Yield: 16-ish bars, depending on how you cut ‘em
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
- ⅓ cup (66g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup + 7 Tbsp (173g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 10 Tbsp (7oz or 198g) sweetened condensed milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Color Kitchen Foods Powdered Food Colouring
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8" x 8" metal baking pan.
- Combine lemon zest and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using your fingers, rub together until sugar turns yellow and you smell that lemony goodness.
- Connect paddle attachment, then add butter to bowl. Beat until fluffy and well mixed.
- Beat in lemon juice, egg, vanilla paste, and baking powder.
- Add flour, then mix again on low just until incorporated, scraping down bowl as necessary.
NOTE: The dough will sorta look like mashed potatoes, and it will be rather sticky.
- Using an offset spatula, spread cookie dough into prepared pan.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes or until set and lightly golden at the edges.
- Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Once bars are totally cool, turn out onto a plate or other serving dish.
- Now it’s frosting time! In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip butter until it is very light and fluffy and has tripled in volume, 6–8 minutes. Scrape down bowl as necessary.
- With mixer running on medium speed, add a third of sweetened condensed milk and all of almond extract. Whip for about 10 seconds. Stop and scrape down bowl. Repeat twice more with remaining two-thirds of sweetened condensed milk, being careful not to overmix.
NOTE: If you’re going to make your frosting all one colour, you can add the Color Kitchen Foods powdered food colouring during this step.
- If you want to make multiple hues or shades of frosting, divide your frosting into small bowls. Then mix the desired powdered food colouring into buttercream by hand.
NOTE: For our frosting, we wanted light yellow, bright yellow, lavender, and deep purple, so we divided our buttercream into four bowls. We then added the powdered food colouring as follows:
💛 light yellow: ⅓ of yellow packet
💛 bright yellow: ⅔ of yellow packet
💜 lavender: ⅓ of pink packet + ⅓ of blue packet
💜 deep purple: ⅔ of pink packet + ⅔ of blue packet
- Using piping bags and your favourite tips or an offset spatula, decorate cookie bars with buttercream however you like!