Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

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Pecan Lemon Bars

January 19, 2018

With baby #2 on the way, I find watching cooking shows problematic: I see something and suddenly that’s what I want to eat. The other night they were baking lemon bars, so here you go. These are extra special with pecans in the cookie base; if you don’t want the nuts, you can always substitute more flour.

20180119 Lemon Bars 01

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
  • 3/4 c ground pecans
  • 2 c flour, divided
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 c lemon juice
  • 1/2 t baking powder

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the butter with the pecans, 1 1/2 cups of the flour, and the brown sugar until well mixed and crumbly. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can always do this step by hand).
  3. Spread the pecan cookie base into the prepared pan. Press with your fingers to even it out on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until light and well mixed.
  7. Whisk in the baking powder and remaining 1/2 cup of flour.
  8. Pour the lemon mixture on top of the cookie base.
  9. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the top is starting to turn golden and the filling looks set.
  10. Allow to cool before slicing. You are welcome to dust with powdered sugar if you’d like!
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Fruitcake Inspired Shortbread Cookies

December 23, 2017

My mom enjoys fruitcake, although most of the family does not. I decided to try making a fruitcake inspired cookie in her honor for the winter holiday. This was the result. These would also be delicious with a little lemon glaze (powdered sugar + lemon juice + milk).

You will need:

  • 1 c dried fruits (such as cranberries, cherries, apricots etc.), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c bourbon
  • 1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c flour

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, combine the dried fruits and bourbon. Allow to macerate for 3 hours, before draining.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour.
  5. Stir in the macerated dried fruits.
  6. Roll the dough out until it is 1/2-inch thick. Cut however you want!
  7. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until starting to turn golden at the edges.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

20171221 Fruitcake

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Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

December 22, 2017

20171219 Molasses 02

These might be my new favorite cookies. They are spicy and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/3 c raw sugar (I made these for the holidays, so I used a green sparkling sugar)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl,cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the molasses, egg, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour until mixed.
  5. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
  6. Roll each dough ball in the raw sugar.
  7. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges start to set.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Eggnog Cookies

December 21, 2017

Have some extra eggnog in your fridge? Add them into these cookies for a special holiday treat. They are perfect with…eggnog! (or cocoa!) This recipe make about 2 dozen cookies.

20171219 Eggnog 02

You will need:

  • 3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c eggnog
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 1/4 c flour

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggnog, vanilla, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder.
  4. Slowly add the flour until combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Leave 1-2 inches between the cookies.
  6. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until starting to turn light golden brown.
  7. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Lemon Meringue Pie

November 9, 2017

20171027 Lemon Pie 05Lemon meringue is one of my mom’s most favorite types of pie. I was missing her the other afternoon, and we had friends coming over for dinner. One thing led to another and soon we had a lemon meringue pie for everyone!

You will need:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 5 large eggs, split into yolks and whites
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 c whole milk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 c fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar

20171027 Lemon Pie 04

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie dough, trimming the edge if needed.
  2. Lightly prick pie dough all over with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with raw rice.
  5. Bake until the sides are set and edge is just turning a pale golden color, about 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove the foil and rice; return pie crust to the oven and back until the pie crust is golden, another 10-20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks in a small mixing bowl.
  8. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  9. Gradually add the water and milk, whisking until smooth.
  10. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently as the mixture begins to thicken.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks to temper the yolks.
  13. Then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
  14. Whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
  15. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until incorporated.
  16. Cover the surface with wax paper to keep warm and prevent a film from forming.
  17. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  18. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, and the vanilla until they hold soft peaks.
  19. Keep beating and add the powdered sugar gradually, until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
  20. Pour the lemon curd filling into the prepared pie crust.
  21. Spread the meringue on top of the lemon curd filling, covering completely.
  22. Bake until the meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.
  23. Cool completely on a wire rack for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

20171027 Lemon Pie 01

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Fresh Apple Crisp

October 26, 2017

20170918 Apple Crisp 03

Isn’t fall fabulous? The leaves change to beautiful colors; the temperature drops; and you can do all sorts of fun activities like apple picking! We took R to his first orchard recently. He loved picking apples, although the goats on the farm were still a little daunting.

You will need:

  • 8 tart apples
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 8 T unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Spread the apples in the baking dish.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine together the flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
  5. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is coarse and crumbly.
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the apples.
  7. Bake until golden, tender and bubbling, about 50-60 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving. It’s particularly yummy with a little vanilla ice cream or fresh cream on top.
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Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

April 28, 2017

20170408 PB Trifle 03

D gave me a beautiful trifle dish recently, and we made this trifle to celebrate. At its most basic, a trifle is a layered dessert that usually has some combination of cake, pudding and whipped cream. This one is extra special with peanut butter and brownies – a combination we love!

You will need:

  • 1 fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size), prepared according to package directions
  • 2 packages (13 ounces each) miniature peanut butter cups
  • 4 cups cold 2% milk
  • 2 packages (5.1 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cartons (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Then you will…

  • Cut or break brownies into 3/4-in. pieces.
  • Roughly chop the peanut butter cups; set aside 1/3 cup for garnish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick).
  • Whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla until well mixed. Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Place a third of the brownies in a 5-qt. glass bowl; top with a third of the remaining peanut butter cups.
  • Spoon a third of the pudding mixture over the top. Repeat layers twice.
  • Garnish with reserved peanut butter cup pieces.
  • Refrigerate until chilled.

 

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