Monday, July 21, 2014

Lemon Thins

As you know, cookie recipes are pretty common around here. When I was looking for recipes to review as part of a new cookbook group I joined, I saw this recipe for lemon thins. I liked that they were simple and I had to only pick up a lemon at the store when I went shopping. I was worried that these cookies didn't include a leavening agent, but they turned out pretty good. I prefer a little more substance with cookies, but they were the perfect little snack for the kids. I think if I make them again, I'll bake them a little longer and make sandwich cookies with them...maybe a raspberry filling. Hmm.....

Don't miss your chance to win a copy of Home Made Summer! Click over to my cookbook review to enter!

2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sguar
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until the mixture becomes foamy, approximately 5 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside. In another bowl, beat the softened butter until it becomes whipped and turns lighter in color.

Alternate adding the butter and flour into the egg mixture in small batches. Once the butter and flour have been completely mixed in, then stir in the pinch of salt. Drop small teaspoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. The original recipe calls for only a 5 minute baking time, but my cookies were still soft and jiggly after 5 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to completely cool.

Source: Home Made Summer Cookbook by Yvette van Boven 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cookbook Review: Homemade Summer + Giveaway

I joined a new blogging group and we're planning a review of a cookbook each month. I'm excited for a chance to try different recipes from cookbooks that I may not have found on my own.

The first cookbook we're reviewing is Home Made Summer by Yvette van Boven. This is the third cookbook for van Boven and features recipes for spring and summer. There's step-by-step instructions and beautiful, hand-drawn artwork throughout the book. There are recipes for every meal of the day from breakfast to brunch and desserts, plus drinks!

I had a hard time narrowing down the recipes I wanted to review from the book, there were so many I wanted to make. I decided on two for this review, lemon thins and ultimate puffy pancakes. There's at least two others I want to try, but I ran out of time...I'll get to them eventually!

Lemon Thins: I was a little worried when I started making these, because there is no leavening in them, but they turned out good. I like a little more depth to my cookies, but for the kids, they enjoyed these simple lemon cookies.

The Ultimate "Puffy" Pancakes: I really enjoyed these pancakes and the recipe makes a lot...especially since I make them a little larger than silver-dollar sized. They were puffy, but I was hoping they would be a little thicker. The recipe calls for a warm milk-butter mixture and I think that definitely helped to make these pancakes puffy. 

To top things off, you have a chance to win your own copy of the Home Made Summer cookbook! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Ultimate Puffy Pancakes

I'm always looking for recipes for breakfast. I rarely make pancakes, because my kids prefer waffles, but these were great for a Sunday morning. These pancakes are very similar to buttermilk pancakes, but instead of using cold buttermilk, you make a warm milk-butter mixture.

The texture of these pancakes were really good and while they weren't as puffy as I hoped, they were light and fluffy...exactly what you want in pancake. I served them with raspberries and little drizzle of maple syrup. The recipe made around 30 silver-dollar sized pancakes - perfect sized for my kids! I froze the leftover ones and they were perfect for a quick breakfast during the week.

2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt,  baking powder and sugar. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and milk over medium heat until the butter melts. Once the butter has melted, remove from the stove and stir in the teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

Combine the warm butter-milk mixture with the dry ingredients with a whisk until there are no more lumps. Stir in the beaten eggs and mix together. 

Melt a teaspoon of butter on a griddle/skillet over medium heat. Pour a ladle of batter into pan and cook for 3 minutes until small bubbles start to form and then pop. Flip over and cook on the other side for an additional minute. Continue making pancakes with the remaining batter. Serve with your favorite toppings - fruit, syrup, more butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter....I could go on and on! 

Source: Home Made Summer Cookbook by Yvette van Boven

Monday, July 14, 2014

Madeleines - The Secret Recipe Club

It's reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club! This month my assignment was Smells Like Brownies. When I saw the assignment email, I was so excited. I've been following Melissa's blog for awhile and always love everything that she posts, so I knew it would be a hard time picking a recipe. I knew I wanted to make a dessert, I mean how could I not especially with the name of Melissa's blog! She's a mommy to a toddler and I'm jealous that she has the time to spend working on complicated recipes during the week.

So after scouring Melissa's blog, I decided on a recipe for Madeleines. My sister-in-law bought me a Madeleine pan for Christmas a couple years ago but I hadn't used it yet, so it was about time! I knew this recipe would take a little time chilling in the fridge, so I made the batter one more before I started working. I work from home, so after I dropped Madeline and Cooper off at daycare, I whipped together the batter before I started working and then baked up the cookies after dinner that night. It worked out perfectly. I substituted lime for lemons - they didn't look that great in the store and I needed limes for another recipe. They were really good and I loved the texture of them. The lime was just what they needed and I can't wait to try them with lemon zest the next time I make Madeleines. 

1/2 cup sugar
zest of a lime
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp  baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub together the sugar and lime zest until the sugar is fragrant. Add the eggs and whisk on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until the mixture turns pale and thick. Beat in the vanilla extract. 

Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and then fold in the melted and cooled butter. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated, but take care not to overmix the batter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter to keep a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. 

When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the batter evenly into the two indents. The batter will spread, so there's no need to spread it prior to baking. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed on. Remove the cookies from the pan by gently tapping the edge of the pan on the counter. Serve the Madeleines at room temperature or slightly warm with a cup of coffee or tea.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mini Blackberry Cream Scones

Scones come in a close second to muffins for me. There's something about the cream, butter, and texture that I can't pass add in fresh blackberries and a little lemon. Mouthwatering, right? These scones are perfect to enjoy with your cup of coffee or tea for breakfast or for a little afternoon snack. I whipped up this recipe in less than 10 minutes and my kids got a kick out of how messy I got while mixing the batter with my hands.

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup blackberries
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry knife, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the blackberries and lemon zest.

Pour in the cream and then mix with your hands until a dough forms. Once fully mixed together, place the dough on the prepared baking sheet and form into a small circle. Cut the dough into 8 wedges, I start by cutting the dough in half and then each half gets cut in half again and then each quarter in half. Separate the wedges and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the scones are golden brown.

Once the scones have cooled, make a glaze. Mix together 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tsp of heavy whipping cream. Drizzle over the top of each scone and enjoy!

Source: Eat, Live, Run

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Skinny Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! We have a busy weekend and hosted a family party on July 4th. It was small but it was fun to get together with our family and enjoy the weather. I was worried the weather wasn't going to be great, but by noon, the weather changed and it was gorgeous out. I've been busy working the kitchen getting ready for some of my monthly features; I'm so excited to share them with you! I have also been really busy trying to grow my business and I'll be sharing more information about it later this week as well as a little surprise too. 

I made these muffins months ago, but they got lost in the mix and I just stumbled across the pictures as I preparing for another post. I figured now was a great time to get them posted because they were devoured in 2 days. The kids gobbled them up and they were perfect to send to daycare for breakfast and for an after daycare snack. Plus, they're healthy too, so I didn't worry when the kids ate 2-3 in a day. 

2 large bananas, mashed 
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, honey, brown sugar, yogurt. egg and milk. Once combined, whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold to combine all the ingredients together. 

Divide the batter between the twelve muffin tins. They should be almost filled to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for another 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating. 

Slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Apple Pie Cookies - #FilltheCookieJar

I'm excited to share this recipe for July's Fill the Cookie Jar Facebook group! This month's theme was patriotic. I didn't want to go with a red,white, blue theme, so I thought more about what exactly patriotism meant. I did a little research to find out what others things they felt were patriotic - answers ranged from flags, freedom, stars and stripes, and someone suggested apple pie. Perfect, but how could I turn that into a cookie?

Of course, where else do I go when I have an idea but need inspiration - PINTEREST! I found this great recipe for apple pie cookies and knew this was it. I loved the recipe, it was super simple and the flavor was perfect. Plus, who doesn't love handheld apple pies?!? The crust, tender apple and spices - YUM!

2 refrigerated pie crusts or a homemade recipe for pie crust
2 medium apples, peeled and shredded
squeeze of lemon juice
3 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp flour
3/4  tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 egg
2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a bowl, shred the apples and squeeze out as much juice and discard. This will keep your crust from getting soggy. Return the apples to the bowl and add in the lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir to combine and set aside. Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl, set aside.

Roll out the pie crust and cut 2 1/2 to 3 inch circles. Make sure to have an even number of circles to have a top and bottom for each cookies. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 2 tablespoons of water to create an egg wash. Brush the egg wash on half of the pie crust circles. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of the apple mixture onto the egg washed circles. Top each bottom with another piece of crust and crimp the edges to seal the cookies together.

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each of the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on each cookie. Cut a small x into the top of each cookie to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely before eating.

Source: Eat Your Heart Out