Light and chewy shortbread bars infused with a twist of lemon and honey. These bars are perfect for a summer tea party when topped with an irresistibly creamy Earl Grey cream cheese frosting!
I’m home! After thirty-six hours of planes, layovers, and twenty minute naps, I’m so happy to be back on Canadian soil.
The past two weeks have been a blur of travelling, catching up with friends and family, and returning to recognizable ways of life. Now that I’m finally all settled in, I thought I shouldn’t make you wait any longer for an update – and a new recipe!
Our travels, albeit long and exhausting, went well. Aside from a major delay which resulted in a seven hour layover in LAX, we got through it and landed safely in Victoria. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I smelled the crisp, familiar scent of my home. After sniffing stale, airplane/airport air for so long, I was so relieved to finally be stepping off that last plane. The long-awaited reunion between my immediately family and myself was full of more love than I expected. We fell back into our old relationships so easily that it was as if I hadn’t been away for more than a day. A quick trip to Tim Horton’s for Timbits and steeped tea (would you expect anything less?) preceded our immediate and much desired collapse into bed. Despite jet lag, I’m sure we slept for a full ten hours!
Now that I’m sleeping normally and am back into a reasonable routine, I figured a new recipe was due. I’m so happy to finally be back in a kitchen and doing what calms me and what I love: baking. As patient as you all have been with me over the past month, I felt I owed you something sweet. Today, I give you these delightfully sweet and creamy shortbread bars.
In my opinion, these bars perfectly embrace the summer season I’ve been thrown into. (32 C in Victoria? Say what?!) They’re sweetened with runny, golden honey and feature a crisp tang of citrus from the lemons. The bars are light and chewy and have a texture similar to shortbread. I prefer my cookies and bars on the chewy side, so these are perfect for me. If you like your shortbread crisp, however, feel free to leave out the baking soda, which I found left them a little harder.
I’ve also frosted the bars (very generously) with the same Earl Grey Cream Cheese Frosting that I used on my classic carrot cake. I found this to be a divine accompaniment to the bars, since the combination reminded me of a cup of earl grey tea with lemon, honey, and a biscuit all wrapped up in one! How much better can one dessert get?! Tea time, anyone?
I hope these bars make up for my past absence and that this post serves as a wonderful welcome for us all back to The Cinnamon Scrolls! Enjoy!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- zest of 1 medium lemon
- ⅔ cup (152g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ quantity of Earl Grey Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and grease and line an 8 x 8 baking tray with non-stick paper; make sure there is a bit of an overhang to remove the bars more easily.
- Pour the sugar into a large bowl and zest the lemon on top. Using your fingers, massage the zest into the sugar (as you would rub butter into flour) for 2–3 minutes or until the sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and cream together until fluffy, around 4 minutes. Pour in the honey and beat until combined. Next, add the vanilla and lemon juice and stir to combine. Finally, mix in the salt, baking powder, and flour until all the flour disappears and a thick dough forms.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking tin and bake for 18–20 minutes or until the top is light golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the tin placed on a wire rack.
- Once they've completely cooled, frost the bars with Earl Grey cream cheese frosting or another of your favourite frostings. Cut into 16 bars and serve.
- These bars will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.