Lavender Shortbread Lemon Bars

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I’m a guy who loves a good lemon bar. There’s just something about the combination of a gorgeous, crisp, buttery crust with a luscious tart lemon filling. I like to change it up sometimes, though, and this recipe has the absolute perfect little herbaceous change. The first time I had the combination of lemon and lavender was at one of my favorite coffee shops here in Sacramento (featured in our Sacramento City Guide), Temple Coffee. I was intrigued by the mere presence of a gluten-free vegan lemon lavender muffin in the pastry case and let me tell you: biting into it was the most absolutely glorious moment of my life (slight exaggeration considering it’s just a muffin, but I think you get the point). So, when I sat down to concoct how I would give my classic lemon bars a little twist, I knew that putting lavender in the shortbread crust would turn out amazing. And sure enough, the results were just WOW. Subtle lavender flavor perfumes throughout the entire journey of devouring the bar and it’s such a miraculous thing. Plus, the lemon filling is just beyond perfection. You obviously need to make these now. Literally, make these now and eat the whole tray. I won’t judge. 

INGREDIENTS

LAVENDER SHORTBREAD

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

LEMON LAYER

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • Powdered sugar, for serving

METHODS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13”x9” baking pan with a good spritz of non-stick spray and set aside. 
  2. In a food processor, combine all shortbread ingredients and process on high until dough forms into a ball, about 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Pat dough evenly into prepared baking on. Bake for 14-16 minutes on the middle rack of your oven, or until dough is set and is lightly browned. 
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together all filling ingredients until combined. Pour over hot crust and bake for 22-24 minutes, or until filling is set and slightly browned. 
  5. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Cut into 32 bars and dust powdered sugar over bars just before serving. 
  7. Enjoy! 
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