This past weekend, I hosted a Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern inspired brunch for some of the girls in honor of the release of my free Brunch eBook! (Get it here!) On my menu, I had a variety of mezze and common dishes from that region. I was surprised by the overwhelming reaction to ONE specific item on the menu- my lavendar lemon bars. To be honest, I’ve never made them before this weekend but thank the brunch gods I did, because noone could stop GUZZLING them down!
I mean, LOOK at these lemon bars!
I’m a sucker for a good lemon bar. I’m a recent fan and proponent of lavendar in desserts- they add such a floral, aromatic, and gentle flavor for desserts. When I busted out the lavendar, I instantly felt calmer and more at ease. I actually googled it and found out that lavendar has tons of health benefits (one of which I just described- I guess I wasn’t crazy)!
I’ve been making my 1 lemon TART recipe for about 2 years now- but I decided it was time to play around with something now. So the LAVENDAR lemon bar was born!
My friends liked them so much, I whipped up a double batch and brought them in for my coworkers! Try them out, and let me know how they turn out!
Helpful tips and tricks:
- LEMONS: Use REAL ones! If you use bottled lemon juice, or skimp out on the fresh lemon zest, these lemon bars will be super lame. DON’T USE BOTTLED LEMON JUICE. Roll the lemons around on a cutting board with some force from your hand to extract more juice from the lemon. You’ll need about 2-4 lemons depending on their size to get 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
- COOL THE CRUST: Let the crust cool in the pan in the fridge or freezer before baking. There’s a lot of butter in the crust, and handling it with your hands causes the raw crust to be way too soft (naturally). Letting it chill before baking will enhance the flavor and texture of the crust. Trust me, it will hold better and taste 10x better.
- LAVENDAR: Culinary dried lavendar can be find in most common big chain supermarkets (e.g. Safeway). Rubbing the lavendar with your hands will let out some more natural flavors and oils from the lavendar. Here’s what the box I used looks like (I got mine at Whole Foods).
- “White foam”: Every single time I’ve baked anything with lemon, there’s a “white foam-y” layer at the top of the bar. Don’t fret. There’s going to be powdered sugar on top and a lemon slice- so these lavendar lemon bars will be cute and ready to be served!
- Powdered sugar: I almost never have powdered sugar in my house. Don’t fret, because you can MAKE powdered sugar. SAY WHAAAT. For reals. It’s easy. Take white granulated sugar, put it in a food processor, and blend for 5ish minutes. Over time, this will turn into a powder- aka powdered sugar! Yay for kitchen hacks!
- Make it in advance!: From my experience with my lemon tart- I’ve noticed that it actually tastes better on the second or third day. Don’t get me wrong, I can eat the entire sheet right after it pops out of the oven. However, I’ve noticed more depth of flavor when it sits for a day or two. If you’re looking to make these for a party or a special occasion in advance- this is your go to dessert recipe.
Happy baking! This recipe is guaranteed to impress. You won’t believe how easy it is and how DELICIOUS it is. Happy guzzling of lavendar lemon bars y’all! Let me know how it turns out for you!
Love and lemon bars,
-Fresh Chef Nikki