Friday, March 23, 2012

Luscious Lemon Bars


I love this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for lemon bars! They are very mouth-puckering, and I love it! A couple of hints: I spray and line my pan with parchment paper, then spray the parchment paper. To get my bars to cut nicely, I make sure the lemon bars are cold before I cut them, and always use a clean knife!

Lemon Bars

Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cupcakes!!


I have been making a lot of cupcakes lately. I think one of my favorites is the Brown Sugar Vanilla cupcakes. Here is the recipe from AverageBetty website:

Ingredients for Cupcakes:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk

Ingredients for Vanilla Frosting:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons whipping cream

NOTE: Makes enough batter and frosting for 12 cupcakes, 24 mini-cupcakes. Bake 350(F) for 20 minutes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350(F). In an electric mixer, cream butter thoroughly. Add white and brown sugars and cream again. Mix in baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs and cream thoroughly. Add flour and combine thoroughly. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl if necessary.

With mixer running on low speed, stream buttermilk into mixing bowl. When all of the buttermilk has been added, crank the speed to whip air into the batter.

Add vanilla.

Spoon batter into paper lined pan.


This recipe makes 12 – 16 cupcakes depending on how much batter is filled into each cup. Bake at 350(F) for 20 minutes, checking every two minutes thereafter. For mini-cupcakes, reduce baking time to 10 minutes, checking every two minutes thereafter.


Cupcakes will be golden and puffed. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for about ten minutes; until they can be handled without crumbling or dimpling.

Allow cupcakes to rest on rack until completely cooled before frosting.

I add vanilla bean paste, instead of vanilla. I also frost with cream cheese frosting! Really yummy!