Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lemon Cookies

I've been eyeing those mediocre cookies in the grocery store for so long I finally caved and made some of my own. But not just any cookies - lemon cookies! I love the dough these cookies make - not so wet that I can't touch it without getting a sticky mess all over my fingers. This makes it easy to scoop and shape the dough on the cookie sheets. I decided to make them smaller than your average cookie since I have yet to acquire an ice cream scoop and only had a tablespoon to use for scooping. This actually worked out perfectly and made soft, chewy, 1 or 2-bite cookies that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper.

Cream the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until combined. Mix in the vanilla and lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until completely incorporated.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on to the greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Berry Blue Bars

My co-worker is having a baby boy any day now, and we had a baby shower for her at work a couple weeks ago. I searched high and low for something bright blue I could bake her and stumbled upon a dessert that uses jello, which is the perfect baby boy blue color.

These bars also had the bonus of being no-bake, which allowed me to avoid the use of my old apartment kitchen. Now you know why I haven't baked anything in so long...But I just moved into a new apartment and actually enjoy being in the kitchen again! I'm making it my goal to post at least once a week now and get back into the swing of things. See you guys again next week! :)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup cranberry juice
3 oz Jell-O Berry Blue Gelatin
8 oz cream cheese, softened, divided
8 oz thawed Cool Whip, divided
1/2 cup cold milk
3.4 oz Jell-O instant vanilla pudding

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter and press onto bottom of an 8x8 pan. Refrigerate during next step.

Microwave juice for 1 minute on high. Add to berry blue gelatin mix in small bowl and stir until completely dissolved (2 min). Gradually add to 4 oz cream cheese, beating with mixer after each addition until blended. Whisk in 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread over crust. Freeze during next step.

Beat remaining 4 oz cream cheese and milk until blended. Add dry pudding mix and beat until combined. Stir in remaining Cool Whip. Spread over gelatin layer. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My roommate's birthday is today! He requested red velvet cupcakes, which I had mixed feelings about. The last time I made them they were too dense and not fluffy like a cupcake should be. This recipe, however, came out a lot better. Even though I made such a mess with these and ended up getting flour and powdered sugar all over the floor...but hey, that's what a vacuum cleaner is for, right?

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 tbsp butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18-24 cupcake slots with liners.

Mix together the brown sugar and oil. Add eggs, food coloring, and vanilla and mix until well combined.

Add 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tsp salt. Mix until just combined. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and 1 1/2 tsp baking soda. Mix until just combined again. Add the rest of the buttermilk and mix until just combined once more.

Divide the batter evenly among the lined cupcake slots and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before frosting.

For the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and then the vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Frost the room temperature cupcakes.

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