I’ve told you before that whipped shortbread cookies are my favourite cookie. Odd, I know, for a chocolate lover such as myself, but there is something about those buttery, soft, slightly crumbly cookies that, when done right, melts in your mouth in a way no chocolate chip cookie can match. (Did I even say that out loud on the internet?! Chocolate chip cookies, you know I love you.)
So now let’s talk about shortbread bars.
I generally love baking bars because you don’t have to wait for batches of cookies to cook, but these bars do not give you that luxury. They have layers, folks. Just like me. And those layers need to be dealt with individually. Just like mine ;) But like my favourite bar of all time, Nanaimo Bars, these are very easy and worth a bit of extra trouble. And if you’re into layered bars that are totally worth the time, you also need to check out these crunchy, chewy, Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Brownie Bars because, well, yes.
You can put a shortbread crust under just about anything and I will rave about it. See Chocolate Toffee Squares and Lickety Lemon Bars for further proof. But this is the first time I’ve put that shortbread crust layer on top of the bars.
DOUBLE the shortbread! Thin layer of lemon! White chocolate drizzle! Huzzah!
All these babies need is some colour, but, being one who can’t tan to save her life, I can’t really talk. White is right.
Although…next time I think I might try layering some blueberries or raspberries on the base before pouring on the lemon filling because that can only be a good idea, right?
If you like shortbread and your husband likes lemon and you have a small amount of white chocolate chips left in the cupboard, WE ARE TWINSIES! And then you will want to make these :)
Mmmmm, shortbread. These don’t beat out my favourite cookies for top spot, but they are a nice change from my typical chocolate chip squares. The tart lemon and sweet chocolate complement the rich butteriness of the shortbread, and these hold their shape really well and travel beautifully. One important note: shortbread is one place you always want to use real butter, because the richness just isn’t there without it. And shortbread should only be rich.
Have a great weekend, friends!
- SHORTBREAD CRUST:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cups icing sugar/confectioners' sugar
- ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- FILLING INGREDIENTS:
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (~ 1 large lemon)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- TOPPING (optional):
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips or melting chocolate
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease an 8"x11" or 9x9" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Stir in flour just until combined
- Press HALF of the dough into prepared dish and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until edges are starting to brown; put remaining dough in refrigerator until you need it.
- While bottom layer is baking, prepare filling: Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. When bottom layer is baked, pour lemon mixture evenly over crust.
- Bake for another 15-18 minutes, until filling is just starting to set
- Remove from oven and crumble remaining dough evenly over top.
- Bake the bars for another 20 minutes (shortbread doesn't brown much - don't let the pale colour fool you, they're done!).
- For topping, melt white chocolate in mircowave on 50% power, stirring frequently. Drizzle randomly with a spoon over cooled squares. Cut into small squares.
- Store in an airtight container, at room temperature or in the fridge, for up to 1 week. Freeze for longer storage.
*Adapted from Keep it Sweet Desserts.