I got to use my new mixer to make these bars!
Check out this sleek, vintage model. How great is it?!
Well, my fellow runner who gave me these cute plates also had this amazing mixer that she wasn't using. I know, I know...I already have a vintage blender. (Yes, the one I got my finger stuck in.) It's still groovy, but I must admit that it has it's drawbacks. This new for me metal one covers those disadvantages. While I LOVE both of my blenders, I still wouldn't mind a Kitchenaid mixer!
That's why I am entering these Cherry Lemonade Bars with Lavender Frosting in the Creative Recipe Contest hosted by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups! The top prize is a pretty Kitchenaid mixer! (Although I'd be fine with the 2nd and 3rd place prizes, I'm trying to go for the gold!)
The contest is a fun one. Entrants had to look through recipes on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups and pick one that we like, but thought could be switched up a little bit.
Well, I saw these lemonade bars which reminded me that I wanted to make some lavender lemonade and thus my idea was born. I decided to go one step further than making a lavender frosting and added in some delightful cherries.
The combination of cherries with lemonade is a win-win. I was a little hesitant to try adding another flavor on top of that, but the subtle lavender flavor in the frosting makes the perfect medley with the tart of the lemon and sweetness of cherries.
I personally thought that these were some of the best dessert bars I've made but I couldn't confirm that until my taste testers (aka my coworkers) tried them. They agreed. One said that the flavors were "delicate and yet complex" and another one said that they were "better than monkey bread!" lol
You should definitely try making these because it's rather easy and your taste testers will love them!
Cherry Lemonade Bars with Lavender Frosting (adapted from Cookies and Cups' Lemonade Brownies)
Ingredients for Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup dry lemonade powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, plus 2 yolks
1 tsp vanilla (Erika's Extras: I was tempted to use almond extract but didn't...NEXT time.)
3/4 cup flour, plus 2 Tbsp
1/4 tsp baking powder
6 sweet cherries, diced (add more cherries if desired)
Ingredients for Glaze
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons of honey
1 Tablespoon of dried lavender
2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions for Bars
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray or butter an 8x8 pan with cooking spray/butter and set aside.
Cream butter, sugar and lemonade powder in mixer on low speed until completely combined. Add in egg, both yolks, and vanilla. Continue mixing until incorporated. Then add in the flour and baking powder. Once completely combined, add the diced cherries.
The batter will be slightly stiff so scoop the batter into prepared pan and then spread it out evenly.
Bake 15-20 minutes until edges begin to golden and center is JUST set. Do not over bake.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Instructions for Glaze
In a small pan over medium heat, stir the water and honey until completely combined. Once the water starts steaming, turn off heat, stir in lavender, and then place a lid over the pan and let the lavender seep for 10 minutes.
Strain the lavender water through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.
Put the powdered sugar in a medium bowl and add a Tablespoon of the lavender water to the powdered sugar. Stir and add a teaspoon of water at a time afterwards and stir in between each teaspoon. Stop adding the water when you get a thick, even, glue-like consistency. If it gets too watery, add more powdered sugar. (You will have lavender water left over.)
Pour the glaze on top of the cooled bars and let set for an hour before cutting into squares.
(adapted from Cookies and Cups' Lemonade Brownies)