Archive for Baking

Lemon Poppy-Seed Cookies

1-IMG_0028Since we have a plethora of lemons around here, from our lemon/lime tree, I have been searching for new cookie recipes to try out on the cookie lovers at my house.  Last week I tried out this easy recipe for lemon poppy-seed cookies, from the Martha Stewart website.  I did add an additional cup of flour from the original recipe, as the dough was extremely sticky.  This was a trial run for this recipe, and they turned out ever so delicious.  I will definitely be adding these to my cookie recipe arsenal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (2 to 3 lemons)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan medium heat; cook until reduced by half. Add 1 stick butter; stir until melted.

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2.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Cream remaining stick butter and 1 cup sugar.  Mix in egg and lemon butter. Mix until pale, about 3 minutes.

4. Mix in vanilla and 2 teaspoons zest. Mix in flour mixture and poppy seeds.

5. In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1½ teaspoons zest.

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6. Roll spoonfuls of dough into 1½-inch balls or use your favorite cookie scoop; roll them in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

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7. Press each with the flat end of a glass dipped in sugar mixture until ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle with extra poppy seeds.(This is optional)

8. Bake until just browned around bottom edges, 10 to 11 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Makes about 30 cookies.  Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

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This cookie is like a little,  lemon shortbread.  It has definitely gotten better with age, and oddly enough we still have a few left in the cookie container.  Amazing!  This is a great recipe to make to send to long distance loved ones, or for your favorite Travel Guy to take with him on his next trip.  Come on over and pick some lemons from our tree and try out the recipe.  Next on my lemon cookie list will be good ‘ol Lemon Squares.  Happy baking everyone!

A Sweet Little Valentine Dessert

Yes it’s a few days after Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to share our sweet dessert with you all.  Travel Man was lucky enough to be home for this Valentine’s Day, and cooked me a great dinner that included steak, shrimp, au gratin potatoes, and green beans.  A yummy treat.  The food was great, and I’m sure tasted so good because  I took a back seat in the kitchen.  Travel Man made the dinner, and I made the dessert.  A great team effort.

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Our dessert was some brownies I baked from a box mix.  I watched the pan carefully while it was baking because I wanted the brownies to turn out extra ooey and gooey.  And they did.  I made these in the morning right after breakfast so they had plenty of time to be completely cooled.

For serving, I dug out my little heart-shaped cookie cutter and  sculpted the brownies that you see here on the plates.  Then we added some creamy, delicious, french vanilla ice cream, and enjoyed a sweet dessert feast.  Just a simple little dessert made with love, and lots of  chocolatey goodness.

Did you bake any special treats for your Valentine?

Have you ever Made Frosting with Flour?

I realized this week that I have neglected to post any recipes recently.  This is probably due to the party planning time, and actual parties in session over the past few weekends.  There is a recipe I have been meaning to share with everyone for a while now.  My Mom has a time-honored recipe for the best tasting frosting ever.

In our house this recipe is called “The Flour Frosting” recipe, and it goes something like this:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 lb Margarine or Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla

Directions

  1. Mix the milk and flour together in a small saucepan on the stove. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly until thickened. Cool this mixture completely in the fridge.
  2. Beat the sugar and margarine together until creamy.  This is a critical step, the butter and sugar must be smooth and creamy in order for the frosting texture to be smooth and creamy.  There can be nothing grainy going on with the butter and sugar.  If this happens the frosting will look separated, and not taste very creamy.
  3. Add the cooled flour mixture to the butter and sugar, along with the vanilla.
  4. Beat until fluffy, and frost your cake!

This frosting is very creamy and extremely delicious, just a little warning.  It is not really the variety of frosting that you can do a lot of serious Wilton style decorating with.  But you will not be disappointed in the flavor and pure yummyness that this frosting delivers.

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These are my brothers’ birthday cakes from his last two birthdays, both covered with flour frosting.  This frosting is his favorite and he always requests it for his cakes.  It is one of my all time favorites too.

Yesterday I found a recipe similar to my Mom’s on the Tasty Kitchen.  This recipe is called, That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had.  This is quite similar to my Mom’s recipe, and goes into some additional detail on the mixing directions.

If you are making your someone special a delicious Valentine’s Day treat, try this recipe out.    If you have some cupcakes or a cake to bake this week, try this recipe out.  If you have some graham crackers lying around, and some of this frosting leftover you can put them together for a delicious treat.  You will not be disappointed.  Happy baking everyone.

Oh I had fun making Cinnamon Rolls

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Now I know everyone is busy this week setting goals for the new year, maybe trying to cut back on the sweet treats and what you are eating, but the next time you have a sweet tooth and need a great sweet treat, you need to try this recipe.

Over the holidays I created the cinnamon roll recipe from my Pioneer Woman cookbook.  Oh and what fun I had.  I’m  pretty sure this was the last treat I put together for my 2012 Christmas baking season.  First of all you need to understand the I am a bread-head.  I love anything breadalicious.  Bread, rolls, French bread, sweet breads. ,yum, yum.

I actually haven’t made anything along the lines of a bread recipe since October when we had a homemade pizza party.  So I gathered the ingredients, made the dough as directed, and voila here’s what it looked like after is had risen for about an hour.  Beautiful isn’t it?

1-photo-001Whenever I see a bowl full of poofy dough like this I just want to punch it down and smell the sweet bread flavors, and I did.

Next was rolling out the dough into a semi-rectangle, and adding the toppings.  butter, cinnamon, sugar, butter, cinnamon, sugar.  It was wonderful.

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Then came “The Roll”!!  Starting at one end and rolling as tightly as you can, but uniformly until you end up with your rectangle of dough looking like this…

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This recipe makes two long rectangles for the cinnamon rolls.  The first rectangle I rolled was a little bit loose, and I probably could have rolled slightly tighter.  By the second rectangle I had my system in order and it turned out great.

Then you cut the rolls, place them into your baking pans, and let them rest and rise again.  I used foil pans, since most of these were going to friends and family for a Christmas treat.

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Once they rested, they go into the oven for 20 minutes, frost and you are ready for some seriously sweet noshing.  But make sure you include a good cup of coffee with your treat.  Then it becomes spectacular.

I had so much fun rolling the dough and putting the rolls together.  The texture of this dough was fantastic, and made the assembly process all the easier.

My taste testers here at the house have proclaimed that this recipe must be a new Christmas tradition.  I agree.  I will add this to my annual Christmas baking arsenal for many years to come.

What’s your favorite baking recipe?

>> Photo credit for this post goes to my Travel Man…

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