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

Pear and Bleu Cheese Turnovers

I was always a big fan of turnovers. My Dad’s Mom made amazing fried apple pies –  which is a turnover – mostly. She made them with dried apples – not sure why they were made with dried apples but then she fried them in a  – I am not sure what that thing was called – I think it might be an electric skillet. Maybe? Not sure.

D&D_1492That said, when my grandmama came down from Rockingham North Carolina, she made those fried apple pies and they were (are) sublime. My Mom loved them – which was kind of cool because she was a great cook/bakery herself. Sometimes old recipes are the best. Indeed, mostly they are.

I have found a variation of  (chausson aux pommes “apple slippers”*) the fried apple pies that grandmama made and it totally works for me, but I think this new recipe might be just a little bit more interesting. I mean – pears – and then bleu cheese is involved. Although, I think Granny Smith apples would work well too.

1 sheet of puff pastry
1 good sized not over ripe Anjou pear, peeled, cored, and diced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
1 egg, for egg wash, beaten with 1 Tbs water
Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment. Combine pears, lemon juice, cranberries, and bleu cheese in a bowl and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll a sheet of puff pastry into a square, about 11 x 11 inches. Trim back to a 10 x 10 inch square. Using a pizza wheel, cut into 9 smaller squares – oh, lord, math is involved – ugh. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each square. Brush two edges with egg wash and fold pastry into a triangle. Press edges to seal. Transfer to baking sheet and chill 20 minutes.

Once chilled, brush triangles with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar and make a couple of slits for the steam to escape. Bake 25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.

* The French make everything sound so much better, damn them. It is also Bastille Day.

Source: Baking Obsession

Butter Cookies

I am a huge fan of butter cookies. They are simple, but they really need to

D&D_1122

Butter Cookies – with raw sugar

be done well. It is this alchemy of butter, sugar, flour, and a smidge of salt. Simple is best in this case – if you ask me, but the ratio and baking time/temp have to be spot on.

A butter cookie, a well made butter cookie, is excellent with tea. I guess that’s why the English do butter cookies so well. I’m guessing both things are in their DNA. Speculation on my part, but …

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp heavy cream
3 Tbs turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and salt over a piece of waxed paper

Beat sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches until batter just comes together. Gather clumps together on a lightly floured board and kneed a time or two until smooth and in a 1 1/4 inch log – two logs is easier. Chill in plastic for at least an hour.

Cut chilled log into 1/4 inch slices and place about 1/2 in apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with cream and sprinkle a good bit of turbinado sugar on top.

Bake cookies for 12 – 15 minutes, turning half way through until edges are pale golden. Cool on sheet for a couple of minutes and then move to a wire rack.

Dough logs can be chilled for up to three days.

16 April 2006 – Easter w/ W&J vvv – 1/2 w/added lemon juice/zest from 1/2 lemon

17 December 2006 vvv – SR loves these

24 December 2007

21 December 2008 – juice of 1/2 lemon

6 January 2016 – made dough, as is,  and put in fridge, baked on 8 January 2016

This time a year ago-ish – apple turnovers –  https://deftanddaft.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/apple-turnovers-chausson-aux-pommes-apple-slippers/

IMG_0365

Cracked Top Sugar Cookies

D&D_IMG_0444-Edit

Cracked Top Sugar Cookie

I am devastated. I cannot find my Christmas sugar cookie recipe. I had a friend ask for sugar cookies and I cannot find my recipe.  I can find the recipe on the inter web, but not my printed copy with all the times I have made it which is way(!) more important to me. All those times I made it for the Boy. But that is just a problem of my random way of keeping up with recipes and pulling them out of binders because I want to make them and then they shuffle down the list and I get – what? – distracted again. The search will be extensive.  I’m sure that means it is in plain sight somewhere that I just have not thought to look. Ugh. When I do find it, I will be taking a picture so I cannot lose it again.

Consequently, I have tried this new sugar cookie recipe since I have had it sitting around for a while but have never given it a go. So earlier this week I did my usual thing and sifted all the dry ingredients and put them in a zip top bag. Then later, on a day of my choosing, I will ask MotH to take the special bowl out of the fridge in time for the butter to soften and the eggs to come to room temperature.

Yes, I have a bowl in the fridge with butter and eggs in it just for that purpose. You don’t?

Cracked Top Sugar Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz unsalted butter ( 2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar or additional granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together on some waxed paper1 like I always do. When I prep the dry early, I put the sifted mix in a zip top bag until I’m ready to use. Cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl, and beat until combined. Add the egg and beat to incorporate, then add the flour mixture and stir by hand until it is mixed in.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and coat tops with sugar – I used Turbinado – love that crunch. Arrange about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 12-13 minutes or until edges are nicely brown and tops appear crackly and set.

Makes 36 cookies

Since I seem to be in a HUGE cookie phase, it is not surprising that I’m leaning on one of my favorite cookie blogs – Cookie Madness. While cookies drive that engine, they are not the only thing that Anna does. It is a great site and I follow because you never know what will show up – and that is my favorite kind of blog – see what happens.

This made, for me, 37 cookies. Yep. I’m like that. But they were hugs hits at the office and with my friends. This will be in the rotation.

Old Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies

D&D_0179

Old Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies

There is no such thing as too many lemon cookies or varieties of lemon cookies to try. I’m hard pressed to think of any lemon cookie that I wouldn’t try. I don’t get distracted often with other cookies, unless the Boy wants something in particular, so I guess that helps.
These are a Martha Stewart recipe that I had not tried before. They are excellent sugar cookies, but I really could have gone for more lemon flavor. I made the smaller than called for because I don’t care for really big cookies – they do spread so keep that in mind when spacing them. They are crisp and are very light. Loved them, but would like more lemon. But maybe that’s just me.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened

2 large eggs

Sanding sugar, for sprinkling – I used raw sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl; set aside.

Put sugars and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed 30 seconds. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and then the lemon juice. Reduce speed; gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

Scoop dough using a 2-inch ice cream scoop; space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten cookies slightly with a spatula. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar, then lightly brush with a wet pastry brush; sprinkle with more sanding sugar.

Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks using a spatula; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

MS

14 July 2015 – made smaller cookies, 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sugared Lemon Cookies with Lemon Glaze

D&D_9710

Sugared Lemon Cookies with Lemon Glaze

I’m a lemon person – I guess that’s what happens when you are not a chocolate person. I just can’t help my self and lemon is just one of my favorite things and it will always be. And I’ve tried pretty much every lemon recipe that I can. It’s just a thing for me. This recipe is pretty amazing, especially since the glaze really makes it special.

Yield 24
For the cookies:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

juice of 1/2 lemon

white sparkling sugar, for rolling the cookies (I used raw sugar for more crunch)

For the glaze:

1-1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tablespoons milk (didn’t really need this and didn’t use it)

juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated. Add lemon juice and give it a quick stir.

Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined.

Form cookie dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Pour sparkling sugar into a bowl and roll each cookie dough ball in the sugar until completely covered. Place onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat.

Prepare the glaze by combining the confectioners’ sugar, milk and lemon juice. Glaze should be slightly runny and easy to drizzle over the cookies (it will harden after a couple of minutes).

deliciouslyyum.com

20 November 2014  – v.g. – next time add a little lemon extract to the batter. cookie is good w/o glaze, but more lemony with it.

25 June 2015 – 11 minutes was perfect. Really like the glaze.

Trying Something New: Lemon Cream Scones

DD_9084

Lemon Cream Scones

I have never made scones, ever. And to be perfectly honest, I have never even eaten a scone – even after living in England. So this was a total shot in the dark. That said, I was worried about the temp and time in the recipe – it did not make sense to me. 400 degrees for 40 minutes. I get that it was a really wet, shaggy dough, and a bit of a mess but ….

To take an idea from K-9 search and rescue – Trust your dog – well, I need to … Trust my instincts.

Lemon Cream Scones

Makes 8

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 8 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp course salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream plus 3 Tbs heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix at low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup cream, 2 eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture, and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and form into a flat disk, about 8 inches across and 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into 8 wedges and transfer to prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining egg and 3 Tbs cream to make an egg wash. Brush scones with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. bake until the tops are golden brown and firm 40 to 50 minutes.

Source: Martha Stewart

Notes: Okay, I had problems with this recipe (as noted above). Just 30 minutes tops, unless you want the bottom to burn. Needs more lemon; I’m thinking a lemon & confectioners’ sugar glaze – that would work. At least for me. I would also use raw sugar for the top – a little more crunchy. That would be good.

Guess scones go thorough the baking powder. I need to learn the science behind that, but sometimes it’s just more fun not to.

With the scones I baked 30 minutes. They were lovely. Lightly brown, crunchy outside, but light inside.  I could get used to that for breakfast.

Next in scones: Brown Sugar Pecan Scones. I already have the dry measured out in a zip top bag for when I’m in the mood to go another round. This time the recipe seems a bit more reasonable concerning time and temp. And I will also consult my Baking Illustrated cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen to see what they do.

It’s hard, sometimes, when you’ve never made a particular thing before to trust yourself, but this is a lesson learned. I have good instincts in cooking and baking, so I need to trust myself more.