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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Making the best Lemon Bars even better…

I found a pin on Pinterest for these lemon bars and the looked and sounded amazing. They are from the great blog “Make Mine Lemon”.

I baked them exactly as instructed (which isn’t always the case for me). They were good, but the lemon topping was too thin for my taste. These photos are from  my first baking.

So, the next time I made them in a loaf pan instead of an 8″ x 8″ pan. The benefit here is less crust to make and more lemon-y topping. I used a parchment sling in the pan and chilled the baked bars for about 6 hours. I sliced them in strips, and then sliced those strips in half. They were soooo good. (I forgot to take photos of my second try.)

lemon bar ingredThese are the simple ingredients

lemon bars

This is my first baking in the 8 x 8 pan which made the topping too thin, and I didn’t crush the cookies enough so the crust was too chunky

finished lemon bars

 Here they are in the parchment sling before slicing.

Here’s my take on “Make Mine Lemon”  lemon bars

Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 3/4 cup ginger snap crumbs-I used store bought cookies
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Filling
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1 whole egg and 1 egg white
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Powdered sugar to dust top after cooled.
Instructions
  1. Mise en place ~ Gather all ingredients
  2. Bring all ingredients to room temperature
  3. Preheat oven – 325°F
  4. Line a loaf pan with a parchment sling
  5. In a food processor whiz cookies into crumbs or place in a large baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin. Add melted butter; mix
  6. Press crumbs in bottom of pan; set aside
  7. In a food processor or mixer whiz sugar and zest until well blended.
  8. Add cream cheese
  9. Add one whole egg and one egg white
  10. Add lemon juice, vanilla
  11. Add flour, salt
  12. Bake about 22-25 minutes or until filling is lightly set.
  13. Wait for bars to cool in pan .
  14. Chill bars in pan for 4 or more hours.
  15. Remove the bars using the sling. Slice and dust with powdered sugar if you wish.
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Testing Madeleines

I have been on a quest for an easy and yummy Madeleine. I found a recipe made with cake flour and no baking powder, so no bitter taste. I also found a technique which makes the cookies even better, and gives them their “hump”. It’s as simple as refrigerating the batter in the pans for at least an hour. Then bake them on a preheated cookie sheet. And here is another important technique…only fill your pans 3/4 full to get the perfect shell shape.

The recipe that I used was from Make Mine Lemon. The technique tip came from Dorie Greenspan.

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Can you see the tiny hump?

When the world seems crazy, drink tea

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Wow, it’s been a crazy, sad week with moments of inspiration from heroes shining through the fog.
It seems a good time to slow down and reflect on life’s blessings.
Tea is a slow drink, it must brew on its own schedule. It can’t be rushed.
This tea, Paris by Harney & Sons is delightful. I take it with a bit of sugar and milk. It’s just perfect for a Friday afternoon.

Cadbury Eclairs

My wonderful sister brought me these treats from England.
Here we have a caramel with a chocolate center. Each candy is wrapped in Cadbury purple and gold. The caramel is pretty good, but the chocolate is too little. I was expecting more of that glorious Dairy Milk. I’ll still end up finishing off the bag, so you know that they are good, but they could be even better with a wee bit more chocolate.

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My daughter the baker

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I was greeted by this wonderful treat when I came home from work. My daughter found the recipe on Pinterest, and it was a success!
A layer of rich brownie topped by chocolate chip cookie dough. All you need is a small square and a big glass of milk.

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Happy Chocolate Mousse Day!

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Screen shot 2013-04-03 at 8.26.41 AMThis is one made-up-holiday that has my full support! Here’s a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that has the taste, but not all of the fat. Oh those geniuses!