Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Thyme for Lemon... Bars (and other food concepts)

I've decided that each time I use fresh thyme in a dish, I'm going to thank God for His perfect timing in our lives.  Food really can get me thinking outside my own head.  In other words- not thinking about what I'm paid to think about all day... but other things, maybe even more important things.  It's important to have those outlets I suppose.  Cooking is that for me.

It's like the line in Julie and Julia when Julie comes home after a stressful day at work and finds comfort in mixing eggs, sugar and chocolate- always producing that predictable and delectable chocolate cream pie.

I'll warn you that I'm in a rather pensive mood as I write.  

It's not that I use food, but I do USE food to find commonality.  I use it between my husband and I when we haven't spoken all day- at least we know we can sit at the table and spill our guts over a simple but favorite dinner.  Or when we have people over for a meal, there's something about sitting at a table to share a meal and good conversation.  It's the coming together to do something we all have to do so might as well have relationship while doing it.  I think this was one of God's great intentions with meals and food.  More on that later... on to Giada's Lemon Thyme Bars.

The uniqueness and simple ingredients led me to bookmark this recipe months ago.  Finally got around to making them.  More like shortbread (maybe with tea?!) than your traditional lemon bars, but with a little vanilla ice cream on top- you'll have no problem serving these for dessert!

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 and grease your dish (8x8 if you have it).  I love this trick with using the left over butter wrapper to grease the dish.

Sprinkle flour over butter lining the dish.

Put all dry ingredients into bowl.

Here's the thyme part.  Don't be scarred.  It's just an herb... IN YOUR DESSERT!  And yes, everyone WILL notice.  It's earthy, it's risky, but cook on the wild side.  Give it a shot.  PS: I think fresh thyme is a must on this recipe... dry just won't do here.

It's easy to remove the leaves when pulling from the stem TOP to BOTTOM.  They'll come right off.  Perfect.

Chop up thyme leaves and add to dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix your butter and sugar.

Add your lemon juice...

... and your vanilla.  Now, in go the dry ingredients!

Mix well, then spread in dish evenly.  Giada recommends using damp fingers to do this to prevent sticking.  VERY helpful.

Bake 30 minutes.

Let cool for 30 minutes.

Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar for glaze and pour on top of bars.  Allow glaze to set for about an hour.

Simply delicious.  So not your average lemon bar.

Hope you give these a try and thanks for letting me ramble a little more than usual tonight.


  1. I love it that when your man is away you cook/blog. I was blogging about food too while the boys hung out in the "man room" - I have to say... this look SOOOO good.

  2. I have "lemon thyme" herb growing nicely...I be that would work superb!!

  3. They're in the oven, with lemon-thyme from the garden. Hint: much easier to spread the batter, and later the glaze, with an offset spatula.

  4. They're just out of the oven, using lemon-thyme. Waiting to glaze. Hint: Using an offset spatula to spread the batter and, eventually, the glaze, is much easier!