Lemon Bars – French Style

26 Jan

I’ve never met a lemon bar I didn’t love (well, maybe once, but it was commercially made and not very good, but that’s for another post). These were de-lish-us! And, since I forgot to take a photo, I guess that means I’ll have to make them again!

My observations:

  • Large eggs – next time I make this recipe, I’ll either increase the eggs to five, or at the very least, add one egg yolk. Why is it that whole chickens you buy for roasting have become the size of small turkeys (ever tried to find a 3-lb. chicken lately?) and large eggs run a gamut of sizes? I complained to a friend about this and she agreed, “They look kind of small, don’t they?!?” Anyway, as they apply to this recipe, the lemon curd was very loose. It did, indeed, firm up with refrigeration. With the exception of ice cream, I really like desserts at room temperature and these seemed really jiggly at room temp. But, again, I think this is the fault of my egg’s size, not the recipe.
  • Almonds – OK, I broke my own rule and increased the amount of chopped almonds to a little more than 1/2-cup. Two beliefs I have – if some vanilla or some almonds are good, more is always better! (Oh, yeah, I increased the amount of vanilla, also!)
  • Shortbread base – I’m liking this shortbread enough to want to try it as a stand alone shortbread. (Oh, and full disclosure – I also have a hard time finding a shortbread I don’t like.)

Overall – a terrific cookie – more than worth the slightly extra work for a lemon bar.

Addendum: I made these again – this time adding an extra egg yolk. Curd still seems a little loose for me. Way too soft to cut into bars unless they’ve been thoroughly chilled. So, yes, I will make them again, but I will chill them after taking them from the pan. Oh, and this time, I remembered to take photos!

 

 

Fluted Carrot-Tangerine Cake

12 Jan

OK, so I’ve been away awhile. But, I’m back! (Christmas knitting pretty much ate up all my time – baking had to wait.)

quiche pan
This recipe excited me – a lot! First, it seemed relatively easy and quick to assemble (I’m notorious for not planning ahead!). Secondly, it gave me the chance to use a pan I’ve had for over 30-years (well, I’ve had it only about 25-years, but my mother had it for many years before), that to my knowledge, has never before been used. My sister-in-law made this quiche pan for my mother long ago and mama never used it. She gave it to me, and I always thought it too pretty to use. Dorie’s recipe seemed the exact right one to christen it!

I was right – relatively easy to assemble. If I have a bug-a-boo with this recipe it’s the “one medium carrot”. I hate that measurement – what does medium mean? Medium to a rabbit? Medium to a dieter? (Trust me, a medium carrot to a dieter is very large, indeed!) I would have preferred to have read “1/2-cup finely shredded carrot” – but I digress.

Fluted Carrot CakeAs always, Dorie’s description was spot on, “…an inch high.” I’ll let it rest over night and serve it tomorrow as dessert – won’t my family be surprised to find that Sunday dinner’s dessert has returned?!?

By the way – it is delicious! I passed on the glaze and opted for a relatively heavy dusting of powdered sugar instead. I’m not a real dessert fan – and this was spot on – not too sweet and delicately moist.

Tiger Cakes

13 Oct

Tiger Cakes

Decided that I needed a quick, easy dessert for this evening’s dinner – and this recipe filled the bill.

An easy mix-up. An easy bake! And boy, are they tasty! (Oh, and an added bonus: they look just like Dorie’s photo!)

Rewind: Bubble Eclairs

9 Sep

Bubble Eclairs w/chocolate pastry creamSo, I’ve done my rewind early – surprising, since I’m usually late on most of these things! I wanted a relatively easy dessert for this past Sunday, and I’ve never found paté choux particularly difficult. I filled them with chocolate pastry cream, and might I say, Dorie’s pastry cream is delicious!

I did have difficulty making the little “siamese triplets” staying connected. I’m not sure if I didn’t smush them together enough or they just weren’t sticky enough, regardless, all except about four of them split apart as “mini” cream puffs. Did not effect the taste, however! I’ll try again another time. Or, maybe just make cream puffs or long, thin eclairs!

My only “whine” is that I gave myself a blister on my little finger, stirring the bejeezus out of the paté choux. (Can’t whine too much – it earned me a kiss on the finger from my husband!)

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

8 Sep

Jam-filled sandwich cookiesMmmmm….Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites…And what’s not to love about a filled shortbread cookie!

They were easy to mix together. (I was a little surprised at how dry the dough was, but it did not seem to effect the cookie.) I happened to have apricot preserves in my refrigerator, so that’s what I filled them with. Oh, with a little twist – peanut butter! As much as peanut butter has become a big no-no in many schools, I couldn’t help but make peanut butter and jam cookies! A scant 1/4 teaspoon of each peanut butter and jam created a perfect treat.

My biscuit cutter is 2-1/2 inches across, and I got exactly 12-sandwiches with one 4-inch disc I filled and folded in 1/2, much like a hand-pie. Delicious little morsels that I’m certain to make again…and again! Oh, and did I mention delicious?!?

Cherry Crumb Tart

4 Aug

I’m not sure what possessed me to decide baking on a 100+ degree day was a good idea, but because cherries are nearing the end of their season here in Oregon, this was my choice for dessert today.

I began by doing all the prep work yesterday (OK, yesterday was the 100 degree day, today merely upper 90’s). I followed Dorie’s suggestion of using a chopstick to push the cherry pits through to remove them. It worked fairly well (had the cherries been softer, it would have been the ideal technique), although messy. (My nails and cuticles have dark-cherry red stains that will be remedied by a shower later this morning.) However, never having pitted cherries before, perhaps messy is just what happens! I used both vanilla extract and almond extract in my streusel – l love cherries and almonds together! – thus breaking my own rule for following the recipe exactly the first time through. Oh, well!?!

The actual tart went together surprisingly easily – and I love the directions of “45-minutes or until the filling is golden….bake it another 30 – 35 minutes or until the streusel is the color you like – you can’t over bake the filling. Dorie is a genius! The hardest part has been waiting for it to cool enough to cut into.

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Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

29 Jul

Vanilla Mango Panna CottaWho knew panna cotta was really this easy? I needed a quick dessert for this evening; friends coming over on a Monday – now there’s a novelty – and this one just fell into my lap. The fact that I don’t have to heat the kitchen to make it is just an added bonus.

So, I don’t have the cute jar/bowls that Dorie has, but you know what works? 1/2-pint canning jars! Practical and inexpensive!

I loved the creamy top, not so much the mango puree. I’d like to try it again – this time with peaches.

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