This recipe for Lemon Love Notes is one of the finest love notes recipe you can bake. Love notes are a lemon bar, but not just any lemon bar!
With a buttery shortbread crust flavored with lemon and coconut, and their sweet lemon and coconut glaze, they are a favorite with anyone I bake the for.
I had not made them in a very long time, so today I decided to small batch my original recipe with excellent results!
But don't worry I have also entered the full recipe measurements in the notes section of the printable recipe. That way you can either bake a small batch when you only want a few, or a larger batch when you are wanting more!
If you love Lemon, you are simply going to adore these. They are fabulously tasty!
Shortbread crust??? I am there!!! Shortbread crust flavored with lemon??? I am there!!! Add some flaked coconut??? I am there!!! Lemon coconut glaze??? Count me in, roll me in it, poke me, I'm done!!!
In all seriousness, there is nothing about these bars that you won't love. They are incredibly easy to make, bake and even easier to eat!
You begin by making that beautiful shortbread base. I love shortbread cookies, with their crisp and buttery texture. This is much the same, except it is flavored with fresh lemon zest and sweetened flaked coconut.
You can use an unwaxed lemon, but you will still need to really scrub it. Just think of all the pesticides that are used in Orchards, not to mention spider, fly and bug dirt. You want to get all of that off the surface.
A good vegetable brush and some warm soapy water does the trick beautifully. Once you have done that, just dry it off and zest.
I have a fine micro-plane zester/grater. I use it for all of my citrus zesting and also for grating fresh parmesan cheese. It works a charm.
I always just use lightly salted butter for all my baking. Unless the recipe actually specifies unsalted, salted works fine. There is really not much of a difference.
If you use regular salted butter, however, you may want to leave the salt out of the recipe.
Icing sugar is used because of its propensity to melt right into the butter when you are creaming the two together. This helps prevent you from having a gritty finish.
Icing sugar is also known as powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar. Sift it to get any lumps out.
I have never made these with unsweetened coconut, or desiccated coconut, so I cannot answer to how the end result is with either of those. I just use regular sweetened flaked coconut.
It works fine and no, the bars are not too sweet. They are just right. Lemon requires things to be a bit on the sweeter side.
The dough for the shortbread base for these bars is a bit on the tacky side, although not extremely so. For ease in pressing it into the pan, you can lightly flour your fingers, or use an off-set spatula if you have one.
It doesn't have to be totally smooth, but you should try to make it pretty even throughout.
Do NOT over bake these. You want the crust/base to be mostly off-white in color, with just a bit of brown around the edges. This is perfect. If you overbake them, they will be hard.
You don't want that. I find that between 20 to 25 minutes is just perfect in my oven. Start checking them at 20 minutes just to be sure.
Do not skip the glaze. The glaze is essential to the integrity of these bars. In other words, you need it.
Its simply sifted icing sugar, whisked together with some more coconut and then lemon juice until smooth. You want a thickish drizzle. Not thin enough to flick. You want to be able to spread it without it running off the sides of the bars.
If you add it while the base is still warm, it spreads a lot easier. I dollop it in small dollops all over the base and then spread it out with the back of a metal spoon.
I then sprinkle a tiny more coconut overtop before it sets. I think its really pretty this way.
To get perfect shaped bars, cut three times in one direction and four in the other. This will give you 12 bars in an 8-inch square pan.
If you are making the full batch in a 9 by 13-inch pan, you can cut it three times in one direction and 8 times in the other, giving you 24 perfect bars.
I am not sure where I got the original recipe from, or where this recipe gets its name. I had it written down in my big blue binder. Probably copied it out in the 1980's, perhaps from a ladies magazine or a book I got from the library.
I used to be always taking cookbooks out of the library and copying out recipes from them. I never put the source, unless it was a recipe I got from a friend. Then the source was always carefully noted.
I never dreamt that one day I would be sharing these treasures with the world, or I might have been more careful. In any case, you are sure to fall in love with these beautiful lemon bars.
Buttery and crisp, with a beautiful texture and lush lemon flavors these will go down a real treat. Beautiful with a hot cuppa during your morning break, and, when we get back to socializing, these are the perfect addition to any tea party or ladies' luncheon!
Lemon Love Notes
Yield: 12 bars
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min
This is a small batch of a full recipe for the most lovely lemon bars with a lemon and coconut shortbread base and a lush lemon coconut drizzle. Delicious! (See note for measurements to make full batch of 24 bars)
For the base:
7/8 cup (123g) all purpose, plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (120g) butter, softened
1/2 cup (65g) icing sugar, sifted
1 large free range egg yolk
1/2 cup (50g) flaked sweetened coconut
the finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
For the icing:
1 cup (130g) icing sugar, sifted
the fresh juice of 1/2 lemon
2 TBS flaked sweetened coconut, plus a bit more to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/gas mark 4. Butter an 8 inch square baking tin and line with baking paper. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and icing sugar until light. Beat in the egg yolk. Stir in the salt, coconut, and lemon zest. Add the flour gradually until well combined. Using lightly floured hands, press this mixture evenly in the prepared baking tin.
Bake on the center rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until set and just turning brown at the edges. Take care not to over bake.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack.
Whisk together the icing sugar and coconut for the glaze. Whisk in the lemon juice until smooth. You should have a drizzle icing. Drizzle over the base to completely cover and then smooth it out with an off-set spatula. Sprinkle with a bit of coconut to finish.
Leave to cool completely. Cut into 12 bars to serve.
To make a full batch: You will need a 9 X 13-inch pan.
1 3/4 cup (245g) all purpose plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (240g) butter
1 cup (130g) icing sugar
1 large free range egg
1 cup (100g) sweetened flaked coconut
1 TBS finely grated lemon zest
For the glaze:
2 cups (260g) sifted icing sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
4 TBS flaked sweetened coconut, plus more to finish
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