Monday, March 10, 2014

Frosted Lemon Butter Cookies

 photo frostedlemonbuttercookies_zps70d3781e.jpg

"An exquisite shortbread cookie, a lemon lover's joy." This is how the cookbook describes the recipe, and I wholeheartedly agree. These have a very similar taste to lemon bars. But beware, you can't stop at just one!

Frosted Lemon Butter Cookies
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yields 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup flour

Cream butter and sugar. Stir in cornstarch and flour. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Cool.
(note: I flattened them a tiny bit with the bottom of the glass. These cookies do not spread as they cook)

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Rind of one lemon, grated
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar

Combine frosting ingredients. Spread on cooled cookies. 
(note: the frosting was VERY thick so I added more lemon juice to make it more spreadable. I also added a drop of yellow food coloring.)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sugar and Spice Candied Pecans


I have been on a search for the best recipe for candied pecans for a long long time (did you notice how many times I just used the word "for"?)  They are my favorite thing to put into salads.  I have found several recipes that are pretty good, but am always on the lookout for a better one.  

I found this recipe on a blog called The Yummy Life and thought I would try them out.  The result?  Well, they are good enough to put on my blog!  I like them because there is no added butter (my other favorite recipe calls for butter--aren't the sugar and the pecans themselves enough calories?) and they are super easy.  It is hard to mess these up.  I made a couple of batches and put them in jars for Christmas gifts. 

A couple of side notes:  the original recipe called for 1 1/2 tsp. salt, which tasted way too salty for me.  I made the next batch with only 1/2 tsp. of salt which was perfect.  Also, I did not add the cayenne pepper, but I think it would be yummy to add a little heat.  Enjoy!

Sugar & Spice Candied Pecans
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1 large egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. water
4 cups (1 pound) raw pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I used a silpat).  In a large bowl, use electric mixer or shisk to beat the egg white until foamy (30-40 seconds with mixer).  Add all the ingredients except pecans and mix until well combined (15-20 seconds with mixer).  Stir in pecans until all are well coated.  Pour onto baking sheet and spread out nuts into a single layer.  Bake for a total of 40 minutes, removing the pan after 20 minutes and flipping nuts over with a spatula.  Remove from oven and slide parchment paper with nuts still on it onto cooling rack.  Cool completely, break apart, and transfer to airtight container.  Store at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ann Romney's M&M's Cookies


Although I am disappointed in yesterday's presidential election results, I am grateful to live in a free country that gives us the right to choose our leaders.  I always feel so patriotic when I vote! 

Here is Ann Romney's cookie recipe, which coincidentally lost to Michelle Obama's cookie recipe in the Family Circle magazine's cookie contest between the two potential first ladies, but only by a small margin!:)  Enjoy them-my family loved them!

Ann Romney's M&M Cookies
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1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&M's (I used mini m&m's)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and corn syrup on high speed until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda. Stir into peanut butter mixture until combined. Gently mix in chocolate chips and M&M's.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roasted Garlic


It is sooooo easy to roast garlic, and so worth the minimal effort. I have only ever used roasted garlic for mashed potatoes, but I'm sure there are many other uses I have yet to try (pasta sauces, pizza topping, garlic bread...). There are 4 simple steps to roasting garlic--try it! The smell alone will make your mouth water.


Roasted Garlic
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1.  Cut about 1/2 inch (maybe a little more) off the pointy side of the garlic to expose the garlic inside.

2.  Put on aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

3.  Wrap the aluminum foil up and twist the top closed.

4.  Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes.  The garlic should be soft.  To remove the roasted garlic, simply squeeze it and they pop right out.  Let the garlic cool before handling it!!!  (I have burned myself many times because I couldn't wait that long)

The oven temperature and time it takes to roast can be tweaked around a little  bit.  I usually throw in the garlic when I'm already cooking something else.  If my oven is hotter than 350, I just roast the garlic for a shorter time, and if the oven is cooler than 350, I may leave the garlic in a little get the idea!

To use in mashed potatoes, I just mash up the roasted garlic with a fork and then beat it right in with the potatoes.  Roasted garlic has a much milder and sweeter flavor than regular garlic.  I use the ENTIRE bulb for about 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lemon Pudding Dessert


There is nothing gourmet about this recipe, but it is so good in its simpleness.  It is hands down Reagan's favorite dessert.  She is always asking me to make this.  I got the recipe from my mother-in-law, but tweaked it just a tiny bit.

Lemon Pudding Dessert
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2 c. graham cracker crumbs (2 pkg. minus 1 sheet)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar

Mix well and press into bottom of 9x13 pan.

12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 c. powdered sugar
9 oz. Cool Whip

Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar, fold in Cool Whip.

2 sm. pkg. INSTANT lemon pudding, mixed according to package directions, following the pie instructions!

Spread over cream cheese layer.  Chill several hours.

Monday, December 19, 2011



I have made these caramels at Christmas time for the last couple of years.  They are sooooooooo good.  My daughter is giving them to her friends for gifts this year.  Enjoy!

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1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup light Karo syrup

In heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add remaining ingredients and stir constantly until soft ball is formed when tested in water*.  Pour into buttered 9x13 pan, without scraping the bottom and sides of pan, and store in fridge until ready to use.  Cut in squares and wrap in waxed paper.

note: if using a candy thermometer, a soft ball is reached at 234-238 degrees.  The first time I made these, I used a thermometer, but I guess it wasn't calibrated correctly because by the time I reached the right temperature, they were hard as a rock when they cooled off!  I prefer the water method myself. I have found the caramels are usually done about 10 minutes after the mixture starts to bubble.   

*In using the cold water test, use a fresh cupful of cold water for each test.  When testing, pour about 1/2 teaspoon of caramel into the cold water.  Pick the candy up in the fingers and roll into a ball if possible.  For the "soft ball" stage, the candy will roll into a soft ball which quickly loses its shape when removed from the water.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Basic Cranberry Sauce


Have you ever tried making cranberry sauce instead of serving it from a can?  I tried it for the first time last year, and I couldn't believe the difference!  I also couldn't believe how easy it was!  How come it took me so long to figure this out?  Here's the recipe that I found from America's Test Kitchen.  It is a little different from the recipe on the back of the cranberry package.  It has a bit less water to make it the ideal consistency, and it also has a touch of salt to bring out the flavor.  I can't wait to have this with my Turkey!

Basic Cranberry Sauce
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3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. cranberries (picked through)

Bring water, sugar and salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add cranberries and simmer until slightly thickened and two-thirds of berries have burst, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to serving bowl and cool completely, at least 1 hour.  Serve.

note: can be refrigerated for 1 week