Lemon Sugar Cookies

It is clear that I live in a house of cookie monsters.  My boys love to see the cookie jar filled with cookies.  This past week we created a new sugar cookie.  I love adding lemon to desserts.  Lemon makes foods taste fresh.  These cookies were easy to make.  The boys loved them and we have decided they will be part of the cookie rotation.

20190518_204108677294873783593460.jpg

 

1 cup Butter cold, cut into cubes

2 cups Sugar

2 Eggs

1 t  Vanilla Extract (I used Mexican Vanilla)

1 1/2 Fresh Lemon Juice

1 T Lemon Zest  (you can add more to add extra flavor)

3 cups Flour

1 1/4 Baking Powder

1/4 Baking Soda

1/2 Salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir to combine.
Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix just until combined.
Spoon about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.
Drop dough onto a prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle the rolled dough balls with white sugar.
Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

I recently discovered Natasha’s Kitchen. She has tons of great recipes that have awesome pictures, easy to follow directions, and a fun sense of humor. The other night I made her Pumpkin Creme Brûlée for dessert. Oh my goodness! It was a hit. Plus my hubby got to play with the torch to make the caramelized topping. He actually let Whitaker take a turn with the torch. This dessert is a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert bar or any fall time meal. Enjoy and check out Natasha’s site!

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

3 large whole eggs

1/2 cup sugar (plus extra for caramelizing)

1 cup pumpkin puree (make your own or use the can stuff)

1/4 t ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 whole eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until well blended. Heat 1 and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream in a sauce pan, almost to a simmer; stirring frequently. You don’t want to burn the bottom. Slowly add hot cream into the egg & sugar mix. You need to pour & whisk slowly as you are combining the hot cream with egg & sugar mix. Or you will end up with scrambled mess!

Next, strain the mixture through a small mess strainer into a bowl. Whisk in 1 cup pumpkin puree and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

Divide the mixture into 8 (4 oz) cups and place in a large casserole baking dish. You might need more than one baking dish. Fill the baking dish with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes. The centers of the creme brûlée should barely move when you wiggle the pan.

Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate creme brûlée until ready to serve; you can refrigerate them even a week before your event.

When you are ready to serve, you can caramelize the top. Put 1 teaspoon of sugar on top. I used Vanilla Sugar from Beautiful Briny Sea made right here in Atlanta, Georgia. Spread sugar evenly over each custard. Heat the top with your torch. (This is my husband’s favorite part. Guys just love fire.) Keep torching until you have a caramelized top.

Once you have caramelized the top, do not refrigerate. This will cause your topping to not be crisp.

Thanksgiving Pie– No More Choices

Every year we plan out our Thanksgiving menus.  Turkey, Sides, Appetizers, Beverages, and Desserts!  Oh the desserts!  We are traditional and make Pumpkin and Pecan Pies.  I have thrown in a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (YUM!).

When I hit the dessert table, I usually take a little bit of everything.  (It’s the right thing to do!)  But what if two of your favorites were combined.  Like Pumpkin Pie married Pecan Pie!!

Well, it happened the other night in my kitchen.  A few years ago, Southern Living introduced this little union.  And we all lived happily ever after! You need to plan to make this pie the night before serving.  It is better when it has time to completely cool and flavors will pop.  I have made a few adjustments to the recipe and it is perfection.

 20171112_201623.jpg

Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle work surface with powdered sugar. Roll out piecrust, and place on prepared surface. Sprinkle piecrust with chopped pecans. Place wax paper over piecrust and pecans, and lightly roll pecans into crust. Fit piecrust, pecan side up, in a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp.

Mix together pumpkin  and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth and well mixed; pour into prepared piecrust.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Remove and shield edges with aluminum foil or crust protector.  This will keep your crust from burning.  Then bake an additional 25 minutes.

While pie is baking, you will create your pecan streusel topping.  This will create the pecan pie element to your pie.

For Pecan Streusel:
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
Mix all the pecan toppings together until well blended.After pie has baked 45 minutes,  gently top pie with Pecan Streusel Topping. Reduce oven temperature to 325°,  and bake 10 minutes. This will allow streusel to golden a bit. Then cover pie with aluminum foil.   Cool completely on a wire rack at least 3 hours.  Once cooled, place in refrigerator over night.  This will allow all the flavors to go crazy.
20171113_202303496302890.jpg

I’m a New Georgia Peach Cobbler

Well, it has been awhile! I still have been cooking, dancing, and singing in the kitchen. However, we have an addition that has joined in on the fun. My beautiful baby boy loves to bounce with Mommy in the kitchen. Also we have a new kitchen, in a new state, where our adventure has continued.
It seemed fitting to make a dessert that honors my new home. Georgia Peaches are just as sweet as all the songs proclaim them to be. This cobbler is so simple. Pop it in the oven when you begin dinner. It will be ready to make its appearance when you are ready for dessert.
Enjoy!
(Thanks for waiting patiently for new recipes! There are more to come between raising my sweet boys and setting up our new home.)

20140717-220222-79342545.jpg

I’m a New Georgia Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
1/4 t almond extract
2 cups sliced and peeled Georgia peaches
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
2 t baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind, and almond extract in a bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle mixture over peaches. Set peaches aside.
Mix 1 cup sugar, flour, milk, and baking powder in a bowl. Melt butter in a 2 quart baking dish. Spoon the batter into the baking dish. Spread the peach mixture over the top; do not stir.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
It just seems right to serve this peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

It’s that time of year where pumpkins are on the brain.  While whipping up your traditional fall favorites, you need to make time for these cookies.  It’s a perfect way to use that leftover pumpkin puree.  Soft and chewy with a hint of pumpkin, these goodies are like eating a piece of fall.  Feel free to add some pecans or walnuts.  The cookie monsters in my house approved this addition to our fall dessert assortment.  Taste the fall!- Amanda

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 t vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
With mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture and the oatmeal until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 11-13 min. Cookies will be lightly browned at the edges when done. Don’t over-bake or they can dry out.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen

Classic Brownies

Classic Brownies

Sometimes you just want it classic!  No frills!  Yes, Betty Crocker has a brownie mix and it is completely fine to use a box mix from time to time.  These brownies just taste like your mom whipped them up and placed them on a sweet vintage plate.  So, put your snazzy apron and grab a whisk.  I know someone will thank you later! -Amanda

1½ cups sugar
¾ cup flour
¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
3 eggs
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

By hand (you can do that) mix together the sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, eggs and melted butter.  Once the dry ingredients are mixed in, you are set.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

You know how much I love parchment paper.  Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment.  This will keep your brownies from sticking to the edge and make it ever so easy to get out of the baking dish.

Pour the batter and spread it out. If you get crazy, you will move around your parchment paper.  Take it easy and push the batter down with a rubber spatula.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the tallest part comes out clean. Keep in mind you’ve got chips in there. If you hit one with the toothpick it will have melted chocolate on it. You might need to poke a couple of spots to make sure you aren’t hitting a chip.

Carefully lift the parchment out of the baking dish. Get a spare set of hands if you can.  Then peel the edges and let cool for a few minutes before slicing.

The Giant Cookie Cake

I love to celebrate!  It is usually not too hard to find a reason for a celebration.  In our house, we celebrate “half” birthdays.  This week we celebrated William’s half birthday.  I wanted to make something new and tasty.  He recently discovered The Great American Cookie Company and told us about the amazing cookie cakes this place creates.  I’m a bit competitive and did not want my son to think this cookie company had anything over his mommy!  Well folks, let’s just say I impressed the whole house with my own Giant Cookie Cake. (No hard feelings cookie company!)  The boys approved this dessert and continued to support it for breakfast!  It is super easy and delicious!  Happy Half Birthday, sweet boy!- Love, Mommy

The Giant Cookie Cake

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

With a mixer in a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently add chocolate chips.  (you can get crazy with it and add M&Ms, nuts, or white chocolate chips too).
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Press the cookie into a circle or desired shape.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes until the cookie is lightly golden brown. Let the cookie cool completely on the baking pan. Once the cookie is cool, use icing to add decor.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Oh my goodness!  It’s clear that my house loves peanut butter and chocolate.  The combination of these two heavenly ingredients turn this dessert into a rich, decadent treat.  I will admit it was hard not to devour the complete pan while the boys were out.  Sorry! No one needs that visual!  Seriously, enjoy your delicious square of goodness and then do 100 push-ups (on your toes) or just say you did.  -AF

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs

1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 T butter, melted

2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine cake mix, butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.  In a small pan, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.   Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Look at that pan of goodness

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Frosting

With the day of love right around the corner, it’s time to celebrate by twirling around the kitchen in a pink tutu… or whipping up something for those you love the most.  I inherited a wonderful trait from my mother.  Many of her loving gifts come straight from the kitchen.  She is always willing to prepare our favorites when we come to visit.  Now having my husband and son, I know the special feeling you get when you create a dish of actual love.  Tonight, while Chris was traveling, William and I drooled over these red velvet brownies.  We washed these decadent treats down with a cold glass of milk.  Don’t worry Chris, we saved some for you! – AF

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Frosting

Don't Drool on Your Keyboard

 

Red Velvet Brownies
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring
2 t vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt

White Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
4 oz good-quality white chocolate, melted
1 – 2 T milk or heavy cream

Let’s make the brownies:
In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 t vanilla into a thick paste until no lumps of cocoa remain. Set aside.
In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and remaining 1 t of vanilla, mix well.  Turn off mixer and add in the cocoa mixture.  Continue to mix until blended.  Slowly add in the flour and salt.  Mix on low speed, just until combined.  Scrap the sides of the bowl to make sure there is no remaining flour.  The batter should be a consistent red.
Pour the batter into a buttered and floured pan.  An 8X8 baking pan (regular brownies) or 9X13 baking pan (thinner brownies.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (8X8) or 25 minutes (9X13). Cook until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.  Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack about 1 hour.

Let’s make the frosting:
In a mixer, cream butter until soft and fluffy then beat in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar small amounts at time.  Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on low speed. With the mixer on low, add in milk 1 tbsp at a time and beat at medium speed until the frosting has reached the consistency you like it.
You have a couple of choices: Frost the brownies in the pan.  Or you can cut the brownies and frost individually.  You can cut the brownies in squares or in shapes.