Friday, October 24, 2014

Lemon Chess Squares

Chess Pie has its historical roots in England and brought to America where it has become just as beloved.  A simple custard type of pie, similar to vinegar pie, these bars hit the mark for allowing you to "pick up" the square as a snack rather than serve a formal dessert.  In the South, Chess Pie has been changed up with the addition of lemon, which is fine for me.

Lemon Chess Bars
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. milk

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, then spray evenly with a baking spray.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Add the egg and beat until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients, milk and lemon juice and beat on low speed just until the dough comes together.  Transfer dough to the baking dish and use your fingers to press evenly into the bottom.

1-8oz pkg. cream cheese
3 large eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 (1 pound) box confectioners' sugar, sifted (this is also called icing sugar)

In the same bowl, switching to the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the lemon zest and the confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until mixture is smooth.  Pour the mixture over the dough, spreading it out to cover.  

Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly and the top is lightly browned.  Let cool completely, then, cut into small squares--they're very rich so small bites are a good thing.
A quick snack or add some raspberries, a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar and serve as a dessert.  Enjoy! 




  1. Save me a piece, Susan. These lemon bars look absolutely mouthwatering! I would love mine with a scoop of white chocolate ice cream!!
    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. I like your thinking! Have a great weekend too, XOXO

  2. Wow these look SO good! I love anything with Lemon :-)

    1. Me too! It was my mother's favorite and I'm glad I got that gene, XOXO

  3. So funny...I've seen chess pie/bars for a while and have it on my baking bucket list. Just haven't done it. These look really comforting, too. :) lv, me!

  4. I love mouth is watering just thinking about a lemony dessert! Enjoy your weekend my friend and Sis! Hugs, Diane

  5. Oh, I just know these are going to be on my "must make" list! One word...Divine!

  6. Lemon chess bars--oh the cream cheese addition sounds so good! I must go buy some lemons and make these, Susan. Have a restful weekend. xo ♥

  7. I had my first chess pie when I moved to the south. Your recipe looks good!

  8. I will put these on my list to make. (I don't remember eating Chess Pie.) I love lemon also----and very glad I "got the gene"!!

  9. this desert is for me!!! thanks for sharing this recipe.
    stamping sue