I adore lemon bars. They are so bright and refreshing and make the perfect summer dessert. I found a lemon bars (with shortbread crust) recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. The only change I made was to add some culinary lavender and zest to the crust and zest to the lemon layer. Another great edit would be to use Meyer lemons if they’re in stock at the market.
Lemon bars, if they last that long, can be stored in the freezer and taken out to nibble on during a sweltering hot summer day.
Lemon Bars with Lavender Shortbread Crust
- zest of 2 lemons chopped small
- icing / confectioner's sugar for dusting on top
Shortbread Lavender Crust
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons, all purpose flour spoon & leveled
- 2 teaspoons culinary lavender
- 1/3 lemon zest
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice lemons at room temperature
- 2/3 lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper*, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!) and set aside.
Baking the Crust
- Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Add the flour and stir to completely combine.
- Press firmly into prepared pan, making sure the layer of crust is nice and even.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the warm crust (not all the way through the crust) and set aside.
- Sift the sugar, lemon zest, and flour together in a large bowl.
- Beat the eggs lightly to break up in a small bowl, then add to the dry mix, then the lemon juice until completely combined.
- Pour filling over warm crust.
- Bake the bars for 22-26 minutes or until the center is relatively set and no longer jiggles. (Give the pan a light tap with an oven mitt to test.)
- Remove bars from the oven and cool completely at room temperature. I usually cool them for about 2 hours at room temperature, then stick in the refrigerator for 1-2 more hours until completely chilled.
- Once cool, lift the parchment paper out of the pan using the overhang on the sides.
- Dust with icing/confectioner’s sugar and cut into squares before serving. For neat squares, wipe the knife clean between each cut.
- Cover and store leftover lemon bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer up to 4 months.