Lemon Brownies

This one's for the citrus lovers! Light, fresh and sweet, these lemon brownies are a perfect summertime dessert!

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1.5 Cups Sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
4 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1.5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder

LEMON GLAZE INGREDIENTS
1.5 Cups Icing Sugar
3 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp. Lemon Zest

INSTRUCTIONS
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9X13 baking pan with parchment paper.
-Using a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder
-Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until light and fluffy
-Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined
-Gradually beat in the dry ingredients until combined
-Pour batter into the baking pan and bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Make sure not to overbake
-Allow to completely cool on the counter
-Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined
-Pour the glaze over the lemon bars and spread evenly
-Allow to harden overnight before enjoying!

Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

A quick and simple recipe to jazz up your pound cake. This recipe leans toward a denser pound cake that is very moist and has the most perfect crust. I've used rapsberry jam this time but any jam or fruit spread can work well. 

INGREDIENTS:

For the Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake:
· 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
· 1 cup of sugar
· 4 large eggs
· ¼  teaspoon kosher salt
· 1 ½  teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Rodelle)
· ½  cup of sour cream
· 2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
· ½  teaspoon baking powder
· 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
· ½  cup of seedless jam or fruit spread

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
· 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
· ½  cup icing sugar

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 350°. Use butter to grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. You can use parchment paper as well. Set aside.
-Cream butter and sugar together at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
-Add eggs in one at a time. Then add salt, vanilla extract and sour cream.
-In a small bowl, combine flour with baking powder. Slowly add in flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture.
-Transfer a third of the batter into a separate bowl. Add the jam to this batter until combined. 
-Add the lemon juice to the larger bowl of batter and combine. 
-First add in the plain batter to the loaf pan and then alternate between the jam-filled batter and the plain batter. Use a knife to swirl the batter together.
-Bake for 1 hour and let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and let cool completely.
-Make the icing by beating the cream cheese on medium speed and then add icing sugar until well combined.
-Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake and it's ready to serve!

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 ½  teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder

Ganache (recipe included below)
Melted bittersweet chocolate and flaked sea salt for garnish

·Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
· Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.
·In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, kosher salt and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until combined.
· Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking pans. Using a 1/4 measuring teaspoon, make an indentation in the center of each ball.
· Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven and press down centers again. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely.
· Spoon one teaspoon of ganache into the center of each cookie. Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with sea salt and chocolate shavings.

For the ganache:

2/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

· Place chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil over medium heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand for one minute and then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate and stir until slightly thickened.

Almond Sour Cream Bundt Cake

A true classic and a repeat offender in our kitchen! This Bundt cake recipe is sure to wow a crowd!

INGREDIENTS

· 2 cups of unsalted butter, softened
· 3 cups of white granulated sugar
· 6 eggs at room temperature
· 2 teaspoons almond extract
· 3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
· ¼  teaspoon baking soda
· ½  teaspoon kosher salt
· ¼  teaspoon of nutmeg
· 1 cup of sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a standard 10 inch Bundt pan.
2. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time, making sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter mixture before adding another egg.
4. Beat and almond extract (I used almond extract but vanilla would work great too).
5. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add half of the flour mixture to the batter. Combine and add half the sour cream to the batter. Repeat again and mix just until combined.
6. Bake for 1 hour and up to 15 minutes after that. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from pan to fully cool.

Sprinkle some icing sugar over it or use your favorite frosting. For this frosting, I whipped up 1 stick of butter with 3 cups of icing sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with some heavy whipping cream.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

For the Cupcakes:

2 cups of granulated sugar
½  cup brown sugar
½  cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 ½  cups of all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 ¼  cup of whole milk
2 cups of mini chocolate chips


For the Frosting:

2 cups of unsalted butter
8 cups of icing sugar
½  cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Heavy whipping cream as needed

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on a medium speed until the eggs and oil are fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add in the sour cream until just combined. Add in half of the flour along with the baking powder and salt while pouring in half of the milk. Once combined, add in the remaining flour and milk. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling each liner about two-thirds full. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

For the frosting, add half of the sugar and half of the butter with the extract and 2 tablespoons of the heavy whipping cream at a time. Slowly add in the other half of the sugar and butter. Start on low and gradually increase the speed of the mixture. Add in heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired texture is achieved.

Wait until cupcakes are fully cool before frosting. Top with mini chocolate chips.

blueberry buckle

What I absolutely love about a baked buckle is the perfect combination of cake and streusel and fruit. Resembling, a coffee cake, it's an appropriate dessert for any occasion at any time of the year. This Blueberry Buckle with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is one of my favorite summertime desserts.

Ingredients for the cake:

· ¾ cup white sugar
· ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
· 1 large egg
· 2 teaspoons lemon zest
· 1 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· ½ teaspoon kosher salt
· ½ cup of milk (any will do, I use 2% or whole)
· 1 heaping tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
· 2 cups fresh blueberries

For the topping:

· 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
· ½ cup brown sugar
· ¼ cup white sugar
· cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
· ½ -1 teaspoon of cinnamon


Instructions:

· Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8x8 sized pan.
· In a large bowl, cream sugar, butter, egg and lemon zest until mixture becomes fluffy.
· In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. 
· Add to sugar mixture, alternating with milk mixing just until combined.
· Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour. Fold blueberries into batter and spread evenly in prepared pan.
· In another bowl, combine all topping ingredients until mixture becomes crumbly.
· Sprinkle topping evenly over batter and bake for 40-45 minutes

the simplest chocolate chip cookie recipe of all time!

The Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of melted, unsalted butter
1 packed cup of light brown sugar
¾ cup of white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 ½ cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
2 rounded cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter with the white and brown sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla, whisk until smooth. In a separate, smaller bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until fully combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop or roll golf ball sized cookies onto a baking sheet. Make sure to leave 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on rack completely. 

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

For a long time I avoided making these because for some reason I felt slightly intimidated by macaroons. Perhaps it was the texture, the lower temperature bake or the fact these lacked flour but macaroons are quite simple to make. A fairly simple recipe, a simple bake lends to an impressive display and a flavorful cookie.


·1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
·2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
·½ teaspoon of orange zest*
·2 ½ cups of sweetened coconut flakes
·2 cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
·2 large egg whites
·½ teaspoon of kosher salt
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, 60% cacao
·½ teaspoon of coconut oil or butter

Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the condensed milk, vanilla and orange zest. Add coconut flakes to mixture and stir until well combined. Using a mixer (stand or hand), beat egg whites with kosher salt on medium to high speed until a stiff peak forms. This will take 3 to 4 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture until fully combined. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop 1 ½ inch sized balls onto the baking sheets. Make sure they are at least 1 inch apart to avoid spreading.

For Dipping:
Place a wire rack or cooling tray over a piece of parchment or wax paper. Spray the tray with a cooking spray to avoid macaroons from sticking. 

In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate with the oil/butter. Continue to stir throughout the melting process. Once smooth, dip the bottoms of the macaroons in chocolate mixture and place on tray. Tue excess chocolate will drip to the paper. Refrigerate macaroons for up to 20 minutes to let the chocolate set. 

*Although the zest of any citrus can be used ½ teaspoon of any extract may be substituted. I have used almond and raspberry extract and they were delicious!

Earl Grey Loaf

This little loaf cake surprised me. Sweet and fragrant, this has a hint of lemon and honey and is the perfect light dessert after an afternoon lunch. 

INGREDIENTS

½ cup of milk
3 bags of Earl Grey tea
½ cup of melted butter, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons of honey
¾ cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of lemon zest

For the syrup:

3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of honey
¼ cup of hot water
3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

To make a glaze, whisk with ½ cup of icing sugar.

To begin, heat the milk in a small pot and let the milk steep with two of the three tea bags for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 325°. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan or any pan of similar size. On medium speed, beat together the butter, honey and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time and continue to mix. Add in flour, salt and baking powder, mixing just until combined. 

Remove the tea bags from the milk, squeezing out all milk from both bags. Add the milk and lemon zest into the batter. Take the third bag of tea and add in the powder to the batter and mix well. Fill batter into prepared pan and bake for about one hour.

Once the cake is cool, combine the ingredients for the syrup. Place cake on a wire rack with parchment paper beneath it. Brush syrup on to the cake and enjoy!

the easiest madeleines

I love Madeleines and their simplicity. They go perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea. These are buttery, cakey and bursting with vanilla flavor.

2 large eggs
²/³ cup of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste*
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Preheat the oven to 375° and prepare Madeleine pan with butter and flour.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat both eggs with the sugar in a large bowl, just until combined. Mix in the vanilla paste and salt. Add in the flour and beat just until blended. Slowly add in the cooled butter while mixing, just until combined.

Add batter into a 12-inch pastry bag for a neater fill or simply spoon batter into each madeleine indentation of the pan. Fill each indentation at least two-thirds full, making sure not to overfill.

Bake until madeleines are puffed and slightly brown, about 15 minutes. Cool for several minutes and dust madeleines with icing sugar. You can also drizzle or dip madeleines in melted chocolate or caramel.

*I use Rodelle vanilla bean paste which can be found on Amazon and has the absolute best flavor however typical vanilla extract may be used in this recipe.