Pucker Up! Lemon Bars, Flavor of the Month, Round 1

Monday, August 31, 2009

Yes, I have found another baking theme for me to participate in! Lucky for my rear end this baking theme hosted by Bake at 350 is only once a month. :)  The neat thing is she picks the challenge and then we all scurry off to see what we can bake up to fit the bill pan.  I missed out on the first challenge which was pie, I did however bake her Texas Peach Pie and it was good!! (I have pictures and I promise I'll blog about it soon)

This month the challenge is Pucker Up! The very first thing that came to mind was lemon bars.  So that is what I made and am sharing with you this month.
I've made these lemon bars many times.  They are a summer favorite here.  Next to the ice cream cake this is the dessert I make the most in the summer.  I mean really nothing tastes more like summer than lemon bars, don't you agree?

Last night the process wasn't so easy.  I'm not sure if it was being under pressure to get it done for today's challenge or if it was baking after a full day of cleaning, laundry and dealing with children.  Whatever it was, I am surprised these turned out. ;)

First thing I recommend is putting your ipod on when measuring ingredients.  I started mixing the dough for the base and once my hands were coated in it, I began to wonder if I added all the flour to the mixture.Between the kids running through the house, the baby standing at the gate saying "up, up", the TV blaring...I was a little distracted to say the least.  I just continued on, pressed it in the pan and shoved it in the oven, hoping for the best.

Then I started gathering my ingredients for the lemon part of the bars and I discover, at 9:30 at night, I only have 2 eggs and the recipe calls for 4.  At this point I just want to call it a night, but my hubby said he would go get eggs.  What a guy!

Finally get that done, bake them and let them cool...a bit.  I was very impatient and just wanted too get it done so tried to cut them and get them out of the pan.  Yeah, don't do that.  Let them cool completely. I thought I really had messed up on the base.  This morning when I went to see what they looked like they were fine! Thank you baking gods! :)

So enough of my chatter here is the recipe so you can go make your own!


For the base:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup butter

For the top:
4 large eggs
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon rind {This is optional, but I definately recommend adding it for full lemon flavor}
4-5 drops yellow food coloring {optional}

For the base:
Mix the butter into the flour and sugar. Mix with hands until it clings together.
Press into a 13 x 9 inch pan, sprayed with Pam or greased.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

For the filling:
beat the eggs with electric mixer for 7 minutes, add the sugar and lemon juice.
Sift together flour and baking powder.
Stir into egg mixture.
Pour over baked crust.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

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White Chip Chocolate Cookies - 52 Cookies in a Year, Week 1

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Southern Girl's Nest is hosting 52 Cookies in a Year! When I saw this I thought it would be fun to participate. I do love to bake but I always seem to bake the same recipes over and over. Oh they are good recipes but it's always fun to try out something new, so I thought this would be the perfect way to expand my cookie recipes.

This week I picked White Chip Chocolate Cookies. The idea was from Southern Girl's first week of cookies. I've never made them and I really wanted to. Her recipe called for white chocolate bar, and I didn't have any of that on hand. However I did have a bag of white chocolate chips begging to be used. So off I went on a search for a recipe that I could use those in. Here is what I found...

These are sooo good. Melt in your mouth good! The recipe I used made about 5 dozen cookies. I took half and put in the freezer so they didn't get gobbled up in no time. :) They are that good!

Here is what you need:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour {I used 1 cup white flour & 1 cup whole wheat}
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package of white chocolate chips
Here is what you need to do:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in white chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. {I used a cookie scoop to do this - quick & easy, plus uniform cookies. It also increased the amount of cookies made to 5 dozen}
  3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking; flatten upon cooling.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
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The orginal recipe can be found at Hershey's Kitchen. Head over to Southern Girl's Nest to see what others are putting in their cookie jar this week.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream...Cake!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I have been planning this post since I made this cake last Saturday. Finally decided I better get it up here in case any of you want to make this cake over the weekend. It is a perfect hot weather dessert. Great after a BBQ or heck it's great anytime. Yum! If you've ever watched the show on Food Network called Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, this recipe would be something that she would make. So you know it's going to be quick, easy and taste great.

Let's get to the recipe...

Take one package of cookies. I used a package of Golden Oreo's (regular Oreo's are really good too). Pour them in a bag and use your rolling pin to crush them. You just want them broken up, not tiny crumbs. After you have done that pour them into an 8x11 in pan.

Then take a container of ice cream that you have let soften and spoon the ice cream on top of the cookies. Spread it as evenly as you can. I used Caramel Praline ice cream when making this cake. You can use any ice cream you like. One of my favorites is Mint Chocolate Chip on a bed of chocolate oreo's. (I just set the container on the counter while I put groceries away on Saturday. You can also let it soften in the fridge if you think it'll take you awhile to get to making the cake)

Then take a jar of ice cream topping and pour it over the ice cream. Spread it evenly across the entire cake. For this cake I used Butterscotch Ice Cream Topping.

Finally, take a container of Cool Whip Topping that has thawed completely and spread that over the top of the entire cake. It's really looking good now isn't it??

Here is your finished cake! Now cover it with some plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.

When you are ready to eat the cake, slice with a sharp knife and serve. I promise everyone will be oooing and ahhhing while they eat. :) You'll be the hostess with the mostess. :)

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