Lemon Squares with Lavender & Limoncello are a flavorful twist on a classic treat. Lemons are fresh and bright and add a bit of sunshine to whatever you make with them. I recommend you try these for a winning dessert!
This time of year, life in the desert is amazing for so many reasons. Mainly because the fabulous weather means we get to play outdoors a lot, people are generally happy (nod to the lovely weather), and because all around town, people are sharing citrus! It’s citrus season in Phoenix, and our lemon tree is teeming with fruit.
This time of year, people bring extra citrus to work and leave it the break room for others to enjoy. We share it with our neighbors, and we donate it to food banks. We bake with lemons, cook with lemons, and make drinks using lemon juice.
Try a batch of my Mini Sugar Cookie Cups with Lemon Curd for dessert that will definitely brighten your day!
You could also make a super-simple, super-flavorful salad dressing like the one in this recipe for Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Blueberries & Lemon Vinaigrette. So much better than store-bought dressing!
My most recent turn with this fresh fruit was Lemon Squares with Lavender & Limoncello. I put a slight twist on this classic goodie by including lavender-scented limoncello into the mix.
If you haven’t had limoncello, try it! It’s an Italian liqueur made from the peel of lemons (where the fragrant oils are) soaked in alcohol like vodka.
We haven’t made our own limoncello in a few years, but it’s really easy to do (watch for a recipe coming soon). The lemon peel and alcohol sit together in a glass jar anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Then it’s strained and simple syrup is mixed in. It’s really refreshing.
Now let’s get back to these lovely lemon squares. The base or crust is similar to shortbread, and the lemon topping is thick and citrusy and tinged with lavender. These turned out fabulous! For the crust, I followed a recipe from the Cooking section of The New York Times.
For the filling, I used an old family recipe that I dug out from one of my giant binders filled with clips of recipes from newspapers, and others handwritten on now-stained index cards. The combination of the two was amazing.
If you’re going crazy for lemons like I am right now try these Blueberry & Lemon-Thyme Scones, too. They’re not too sweet, but great for dessert.
The hardest part about making these Lemon Squares with Lavender & Limoncello? The wait for them to bake and cool before you can enjoy them. Get your bake on and try them soon!
This classic treat gets a flavorful twist from added lavender & limoncello. The recipe for the crust was one I found from The New York Times.
- 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Parchment paper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried lavender, plus extra as garnish
- 1/4 cup limoncello
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 5-6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Confectioners’ sugar as garnish
- Preheat the oven o 325 degrees F. Line a 9x9-inch baking dish with the parchment paper so it overhangs slightly over the edges. Lightly spray it with the nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Add the flour, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter and lemon zest to the mixture. Use a pastry blender (or two forks), to mix the butter into the dry mixture until crumbly.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Spread it evenly across the bottom, and pat it down firmly with your hands.
- Bake until lightly golden, 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Add the limoncello and lavender to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil, then turn off the heat and add a lid. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes.
- Strain the lavender from the liquid and discard. Set aside the liquid.
- Increase the oven’s temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Add the sugar and baking powder to a bowl, and mix to combine. Add the eggs, lemon juice and zest, and the limoncello. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden and slightly firm.
- Cool on a wire rack. If you’d like, you can place the pan in the refrigerator for a bit to cool completely.
- Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove from the pan. Cut into squares and sprinkle the tops with confectioners’ sugar.