11 tablespoons (150 g or 1 3/8 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (400 g) white granulated sugar1/4 cup (55 g) dark brown sugar
zest from 1 medium lemon
2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cup (315 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (140 g) almond meal or flour (see note below)
3 oz white chocolate
8 oz (1 brick) cream cheese at room temperature1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar
Zest from 1 medium lemon
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
*The almond meal adds a nice touch of nuttiness and moisture. If you don’t have almond meal or almond flour on hand making it is easy: just throw 1 1/4 cup whole almonds into a food processor and pulse until you have powder. Or, if you don’t have almonds, just add an extra 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour in it’s place.
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Lightly spray a 10 x 15 inch rimmed baking sheet and line with a piece of parchment paper with an inch or two of paper hanging over the edge.
2. Pour the melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugars and lemon zest to the butter and mix on medium speed to incorporate. Add the lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix to incorporate, making sure that each egg is full blended in before adding the next egg. Add the flour and almond meal and mix to incorporate.
3. Spread the dough (it will be sticky) in the lined baking sheet, making sure it’s evenly distributed to the edges. Bake in the oven 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the blondie dough starts to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the blondie cool in the pan on a wire rack completely.
4. Make the cream cheese frosting. Chop the white chocolate into small 1/4 inch chunks and placing them in a metal bowl fitted over a small pot with a little bit of water. Make sure the metal bowl isn’t touching the water and turn the heat on and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat off and let the residual heat from the water steam melt the white chocolate. While the white chocolate is melting, place the cream cheese in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then sift the confectioners’ sugar over it. Beat until incorporated. Scrape the melted white chocolate into the frosting and beat to incorporate.
5. Place the lemon zest in a small bowl and sprinkle the sugar over it. Let it sit while you frost the sheet cookie completely to the edges over the cookie. Sprinkle the top of the frosting with the sugared lemon zest (it will be moist, as the sugar has dissolved and made it sticky). The lemon zest will stick together so do your best to separate the zest to evenly distribute it over the cookie. Sprinkle the pomegranates over the frosting as well. Chill the lemon cookie bars in the fridge, uncovered for an hour, then cut into squares or triangles, trying not to cut through any pomegranate seeds. Store in the fridge, but serve at room temperature.
Makes 4 square cookie bars or 48 triangle cookie bars.