Tag Archive for baking

Luscious Lemon Squares

Since it’s January, and my lemon tree is over loaded with lemons, it’s about time I share a lemony, delicious recipe with you.  Lemon squares are one of my Mom’s favorite desserts. She’s been asking me when we’re going baking these yummy little goodies.  I think it’s high time we gather some lemons and get to work.

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This is my favorite recipe for lemon squares from The Betty Crocker Ultimate Cookie Book.  I think I got this book from my Mom a few years ago.  Thanks Mom!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  • Mix flour, butter and powered sugar.
  • Press into ungreased square pan 8x8x2 or 9x9x2, building up a ½ edge to form a small crust.
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  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Beat the remaining ingredients together on high-speed until light and fluffy.
  • Pour this mixture over the baked layer, and bake again for 25-30 minutes.
  • There should be almost no indentation remaining when lightly touched in the center.  A thin crust will form over the top of the bars.
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  • While the pan is still warm sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

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  • Cool the pan completely, and then sprinkle with a second layer of powdered sugar.

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I cut the 8×8 size pan into small little squares, and remember the lemon flavor gets better with age.  If you can stand to let these little beauties sit around for a few days they taste better and better each day.  This batch was particularly yummy, and the lemony middle just melted in your mouth.  I have to admit they did not last long, and I made a second batch a few days later.

My next lemony adventure will most likely be a lemony sorbet, lemon poppy seed cake, or maybe a lemon-ricotta cheesecake.  Looking forward to trying the cheesecake this weekend.  Happy baking everyone.  What’s your favorite lemony recipe?

It’s Been Too Long

IMG_0033It’s high time I got back to my writing.  It’s  been a long time coming, too long as a matter of fact.   This summer’s been somewhat different here at the Party House.  It’s been unusual, eventful, sad, happy, and all of the emotions in between.  Let’s see,  we’ve been dealing with the loss of my Dad, helping my Mom to keep putting one foot in front of the other, flying back and forth across country, driving across country, planning a backyard wedding, throwing a backyard wedding (quite successfully I might add), and moving my parents RV to our house.  Whew!!  We have definitely had a busy couple of months.

My writing got put up on the shelf for a bit just because I could not find a way to put the words onto paper (or should I say type them on the computer).  The loss of my Dad was unexpected and devastating.  I just did not have the mind power to extend my thoughts and words to writing.  I will admit though that I have missed my writing, and story sharing.  So it’s good to be back here in the blog-o-sphere.

IMG_0036There are numerous new tales to tell, and stories to share.  I’m looking forward to telling you all our summer tales, and sharing our ups and downs.  This summer will definitely go into the family history books as a summer to remember.

IMG_0034And now, already,  fall is right around the corner.  I’m amazed that my Ash tree in the backyard already has a few yellow leaves.  Wasn’t it just June, and the 4th of July?  I blinked and now it’s September.  We’re looking forward to some special , grandkiddies birthday celebrations, and having it cool off enough to actually do some baking, finally.  I have missed my baking, but it’s just been too hot and humid the past few weeks to turn anything associated with heat on inside the house.

So, it will be back to my writing, back to my baking (soon I hope) and sewing, and onward to my favorite time of year, Fall.  Wishing you all a Terrific Tuesday.

 

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?

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…

Are you Ready?

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Presents wrapped, cookies all baked?  Are you ready for tonight and tomorrow?

I have been working on lots of crafts, and baking.  I really can’t share any of my crafting goodies with you all until after Christmas Day.  I don’t want to give away any secrets you know.

My favorite cookies to bake are always sugar cookies, and spritz.  Love the buttery deliciousness of both of these cookies.  The recipes that I use are from a Betty Crocker cookie book.

Nana Joan’s Sugar Cookie-

* This is a recipe that we cooked growing up.  Always a favorite at Christmas time.

Ingredients:

  •  3/4 c. shortening (use part margarine or butter)
  • I highly recommend using only butter.  Butter makes everything better!
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
Directions:
  •  Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and flavoring.  Beat until creamy.  
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Chill the dough for at least 4 hours.
  • For painting the cookies before baking use evaporated milk and food coloring.
  • Bake at 400 degrees on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Baking time is 6-8 minutes

And the recipe for the Spritz cookie which require a cookie press go like this-

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C. butter or margarine, softened (I recommend butter only!)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract or vanilla

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400.
  • Mix margarine and sugar in large bowl.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Chill the dough for a few hours.
  • Place dough in cookie press, and form desired shapes.
  • Decorate with colored sugar or candies.
  • Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 5-8 minutes until set but not brown.
  • Immediately remove from cookie sheet.
  • Makes 6-7 dozen cookies.
  • Freeze any extras if you have them.  These freeze well.
  • Great cookie to mail for the holidays.

Oh,  and this is what my sweet baby granddaughter was doing while her mother and I baked our little hearts out last week.

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Wishing you and yours the Merriest of Christmas seasons.  I hope each and every one of you has a splendid time with your families near and far.

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