Lemon Cookies

Ingredients
¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.

Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350° F. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary). Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.

To wrap: Give a nut tin a second life. Wipe it clean with a damp towel, then peel off the label. Tie a bow with extra-wide ribbon to hide any glue remnants. Note: If nut allergies are a concern, use a coffee can instead.

To freeze: Instead of refrigerating the dough, freeze the logs for up to 2 months. To bake, follow the recipe instructions, cutting and baking the dough from frozen, and use the upper end of the time range.

Peach Bars

Ingredients
Base Dough
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Peach Filling
2 pounds peaches, unpeeled (about 8 peaches)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pecan Oat Topping
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour, divided
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Glaze
Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions
Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients in just until the dough is soft and pulled together. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling and topping.

Roughly chop the peaches into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
Wipe out the mixer bowl and mix 1/4 cup softened butter with the oats, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt until soft and crumbly. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.

Spread the chopped peaches over the chilled dough base. Evenly crumble the topping over the peaches, and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.

Whisk together the lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over the bars.

Cool (or chill) for at least an hour before slicing and serving. I do recommend chilling these; they will stay fresh (and slice more cleanly) for about 5 days when stored well-covered in the fridge.

Toffee Squares

 

Ingredients:
2 sticks butter
1 c packed brown sugar
1 whole egg
2 t vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
2 c chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
3/4 c finely chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and flour and mix until combined.

Spread on cookie sheet with an offset spatula until thin. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle on chocolate chips. Return to oven for 1 minute.

Remove from oven and spread chocolate thinly over the cookie layer.

Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cut into squares.

Apple Pie

Ingredients:
5 Granny Smith apples
1 T juice and 1 t zest from 1 lemon

3/4 c sugar
2 T all-purpose flour

1/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t ground nutmeg

1/4 t ground allspice
1 package of store bought pie crust
1 T unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.

Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest.

In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples.

Follow directions for crust (in terms of chilling or preheating). Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center. Place top crust on pie. Brush with melted butter.

Bake pie for 40 minutes (or until top is golden brown).

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

2 1/8 c all-purpose flour

½ t baking soda

½ t salt

12 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 c light brown sugar

½ c granulated sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 t vanilla extract

2 c chocolate chips

10 oz caramel candy squares, unwrapped

3 T heavy cream

sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325; grease a 9-in square pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream.  Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds.  This will take about 2 minutes.

Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with spatula.  Pour the hot caramel over the cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving some empty space around the edges.  Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt.  Drop the remaining cookie dough into spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered.  Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

Bake the bars for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan.  Cool the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set.  Cut into squares and serve.

(courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker)

Orange Blossoms

5 eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
½ c. water

Combine the above ingredients and beat until light

1 ½ c. flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 t. vanilla

Combine all ingredients.  Grease and flour small muffin tins.  Instead of flour, sprinkle sugar  in tins.  Fill small muffin tins about ½ full.  Bake at 350 for 12-16 minutes.

Combine:
1 ¼ lb powdered sugar
juice of 2 lemons
grated rind of 1 lemon
juice and grated rind of 2 oranges.

While muffins are still hot, dip in mixture and place on foil until cool.  Store in a closed container.  May make several days ahead.