Lemon Thyme Bars

Jill, from JBean Cuisine, chose baking with fresh herbs as this month’s theme for What’s Baking.  I have never cooked with, let alone baked with, a fresh herb, so I was excited for the challenge.  I had my husband pick me up some thyme because originally I was going to add it to some cheddar biscuits.  But, I made scones for breakfast that morning and since biscuits are similar, I really didn’t have a taste for them anymore.  I definitely want to make those biscuits later (Of course I’ll share :D), but what do I do with the thyme now?   Dessert to me seems a bit weird.  I know that adding herbs to desserts has become quite popular, but I haven’t tasted one yet.  So, why not go the dessert route and try something totally new.  I also had some lemons and from what I have read, thyme and lemon are a great flavor combination.

In my search for a recipe, I came across Giada’s glazed lemon thyme bars that got great reviews and they looked delicious.  The dough is kind of like a shortbread, though less crumbly, scented with lemon and thyme.   The thyme was interesting to work with since I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it.  I tried to run my thumb and index finger first up the stalk and then down the stalk, but either way, they just kept breaking.  So, I just pulled the leaves off one by one…which took forever.  I’m sure there is a better way.  If anyone has any good tricks, I’d love to know!  The leaves are so tiny, they weren’t so easy to chop either.  So, I just kept mounding them up and running my knife through them.  It seemed to do the trick.  The glaze is simply lemon juice and powdered sugar, so it has a nice pucker to it.  What you end up with is a pretty,  grown-up tasting bar- the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea.

Lemon Thyme Bars


1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves   I used 1 TBSP

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

I added the zest of about 1/2 a lemon.


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish.  I used a metal 8 x 8 pan, sprayed with Pam for baking.  Next time I would add a parchment liner to make them easier to remove and cut evenly.

In a small bowl combine flour, thyme and salt. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 stick of butter and powdered sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. The dough is very sticky, so using damp fingers (dip your fingers in a bowl of water), press the dough into the prepared pan. I also used a wet butter knife to make them as smooth as possible. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. Cool for 30 minutes.   Because I used a metal pan, I baked them at 350F for about 25 minutes.


In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and powdered sugar together until smooth. Spoon the glaze over the cooled crust. Allow the glaze to harden, at room temperature, for at least 1 hour.

Using a metal spatula, remove the crust from the pan. Cut into 1 1/2-inch square bars and arrange on a serving platter or store airtight in a plastic container at room temperature.

Source:  Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis

Leave a comment


  1. Using herbs in my baking is something I ought to do more often, your bars look incredible😀


    • Thanks Choc Chip Uru. I’ve never used fresh herbs before. But now, I want to try more recipes that use them. Next up, those cheddar thyme biscuits for sure.

  2. Just popping by to let you know that I have awarded you the Beautiful Blogger Award😀
    Much deserved and congratulations my friend!
    Check it out here: http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/heres-smore-irony/

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. These lemon thyme bars sound fantastic, Kim! I’m glad we were both able to find and bake dessert recipes with fresh herbs this month!

    • Thanks Eva! What’s Baking really encourages me to try new things. Don’t you just love that? 😀 Your lemon basil cake looks delicious too.

  4. These bars sound amazing. I love anything with lemon, and I love the addition of fresh herbs. What a perfect summer dessert!

  5. This looks SO good! I’m intrigued by the combination of ingredients, it sounds fabulous!

  6. Wow these sound fanstastic! what an interesting combo!

  7. I have lots of lemons on my tree, so these would be perfect:) Thanks for sharing.

  8. I tried these and they were amazing! The lemon was super refreshing and the thyme was the perfect, subtle complement. It was like drinking a perfectly sweetened lemonade in a garden. Great job, Kim.

  1. What’s Baking June Round-Up |         

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