Lemon Thyme Shortbread (plus how to grow Lemon Thyme)


I absolutely LOVE Fresh Herbs....


....and my very favorite is Lemon Thyme. I have it planted in numerous places around my yard. It comes back faithfully every spring, and it usually even gives me fresh growth during the winter. I have to dig underneath to find it nestled under the top dried layer, but I can always find a few blessed and delightful sprigs when I need it's fresh and bright taste in the middle of the cold months.


But when Spring arrives, and it flourishes with new and boisterous growth, I love to showcase it in a beautiful and delicious dessert.

 Lemon-Thyme Shortbread


I have these shown topped with a Lemon Buttercream swirl, but most of the time I make these with a simple lemon glaze. I've included both versions for your pleasure. Enjoy!!



This recipe I created calls for Lemon Thyme, but you can substitute with regular thyme...the lemon flavor will just be less intense. You can also substitute with a variety of other herbs including Basil or Lavender. Have you ever tasted either of them in a shortbread or cookie? Just like the Lemon Thyme, they add an understated earthiness and balance to the sweet that is exquisite. 


Lemon Thyme Shortbread

325° for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned

8 oz Butter (I recommend a European Butter for all, or at least half, of it)
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (or extract)
2 cups Flour
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Thyme leaves (stripped from the stem…no need to chop the leaves)
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp Lemon Zest

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice and paste, and blend until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, leaves, salt and zest until well coated with the flour. Add to the butter mixture and blend until all the dry is incorporated.

With slightly damp fingers, press into your desired pan. A ¼ sheet pan yields thin pieces, but it will fit and is a good size for buffet bites. A smaller pan will give you thicker pieces, which are good for gift giving.

Lemon Glaze

This makes enough to glaze the shortbread base. Other juice or milk can be substituted for a different flavor. If using milk or cream, make sure to add an extract as well.

¼ cup Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

Combine well and spread over the moderately cooled crust (about 20 minutes out of the oven). Allow to rest for an hour after glazing before cutting into squares.

Lemon Buttercream

This makes enough to give a generous dollop on each piece of shortbread, or top frost the tops only of cupcakes or a sheet cake. You’ll want to double it for other purposes.

1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Lemon Pie Filling, or Lemon Curd
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
2 cups Powdered Sugar

Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the lemon filling and paste, and mix until well blended, scraping the sides as needed. Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until fully incorporated. Store excess in refrigeration.

I featured these bars, along with some other beautiful Springtime cookies, in a TV segment for Studio 5 on KSL/Channel 5 last year. You can see them HERE! You'll find additional recipes and photos to inspire a gorgeous Dessert Buffet for your next gathering, party or shower! 


Would you like to know how easy it is to grow Lemon Thyme for yourself? Please visit THIS POST on my creative blog to learn more!


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