The Simplest Method for Making Lemon Bars

Lemon lovers will agree that there is nothing quite like the perfect lemon bar dessert. Sure, chocolate chip bars are high on the list of great cookie bars, but that shortbread, coupled with the lemony curd that has been dusted with powdered sugar creates something greater than the sum of its parts. However, when it is time to cut these babies, if you always end up with a mutilated, disfigured cookie bar mess rather than picture perfect, Instagrammable bars, you are not alone. There’s an art to cutting cookie bars that starts with a knife that is warm and sharp. 

How does it work? It’s important to exercise some patience. You don’t want to make that first incision until after the lemon bars have been cooled and chilled. This could take a couple of hours, but once they have, you will want to use a wash-rinse-repeat approach. First, warm your knife by dipping it into a cup of hot water. Gently pat the knife dry with a towel to remove the moisture, and then slice into the lemon bars. After each cut, repeat the process all over again until you have perfect squares or rectangles.

Use this type of knife to cut cookie bars

Perfectly cut lemon cookie bars

What type of knife should you use when using this warming trick? It depends on the consistency of your lemon bars. If they tend to be on the softer side, pick a knife with a thin blade. A tomato knife is just right for this task. Unlike a chef’s knife, which has a blade that is on the thick side, a tomato knife is sharp, but thin and delicate. Meaning, it won’t smash or mess up the edges of your lemon bars the way other knives do. With this knife, you will get a clean cut without any jagged edges. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about the lemon curd of your bars transferring onto this narrow blade as you are making your cuts.

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However, if your shortbread is firmer, you want to use a serrated knife to cut through that dense compacted cookie bar. This type of knife will ensure the cookie just doesn’t break off when you are cutting it, producing less-than-pretty cut lines. Once you get the hang of cutting your lemon cookie bars with a warm knife, you can use this trick on your gingerbread cookie bars or even your chewy sweet coconut bars and never worry about your cookie bars looking anything less than meticulously cut.

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