Friday, November 30, 2007

Lemon Bars

I love lemon bars. Desserts with citrus in them have the illusion of tasting like a "light" dessert. I think this is finally the lemon bar recipe that I will return to whenever I decide to make them. This is one of those things that I always try a new recipe for, but I have no complaints with how these turned out, except that I ate too many of them.

Lemon Bars


1/2 c butter, room temperature
1/4 c powdered sugar
1 c all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt


1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 c fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 large lemons)
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 Tablespoons flour


Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

For Crust:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press into the bottom of your prepared 8x8 inch pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

For Filling:

Beat the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the flour. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes, or until filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To serve: Cut into squares or triangels and dust with powdered sugar.

Incredible Brownies

These brownies were one of the best that I have ever made. They were so rich and very moist and ever so chocolately. I made them awhile ago and I know I haven't posted any baking delights of late, so I will make two posts today. Again, I know everyone has a preference for the "perfect brownie," but I happen to really like these. The cake flour makes them a little lighter and not quite as dense but still moist.


1 c pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 1/4 c cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 Tbls butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 1/4 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbls vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil and let it hang over the edges. (This makes for an easy lift out of the pan and then you can cut the brownies outside of the pan).

Spray foil-lined pan with non-stick cooking spray.

If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in a alarge heat proof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring cooasionally until smooth OR place the bowl in the microwave, heat butter and chocolate on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 more seconds. Stir and repeat in 15 second increments until mixture is completely smooth.

Gradually whisk in sugar to the chocolate mixture. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with a rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and incorporated.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pand and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 30-35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yummy Turkey Treat

I found this at familyfun .com. It was so easy to put together and I loved how it turned out and the preschool kids loved it at our Thanksgiving feast.

Bosc pear (head)
Melon (body)
Cheese (beak and tail feathers)
Red pepper (snood, feet and side feathers)
Raisins (eyes)
Grapes (tail feathers)
Mini Marshmellows (Tail feathers)
Bamboo skewers

1. Stabilize the melon body by cutting a shallow slice off the rind to form a flat base. Using a section of bamboo skewer, attach a Bosc pear head to the melon, as shown. 2. Cut a cheese triangle beak and red pepper snood. Attach both, along with raisin eyes, to the head with sections of toothpick. 3. Cut red pepper feet and set them in place. (I used the yellow pepper)For tail feathers, skewer cheese cubes and red grapes, then insert the skewers as shown. Pin pepper side feathers in place with toothpicks. I then topped the skewers with mini marshmellows.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pumpkin Crumble Bars

Here is my other pumpkin recipe and I'm sure that more will follow. I still haven't made pumpkin bread yet this year and it is one of my husband's favorites. These were de-licious. The filling is moist and custard-like, like a pumpkin pie, but I didn't think they were as spicy as the pumpkin pie that I make. Once again a crumble topping which I love. I think that I mostly love crumble toppings because I get to eat the crumbs that are left behind after I put the treats on a plate to serve. The recipes doesn't call for anything fancy, but the treats definitely look like a little extra effort was made to create them.

Pumpkin Crumble Bars

For the base and the topping:

1 1/2 c quick oats
1 1/4 c flour
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c butter, room temperature


2 c pumpkin puree (You will need a large can)
2/3 c milk
1/3 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
[or 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp allspice]

Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

Combine the ingredients for the base. Beat until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 c of the crumb mixture for the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the greased 9x13 baking dish.

Bake at 375F for 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling. Beat ingredients until well blended. Spread over crust; sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake for 25 minutes at 375F. Cool and cut into bars.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pumpkin Cookies

I love making things with pumpkin. Last year I went crazy making things with pumpkin in them. This year I think I will back off a little. It's just that when you buy one of those big cans of pumpkin it can make 2 recipes of something. So I have made pumpkin cookies already and some pumpkin pie crumble bars (that I will post later). After making one recipe I then think, "What else can I make with pumpkin?" Then then cycle begins. I found this recipe to be really good. I've probably tried about 7 pumpkin cookie recipes in my lifetime because I never stick with the same one. I'm always looking for one that is better. This is the latest. I also tried to put in butterscotch chips which were okay. I'm finding that I'm not all that fond of butterscotch chips so I will never put them in again.

Pumpkin Cookies

2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
pinch nutmeg
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c pumkin puree
1 c chocolate chips
1/2 -1 c nuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whiss flour, powder, soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add the pumpkin and mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the cream mixture then stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes.

*Be careful not to overmix the dough. It will be pretty sticky and they turn out sort of like little cakes. Store in an airtight container so that they do not dry out.