Recipe: Lemon Bars—with a Long Island Twist

These Long Island-inspired lemon bars are everything we want in a dessert: cool, creamy, and full of nostalgia.

Just as nothing tops a Long Island summer, nothing tops a Long Island deli—the only place in the world where ‘Can I get a Half & Half and a B.E.C.S.P.K?’ is a prayer that’s always answered with a giant, styrofoam cup full of tart, syrupy goodness, and an egg sandwich that cannot be replicated anywhere else on God’s green earth.

This recipe, courtesy of Flourish Bakeshop owner Chelsea Kravitz, takes traditional lemon bars and reimagines them as an ode to Long Island delis and the nostalgia they inspire. Her ‘Half & Half Bars’ are the perfect dessert for a playful, poolside summer


Half & Half Bars
Makes 1- 9”x9” pan

For the crust:

  • 150 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 25 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 grams lemon zest
  • 3 grams kosher salt
  • 142 grams unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • 112 grams cream cheese
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 170 grams sweetened condensed milk
  • 120 grams lemon juice
  • 2 yolks
  • 2 grams lemon zest

For the whipped topping: 

  • 240 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 40 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 grams vanilla
  • 2 grams kosher salt
  • 6 grams high quality black tea


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease and line a 9×9” pan with parchment to hang over the sides.
  2. To make shortbread base, pulse together flour, sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and kosher salt in food processor. It will look dry. Add butter and pulse to cut flour into dough. Pull out of food processor and knead with hands until dough comes together. Press into pan and bake until just golden brown, 20 minutes.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until soft and creamy. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat to incorporate. Add yolks and beat well. Add lemon juice, milk and  salt, beat to blend. Pour onto cooled crust and bake 12-15 minutes until middle is set but jiggles a bit.
  4. Whip heavy cream in stand mixer with whisk attachment. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt and tea while whipping. Whip until medium stiff peaks hold.
  5. Pipe onto bars and refrigerate for 2 hours.