Lime Icebox Mini Cheesecakes

I am not typically and icebox kind of person, but I wanted something with lime that would be on the quick and easy side, so I decided to give these a try. They called them cupcakes, but they are really mini cheesecakes in cupcake form. At least they are to me.

I did store them in the freezer before taking to work and to be honest, I like them semi-frozen – just let them sit out of the freezer for a few minutes and they are really pretty good.D&D_1883

You could use key limes for this, but since I have no fresh key limes, I went for fresh Persian limes. I do not like bottled lime juice of any sort, really – same with bottled lemon juice unless it is for canning to get the acidity correct.
Makes 12 – thankfully – a nice easy number for a cupcake pan^ …

For the crust:
5 ounces graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (7 ounces); 1/2 a can
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
6 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
raw sugar

Make the crust: Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.* In a small-ish bowl mix together graham crumbs, brown sugar, and salt. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix to incorporate well. The mixture should hold together in your hand when you squeeze it.

Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin liners, about 2 tablespoons per well. Use the bottom of a small glass to press the crumbs firmly into the pan to form the crusts. Place in the freezer until ready to fill.

Place the cream cheese, condensed milk, lime zest and juice, and salt a bowl and whisk until smooth. Divide the filling evenly among the muffin cups. Refrigerate until firm, 8 to 12 hours.

When ready to serve, place the sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Top each key lime icebox cupcake with a dollop of sweetened sour cream and raw sugar – because raw sugar is crunchy and good.

Make ahead: The graham cracker crumb crust can be made 3 days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Storage: Stuck these in the freezer, well covered and the put in the fridge the day before serving. Worked pretty well. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, although the crust may soften over time.

Source: The Kitchn with a couple of modifications.

^ Pet peeve – an odd number of muffins, cupcakes, whatever when everyone only has either a 6 cup or a 12 cup pan — I mean 14 cupcakes – makes me slightly crazy.

* Used really cute paper liners, but next time since I plan on storing for a day in the freezer will use foil liners.

Note: Again, these taste really good right out of the freezer, just let thaw for a couple of moments and wow. Yes, very good.

29 May 2017 – vg, easy too

Spiced Pecans

I have many (many!) recipes for spiced nuts (more than I have ever used but I guess I need to D&D_1183remedy that situation). One of my favorite’s is my adapted version of Union Square Cafe’s Best Bar Nuts, but if a nut recipe has fresh minced rosemary I’m pretty much all in.  But, that said, I’m not a fan of nuts that use egg whites to coat. It’s not so much the taste, though that is a bit odd, but largely a texture issue.  I’m kind of a butter, sugar, and bake girl.

4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 cups pecan halves
2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs Worcestershire
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
One wedge of fresh lime or more if it makes you happy

Heat butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add pecans and cook, swirling pan constantly until pecans are toasted, 5 minutes or so. Add the chopped rosemary and swirl because it smells so good.

Add remaining ingredients except lime and stir to coat pecans. Continue cooking and keep stirring for 1 – 2 minutes. Add lime juice and stir for a bit. Transfer pecans to parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer and let cool. Break up any large pieces.

Note: This is not in the original recipe, but I let the pecans sit in a low oven for about ten minutes. They are still sticky, but the humidity here is a bit of a hot mess (not much if a surprise really).

All that said, the flavor is fantastic or amazing. Might just be a new favorite – yep it is.

www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Jessicas-Spiced-Pecans

Super Bowl 50

A Year Ago – Salted Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Lime Sugar Cookies

I make lemon things. But I thought there has to be some limes cookies out there somewhere, right?  This recipe is very old, it has been in my cookie binder for donkey’s years, but I had never made until now. I even screwed up the egg yolk part and just added two eggs, didn’t seem to be a problem. I kept them in the fridge for two days before baking and it was still no big deal. I am a huge fan of these cookies.

This recipe was cut from a magazine, maybe Southern Living, but based on the font (yes, I’m that nerd), I’m guessing it was a Better Homes and Gardens that I used to borrow from my lovely mother-in-law.

3/4 unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar, divided – 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup
zest of two limes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Beat together 1 1/2 cups sugar and lime zest, and butter on medium speed until lightly creamed. Add the sour cream and mixed until combined. Stir in egg yolks and lime juice.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt over a piece of waxed paper. Add to egg / butter mixture until blended. Chill dough 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown, bottom will be light golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

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Lime Sugar Cookies

I think next time I will still roll them in sugar and bake them that way, but will make a glaze of lime juice and confectioners’ sugar, just to amp the lime up a bit more. Just a personal preference, but it gives you a little more lime of your cookie – never a bad thing in my opinion.

2015 Butter Usage (by month – October)

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Lemon Lemon Lemon Loaf

So this is pretty much the beginning of fall baking season, and while it is not cool here yet, I guess just the change in the timing (it’s getting dark earlier and earlier) makes me want to bake (and cook) more. So I’m thinking my October numbers are really going to be pretty good. I’m also planning lots more for November since I don’t have to travel for work or any other reason, which is a blessing in itself.  So … here are the October butter numbers.*

2 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Butter Pecan Cookies
2 October 2015 – 12 Tbs – Lime Meltaways
5 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Sausage Cheese Biscuits
7 October 2015 – 8 Tbs – Banana Nut Bread
9 October 2015 – 7 Tbs – Apple Pie “Tatin”
16 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Cake
17 October 2015 – 4 Tbs – Orzo
21 October 2015 – 12 Tbs – Pinwheel Cookies
23 October 2015 – 10.6 Tbs – Pound Cake Cookies
31 October 2015 – 4 Tbs – Cheddar Parmesan Crackers
31 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Thin Oatmeal Pecan/Walnut Cookies

121.6 Tbs = 15.2 sticks = 3.8 pounds

I think next year, I will keep track of eggs too. Geez, the price for them is amazing and not in a good way. I do understand why, but ouch.

Lime Meltaways

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Lime Meltaways

When I was a kid it was a huge thing for us me in the summer when my mom made limeade. I don’t do that enough and need to remedy that. Limeade went along, typically, with boiled peanuts and watermelons on a summer Saturday.

I love the nuanced flavor of a lime. I also think that the best way to eat an avocado is with lime and some sea salt – just heaven, but not on toast. Too trendy, and, to my mind, a bit insipid. Lime also features in my mushroom and watercress pate, because it is citrus but just a bit sweet too. Lime is a lovely complex flavor.

I am always making lemon cookies, I know, you are all astonished, right? but lime, not so much. I think it is because when you see something lime, it is typically pie. Which I have nothing against, but you don’t see much in the way of lime cookies. So I am making a concerted effort to change that – single handedly.

3/4 cup butter (12 Tbs) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
Finely grated zest of two limes
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Tbs vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbs
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Sift together flour, cornstarch, and salt over a piece of wax paper – I do love to do it this way. It’s simple and easy to clean up – Set aside.

Put butter and 1/3 cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and mix until combined.

And here is where things became interesting … Really should have used the paddle attachment. The whisk was a pain, esp. to get it cleaned out to get everything mixed together.

Then, because the whisking didn’t go well, it took some time to hand mix the dough to get it come together. We will no return to our show, already in progress….

Divide dough in half. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs and slice into 1/4 inch thick coins. Space coins about an inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until barely golden, 12 minutes or so, turning the pan halfway through. Cool on a wire rack 8 – 10 minutes. Place the other 2/3 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a zip top bag, and toss the still warm cookies to coat. Store airtight at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Source: Martha Stewart

These were really good, if you like citrus. Went over well with my friends. It’s shortbread after all.

Get It Right Spatula – the Lime Edition

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Get It Right Spatula – Lime edition

I am throwing out another spatula – and that is a good thing.  I have found, pretty much, the perfect spatula for me. Strong, sturdy, heat resistant, and, most importantly, a great size for my small hands. I purchased the first one in December and this one – Lime – in February. I plan to replace all but two of my spatulas with these over time. I’m going for black next time – kind of moody and cool. Especially after yellow and lime green – two of my favorite colors, but they are slightly twee. Can’t help myself.

The price is excellent ($16) and the shipping, if you purchase more than $10, is free – how can you beat that? You cannot. Fin.