Makes 20 squares
2½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
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3 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir 2 cups of the flour together with the butter and powdered sugar to make a dough. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, building up a 1-inch edge on all sides.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, until very lightly browned; remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. (Leave the oven on.)
4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the eggs with the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest; set aside. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well.
5. Pour the mixture over the prebaked crust.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden around the edges and set in the middle. Let the bars cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before refrigerating for another 30 minutes (which makes them easier to cut).
7. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can eat them warm or at room temperature.
Store the bars, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for a couple of days (but they will best retain their flavor and shape for about one week in the refrigerator). They also can be stacked on layers of wax paper and frozen for about one month. Thaw them in the refrigerator.
From Denise Gee, author of “Sweet on Texas” (Chronicle Books, $24.95)