I have a confession to make. I never liked lemon squares, lemon pie, key lime pie. Every time someone gave me a bite of the lemony desserts I took it and cringed. It was never that good. That was until one evening we went to the restaurant 3rd and Hollywood in Columbus and one person in our party ordered the lemon squares. I had a bite and I was hooked. They were creamy with just enough tang and the crust was with pecans which I love. What is even better is that one order is big enough to share with 2-3 people. When I got home, I just had to try to recreate them. While it’s not as good as 3rd and Hollywood’s, it’s pretty close. Perfectly yummy and refreshing!
24 honey graham squares
1 cup of pecans (optional)
1/4 cup of sugar
1 stick of melted and cooled butter
Juice from 3 lemons
1 container of condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cream cheese optional
Line a 9×13 or 8×8 pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides. Place the graham crackers, pecans and sugar in a food processor. Pulse them until fine. Take the melted butter and brush over the parchment and then pour the rest in the cracker mix and pulse until the butter is incorporated. Place it on the parchment pan and press down with your fingers.
Bake in a 350F oven until golden brown, around 8-12 mins. Take out and cool for 30 mins. Make the lemon filling using an electric mixer until smooth. Pour on top of the crust mixture and bake until set, around 15 mins. Cool pan on rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Using parchment overhang, remove from pan. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares, wiping the knife with a damp paper towel between each cut.