Lemon Squares


This family favorite comes from the Pleasures of Cooking magazine, a publication of Cuisinart in the 1970’s-80’s.  We treasure the issues we have of the marvelous publication, long out of print and hard to get, but still inspirational.

As I was finishing this post, I went to see just how many issues of Pleasures of Cooking we had and all I could find was one! Now I know that I am infamous in our household for purging when the closets and shelves become too cluttered, but there is no way on God’s earth I would have tossed our Pleasures of Cooking magazines!  I have no idea where they could be, but given that I live in a NYC apartment, there are really few places for them to hide that I have not already looked.  My one last hope is that I may have taken them up to our cottage, though I have no idea why I would have done that.

So now, instead of being happy to have finally put up this recipe, I am beside myself in loss and despair. Thank goodness my mother-in-law Irene still has all her back issues. (You do, don’t you, Irene?)

LEMON SQUARES (aka Lemon Curd Cookies)

These wonderfully tangy cookies carry a tartness that is balanced by a generous dusting of confectioner’s sugar atop. They are easy to make and freeze well.   


  • 1/3 cup blanched whole almonds (2 oz, 55 g)
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 medium orange
  • 1/2 cup flour (2.5 oz, 70 g)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (1 oz, 30 g)
  • 5 tbsp chilled unsalted butter cut into 5 pieces
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 2/3 oz, 160 g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • Confectioners sugar and candied lemon and orange peel (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (175 degrees Centigrade)

Process almonds, 1/2 the zests, flour, confectioners sugar and butter with metal blade in food processor till constancy of coarse crumbs, about 10 secs. Press into square 8 inch baking pan and bake in preheated oven till firm and lightly colored, about 20 mins.

Process sugar, baking powder, salt and remaining zests until zest is as fine as the sugar, about 1 min. Add eggs and juice and process till combined, about 5 secs. Pour over the crust and bake till set, about 20 minutes. Cool.

Loosen around the edges, then cut into 2.5x2in (6x5cm) squares with a sharp knife, being careful not to dislodge clumps of the curd.  Dust with confectioners sugar and garnish with candied lemon and orange peel. Remove from pan using a cookie spatula. (See below) Makes 12 cooked, about 1/14 oz (45 g) each.

This is a cookie spatula
This is a cookie spatula

Candied Lemon and Orange Zests

  • 1/2 cup sugar (3 3/4 oz, 100g)
  • 1/3 cup water (80 ml)
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon, cut into julienne strips
  • Zest of 1 small orange, cut into julienne strips

Bring water and sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, add the zests and simmer for 10 mins. Transfer with slotted spoon to waxed paper to cool.


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