Last summer, I made rhubarb bars that were a hit, both on Pinterest and in my household. At the time, I was living with my mom and stepdad, and my stepdad went CRAZY for them. I even wrote about it in the post, saying he ate 10 bars in two days. But in reality, I think it was closer to 14 (sorry, David. This will be the last time I call you out on it).
So now that it’s spring and the weather is beautiful, I decided to revisit the idea of a lemon bar, this time adding a twist with fresh ginger. Ginger and lemon work incredibly well together. They’re both palate cleansers, so each bite feels fresh and glorious and new. And I used the recipe for my favorite shortbread crust evahhhhh. It’s so, so moist and slightly tangy, which pairs perfectly with the tart lemon.
How to make lemon bars
These ginger lemon bars are a breeze to whip up! Word to the wise: while the shortbread crust is baking, prep the filling. To make these easy lemon bars, you’ll need to:
Make and bake the shortbread crust — The cream cheese shortbread crust uses butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Whip that on high until light and fluffy, and then mix the flour in by hand (this prevents you from accidentally over working the flour). Bake the shortbread crust for 10-12 minutes. Note that it won’t be fully cooked, but it’ll be set enough to handle the lemon curd topping.
Prep the ginger lemon curd — While the shortbread is baking, make the ginger lemon curd. This part is really easy, just mix together the wet ingredients (ginger paste, lemon juice, eggs, etc) and then incorporate the flour at the end.
Assemble and bake the ginger lemon bars — As soon as you take the shortbread layer out of the oven, spread the ginger lemon curd evenly on top of it and pop it back into the oven for another 20 minutes, or until set.
Chill the bars — Sadly, you can’t eat these ginger lemon bars right away. These really do need to chill in the fridge for them to be the right texture. Give it a solid 2+ hours before dusting these bad boys with powdered sugar and diving in!
In other news, is anyone else surprised how fast the winter came and went? Hey, I’m not mad about it, but I’m definitely surprised. It’s so, so nice opening all the windows in my room to let the breeze through, and to wake up to the chirps of little bird babies in the wee hours.
I have a few really fun trips planned for the next month or so that I can’t wait to share with you all. I’ll be a little less cryptic soon 🙂
Hope you have a wonderful start to your week. Love to each and every one of you!
1 tablespoon ginger paste (can sub 1 T fresh ginger grated on a microplane)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to low speed and incorporate flour.
Press dough firmly onto the bottom of the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Bake for 12 minutes.
While the shortbread is cooking, make the ginger lemon layer! In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients except for the flour. Once mixed, whisk in flour, making sure to whisk away any lumps.
Pour mixture on top of the cream cheese shortbread, then bake for an additional 20 minutes to set.
Cool bars for at least 2 hours in fridge, then cut and top with powdered sugar.