Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

 

You ever have one of those days when you feel like you’ve run around like a crazy woman (or man as the case may be) all day, but haven’t accomplished anything of importance? That was my day today. I made homemade bread, made dinner, made cookies, did housework, etc etc, but somehow, I just don’t feel like I got anything done. All the floors still need waxed, I need to go weed outside, I need to vacuum, there’s more laundry, I did NOT write a New York Times bestselling novel nor did I manage to effect world peace by my mere presence or find a cure for paper cuts. So, see? Wasted day.

I may have no choice but to console myself about my laziness by being lazy and sitting down with 14 of these cookies and a cup of tea and watching all five of the Rocky Movies on Netflix. Want to come join me? If you get here in sayyyyyy, the next ten minutes, there may even be a cookie left.

I had seen this cookie (more or less) on the Land O Lakes web site. The idea intrigued me because I love shortbread. I mean, what’s not to love about shortbread? It uses lots of butter. What else did I need to know? I mean…butter! But so many of the reviews talked about it being dry and crumbly. Now, by its very nature, shortbread tends to be crumbly. It has very few ingredients and doesn’t really include anything that could be considered a binder or “cookie glue” as I think I’ll call it 😀

So I changed the recipe. I know, right! Whoda thunk it of me!? In all honesty, one reason I change recipes is because in the blogging world, it’s considered uncool to use anothers recipe without substantial changes. But mostly, I change things, as I’ve said many times, because I am genetically incapable of leaving a recipe alone. It’s a sickness! A sickness, I tell you!

What I did was to add an egg yolk to make a more manageable cookie that didn’t crumble if you looked at it funny and I also added a packet of Duncan Hines Key Lime Frosting Creations to up the zing factor of the lime flavor. It worked! These are yummy cookies, if I do say so myself. They are still very delicate, so you can’t like throw one at someone you’re wanting to give one to, or all they will receive is a handful of tasty crumbs, but handle them with common sense care and you’ll be fine. These are great for after school snacking (which is coming up far quicker than most of us parents want to admit!), great with some tea or coffee, late night noshing. Ok, fine, it’s good no matter what. It has a nice bright lime flavor with a melt in your mouth texture. I can see myself in the future using this same recipe with other packet flavors, so be on the lookout for some, especially near Christmas!

You know the drill… 🙂

Glazed Key Lime Shortbread

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 packet Duncan Hines Key Lime Frosting Creations (can be done without this, but it makes the flavor pop)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Key Lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Key Lime zest (I have a confession; I used regular limes)
  • GLAZE-
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice (amount varies by how thin you want the glaze)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and the frosting packet.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the butter, egg yolk, lime juice and lime zest. Add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed to combine. This is a fairly soft dough, so don’t add more flour when you see that.
  3. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a log (carefully or it will start to melt all over your hands) and wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  5. Slice each log into 10 to 12 slices. Lay about an inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies look set and are a nice light brown around the edges. You don’t want to overcook shortbread. That’s one of the things that will make it too crumbly.
  6. Let them cool for about 2 minutes on the sheet, then CAREFULLY transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.
  7. When they are cool, whisk together the glaze ingredients. You can then either carefully spoon it and spread it on top of each cookie or dip the tops of them in the glaze. Spooning tends to work better because if you dip, the lime zest gets left in the bowl for the most part and doesn’t adhere to the cookies.

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Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake



Honey, I’m home! I haven’t made a post in two whole weeks! I’d love to say that the reason was because I was in the Bahamas, sunning on a beach as a 25 year old buff pool boy named Julio brought me Pina Coladas and rubbed sun tan lotion on my suddenly skinny back, but alas, that was not the case. I’ve just been dealing with one of the perks of aging… aka “I’m not capable of just getting a cold. I have to get a cold that then leaves me whimpering and gasping for air at deaths door as Satan giggles and kicks me in the rib cage for jollies.” Getting older… it’s a blast. 😛

But while I was sick, I got lots done!!! Ok, while I was sick, the only thing I got done was reading various magazines, playing Farmville on my Kindle 38 hours a day, riding my exercise bike and watching my lungs fall out on the floor and fun stuff like that. Don’t be hatin’. We can’t all have my life…..and my respiratory system. I’m just that special.

BUT!!!! I am now cooking again. And it’s yummy. I haven’t lost my touch. I’ve lost my sense of smell recently, but my touch is still there 😀

Back a few weeks ago, before I began practicing death, I had let my facebook followers decide what dessert got made first; a chocolate one or a lemon one. Chocolate won by one vote. ONE…VOTE. Not that I minded. I got chocolate. So now I’m posting the lemon one. Everyone has heard of lemon pudding cake, right? Ok, you in the back… go away. You shouldn’t be on a food blog if you have never heard of pudding cake. What is pudding cake, you ask? It’s heaven on a spoon. Lemon Heaven in this case. Pudding cake is one of the easiest desserts ever. It is a layer of creamy pudding covered by a layer of moist cake. It can be a family treat or is even interesting enough to be served to company. Cover it in berries and slather it in whipped cream and your guests will love you. Did I mention how easy it is?

I, of course, couldn’t make this normally. I can see the surprise on your face. I added some freshly grated ginger to it to give it some zing. I love the combo of lemon and ginger. They complement each other so well. The original recipe from Food & Wine had no vanilla extract in it and found that sinful, so I added some 😀 along with some lemon oil and lime zest and juice. Made it better and made it mine. 🙂

You know the drill…. 🙂

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, seperated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 6 6 ounce ramekins. You could also do this in one souffle dish, but make sure to adjust cooking time.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. In another bowl (don’t forget to clean as you go… it makes me happy :-p ), whisk the egg yolks with the softened butter. Whisk in the milk, lemon and lime juices, zest, vanilla extract and lemon oil.
  3. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the flour/sugar mix and whisk to combine until smooth.
  4. In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the other mixture until no white streaks remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, then transfer the ramekins into a large baking dish.  Slide the dish into the oven and carefully pour hot water into the pan (not the ramekins) until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake at 350 until they are puffy and golden, about 35 minutes. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with berries and whipped cream. 🙂

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars




For a few years now, there has been a recipe floating around the ‘net for lemon brownies. They have, in their various incarnations, been pinned about 4 bazillion times and remade probably as much. There is, at this point, no way to dig and find out who did it first. So, now you’re thinking, “so you made those lemon brownies even though they are all over the internet?! I’m disappointed in you, Janet!”

Surely, you jest? ( “I don’t jest and don’t call me Shirley!” Sorry… I was channeling one of my fathers old jokes.) Me? Me?! Repeat what has been repeated  ad nauseam? Not happ’nin. So what did I do, you ask? Please tell me you were asking or about to. Otherwise, kittens will cry.

I…wait for it…changed it up. A lot. You’d NEVER expect that out of me, now would you?! I took the original recipe and kind of turned it on it’s head. It’s no longer lemon. It’s Lime. With coconut flavor… and chunks of Lindt White Coconut Bar. This is…so…good. The bar is slightly chewy and then you get a somewhat melted in bite of White Chocolate Coconut bar along with the tang of lime in the bar and in the glaze. Did I mention that these are fantastic?

You know the drill… 🙂

White Chocolate Coconut/Lime Bars

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring (in the same area in the store as the vanilla extract)
  • 2 3.5 ounce Lindt Excellence White Coconut bars, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour to toss the chocolate in
  • Glaze-
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • milk if needed to thin glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with non stick foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, flour and salt until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest and the flavorings. Pour into the flour mixture and beat well for about two minutes on medium speed. The mixture will look really thin and even might look somewhat curdled. You didn’t mess up; it’s fine.
  4. Gently, fold in the chopped chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan
  5. Bake at 350 for between 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out barely clean.
  6. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
  7. When cool, combine all the glaze ingredients and spoon over the bars. When the glaze has had a while to firm up (refrigerate if you want o hasten this) lift the bars by the foil and lay out on a cutting board.  Cut into desired size squares…or rectangles or if you cut as badly as I do, something resembling a hexagon on steroids.
  8. So far as I can tell thus far, these are good at room temp or straight from the fridge. Haven’t tried frozen.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Key Lime Pie Dip

Key Lime Pie Dip

Key Lime Pie Dip



I say yet again…. weird, weird weather. May in Kentucky and it’s in the mid 50’s and we had to turn the heat on last night! Some of our area got frost and it attacked my Basil the other night and killed off the tips of all the leaves. I am pretty sure we can give up on the idea of fruit from our trees AGAIN this year due to the weather. Le Sigh.

But I will (she says yet again) NOT give up on warm weather cooking and eating. I have always said that I was a person who didn’t cook according to the season, that if I wanted pumpkin in July, I was having pumpkin in July and enjoying it. And while this is true, I am coming to realize that even I, much as I hate to be normal :-p, do tend to cook according to the seasons. Maybe it’s genetically hardwired in us to do that, since we were all hunter-gatherers at one time. We have the luxury of doing what we want cooking wise, because we were blessed to be born into bodies living in developed countries, but there is still something that makes us want to use that fresh stuff while it’s there.

Ok, enough waxing philosophical. Let’s get to the food.

I have a thing for limes. I absolutely HATE fake lime flavor, such as that found in candy, but I love the flavor and scent of real lime. When I use it, I’m convinced it’s my favorite citrus. But then again, I do the same when I use lemons or oranges hehe.

This dip is awesome. My husband, who has some sort of sensory issue with creamy foods, couldn’t stop eating it. He totally loved it. I did also of course…. it’s lime, it’s rich, it’s creamy and I’m me; need I say more? 😀 The kids loved it too, so this was a hit all around. This is simple to make. Just beat, beat more, spoon into a serving bowl and there ya go. You can serve this with whatever dippers you want; I used vanilla wafers, graham crackers and sliced up marshmallows. Let it sit out at room temp for a bit to soften. It’s fine cold but harder to scoop up.

You know the drill…. 🙂

 

Side Note! Don’t forget to go to the post preceding this one (GIVEAWAY) and enter my giveaway! You could win a 6 Speed Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer AND a 6 Speed Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer! Just for entering. I don’t have a bazillion entries so your chances are actually pretty good of winning!

Key Lime Pie Dip

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • zest of 5 key limes (or 2 regular; about 2 tablespoons zest)
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice (or 3 tablespoons regular lime juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime oil (optional, but adds a nice zing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon lime kool-aid (again; optional, but it adds the cute green color and a good amount of tang and c’mon, it costs 20 cents at wal mart :-p )
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

 

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add in the zest, juice, lime oil and kool aid. Beat well.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and beat at low speed until mixture is fluffy.
  4. Spoon into a serving bowl. Top with the graham cracker crumbs. Chill for about 45 minutes minimum. It can be chilled longer, but make sure you let it sit out for 30 minutes or so just to soften a little bit.
  5. Serve with dippers of choice.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission

 

 

A Giveaway From Hamilton Beach!! (And Greek Yogurt Lemon Ginger Muffins)

Greek Yogurt Lemon Ginger Muffins

Greek Yogurt Lemon Ginger Muffins



A few weeks ago I was contacted by a rep from Hamilton Beach asking me if I’d like to be a Brand Ambassador for them. Being a long time fan of the company, I immediately said yes. I think I had the email answered before the poor lady on the other end even had time to breathe after sending me the offer hehe. It was rather provident also because my poor hand mixer had finally bitten the dust just the day before. It went up in smoke and stinky fumes. All we needed was flames to complete the perfect kitchen apocalypse.

The deal was this- I would receive one of their hand mixers as well as a stand mixer to try out on my own. I was also told that I could offer one of my lovely readers the same deal… both a hand mixer and a stand mixer of your own. Are they awesome and generous or what?! All I had to do was give my honest opinion of the mixers and make a Spring inspired goodie. No pressure to say they were both wonderful unless I felt that way. Well, guess what? I absolutely love them both! Now, I have a stand mixer from that other known company, who shall remain unnamed 😛 and I love it. BUT… it can be a bit bulky and it’s really heavy. Good qualities when I’m making bread or the like. Not so much when all I want to do is make some cookies or whip some cream. The #HamiltonBeach stand mixer has no such issues. I can lift it without getting a hernia lol and it is a workhorse too. The motor isn’t as powerful as the more well known brand but it still does the job just great and is easier to clean being smaller. Plus…. it’s quieter. A DEFINITE advantage in my kid chaotic household. Anything that saves me from noise headaches makes me happy. 😀 This mixer cmes with a dough hook, a paddle attachment and a whisk one, so it’s perfect for just about any job you do.

Now to the hand mixer. I really, really, really love it. Did I mention that I really love it? It has what they call “Soft Scrape” beaters that are coated with a pretty bright red rubber coating. This helps them catch the sides of the bowl so you don’t have to scrape it as much when using it. The hand mixer also comes with a whisk attachment and regular non coated beaters if you don’t want to use the Soft Scrape ones. But the Soft Scrape ones are quite handy. The muffins I made for this had a lot of zest and if you’ve ever used a beater for a recipe with zest, you know it ends up getting caught on the beaters and you have to scrape it off, put it back in the bowl and stir it back in. Rather a pain. But none of the zest stuck to the Soft Scrape beaters. It was all in the muffin batter. WooT!

Trust me… you want to win this combo!

Now onto the muffins. I have a thing for the lemon ginger combo. I use it in tea, baked goods, savory dishes, etc; you name it, I love it. I thought for weeks about what to make for this giveaway and finally settled on this flavor combo. I mean, what better than something I love for a mixer I love, right? And Lemon is definitely a nice Spring sort of a flavor. Citrus always makes me think of warmer weather, even when I use it during the middle of Winter. These muffins are pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. They have a nice tart, but too tart, lemony flavor with a mild bite from the candied ginger and a sweet crunch on top from the sugar. I garnished them with one of my favorite candies ( a gummy candy of course. It’s no secret of my love for gummy candies hehe)… a Lemon Ginger Gummy.

You know the drill…… but today add on something to it. Go down to the bottom of the post and enter this giveaway! You could win a Hamilton Beach stand mixer AND a Hamilton Beach hand mixer!!

Greek Yogurt Lemon Ginger Muffins

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of two lemons (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract or emulsion
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lemon flavored Greek yogurt (the blended kind, not the kind with fruit on the bottom)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Sparkling Sugar for garnish
  • Haribo Lemon Ginger Gummis for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or grease them.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and candied ginger. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, at low speed on a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the extracts, lemon juice and lemon yogurt, at low speed, JUST until combined.. Stir in the flour mixture; again, just until combined. Don’t over mix this.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with the sparkling sugar if using
  5. Bake at 375 for about 18 to 22 minutes or until a nice golden brown.
  6. Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a rack. When cooled, cut a small slash in the top of each muffin and push a piece of gummi candy into it. You could also use a small slice of candied ginger the same way or even some candied lemon peel. 🙂

Now! The giveaway!!

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer & Hand Mixer Giveaway!

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer & Hand Mixer Giveaway!

Here is the info on what you’ll win if you’re the lucky person picked at random!

 

SoftScrape™ 6 Speed Hand Mixer with Case-

  • Classic styling with brushed stainless steel housing
  • Snap-on storage case — no more lost attachments
  • Also includes 2 traditional metal beaters
  • 300 watt peak-power motor
  • Quick Burst™ button
  • Bowl Rest™ feature lets mixer rest on bowl’s edge

6 Speed Stand Mixer

  • Same mixing action as KitchenAid® stand mixers*
  • Mixing action gives complete bowl coverage
  • Powerful 300 Watt motor
  • Better mixing than 2-beater stand mixers
  • 3 attachments offer mixing versatility
  • 6 speeds and special fold setting
  • Stainless steel 3.5 quart bowl
  • Flat beater, dough hook & whisk are dishwasher safe
  • Mixing head spins as it rotates completely inside the bowl
  • Tilt-up head lifts out of the way for easy bowl access
  • Nonslip feet

To enter this contest, a blog comment below is mandatory as well as entering that into the Rafflecopter widget below.

In your blog comment, let me know, “What’s The first thing you would make with your new Stand Mixer?”. Then click the button on the Rafflecopter entry below. This will open up a bunch of extra entries to this contest that you can use if you’d like. The only mandatory one is the blog comment, but it’s worth 2 entries apiece for the other methods! (Please note all extra social media entries will be checked for completion if you are chosen as a winner. If they are found to be invalid, a new winner will be notified. (So make sure you actually click and follow or it will be invalid.) Contest is open to U.S. residents 18 years old and older and Hamilton Beach can NOT deliver to P.O. Boxes. You must have a valid U.S. mailing address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure Notice-  Hamilton Beach provided me with both a stand mixer and a hand mixer for review, but all opinions in this post were my own and I was not otherwise compensated. 🙂 (May 13, 2014)

Triple Lemon Bars

Triple Lemon Bars

Triple Lemon Bars



There are times when you just need comfort, usually in the form of some sort of food or drink. Whether your idea of that is a bag of chips and a beer and old reruns of Andy Griffith, some chicken & dumplings and a cold glass of milk, sitting under a warm blanket reading Little Women while you sip at some tea or anything involving chocolate, or downing a bottle of Smirnoff, going clubbing dressed in only a thong and high heels and then spending the night over a toilet (which btw, if that’s your form of comfort, I have some numbers you may want to call for help 😛 ) you just have to have some form of comfort. For me, it always involves baking and usually not something new, but something tried and true, something that brings back good memories, which for me would mean when my kids were little. One of the things I baked often then was lemon bars. I mean, who (other than my 17 year old and he’s strange) doesn’t like lemon bars? Well, except for (also) those strange people who just don’t like lemon desserts at all. personally, I think they are aliens come to destroy our world. but I also watched War Of The Worlds last night so I may still be caught up in bad 1950’s movie effects.

Lemon Bars have always been one of those quintessential “you need to know how to make these” sort of recipes to me. SO when I realized that after almost 3 years of blogging, I hadn’t yet posted my go to lemon bar recipe, I knew I needed to change that. These are the ones I have been making for about 20 years, though with some changes form the original, which came from (again) one of those monthly Pillsbury cookbooks. You will notice however, the addition of Boyajian Lemon Oil . I have always added either lemon extract (back in the day) or lemon oil (when I realized it was better than extract) but it’s just been in recent months that I have gained an extreme fondness for their specific brand. Give it a try. You can omit the lemon oil but it does definitely add to the overall flavor.

These have a lemony crust, a tart lemon filling and a glaze that I make using lemon zest and lemon oil, but very little lemon juice so that it can offset the tartness of the filling. These have been worked on over the years to make, what I think is, the best lemon bar around. These make a nice thick bar so cut the pieces small unless you’re trying to send everyone, even your healthy friends, into a diabetic coma 😀

You know the drill… 🙂

Triple Lemon Bars

  • Crust-
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon water, if needed for crust to come together
  • Filling-
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (use room temp lemons to get the most juice)
  • Glaze-
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with non-stick foil. That is of course optional, but I highly recommend it.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on low speed, combine all the crust ingredients until mixture is crumbly and holds together when pressed in your hand. if you need to add more water, add a little at a time to get it crumbly and not dry.
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, make your filling- combine the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon oil, flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add in the lemon juice.
  5. When the crust is browned, pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust. Return to the oven and bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is firm, lightly browned and set. If you insert a skewer halfway to the center, it should come out just moist, not liquid, rather like a thick lemon curd. It will set up more as it cools.
  6. Cool the bars completely before glazing. For the glaze, simply whisk all the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over the cooled bars and spread gently.
  7. Cut these into small squares or triangles and you can either store them, covered, on the counter for a day or two, or in the fridge for about a week. The fridge is a better bet because they become quite soft and hard to handle when left out.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Chocolate Iced Yeast Doughnuts With Blood Orange Filling

Chocolate Iced Yeast Doughnuts With Blood Orange Filling

Chocolate Iced Yeast Doughnuts With Blood Orange Filling



I’ve always been a doughnut fan. I mean, it’s fried dough which is then usually covered in a glaze or frosting. What’s not to love, right? Back when I was a kid (heck, even now. I admit it) getting a treat of Dunkin Donuts made my day. My favorite was always the Bavarian Creme. And the Boston Creme. And the ones with the thick vanilla filling. And the ones with…. erhmmm, ok, I liked them all. As I got older though, and my palate become more sophisticated (saith the woman who brags about loving Cheetos) I would wish they had more interesting flavors. Not that that stopped me from eating 98 doughnuts in one sitting, just that I wanted more variety. So how do you get more interesting flavors? You make them yourself. Or live in a city with a gourmet Doughnut shop, but that’s not here in rural Kentucky. Gourmet here is “Franks Doughnuts”; good but not fancy.

I made this recipe for Orange Curd knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it. Other than spoon bites of it into my waiting mouth at 2am when no one is looking, that is. Along with Lil’ Smokies sausages. Don’t ask… just don’t ask.

I wanted to use the curd (gosh, curd is a word that soooo doesn’t do justice to the smooth creamy, buttery topping that it is.) as a doughnut filling. And what better way to do that then a yeast doughnut covered in chocolate. Chocolate…orange…classic, right? While my doughnut shapes leave something to be desired, namely, symmetry lol, they taste fantastic. You have a puffy, fluffy and tender yeast doughnut that is mildly sweet with a subtle hint of orange, then a smooth rich chocolate icing and finally that wonderful slightly tangy orange filling. Pure heaven. And oh so easy to eat way more than you need, this why I don’t make doughnuts often. I’d weigh 800 pounds. This is a multi step recipe, but none of the steps is difficult. If you’ve made any recipes using a yeast dough before, this is no different. You’re just frying it instead of baking it. Just make the curd the day before, so that it’s thoroughly chilled when you fill the doughnuts. If orange curd isn’t to your liking, you could use jam or pastry cream or even instant pudding if you’re feeling lazy lol.

You know the drill… 🙂

Chocolate Iced Yeast Doughnuts With Blood Orange Filling

  • Doughnuts-
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed to between 115-120 degrees
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Orange Oil
  •  1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • vegetable oil (enough to fill a pot about 4 inches deep)
  • Icing- (Alton Browns Recipe)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Filling- Orange Curd
  1. For the doughnuts- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the yeast and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add in the milk, egg, sugar, vanilla, softened butter, orange zest and orange oil and one cup of the flour. Mix with the paddle attachment just until it is mixed.
  2. Switch over to the dough hook, then add the rest of the flour. Mix at low speed until the dough pulls away cleanly from the side of the bowl. Scrape once or twice if you need to. When the dough is smooth and elastic looking, dump it out into a lightly greased bowl. Turn to coat all sides, then cover with a clean cloth and set somewhere warm to rise. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
  3. After is rises, pat or roll it into a circle that is about 3/4 of an inch thick. Use a 2.5 inch cutter (obviously, if you want smaller or larger doughnuts, change the cutter size but remember to watch your frying time in that case). Cut out the doughnuts, then set them aside on a clean baking sheet. Allow them to rise again until they are doubled in bulk.
  4. While they are rising, slowly heat 4 inches of oil in a large pot to 350 degrees.
  5. When the doughnuts are risen, carefully slide a few at a time into the hot oil. Let cook for one minute on each side (if making 2.5 inch doughnuts), until nicely browned on both sides.
  6. Carefully scoop the doughnuts out and lay them on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. While they cool, make your icing.
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla. Heat until the butter is totally melted. Add in the chopped chocolate and swirl the pan around, then let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir to finish incorporating the chocolate, then sift in the powdered sugar. Whisk well until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  8. Filling the doughnuts is easy- pour the orange curd into a plastic squeeze bottle, the type you see ketchup in. You can find them for a dollar at Wal-mart. Poke the top of the squeeze bottle into the side of the doughnut. Squeeze the bottle gently, pulling back as you do so, until the tip comes out of the doughnut. If it looks like you need more filling, squeeze a little more in.
  9. Dip each filled doughnut into the warm icing, swirling as you lift up to get rid of the excess.
  10. Set the doughnuts aside to let the icing dry…. or just eat them. I’m fine with that.

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Blood Orange Curd

Blood Orange Curd

Blood Orange Curd




I may have mentioned once or twice that I absolutely love citrus fruits. The plethora of lemon posts on the blog shows how much I love them, but my heart really lies with oranges. Back when I was young, eating an orange if you lived in most of the U.S. meant a navel orange. While those are good and I still love them, now, with the world so much smaller in many ways thanks to good methods of transportation, they are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Now, this time of year, you can get in season citrus of so many varieties it boggles the mind. Cara Cara, navel, Sweet lemons, Myer lemons, Mandarins. Tangelos, Pummelos, Kumquats, Clementines and so many others. But my favorite, one that is only around for a couple of short months, is the Blood Orange. Such an ick name for such a tasty fruit. In case you don’t know what it is, a blood orange is a somewhat smallish variety of orange with a reddish-orange rind and a medium to dark red flesh. The flavor is similar to a “regular” orange, but with a bit of a raspberry or even a somewhat winey flavor to it. The scent is intense and a bit more floral. They are absolutely delicious oranges. You can usually find them at any decently stocked grocery store these days.

Since they are in season for such a short time, after I get my fill of eating them, I like to do things with them that keeps around the house for a while longer. This curd is one of those things. It’s made like a basic lemon curd, but obviously subbing in the blood oranges. I personally add in the zest and juice form one lemon because otherwise, the flavor can be a bit one dimensional and flat since oranges are sweeter than a lemon. I also add in a few drops of orange oil at the end of cooking, but that is entirely optional, though I DO recommend it. It adds just a but more of that orange zest flavor and brings it out in the curd itself.

As yummy as this is, hold on to a good portion of it because we’ll be using it in something else that will be utterly delicious in a few days. So resist the temptation to just stand in front of the fridge with the bowl and a spoon. Or just make two batches. 😀

You know the drill… 🙂

Blood Orange Curd

  • Zest from 3 Blood Oranges (about 3 to 4 tablespoons. If there is more, use it)
  • Zest from one lemon (about 1 tablespoon. Again, use it all)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 6 eggs
  • juice from the oranges and the lemon (you should end up with just about 2/3 a cup of juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Boyajian Orange Oil (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Blend in the citrus zest and the sugar.
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until combined.
  3. Add in the blood orange/lemon juices, the vanilla and the salt. Blend well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepot. Over medium heat, cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a temp between 170 and 175. Do NOT let this boil. It should take about ten minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of all the zest and any lumps of eggs that may have cooked too fast.
  6. Pour into a container and store in the fridge. The curd will keep for about a month or so. But we’ll be using some of it up here this week. 😀

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Lemon Pots de Crème

Lemon Pots de Crème

Lemon Pots de Crème



I will now join the club.. I’m ready for Spring to be here. I want to go out and have adult dirt playtime, otherwise known as gardening. I want to see my Hyacinths bloom as well as put in all of my yearly herbs, flower bulbs and seeds. I want to see leaves on our fruit trees and smell the scent of freshly cut grass. I want to hear the crickets and frog serenade me in the evening.

But… what I want doesn’t mean squat to mean old Mother Nature. She is a harridan who does things on her own schedule and this Winter, she has been in a really really bad mood. Kentucky (the part I live in at least) has seen more snow and ice than I recall seeing here in over a decade. But compared to what other parts of the country have endured, it’s been a cake walk here. I don’t know anyone at this point who isn’t ready for a little warmth. I feel like an aging cat who wants nothing more than to find the nearest sunbeam and let it soak into my body lol.

Spring isn’t going to be here for a while though, even here in the south, so I have to content myself with making foods that make me feel like it is almost here. This Lemon Pots de Crème is definitely one of those foods. This is smooth, ultra creamy and rich and intensely tangy; very much a taste of Spring. The recipe is straight from FineCooking.com. The only change I made was to add 1/4 cup of Limoncello to the lemon syrup mixture, but you can always omit that if you don’t want to bother with it. The Mascarpone Cream is also my own touch. I adore having an excuse to make it and use it and it adds so much to a tangy dessert like this one. This is also a touch more involved than some recipes I post, but nothing you can’t handle. Like I’ve said before, just remember to get your ingredients ready beforehand and it makes putting this together a lot quicker and easier. Prep in cooking is SOOOO important.

What is a  Pots de Crème btw for those of you who may not know? Simply a fancy name for a rich baked pudding/custard. This is egg yolk and cream rich so bakes up very smooth if you don’t overcook it.

You know the drill… 🙂

Lemon Pots de Crème With Mascarpone Cream

  • zest of 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello Liquor (optional)
  • 3 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (hold onto the pod; you’ll use it too) or 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract (but the sight of the speckles form the beans in there adds some visual appeal)
  • 10 egg yolks (save those whites and make some meringue cookies or egg white omelets!)
  • Boiling water for the water bath
  • For the mascarpone cream-
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place 8 6 ounce ramekins inside a large baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a small pot, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the Limoncello (if using). Simmer the mix until it has reduced down to about 1/2 cup. This will take about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium pot, combine the 3 1/2 cups cream, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla beans and reserved pod (if using extract instead, you’ll add it later) and bring the mixture to just below boiling over medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Gently whisk the egg yolks with the last 1/4 cup of sugar, just until smooth. Don’t make it airy, just smooth.
  5. Add a ladleful of the hot cream into the egg yolks, whisking the whole time. Do this one more time to temper your yolks. Whisk the egg yolk mix into the rest of the cream mixture.
  6. Cook slowly, stirring constantly (wooden spoons or silicone spatulas work best to make sure you hit all edges of the pot), until the mixture reaches 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Stir in the reserved lemon syrup, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of the lemon zest and vanilla pod. Add your vanilla extract now if that’s what you’re using.
  7. Divide the mixture between the ramekins and carefully transfer the whole baking dish to the 325 degree oven.
  8. Gently pour in boiling water, using enough to reach about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful here, it’s easy to splash it into the puddings and you don’t want to do that. Cover the pan with a large sheet of foil. Don’t tighten it, just lay it over the top. This holds in the steam and also prevents browning.
  9. Bake at 325 for 25 to 45 minutes (start checking it at the 25 minute mark), until the  Pots de Crèmes  are set at just about 1/4 inch in from the edges. You’re not making a firm pudding here; these are looser. If you insert an instant read thermometer in the center, the temp should be between 150 to 155. If so, they’re ready to come out. If you’ve made other baked puddings or custards, you’ll think “no way are these done”. They ARE. They will firm up to the perfect texture as they cool. Take them one at a time out of the baking pan and let cool for about an hour at room temp, then transfer to the fridge to finish chilling and firm up.
  10. When ready to serve, combine all the ingredients for the mascarpone cream and beat at high speed until it forms nice creamy semi firm peaks.
  11. Garnish the Pots de Crème with lemon zest and the mascarpone cream. I also used some sliced Kumquats because I love them. They’re so darn cute!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Scones With A Honeyed Glaze

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones With A Honeyed Glaze

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones With A Honeyed Glaze




I’ve mentioned more than once that I was born and raised in Chicago. Right on “Da Sout’ Side” in the neighborhoods you didn’t want to be stuck in alone after dark. I didn’t know enough to be frightened then; it was just home.

One Winter, after my parents were divorced, I think when I was about 7 or so, my dad had us for the weekend. He and my older brother Steve used to play this driving game of sorts. Steve would have his eyes closed while dad drove and when dad pulled in, Steve had to say whether or not we were at our destination. or if dad had pulled in somewhere else. One day, a particularly snowy Chicago early evening, they were playing the game as my sister Sandra and I tittered every time Steve got it wrong. So then dad pulled into a random driveway and stopped the car. Steve guessed whether or not we were home (it escapes me now if he got it correct or not) and opened his eyes. They went through the typical “awwww mannnn” stuff and dad tried to start the car. It didn’t start. He tried again. Still didn’t start. There we were, with it getting dark outside, very gray, dreary and cold, in a strangers driveway, in a broken down car lol I wish I could tell you that the strangers invited us in, we all had hot cocoa and became fast friends, or even better that they came out with an Uzi,  they and dad got into a wild west shootout and we made the WGN news that night, but in truth, I don’t remember what happened. I know dad went to their door to ask to use the phone (WAYYYYYYYY before cell phones here. Remember, I’m old.) but I have no idea how we eventually got home or if dad got his car fixed. Lol. I am willing to bet however, that that game never got played again on a snowy cold night. 😛

Today has been dreary as all git out here in Kentucky. No snow unfortunately which would have made it worth it in my eyes, just very gray skies, cold weather and a ton of rain. I keep trying to tell myself that it is good for the trees we recently planted but I’m not convincing myself very well. So I had a baking therapy session. It’s hard to feel blah when surrounded by the scent of fresh lemon zest and then the scent of baking scones.

These scones are quite yummy if I do say so myself. They are also huge lol. I think next time I make these I will use a square cut and make about 12 of them rather than the 8 wedges. I used wedges out of habit but these are some big arse scones! But it’s easy to eat a whole one which is another reason to make them smaller hehe. They are just lemony enough; not tart but with that lovely lemon peel flavor. They aren’t overly sweet but the glaze adds a nice touch of sweetness to them and a bit of that tart lemon flavor many of us like.

These are simple to make and perfect for Christmas morning breakfast. Nothing can make a Winter day brighter than something citrus.

You know the drill. 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones With A Honeyed Glaze

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (optional but highly recommended. If you can’t get any, add in an extra tablespoon lemon zest)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Glaze-
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cream (more if you want a thinner glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, Poppy seeds, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Make sure to mix well because lemon zest has a tendency to clump.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, cream, lemon juice, lemon oil and extracts. Set aside.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Pour the entire bowl of cream mixture into the flour/butter mix. Use a fork to mix well, until the dough forms a bowl. The dough will be slightly sticky. Don’t be tempted to add more flour.
  6. Dump the ball of dough onto a lightly floured counter or board. Pat down into a circle about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and place next to each other, but not touching, on the prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees until the tops of the scones are lightly browned (the edges and bottoms will look browner than the tops) and firm. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  8. For the glaze, simply mix together the glaze ingredients. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over the scones or dip each scone, top side down, into the glaze and let the excess drip off.

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