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Lower Sugar Lemon Bars

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“I based this on Cook's Illustrated magazine's Key Lime Bars, but substituted Jell-O Instant Sugar-Free Lemon Pudding to lower the sugar content. You could substitute any flavor pudding you like, and leave out the lemon zest.”
2hrs 40mins
16 bars

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the animal crackers in a food processor. Pulse for 10 1-second pulses until coarse crumbs are formed. Run the processor for an additional 10 seconds until the crumbs become very fine. (If you skip the pulsing step, you will wind up with uneven crumbs.).
  2. Add the brown sugar and salt, and pulse until the sugar is distributed.
  3. Add the butter and pulse for 10 1-second pulses, until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a single layer of foil, folded over the edges of the pan to make a sling. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour in the crumbs and pack down with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Slide into a preheated 325F oven until golden and crispy, 18-20 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool.
  5. Stir the cream cheese in a large bowl with a spatula to smooth out any lumps. Add the lemon zest.
  6. Mix the pudding mix with the milk. When smooth, whisk into the cream cheese.
  7. When the crust is cool, add the pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  8. Run a small paring knife along the sides of the pan not covered with foil. Remove the bars from the pan using the sling and cut into 2" squares. Optionally, top with toasted coconut for an additional crunch.

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