Tag Archives: treats

Lemon Bars with Thyme Crust

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I have been apprenticing at Just Simply Cuisine since January, and it has really been such an impactful experience. Chris Coppola is one of the best home cooks and I’ve learned endless tips and tricks from her. One of her best tricks is to store your fresh herbs in jars of water in your fridge. Honestly my herbs have outlasted everything from pad thai left overs, to horse radish hummus- really the works. My fridge looks like an overgrown garden and at the request of my roommates to tame the beast, I decided to put the herbs to good use in a dessert.

This Saturday I will be teaching her cooking class how to make Lemon Bars with Thyme Crust, and although I’ve been practicing, I have to admit I’m pretty nervous. I’ve made about a hundred squares  to prefect the recipe, so please stop by my apartment any time  and take them off my hands! My roommates are lemon squared out, so to the lobby  they go.

Lemon bars are obviously delicious on their own, but the thyme crust is a simple step that adds so much elegance. I don’t think any of my Oreo stuffed creations can be described as elegant, so I’m feeling semi sophisticated. Send good thoughts my way Saturday morning- screwing up in front of a big group of strangers does not sound ideal, so cross your fingers for me.

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Crust:
1 cup salted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar 
2 cups flour
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Layer:
7 large eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish

Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 baking pan.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light. Combine the flour, thyme and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Pour the dough into the greased pan and press it into an even layer. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool to room temperature.

For the lemon glaze, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice.  Add more or less sugar and/or juice for desired consistency.  Pour glaze over lemon bars and spread with a spatula to cover evenly. Cut into squares and garnish with fresh thyme. Enjoy!

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Red velvet peppermint kiss cookies

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These cookies are very much belated, as I actually made them to give to our neighbors for the holidays. Now, I take baking for neighbors and holiday gifting very seriously. You never want to be the person to give the rock hard fudge that will be shunned in the corner, belittled by neighbor Nancy’s perfect peanut brittle. I always want my contributions to be the enjoyed, rather than shoved into the trash, so taking this task seriously is necessary. As I am a little late, you can exceed neighborly expectations next year, with these festive cookies. Or just substitute the peppermint kisses for normal chocolate for a non-holiday version.

Recipe here: Yummy. Healthy. Easy.

 

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Peppermint patty brownies

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So there isn’t much of a recipe to share with these brownies. Basically I bought a bag of holiday Peppermint Patty’s at the CVS post Christmas sale. Then I bought a brownie mix (see my last post about boxed baking approval here). Then I followed the directions on the box and threw in some of the candy. Some would say these brownies don’t even deserve to be on a food blog because they are so simple. But they photograph so freakin’ well, I just had to share.

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Double chocolate cookies

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One of my roommates is a dessert purest and is constantly begging me to make less over-the-top desserts. She wants me cut out the Oreo stuffing and brownie layering and just stick to simple cookies. So although it physically pained me to not stuff these with caramel or dip them in white chocolate, making classic cookies is what being a good room mate is all about.

Find the recipe here.

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Cookie Dough Brownies

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I’ve sampled enough batters and doughs that I’ve started to believe salmonella is an urban myth. My theory is that salmonella is something our mother’s made up to keep our hands out of the mixing bowl. For those who are not buying into my theory, these brownies are perfect for you. The cookie dough is completely eggless but tastes exactly like the real thing. These brownies allow you to indulge in cookie dough (and undercooked brownies), without that prebaking guilt.

Recipe here.

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Flan

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Three weeks ago I started a job at the National Restaurant Association. I have been so happy to work a job writing about my favorite subject; but after studying abroad in Paris, working 9 am- 5 pm has taken some getting used to. I’ve still been baking in any free time, so I have plenty of pictures just waiting to be posted.

About a month ago I made this flan. In Paris they claim to serve flan traditionnel in every patisseries but it was usually fairly dry. I vowed to make a flan absolutely saturated in caramel as soon as I had a functioning oven.

The first time I made flan was after I had gone out for a few drinks. I have a tendency to try to bake after I go out with friends. And it hardly ever turns out well (last night I had to throw out a batch of lemon bars because I thought it would be a good idea to add grenadine to them…. It wasn’t). So the first time a made flan resulted in sweetened scrambled eggs (which weren’t half bad, if I’m being honest). The second time was not at 11 pm and the end product was creamy, rich custard.

Lesson learned, although flan appears easy because of the few ingredients required, remember to watch the time, put the pan in a water bath, and attempt it stone cold sober.

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Lime Bars

I made these from my house in Denver and not actually in Paris. We don’t have an oven in Paris so unfortunately I can’t bake… so I’m just going to have to get creative with stove top cooking and no-bake desserts. I’m trying to view this as a challenge instead of getting upset about it. Nothing wrong with sharpening my cooking skills, especially since one day I probably won’t be able to eat as many sweets as I do now. I ain’t Benjamin Button so my metabolism is only getting worse.

I got the lemon bars recipe from this site. I actually used lime juice because I was out of lemon, and it tasted almost identical. So if you only have lime juice or even some margarita mix left over from taco Tuesday (kinda kidding about the last one) you can still make a crowd pleasing sweet treat.

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