Jun 27, 2012

Skinny Honey Lemon Bars



Pucker Up! These sweet and tangy bars are lighter than traditional bars, but are not lacking in flavor! The sweet and tart topping is made from fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and sweetened with honey atop a shortbread crust. Perfect for potlucks, back yard parties and picnics.


I recently found a lightened up Lemon Bar on a blog (I forget which, sorry) that was adapted from America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy Cookbook. I tested it out and further adapted the recipe swapping out ingredients and changing it to my taste and the result was a sweet-tart bar I couldn't resist! I'm really not sure what the original recipe looked like, bit I can tell you I loved how these turned out and I will certainly be making them again..

The only problem with these lemon bars is that I find myself making up excuses as to why I can eat another. I suggest making these only if you have some friends to share them with!





Skinny Honey Lemon Bars 
Skinnytaste.com
Servings:
9 • Serving Size: 1 bar • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories:
172Fat: 6 g • Carbs: 32 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Sugar: 24 g
Sodium:
146 mg

 



For the crust:

  • 6 tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
  • 1 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar, for dusting on top


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lightly spraying the inside of the pan with baking spray before lining it with 2 long sheets of aluminum foil folded to fit inside and placed perpendicular to each other in the pan.  This is so you can get the bars out after they are cooked, so don't skip this step.

Cut the sheets long enough to hang over the sides to use as handles to lift out the baked lemon bars before cutting into squares.  Spray the inside of the foil lined pan with baking spray.



For the crust: In a food processor combine the flours, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and process until well combined.  Add the butter and yogurt to the flour mixture at once and pulse at least a dozen times before turning out into the prepared pan and pressing into an even layer.

Bake until evenly browned about 20-22 minutes.  Cool the crust on a metal rack for at least 15 - 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Prepare the filling by whisking together the eggs, honey, lemon zest, flour and the salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and pour over the cooled crust.  Bake until filling is set, about 22 minutes.  Cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the foil.  Cut into 9 squares and dust with confectioners sugar.




Makes 9 bars.
Can be made a day ahead.

90 comments :

  1. Love these! And since they're skinny I can eat twice as much now, right? :)

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  2. Yum! These look delightful! I love anything lemon:) Also, saw your site (one of my favs!!) in my Fitness magazine this month! Congrats! I have turned on quite a few of my friends to your recipes! They are always fabulous!!! Keep it up!

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  3. These need to make an appearance at my house, soon!!

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  4. Oh, perfect timing -- I was just wishing for a skinny lemon bar recipe a few days ago!! Can't wait to try these out!

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  5. YUM! I will definitely be giving these a try maybe with a multiple citrus combination. Lovely!

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  6. Can't can't wait to make them.THANKS!!

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  7. These look great! Any recommendations for swapping out the yogurt for something else? Signed, lactose-intolerant sad lady. :(

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    Replies
    1. Applesauce, maybe?

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    2. Soy yogurt??? Stonyfield O'Soy tastes great

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    3. If you have kefer that would work too, it is lactose free. It can be pricey but if you buy grains you can make it yourself.

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  8. I'm going to try these with lime - yum!

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  9. Ohh mama, these look awesome. I haven't had lemon bars in a while but these look so good -- plus skinny! Right up my alley.

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  10. OMG LOOKS SO TASTEY!
    RAGAZZABAZAAR.COM

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  11. Would love to make these with grapefruit!

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  12. Seeing this post just makes me happy. Now, who can I foist these on to avoid eating the whole batch by myself...?

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  13. I'd never think to pair lemon and honey! Great recipe!!

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    Replies
    1. I thought they would go perfect together... and they did!

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  14. yummy! great pictures, thanks for the recipe! : )

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  15. You've answered my prayers!!!! The ones I make for hubby are waaayy to fattening :)

    THANK YOU!!!!!

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  16. Wow, these look good, but that's a lot of points to use for 1 little bar :(

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    Replies
    1. I t would be double if you made them the traditional way!

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  17. I had to make these right away! I had to substitute fat free sour cream for the greek yogurt, but it made no difference. They were FABULOUS! Another hit created by Gina!

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  18. I love it when a recipe is made up of simple ingredients I would have on hand. Thanks for the recipe!

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  19. Yum, I want to try and make this gluten free - thanks.

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  20. Those look and sound delicious! I love lemony dessert - especially in the summer!

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  21. Yum!! I have yet to make lemon bars and these look delicious!!!

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  22. If you make them a day ahead (as the recipe says you can) do you need to store them in the refrigerator? Thanks!

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  23. These look absolutely delicious, but I was wondering if they could be made with a sugar substitute (i.e. Truvia) for those of us who are diabetic?

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    Replies
    1. I haven't had the best luck swapping out brown sugar for Truvia, but you could try it and it'll turn out pretty decent. I'd recommend adding one or two extra packets and then a couple tsp of molasses.

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  24. hello - what is white whole wheat flour?

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    Replies
    1. It is whole wheat flour milled from a different wheat that has a whiter color in appearance.

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  25. I think I'll try these also! They look devine!!! I want to try to cut the fat a bit though, maybe I could use something other than the butter? Butter is just so fattening. :( Any suggestions? I usually use spray butter or Smart Balance when I cook, I wonder if that would work?

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    Replies
    1. Just because the nutritional info for one spray is next to nothing...that does not apply when you use a lot of it. It's still fattening, and by the way, that would be disgusting. That's not real butter but processed chemicals. Research it. If you plan to have one, just cut your fat with your other meals.

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    2. You dont have to be so hateful. Perhaps the poster is new to healthy cooking and she asked a legitimate question. Niky, you might be able to use smart balance spread but not the spray. I'm not familiar with baking with it but I know others do. I'm sure you can google it to find out. Maybe sub half the butter with light butter. Or just make these when you have company coming over so they do not cause too much temptation. Thats my plan!

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    3. Just because I didn't pepper my statement with pleasantries and smily faces, does not mean I was being hateful. I am just direct when I type. Everything I said was true, plus it WOULD be disgusting...try making it like that and see how it turns out. And yet, I'm being hateful? Move on, please.

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    4. The butter is cut back tremendously, I wouldn't use any less. Perhaps Smart Balance would be an option but I don't think the light one would work here.

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  26. Arrgh! I've been craving lemon bars lately, and finally broke down and bought some yesterday morning. (I figured a pack of 3 was better than downing a whole pan.) If only I could have waited another day!

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  27. This..as so many other of your recipes, looks delicious! And your photography is great. Really helps to draw me to the recipe and including photos of the process is very special. Thank yo.

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  28. Can't wait til tomorrow--these are on the agenda even though it will be 95! Gina, everyone at my Weight Watchers meeting knows about you now if they didn't before. Thank you for your diligence! LOVE THE SITE!

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  29. This recipe looks great, but I think there might be a typo in the ingredients/directions. The crust is listed as having 1/3 cup of brown sugar, but in the directions it states powdered sugar. I was just about to make these and wanted to check first.

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  30. Yum! These sound delicious! I love that the filling is sweetened with honey!

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  31. Gina...you know I'm like karina and love my chocolate...however, I love lemony desserts so much too. If you have any left I WANT ONE!!! Lol

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  32. Just made the crust, smells wonderful..the indgredients state fat free greek yogurt, but directions say vanilla yogurt so I just put in a 1/4 tsp of vanilla, hope this was o.k. Bringing to a barbecue today with my WW sisters.

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    Replies
    1. Krissys Kitchen6/29/12, 3:46 PM

      Did you use powdered sugar or brown sugar in the crust? The recipe says to use 1/3 cup of brown sugar, but the directions states powdered sugar. Thanks!

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    2. Oh boy, I messed that up! First time I made it I used powdered and all whole wheat but I didn't care for it. So the second time I used brown sugar and half whole wheat which I liked much better.

      Either yogurt is fine, it's only a tablespoon. Sorry for the confusion.

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  33. Hi Gina! I am gluten free...would I be able to make these using 12 T gluten free all purpose flour instead of 6 T white whole wheat flour and 6 T all purpose flour? Thanks so much!!

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps, let me know if it works!

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    2. I used the 12 T of gluten free all purpose flour and they turned out great! They were a big hit and nobody knew they were gluten free.

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  34. Questions here.. Is the use of kosher salt important or can you use table salt? Also is the only difference the size because the kosher salt I have is large and I'm worried that will affect the taste e.g. have pockets of salty taste. Thanks!

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  35. Hi Gina! Thank you so much for this recipe! I love anything tart and citrusy and these look delish! Have you tried making a lightened up key lime pie? That is probably my ultimate weakness (my fave recipe has a coconut crust and is incredible) but I would love to be able to have it without the guilt. Thanks for your awesome blog-I checked it everyday and your posts are very often lifesavers!

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  36. i am in the process of making these right now. Didn't have any yogurt on hand so i subbed sour cream. It smells SOOOO good right now, and I havent even made the lemon part yet! haha...

    I just got a job at a bakery and we make lemon bars, so I have a good comparison for this skinny version! Somehow I don't think this is going to turn out bad hahaha!

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  37. Made these last night and they were delicious! Need to add a little more zest next time, had no idea how little zest comes from one lemon haha!

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  38. Wow! I just got done making these because I was craving lemons. The crust is sooo good! The filling hit the spot for my husband and I. Thanks so much for doing what you do!

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  39. I made these today and they turned out great. I had to use all wheat flour because I did not have white flour in the house. I also used a pastry blender because I do not own a food processor. I was hoping it would turn out great because I didnt want to waste the honey. They are perfect - tart with a little sweet. Thank You !

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  40. I'm not too big on the honey, do you think agave would also work?

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  41. Gina these were seriously AHH-MAZINGG!! My dad is a huge fan of lemon bars and always would buy them from the box >.< These are soo much healthier and REAL no artifical ingredients! Makes me feel great that there all natural PURE YUMMYNESS! These will diffently become a regular for deserts! I just want you to know that I truly appriciate all your hard work on this blog its the best out there and really has helped me become a great cook at my young age (16) Thank youuuu! :-D

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  42. I took them to our 4th of July picnic today, but made them with limes instead of lemons since that was all I had in the house and they were AMAZING! Can't wait to try them the original way, with lemons, soon! Thanks for continuing to deliver amazing recipes! My husband and I have tried SO many and are never disappointed!

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  43. These are fantasticly yummy.. I LOVE lemon desserts and made them for a 4th of July party yesterday. I cut them into 16 pieces since they weren't the only dessert- not sure what the PP value is for that yet but OMG so good! Thanks for this :o)

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  44. for the food processor, do you use a dough blade? or would the regular blade work also?

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  45. could i substitute the crust for graham crackers? how would this affect points? Seems like smashed graham crackers mixed with melted reduced fat butter could be a good substitute.

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  46. Just made these yesterday...all I have to say is YUM :)
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  47. Lemon bars are my absolute favorite desert!!!! Thank you Gina for making me so happy while still allowing me to indulge. I cannot wait to try these!

    *I've lost 30 pounds so far using your recipes, so thank you!

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  48. These are great, super simple and delicious!!
    The foil in the pan trick is genius! Is it possible to use the same trick for brownies? I always have a hard time getting them out of the pan!

    Thank you!!

    -Ally

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  49. Wow! These look terrific! My family loves lemon bars and usually I have made the Paula Deen recipe, but I think that these would be much healthier. I am planning to try them soon. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    ~Susan

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  50. Gina- why do we use tin foil? I have never used that in baking before. I don't have a cuisinart but I do have a kitchenaid and pastry attachment. Can I use this instead?
    Thanks
    Jen

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  51. I have always used foil for brownies, sweet breads, anything baked to make it easy to get them out of the pan. In addition it makes clean up easy.
    I am new to your site and love it. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Aluminium foil? That stuff get's into your food. Oh, but it's mentioned above isn't it... Why not parchment paper Gina!? :(

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    2. I've never had a problem with aluminum foil getting "into my food." You just have to make sure it is smooth before putting the crust on it.

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    3. Parchment should work fine too.

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  52. Definitely will have to give these a try. The honey and the lemon sound amazing!

    Thank you for sharing!

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  53. Thanks for this, I am in the mood for baking but don't need the temptation of full fat baked goods in the house. I love the huge portion size of this bar too.

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  54. Hi Gina,
    I do not own a food processor or a kitchenaide mixer. I have a 6 speed hand blender. Can I use that or will that mess up the consistency? Thanks!

    P.s. love your site. have shared it will all my friends and they love it too :) thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes and the work you put into your site.

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  55. Thank you Gina for great recipes and ideas! Everything we have tried has been wonderful! I am making theses for my husband this morning. He absolutely loves lemon! Keep up the great work!

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  56. I'm not much of a baker, and I'm still trying to get these right, but the flavor is there. They're so delicious! I laughed when I read your comment about how you can't stop eating them, and even told myself I wouldn't do that. Totally had 3 in a row :-/

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  57. I think the Anonymous that "didn't pepper his statement with pleasantries" above has a right to his or her opinion. I have tried many recipes on this site and some are very good, some are good and some fall short. I think Gina would appreciate honest feedback and not all...."Its fantastic". which I am certain is slightly overstated "pleasantries" Lets keep it real people. Others will be thankful for the truth as I imagine so will Gina.
    An honest comment is in no way being "hateful"

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  58. Gina asked for feedback, so if you have made some thing on this site, please be respectful enough to Gina and the other readers to give an "honest" feedback.

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  59. Alissabeth T2/4/13, 2:56 PM

    What is the filling texture supposed to be like? Mine is runny. Hoping it turns out! Smells yummy. -)

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  60. These were GREAT!Myfamily loved them :) Thanks for the recipe! A perfect after dinner snack :) I am coming back to this site daily from now on!

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  61. I love lemon squares and have made them on numerous occasions. Paula Dean's recipe is my favorite, so when I came across this skinny version I was thrilled to not be using 2 sticks of butter. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and they came out awful. I consider myself a seasoned baker and I do not know what happened with these. Even though I cooled the crust, the filling somehow leaked through the crust leaving none on top. When I lifted the bars out of the pan I found the whole layer of filling between the crust and tin foil. What a waste of ingredients! Any idea what I did wrong?

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  62. skinny honey lemon is very tasty.i made it in home later.please check the link for
    http://www.bubblews.com/news/923769-lighter-lemon-bars

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  63. I made these today as a dessert to go along with our Super Bowl feast! Unfortunately, my first attempt didn't work out so well. I made the crust just fine, but the filling was very liquidy and since the crust was just a flat "even layer," the filling went UNDER the crust in the oven and baked like that. The result was still delicious, but they were upside-down with the filling sticking to the foil and not really set. My husband loves lemon bars, so I decided to give it another try. I figured out that I really needed to make the crust with the edges high enough to contain the liquid like a swimming pool. They needed at least 10 more minutes than the recipe calls for to be fully set. They did come out wonderfully with these changes. Cutting it into 9 would have made humungous bars. They're very sweet, so a little goes a long way. I cut mine into 20 bars that really were big enough--people are more willing to grab a small bar off a plate. They were definitely a hit, but needed those changes.

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