Raspberry Lemonade Bars

Raspberry Lemonade Bar

Happy Independence Day

Raspberry Lemon Bars

raspberry lemonade bars 3

raspberry Lemonade bars 4

Raspberry Lemonade Bars

yield: (about 30-32 bars-depending on the size cut)

Crust:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 Cup sugar

2 Cups flour

pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the flour and salt together, then add to butter/sugar and beat until combined. Prepare a 9×13 inch pan lined with parchment paper with a 2 inch overhang. Press the crust into the bottom of the pan and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° F and bake for 15-20 minutes until very lightly browned. Place the pan on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Filling:

2 1/2 Cups sugar

zest of 3 lemons

1/2 Cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 Cup seedless raspberry puree (press fresh or thawed frozen raspberries through a fine sieve).

6 large eggs

1 Cup flour

red and/or burgundy gel paste food color (optional)

Confectioners sugar for serving

1. In a food processor pulse the sugar and lemon zest together several times; about 8-10. Add the lemon juice, raspberry puree, and eggs and combine until smooth. Add in the flour and pulse to combine. The filling is not quite the color that I liked- so I added a few drops of red and burgundy gel paste food coloring.

2. Pour the filling onto the crust and bake in a preheated 350° F oven for about 30 minutes until set; when you jiggle the pan the center should not look loose. Let pan cool over a wire rack. Refrigerate the pan of bars until well chilled before cutting into bars. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.


Mini Shaker Lemon Pies

You know my obsession for mini desserts, right? The shaker lemon pie is no exception. I love these little dainty lemon pies. Perfect for a shower or garden party or a brunch.

Since Summer is coming, and the last thing you want is a hot kitchen, they are perfect when you don’t want the oven on for too long, as they only take about 20 minutes of baking time. The recipe makes 24 mini pies. If you don’t have a silicon mini muffin pan I highly encourage you to buy one as it will make removing these SO much easier; there is no breaking or tearing of the crusts when you need to remove them, you simply just push them up out of the pan.  I purchased mine quite a while ago and I LOVE love love it. If you plan to make a lot of mini muffin sized desserts it is a good investment. I have several silicon pans of different sizes and they are my favorite.

Mini Shaker Lemon Pies 4

Shaker Lemon Pies

 

Mini Shaker Lemon Pies 2

shaker lemon pie inside

Mini Shaker Lemon Pies

4 organic (preferably unwaxed) lemons

1 1/3 Cups sugar (divided),  plus more for sprinkling

1/4 Cup water

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans (if not using silicone pans)

3 large eggs

one recipe fearless pie crust dough (or your favorite pie crust)

flour (for rolling out pie crust)

egg white for topping prep

1. Take 2 of the lemons and slice very thinly; removing seeds as you go along.  Place in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1/4 cup water and stir to combine. Heat over low heat until sugar dissolves and lemon slices turn translucent. Remove from the heat and scoop out the candied lemon slices, and place onto a parchment or wax paper lined tray. (Keep the lemon syrup). Once the candied lemon slices have cooled, cut them into quarters and save for assembling the pies; you may wrap them in parchment or wax paper and store in the fridge.

2. Grate the rind from 1 1/2 lemons as well as squeeze all the juice; add to the lemon syrup.  With the remaining half of lemon- slice paper thin slices to equal roughly 1/4 cup (I used a mandolin for this) and also add to the syrup. Add the butter and remaining sugar to the syrup and then heat over low heat until butter is melted. Once butter is melted, remove from heat.

3. In a small bowl beat the eggs, then using a strainer- add the eggs to the syrup mixture-a little at a time while whisking after each addition to ensure the eggs do not scramble. Once all the eggs are added, return the pan to the heat and cook gently while stirring frequently until the mixture becomes thickened and the consistency of jam. Increase the heat a little bit if needed, but be careful to ensure it does not get too hot, or the eggs will curdle. Remove from the heat and transfer the filling to a bowl and allow to cool. You may make the filling the day before and store in the fridge if you like.

4. Prepare mini muffin tins by lightly greasing; or as I prefer- use a silicone mini muffin pan. No need to grease if using a silicon pan. Roll out half of the pie dough thinly on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out 24 circles using a 2 1/2 inch cutter. Press each dough circle into prepared pan(s), rerolling trimmings as needed. When pressing the dough into the wells make sure to allow an edge of the dough so there is a bit of ridge around each well; this will help when placing the tops on to adhere to form a seal.

5. Using the other half of the dough cut out 24 circles with a 2 or 2/14 inch cutter with scalloped edge. Cut 3-4 slits in the tops of each of the dough tops. Fill each well of the prepared bottom crusts 3/4 full and top with 2 pieces of the candied lemon slices you made in step one. Brush the top edge of each of the filled pies with beaten egg white (I prefer to use a clean finger as opposed to a pastry brush for this as it is easier), then top each filled portion with the dough tops and press well to seal. Brush the tops of the completed assembled pies with beaten egg white, (rescore your vent slits at this time if need be) then sprinkle each pie with sugar and bake in a preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool over a rack for about 10 minutes before removing carefully. Serve slightly warm or cool.


Glazed Meyer Lemon Shortbread

 

There are days I really miss San Francisco. I miss all the wonderful restaurants.  I miss all the eccentric, diverse weirdos, people. I miss hearing the clang-clang of a distant cable car rolling down a steep hill.  I miss the faint orange of the Golden Gate bridge peeking through the dense fog.  I miss being able to drive up to the wine country at a moments notice. I could go on for hours with all the reasons.

Most of all, I miss my dear friends. Especially my friends with Meyer lemon trees….

and you know who you are… 

I used to get BAGS of them for free willingly dropped off onto my work desk.

Oh, the amazing meyer lemon. How I love thee…

I don’t even know how to describe the scent of a meyer lemon. Sure the taste is amazing- but it’s the smell that borders on exotic. You just have to smell one to experience it- One cannot simply describe how it smells (but I’ll try- It’s sweet, it’s distinctly floral, but at the same time lemony).

I recently found a bag of meyer lemons at the market (albeit-expensive)-insert appropriate child like weeping here)- so I just had to splurge and buy them. I was down right giddy when I spotted them. I admit I sat in my kitchen and snorted the scent coming off of those lemons for several minutes. Some of them I sliced thin and macerated them with sugar for a few hours at room temp until a natural syrup formed and then I added the syrup to my iced tea.

The rest I used to make shortbread. These little gems are packed with flavor- but I didn’t want to stop there- so I used some of the juice to mix with confectioners sugar to make a glaze.

Cheers to the meyer lemon, and more importantly to my friends who I miss. Even without your lemon trees you are forever dear in my heart.

meyer lemon shortbread 1

meyer lemon shortbread 2

glazed meyer lemon shortbread

Glazed Meyer-Lemon Shortbread

 

2 sticks (1 Cup) unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 Cup confectioners sugar

zest (finely grated) of 3 meyer lemons (reserve juice for glaze)

2 Cups all purpose flour

3/4 tsp. fine (table salt)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. lemon extract

1. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy; about 3 minutes, stopping often to scrape bottom and sides of mixer bowl. Stir in zest and combine. Add extracts and combine well. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Add flour mixture to ingredients and mix on low until combined. Place cookie dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and flatten out into a disk. Wrap well and place in refrigerator to chill for one hour.

2. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thickness. Peel off top sheet of paper. Dip desired cookie cutter in flour and cut cookies. (I used a 1 inch x 3 inch long cutter). If dough becomes soft while working- place back in the refrigerator to chill; before attempting to remove cut out cookies; cookies release much easier if dough is very cold. Re-roll any scraps and cut out remaining cookies. Place cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 325° F for about 14-15 minutes or until edges are just turning light brown. Allow cookies to cool on sheets then remove to a wire rack. Once completely cool, glaze with lemon glaze.

 

Lemon Glaze

1 Cup confectioners sugar

2 1/2-3 tsp. meyer lemon juice

In a small bowl whisk together sugar and lemon juice. You are looking for a fairly thick glaze; you don’t want it too runny. Spread glaze onto cookies with a small off set spatula. Let cookies sit for glaze to set; about one hour. Store cookies in an air tight container.

 


Orange and Clementine Sweet Rolls

I have an abundance of “cuties” (clementines) in my fruit drawer. We love them but sometimes they seem to linger around a bit before we can eat them all. Anyone who knows me, knows I love citrus of any kind. I especially love citrus desserts or snacks. These little cuties were calling me from the fridge to use them in breakfast. So I did. You could certainly make these rolls with just exclusively orange and they would be great. Enjoy~

orange sweet rolls

Orange & Clementine Sweet Rolls

Dough:

3/4 Cup milk

1/4 Cup unsalted butter, softened

3  1/4 Cups all-purpose flour

1 package (1/4 oz.) fast rising yeast

1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 Cup water

1 egg

1. In a small sauce pan scald the milk, then remove and add in the butter and stir until melted. Add the water. Set aside to keep lukewarm.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk 2 1/4 Cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar and salt. With the paddle attachment add in the milk mixture and blend. Add in the egg and beat well. Add in the additional cup of flour a bit at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Note; depending on the humidity you might have to add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup more of flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough using the mixer for about 5 minutes until the dough comes together in a ball.

3. Coat a large bowl with a little oil and place the dough inside the bowl and cover with a tea towel and let dough rest for 15 minutes.

4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 16 x 13 inches. See recipe below for filling. Prepare the filling by using your fingers to spread the 1/4 Cup of softened butter all over the surface of the dough except leave a border about 3/4 of an inch on all sides. Combine the sugar and zests well in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the butter. Scatter the candied orange zest over the sugar mixture. Using your hands pat the filling mixture down into the butter. Roll the dough into a log starting at the bottom edge. Pinch the seam down the length of the dough. Trim the ends of the log if necessary if too thin. Using a sharp serrated knife cut the log in half then each half cut into 6 equal pieces so you have 12 equal pieces. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally. Place the rolls cut side up 3 across. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

5. Spray a piece of tinfoil (large enough to cover the pan) with non stick spray. Cover the rolls loosely with tinfoil. Bake the rolls at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, then remove the tinfoil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let the pan cool slightly on a wire rack while you make the glaze.

6. For glaze: whisk together all the ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Pour over the warm rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature. Once glaze sets cover rolls with tinfoil to keep from drying out.

Filling:

1/4 Cup unsalted butter, softened

1 Cup granulated sugar

zest of one large orange

zest of one clementine

1/4 Cup finely diced candied orange peel

Clementine glaze:

2 Cups confectioners sugar

2 clementines, (cuties) juiced

zest of 2 clementines

**Note: If you like, you could use orange cream cheese icing instead of the clementine glaze. For the recipe click here:


Lime Syrup Cakes

It’s no secret I love citrus desserts. Frankly I like citrus anything. Anytime I can make a dessert wrapped around a piece of citrus I’m happy. These cakes pack a very bright citrus punch but the syrup balances out the cakes so they are not too tart. This is the recipe you make when limes are on sale. Limes were on sale the other day so I grabbed a bag and walked home thinking about how to impart them into a dessert. If you like you can make one standard size loaf cake. I happen to have a silicon bundtlette pan that I like to use for individual minis. These cakes are bright in taste and perfect after a spicy meal or after a meal where you want something not too heavy.

Lime Syrup Cakes

Lime Syrup Bundtlettes

Lime Syrup Cakes Closeup

Lime Syrup Loaf Cake Cut

Lime Syrup Cakes

yield: 12 mini (1/4 cup capacity) bundtlettes OR one regular 9×5 size loaf cake

Cakes:

1  1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Cup thick yogurt

1  Cup sugar

3 Lg. eggs, room temp

zest of 2  1/2  large limes

3/4  tsp. vanilla

1/2 Cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°  F or 180° C. Prepare a mini bundtlette cake pan by brushing with melted butter and dusting with flour.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the yogurt, one cup of sugar, eggs, zest of 2 limes (reserve the rest of zest for decoration), and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until combined. Using the whisk, fold in the vegetable oil until combined. Fill wells of bundtlettes to 3/4 full.

3. Bake at 350° until toothpick inserted comes out clean. My bundtlette pan size is a bit smaller than most-the wells hold a 1/4 cup filling and my baking time took 18 minutes, so check often until done as I’m not sure the standard size. If using a standard loaf pan the time will take about 45-50 minutes.

4. While the cakes are baking make the lime syrup by placing the 1/3 cup lime juice with the 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heating until sugar is dissolved, and simmer for 1 minute.

5. Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove and place a piece of parchment paper under the rack. Pokes holes in the top of the cakes with a toothpick about 1/2 inch apart. Dunk the cakes into the lime syrup by dunking all of the cakes except the very bottom. Turn the cakes upward so the tops are facing up. After 30 minutes, dunk the cakes one more time and sprinkle lightly with remaining lime zest. Allow cakes to cool completely. If making a large loaf-poke holes in the top of the cake and pour the syrup over and down the sides of the cake; after 30 minutes repeat the process using all of the syrup and sprinkle with lime zest.

Lime Syrup:

1/3 Cup fresh lime juice

1/3 Cup sugar


Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Sometimes you crave something sweet, but you can’t place exactly what it is that you want. You start running through your mind all the options for a sweet tooth fix but nothing sounds right. This is the time I usually go for something sweet and tart. I love tangy and citrus desserts. I never met a lemon dessert  I didn’t like. These cheesecake bars are really easy to whip together and they fulfill the sweet but tart craving. I had a jar of lemon curd in my pantry I had to use up, so I went with that rather than homemade, but you could make homemade lemon curd if you like. Enjoy~

Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Lemon Cheesecake Squares signed

 

Lemon Cheesecake Squares 3

 

Lemon Cheesecake Squares Slicing

recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

Gingercrumb Crust

1 (5 0z.) pkg. Pepperidge Farm “ginger-man”cookies, (or other gingersnap type cookies) ground to a fine crumb (to equal 1 Cup of crumbs)

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Prepare an 8 inch square pan lined with tinfoil to allow a 2 inch overhang on all sides. Lightly spray the foil with baking spray (nonstick spray). Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350° F. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 325° F. Make the filling as below.

Cheesecake Filling

2 (8 oz.) bars cream cheese, room temp

3/4 Cup sugar

zest of two lemons

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Lg. eggs, room temp

1. Cut the cream cheese into one inch pieces and place into a food processor along with the sugar, zest and lemon juice. Process for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add the eggs and process again about 20 seconds. Pour onto the crust and bake at 325 degrees for about 40 mins. or until the center appears dry and the edges become slightly puffed. Allow the cheesecake to cool about 10 minutes. Take the jar of lemon curd, spoon it into a bowl, and microwave for about 20 seconds to become warm. Gently pour the curd over the cheesecake, and spread evenly with an off-set spatula. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature then place the pan in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. Once chilled and set, remove the entire pan of bars using the tinfoil and peel away the foil and cut into squares.

Topping

(about 1 generous Cup purchased) jar of lemon curd (I like Dickinson’s)


Orange Cardamom Sables

I’ve kind of become obsessed with slice and bake. Cookies, that is. Even now when I make chocolate chip cookie dough I slap it onto plastic wrap, roll it into a couple logs and chill it so I can just slice em off and bake. It’s a great way to store cookie dough and when the mood strikes you-you just pull it out of the fridge or  freezer and bake off as many as you want.

Hint–it’s also a great way to make sure that those little cookie gremlins don’t keep sneaking into the kitchen to eat cookie dough out of the bowl before you start to bake.

If you store the rolls  in the freezer-it’s best to store them wrapped in parchment wrap rather than plastic. You can make your rolls fairly short so you don’t have to bake off too many if you don’t want. When you are ready to bake, just thaw out your cookie dough logs long enough (about 15 mins) so you can slice through them.

These orange cardamom sables are the quintessential slice and bake as sables are usually made in this fashion. I also find that a lot of cookie dough becomes better with “age” if it sits in the fridge for a bit. Even a few hours of chill time can make a difference in a good cookie.

I have a tip for storing your cookie dough also. When you empty a roll of paper towel, save the cardboard rolls and cut down vertically one side of the cardboard to create a spit. Place your rolls of dough inside the cardboard rolls as they chill, and they maintain their rounded shape. Make sure you inform your house mates, clan, family, roomies, etc. that you are intentionally keeping those rolls so they don’t get tossed in the recycle bin.

Happy Baking~

cardamom orange sables

cardamom sables h2

Cardamom Sables on Silpat

cardamom sable dough in sugar

cardamom sable dough h

Orange Cardamom Sables

yield: 2 dozen

1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp

1/3 Cup granulated sugar

Zest of one orange

1 Tbsp. ground cardamom

1/3 Cup confectioners sugar

1 Lg. egg yolk (save the egg white)

2 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 egg white

sanding sugar

1. In a small bowl combine the granulated sugar and orange zest by mashing the zest with the back of a spoon into the sugar until well combined. Add the cardamom and combine again.

2. Cream the butter granulated sugar mix and confectioners sugar until well combined. Add egg yolk and combine well. Mix the flour and salt together and add to the mixture, stir until combined. Separate the dough in half and on plastic wrap roll into 2 nine inch logs. Chill for 2-3 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or Silpat liner.  Unwrap the logs brush lightly with egg white and roll in sanding sugar to coat thoroughly. Tip: do not brush the egg white too wet as then the sugar becomes “slushy” and the sugar separates from the cookie. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 19-20 mins until lightly brown if lifted underneath. (Sacrifice a cookie to test). Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the cookies cool completely before eating as they need to cool to set.