthday. She was there 30 years ago and has wanted to go back ever since. It should be a really fun mother-daughter trip!

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Melinda George March 31, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks for the great lemon bar recipe…yum! I plan to perfect a blackberry lemonade recipe this summer, just waiting for August until those blackberries in my yard ripen.. Thanks for the contest!

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Krystal Ray March 31, 2011 at 10:19 am

I can’t wait to be in the garden and hopefully make some yummy salsa!

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Amanda March 31, 2011 at 10:38 am

Awesome giveaway! Brett and I were just talking about a new blender because we make smoothies a lot! The only thing we have planned for this summer is our river trip this August. Or, “float trip” according to Billy. If these are the same lemon bars you served a few weeks ago then they are to die for and I don’t even like lemon flavor that much! So glad you posted the recipe.

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Paula March 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Yes, Amanda. These are the same ones.

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Susie March 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

see? B & A want some smoothie recipes too! ARe you inspired to post any? :)

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Nicki March 31, 2011 at 11:00 am

We’ll be finishing our church remodel and going to a camp in Montana this summer. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with these plans.

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Kara March 31, 2011 at 11:24 am

I can’t wait to be able to bike ride outside!!

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Becky March 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I am expanding my vegetable garden this summer. I’ve ordered lots of seeds and I am ready for warmer weather to plant. Thanks for the great recipes, inspiration and giveaway.

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Gina March 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm

These lemon bars look fantastic! I will have to try them soon. I’ve seen Meyer lemons at Wal-mart in the past month or two, so I’ll have to see if they still have them.

I would like to go camping and backpacking more this summer. I want to try to explore some new places in NC. I’ll be doing my family medicine rotation during June & July, so I should have a good schedule. Can’t wait for summer…I’m ready to be done with the cold!

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AngelaB. March 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Oh my goodness these looks so good! Looking forward to trying out the recipe and thanks for the chance tow in blender! :D

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AngelaB. March 31, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I forgot to mention this summer we are attending out 2nd Colorado Camping rally! It will be so fun!!! I love road trips and camping!!!

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Michaela March 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm

This summer I’m moving to California! And into my first apartment! With my first kitchen!!! I would LOVE to have a blender for all the delicious California berries.

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Corbett March 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm

This summer mty baby will be 1! I have visions of going to the park and swinging and sliding down slides. But honestly, I have no idea what we will be doing. It’s that the way it goes with babies!

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Heather Spooner March 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I plan on doing alot of outdoor home improvements. Thank you for the giveaway and delicious lemon bar recipe.

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Sara March 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I found your blog while looking for a greek yogurt recipe and have been exploring the rest of your recipes. These bars looks amazing!

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Elaine March 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

What a delightful recipe. I cannot find Meyer lemons around here and in fact, have never tried one! Today I make two lemon cakes though! This would match my red mixer perfectly!

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Kirsten March 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm

These look delicious! I love all of your recipes; a perfect balance of light and indulgent.

This summer, I am going to Peru! I will be doing research on skeletal remains excavated in the Andes. I’m SO excited but I’m going to miss having a full kitchen at my disposal (well, a full kitchen except for a blender, since mine started smoking when I tried to use it a few weeks back).

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Paula March 31, 2011 at 8:13 pm

“a perfect balance of light and indulgent”—Love this description. What a nice compliment. I’m posting it on my refrigerator. Thanks Kirsten.

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Shari March 31, 2011 at 4:20 pm

This summer I’m planning to spend a couple of months with two of my best friends in the state next door to mine! We all met online almost fifteen years ago and we’ve been best friends ever since. :)

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kate C. March 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I’m going to teach a summer class and hopefully go on a fun vacation!

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Stephanie March 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Lovely lemon squares! Your post reminded me of something Jim Jarmusch, a filmmaker, said: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.'”

Perfectly applicable to matters in the kitchen. :)
Taking things somewhere is what I plan on doing all summer long!

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Paula March 31, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this quote. So true–and so appropriate for this post.

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Dee D. March 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm

wow, that looks so delicious, and easy to make! Yum :)

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Chris M. March 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Starting my first real paying job. THanks.

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Lisa~~ March 31, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Those lemon bars look yummy, I’m going to have to give them a try. This summer I am looking forward to spending lots of time with my daughter while she’s out of school.

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Ashlie March 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm

My hubby loves all things lemon, especially lemon bars. I’ll definetly have to give these a try! Our big excitement this summer with be moving from Indiana to Philadelphia – a new phase of life and an exciting adventure! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway :)

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Connie March 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I love lemon bars! This sounds like a great recipe. Too bad my blender broke (must have made too many margaritas last summer!) Maybe I will win a new one so I can try this recipe out! Thanks!!

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Jill March 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm

These sound and look really delicious. This summer I’ll be putting on shorts (yay!) and doing some work to get the yard in better shape. After some hard work, I’ll be whipping up a batch of margaritas…either in my old blender or maybe a nice new upgraded one!

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Kab March 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I LOVE lemon bars – even though I am usually not much of a fan of lemon! This summer I have a wedding to go to, a family reunion, a trip to NYC… and the bar exam (boo!). So lots going on, hopefully all turns out great.

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Grace March 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm

These lemon bars look amazing and props for making a traditionally butter-filled dessert healthier!

This summer, I’m looking forward to a post-college graduation trip with my friends. We haven’t quite worked out where we’re going yet, but it will definitely be somewhere where we can r-e-l-a-x after these 4 years of craziness :)

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redmenace March 31, 2011 at 8:47 pm

First, I’d say the recipe is all yours. You tweaked it a million times. Second, it sounds delicious. I cannot get Meyer lemons around here and it’s such a bummer. They are simply the best. Third, I want that blender! Mine broke recently sending shards of glass everywhere. Yikes. xo

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Susie March 31, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Highlights of my upcoming summer? Norris Lake & Schlitterbahn!! Cool giveaway! Might this inspire some smoothie recipes? :)

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Marsha March 31, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Mmmmm….lemon AND coconut in the base – can’t get any better! Lemon always brings fond memories of Nana and her Lemon Spongecake. We’re already in shorts…should be 86 tomorrow – yahoo! Looking forward to lots of gardening, BBQ’s, a nephews wedding in NY and side trips to…wherever!

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