I’ve decided I’m going to try and invoke summer by baking with nothing but summer-y type things…lemons, strawberries, blueberries, etc. It might not work but I figure it’s worth a shot, I mean, enough with the cold weather already! And the rain, oh the rain…sigh.
Anyway, in the spirit of all things light and summerish I whipped up these Iced Lemon Shortbread Bars. Believe it or not, you make this whole recipe in your food processor! How easy is that?! And the result is a super flaky, buttery shortbread bar flecked with lemon zest and tart lemon flavor. Forget chocolate, this is the kind of stuff that isn’t too rich and so delicious that I could eat the whole pan! But I didn’t…I shared.
Iced Lemon Shortbread Bars
1 1/2 c. AP Flour
1/3 c. Cornstarch
1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
2 1/2 T. Granulated Sugar
2 T. Finely Grated Lemon Zest (you will need about 3 large lemons total for this recipe)
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
1/4 t. Salt
2 t. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 t. Lemon Extract
Icing (recipe below)
Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with foil, letting the foil overhang to create “handles”. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour and cornstarch; set aside. In a food processor, process the powdered sugar, sugar and lemon zest until the sugar in yellow and the zest is finely pulverized, about 3 minutes, stopping and scraping down the bowl sides several times. Add the butter, salt, lemon juice, and lemon extract and process until well blended and fluffy, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the butter mixture and process in on/off pulses until well blended and smooth, stopping and scraping down the bowl sides several times.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, form into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or until the dough is cool and slightly firmer.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Press the dough evenly into the pan. Lay a sheet of wax paper on the dough, then press it out to the edges until the top is flat and smooth. Peel off and discard the paper. Bake for 37-45 (40 minutes was perfect for me) minutes, or until pale golden all over and just slightly darker at the edges. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand until completely cooled. Using the foil “handles”, gently lift the bars from the pan.
2 T. Granulated Sugar
1 t. Finely Grated Lemon Zest
2 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 t. Light Corn Syrup
1 c. Powdered Sugar
In a food processor, combine the sugar and lemon zest and process until the sugar is lightly colored and the zest is finely pulverized, about 1 minute, stopping and scraping down the bowl sides once or twice. Add the lemon juice and corn syrup and process until the sugar dissolves. Add the powdered sugar and process until evenly incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
Immediately spread the icing evenly over the shortbread. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Cut the shortbread into 2-inch squares.