Lemon Truffle Shortbread Bars | Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


These lemon truffle shortbread bars are like diving head first into a pan of creamy, cheesecake-ish, lemon bar heaven. Absolute perfection for lemon lovers!

Lemon truffle shortbread bar on white plate.


Where my lemon lovers at??

Today’s amazingly delicious and decadent lemon truffle shortbread bars recipe is for YOU.

And me. Of course.

I’m a lemon lover extraordinaire. And even my dark chocolate loving soul doesn’t feel insecure about it.

Lemon desserts are my jam. Or rather, really, really good lemon desserts are my jam.

You know, like Magnolia lemon pie, this incredible lemon blueberry cake, and no-bake lemon blueberry cheesecake.

Lemon truffle shortbread bars in 9X13-inch metal pan with piece cut out.

However, if I’m being perfectly honest, I wasn’t entirely sure I would share this lemony lemon dessert.

It’s multi-layered. {As you can see.}

And all those layers are made from scratch. Which, you know, is also my jam.

I love taking sometimes-processed recipes and turning them into homemade wonders.

But doing so requires a slightly higher investment of time. Love. A tad bit more energy (don’t worry, you can watch Netflix whilst stirring the lemon layer).

So I’m under no illusion this type of homemade dessert will float everyone’s boat.

But it floats mine. And in the off chance it could float someone else’s, I decided to just post the dang recipe already. (Spoiler alert: I included a storebought hack in the notes.)

Lemon truffle shortbread bar on white plate.

These lemon truffle shortbread bars are luxurious. Luxurious and crazy, crazy delicious.

The buttery shortbread base carries the weight of the lemon-loving world on its shoulders. The lemon flavor is bold, bright, fresh, and perfect – and it is evident in every layer of creamy goodness.

The premise is simple: you whip up a homemade lemon curd (which, if you aren’t familiar, is a fantastically delicious, thick lemon glaze that is made similarly to a homemade pudding).

That lemon curd/glaze becomes that vibrant middle layer AND serves as an integral component for the other two layers as well (along with white chocolate and cream cheese – hence the truffle effect!).

If you are looking for a lemon dessert to end all lemon desserts, these lemon truffle shortbread bars are a serious contender.

They are sure to please everyone from shortbread fans to cheesecake lovers to lemon supporters, and they really are as delicious as they look. Really.

Lemon truffle shortbread bar on white plate.

 

One Year Ago: Best Italian Pasta Salad {With Quick Homemade Italian Dressing}
Two Years Ago: Double Chocolate Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three Years Ago: Cajun Chicken Stroganoff
Four Years Ago: Slow Cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches
Five Years Ago: Banana Pudding Caramel Cream Trifles

Yield: 9X13-inch pan of bars

Lemon Truffle Shortbread Bars

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons, 8 ounces) butter

Lemon/Cream Layers:

  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup granulated sugar (you’ll use 1/2 cup first and 1/3 cup later)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped (see note)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions:

  1. For the shortbread crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl or in a food processor. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender (or process in the food processor) until the butter is in tiny pieces and the mixture is coarsely crumbled.
  2. Press the mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9X13-inch baking pan and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  3. For the lemon curd, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, water, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/3 cup granulated sugar until well-combined and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add to the saucepan with the other ingredients and whisk to combine.
  4. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once bubbles pop at the surface and the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Remove about 2 cups of the mixture to a separate bowl, cover, and set aside to cool completely.
  6. To the remaining lemon curd, add the white chocolate and stir until melted. Let cool to room temperature. Add the cream cheese and whip with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Remove 1 cup of the creamy mixture to another bowl, and spread the rest of the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of the shortbread crust.
  8. Combine the reserved 1 cup mixture and the whipping cream. Beat until thickened and soft peaks form that mostly hold their shape, 2-3 minutes.
  9. Spread the reserved 2 cups cooled lemon curd (with nothing added to it) on top of the cream cheese layer. It helps to dollop in large spoonfuls across the bars before spreading.
  10. Spread the whipped cream mixture on top of the lemon curd (again, dollop spoonfuls of it across the bars before spreading).
  11. Refrigerate the bars for at least an hour before cutting and serving (can be refrigerated 8-12 hours before serving).

Notes:

I have not used white chocolate chips for this recipe – I use the Ghirardelli chocolate bars (not almond bark) because sometimes white chocolate chips don’t melt well, but you can certainly experiment. 

To make the prep of this recipe a bit easier, if you have a storbought brand of lemon curd you love, you can try using that (you’ll need about 4 1/2 cups). 

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