You may recall that I've tried my hand at the chocolate fudge brownies, flax seed crackers, and mini chamomile cakes. They've all been a smashing success, but I have been itching to pick whatever I want from the book. And the choice was a no-brainer: these lavender lemon bars. Surprised I didn't choose one of the book's savory dishes when I had the chance? Well, I'm tricky like that.
In fact, when it comes to sweets, the one flavor profile I have something of a weakness for involves anything tart - like this lovely lemon curd. And I adore lavender - witness my lavender, cardamom, and cracked black pepper drop scones, lavender quick bread, and lavender whoopsie cookies with lemon mascarpone filling, to name a few!
And these bars didn't disappoint. In fact, they're the only treat I've made from the book so far that I found it dangerous to be around. I even sneaked a couple extra before packing them off to work with Poppa Trix. Let's just say they awaken my slumbering inner sweet tooth.
Lavender Lemon Bars
makes one 9 by 13 inch pan
recipe reprinted with permission from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
For the crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender *Note: I used 1 full teaspoon
For the lemon filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 - 3 lemons)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Powdered sugar and dried lavender for topping
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 12 inch pan and set aside.
To make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add flour, salt, and lavender, Beat on low speed until dough just comes together. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl, and incorporate the rest of the ingredients with a spatula.
Dump the crust mixture into the prepared pan, and use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until slightly browned. [Note: I double panned to prevent a burned crust]
To make the filling: while the crust is baking, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light and pale. Add flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until completely blended and incorporated.
Remove the baked crust from the oven and immediately pour the filling over the hot crust. Return to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned around the edges and no lob]nger jiggly in the center.
Cool completely in the pan. Cut into wedges and dust with sifted powdered sugar and dried lavender buds. To store lemon bars, place in an airtight container in layers, separated by was paper. Lavender lemon bars will last, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
I'm very curious to see what my compatriots have chosen to make from the book - if you're curious, too, just follow the link to Girlichef below.
Now go enjoy some more food porn!
*This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*