Lemon Squares


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I have shared many desserts in my cookbooks and TV series, delighted to share one of my most requested desserts. 

This is the quintessential dessert, although it is also a popular dessert during the summer season. I have been told my recipe is the perfect balance of sweetness, lemony tartness and buttery shortbread. Make a batch and share this refreshing treat at your next gathering.


Lemon Squares (aka Lemon Bars) depends on how you cut them

Makes 1 dozen, eight inch square pan

George Hirsch Recipe | chefgeorgehirsch.com

Short Bread Crust:

1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature 

1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

pinch cinnamon

A square tip: (lining pan with parchment paper is helpful for removing squares after baking)

Grease an 8 inch square pan with butter, line with parchment

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

For the Crust: With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. By hand mix flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon forming a light dough. Press dough into greased pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes, should be light brown. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Lemon Filling:

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

2 eggs

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 

1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest 

2 Tablespoon all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

pinch salt

For the Lemon Filling: Mix with a wire whisk the sugar, flour, salt, and eggs until dissolved. Add fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla just until combined. Do not over mix or too much air will affect filling. Pour the filling over the cooled shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the filling is set. 

Remove from oven and cool. After cooling at room temperature, refrigerate. To serve, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Chill lemon squares until ready to serve.

George’s Beach Cookies

Tune-in GHL Create TV Sat 6/22 6AM/6PM, Sun 6/23 12PM est


According to MIT, America's most famous cookie was invented by accident by Ruth Wakefield. Ruth, a dietician and food lecturer, who along with her husband Kenneth, bought a tourist lodge named the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, where she prepared home-cooked meals for her guests. 

Here's my recipe rendition of America's most famous cookie, sans the chips. My cookie is a bit chewier and less cakey than the Tollhouse recipe. It also bakes a darker shade due to the dark brown sugar. They are ideal to bring along to the beach, without fearing a chocolate meltdown. But, just in case you need a chocolate fix I have you covered with my Chocolate Brownie Cookies from George Hirsch Lifestyle.


George's Beach Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) lightly sweet butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, beaten

Optional: 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a bowl. In another large bowl, cream the butter on low speed to lighten it a bit and then mix in the sugars, cream for two minutes. Add the water, vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. and 

Using two soup spoons, drop the cookies 2" apart onto two parchment lined, nonstick or greased cookie sheets. Bake for eight-nine minutes, rotating the sheets after four minutes. 

Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

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George Hirsch Muffin Mondays

Would you like a bite of old-fashioned-style cake that is equally as good for a morning coffee break, mid-day snack and even dessert? If so, then this is it. 

What I really like about this coffee cake recipe is it isn't overly sweet. I created this recipe using all purpose flour, not cake flour, which makes a denser crumb with nice texture. The dairy mix of sour cream, yogurt, and milk is a harmonious trifecta in achieving a light and flavorful addition to every slice. Use good fresh eggs + butter and you'll have a hit. 


Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

Makes about 18 muffins

For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sweet butter, softened

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Place the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl and crumble together with your fingers until it forms a crumb mixture. Add in the nuts. Reserve and mix muffin batter.

For the Cake:

1/2 cup sweet butter, one stick softened 

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange rind

Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C). Note: If using a dark colored muffin pan, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Dark colored pans absorb more heat while baking in the oven and become hotter and carry heat faster than light colored pans. 

Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in eggs, vanilla and orange zest, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt and milk together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately in three stages with the sour cream, yogurt, and milk mixture; stirring and scraping the bowl with spatula after each addition. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix.

Add half the batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. With the back of butter knife swirl the batter slightly to mix the crumb mixture slightly into the bottom of muffin cups. 3/4 filled. Add remaining batter, then the crumb topping and bake.

Bake muffins in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins tests done. Cool for 15-20 minutes, and then remove muffins from pan. 

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