The Joy of Baking.

Happy Monday all!

I just spilled half of my coffee on my brand new blue dress…it’s definitely a Monday over here. I am positive that this is nothing that the wash machine can’t handle. It has battled far worse stains on my clothes. You see, it is absolutely impossible for me to eat or drink without getting anything on my clothes. I have tried napkins…they don’t pass the test. Ironically, I don’t get anything on me when I cook or bake…that is, when I am wearing an apron. Anyway, enough with the spilled coffee situation let’s talk about the good stuff…the food, that is. BTW, How was your weekend? Mine was pretty uneventful. It was all about R & R over here, I even managed to get a mani/pedi with my mom on Saturday! Score! Wait, what was I talking about, o yes…food! 

Lately I have been really, really, ridiculously into baking. No joke. It just brings me so much Joy! Oddly enough, baking gives me a sense of calm and eases my nerves. You would think it would do the exact opposite, with all that measuring of the sugar, sifting the flour nonsense. But seriously…I have become a baking machine. You know who can seriously blow my baking skills out of the water? We all know her…we all love her (and if you don’t know her, you will, and then you will fall in love with her and her baking skills). This gal right here:
As you can see, I broke down and bought her first cookbook last week. 

BEST.INVESTMENT.EVER.

Now, I don’t know Joy personally, but I have met her…from afar at that little food festival I went to back in November. 

You see, I was so overcome with excitement that Joy the Baker was actually going to be at Foodbuzz Festival. I had even worked up enough courage to tell myself that nothing would stop me from meeting Joy. I mean, c’mon, she is like the modern day insert name of awesome person here…wait…she is way better than what’s her/his face! When I thought nothing would stop me from meeting her…hello nerves! So glad you could join me Foodbuzz weekend. I chickened out. To make myself feel better I told myself Joy was already surrounded by so many of her fans that wanted to talk to her…then I ate a scone. There is always next year.

Anyway, back to Joy being like the most awesomeness person/cook/baker/whatever…she really is. Now, if you know me, I can’t make a decision to save my life…so deciding which one of her cookbook recipes to make was no different. My life depended on it. I think I chose one of the best.

Joy’s Lavender Lemon Bars.
Now, this was not my first rodeo using lavender in my baked goods. 

I knew that I couldn’t go wrong.

Joy…if you are reading this. You rock! These lemon bars are God’s gift to the world. You inspire me to write my own cookbook and I will…maybe then you can buy mine? Yes? haha! I expected nothing less from Joy the Baker. Joy would probably say that they are pretty “major.” Sometimes I use that word to make myself look cooler, more Joy the Baker esque. 

You just can’t beat butter, sugar, and flour.
There are little specks of lavender all throughout the buttery crust.

The tangy, sweet lemon filling.
These Lavender Lemon Bars

are pretty dang MAJOR!
Each one gets topped with a bit of powdered sugar

and a pinch of lavender.
Then they get
eaten
one by one.
Lavender Lemon Bars from Joy the Baker Cookbook:

For the crust:
1 c. (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 t. dried lavender

For the lemon filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (about 2 to 3 lemons)
2 t. lemon zest
Powdered sugar and dried lavender for topping

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Butter a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
To make the crust: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl and add flour, salt, and lavender. Beat on low speed until dough just comes together. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl and incorporate the rest of the ingredients with a spatula. Dump the crust mixture into the prepared pan, and use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
To make the filling: while the crust is baking, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and pale. Add flour, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until completely blended and incorporated. Remove the baked crust from the oven and immediately pour the prepared filling over the hot crust. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned around the edges and no longer jiggly in the center.
Cool completely in the pan. Cut into wedges and dust with sifted powdered sugar and dried lavender buds. To store lemon bars, place in an airtight container in layers, separated by waxed paper. Lavender Lemon Bars will last, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

MANGIA!!!

P.S. Joy is doing a book tour. Go support!

Comments

  1. Oh I have been eyeing this book…now I just might have to break down and get it for my collection.
    What a nice review and sorry you weren’t able to meet her, but you are right there is always next year 🙂

  2. Rachel! You must get her cookbook…everything in it is too die for!

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