Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lemon Almond Meringues



Today I made some yummy Lemon Almond Meringues from
Joy the Baker! They're lovely light cookies with a hint of lemon from 
lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice. Then there's toasted ground 
almonds in the cookie, and sliced almonds on top!

I have a thing for egg whites! If I see any recipe with egg whites
in it, I have to try it!! I recently made Italian Amaretti which also
had ground almonds and egg whites in them and they were fab!!
and numerous Meringue Cookies!

These Meringues easy peasy but so pretty that they look like you've 
spent hours in the kitchen making them!! Just whip the whites,
slowly incorporating the sugar, add the lemon juice, then the rest
of the ingredients and your done! Next pipe or spoon the meringue
onto a parchment lined baking sheet....

I used a star tip to pipe the meringues....

then I dusted them with powdered sugar...

and sprinkled with chopped, sliced almonds. I pressed the
almonds in a bit to make sure they stayed put. After they baked
and cooled I sprinkled a little more powdered sugar on them.


I thought they were cute sitting on my vintage Hanson Scale!



Lemon Almond Meringues
Joy the Baker

Makes about 2 dozen small meringues
1/4 cup finely ground almonds (I ground slivered almonds because it’s easier)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Use a spice grinder or food processor to finely grind slivered almonds.  Measure out 1/4 cup of ground almonds.  Place ground almonds on one of the lined baking sheets and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Place in a small bowl, toss in the cornstarch, and set aside to cool.
In the bowl on an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites and pinch of salt on medium speed.  Make sure that the bowl and whisk are completely clean and dry, egg whites are sensitive.  Beat until frothy peaks form.  Increase the mixer speed to medium high, and gradually add sugar.  Add lemon juice.  Beat until mixture is glossy white and holds stiff peaks.  This took me about 6 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add ground almond mixture and lemon zest.  Gently fold together until mixture is thoroughly incorporated.  Transfer meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip, or you can simply use a large soup spoon to dollop meringue onto lined baking sheet.  Create 2 inch circles either using the pastry bag or spoon method.
Generously sift powdered sugar on top of the meringues.  Top with slivered almonds.
Place sheet trays in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.  Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave meringues in the oven until they’re completely dry.  When cool, remove meringues from the baking sheet and enjoy.  Cookies can be stored, in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.



A pretty and yummy teatime treat! xo!!





Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Double Nutella Thumbprint Cookies - No Bake!



If you love Nutella like I love Nutella, then you'll love the cookie recipe
I'm sharing today!! You're probably familiar with the popular Nutella No-
Bake cookies. I wanted to do something a little different, so I created 
some Nutella Thumbprint Cookies and filled them with more Nutella!!

Too much Nutella, you say? Well, I was wondering about that too, but
the minute that I put one in my mouth, I was sold!! These are so good
and so easy and I'm sure you'll love them!! Let me show you how I 
made them......


The first part of the recipe is done on the stovetop. You combine sugar,
cocoa, milk & butter, bring to a boil, add the rest of the ingredients and
your done!!! I used my medium cookie scoop to transfer the mixture
to my baking pan, then I let the cookies cool for a few minutes. Next
I made an indentation in the cookies with my finger and piped some
Nutella (using your tip of choice) into it. You can also just use a spoon!

I finished the cookies with some little sugar flowers that I bought 
online!!  So cute!!

How easy is that?! If you're not into the sugar flowers, you
could sprinkle some chopped Hazelnuts on top instead!



Double Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
adapted from here!
(Makes 24 cookies)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Nutella, plus more for piping
3 cups quick oats

Instructions:

Over medium heat, cook sugar, cocoa, milk and butter.
Boil one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, salt,
peanut butter, Nutella and oats. Stir until combined.
Drop by teaspoon onto wax or parchment paper and
let cool until you are able to create indentations in the
cookies with your finger or the back of a spoon. Pipe
or spoon 2 tsp Nutella into each indentation. Top with
a sugar flower or chopped hazelnuts if desired!

So, next time that Nutella craving hits, you can whip these cookies
up in minutes!! xo!!





Monday, June 9, 2014

Fabulous Italian Amaretti

I am so excited to bring to you today a wonderful Amaretti Cookie
recipe from my blogger friend Laura over at InCucinaColCuore.
Laura always has something yummy baking, and when I saw
this Amaretti recipe, I had to give it a try!

If you love a nice chewy cookie, then you'll love these!
They taste like a Macaron, but are much easier to prepare! 
Another wonderful Italian Cookie that I made and loved was

These Amaretti are super easy and only take a few minutes to throw 
together!! If you have a small cookie scoop, they go even faster!

After I scooped the mixture out, I rolled into balls, then 
dropped into the powdered sugar to coat.

Bake for 15 minutes! Aren't they pretty?!

I added a sugar flower to the top of the cookies with just a tiny
bit of ready made frosting as glue! So pretty!


AMARETTI

Ingredients:
2 egg whites (60 grams) room temp
250 grams granulated sugar
200 grams almond flour
powdered sugar (icing sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together granulated sugar and almond 
flour. In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. 
Add sugar/almond mixture to egg whites and combine.

Using a small cookie scoop (or your hands) form small balls and 
roll in powdered sugar.  Place balls on a parchment paper 
lined baking sheet, leaving 1-inch space between cookies.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until tops are cracked and bottoms 
of cookies are just golden.

Let cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool
completely. Makes approximately 30 cookies.

**If you don't have a kitchen scale you need to get one! 
It makes measuring ingredients so much easier! If a recipe
is in grams, you don't have to worry about figuring out
how many cups you will need etc.


I enjoyed several of these cookies with a nice cup of Vanilla Chai!

So yummy!!

Thanks Laura for this wonderful recipe and for following my
blog so faithfully!!! xo!!!

Today, I'm linking up with Rose Chintz Cottage for 
Tea Time Tuesday!  Come by for some lovely
tea party ideas!!




Thursday, June 5, 2014

Carmelitas for a Crowd


Hello everyone!! Today I'm sharing my "go to" cookie bar recipe with you -
CARMELITAS!  Every time I make it for a function, everyone wants the
recipe!! It's perfect for any parties or get togethers, and you never have to
worry about bringing the leftovers home, because there won't be any!!


This is a really easy recipe! The hardest part for me is opening all those
caramels! I always recruit help for that!!

Any Bar Cookie can be Fancied up for a Tea Party simply by
cutting them into smaller squares and placing them into pretty
Petits Four or cupcake liners, which I've done here. 




CARMELITAS
THE DOUGHMAKERS COOKBOOK
Makes 54 Bars

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups quick oats
3 3/4 cups AP flour
2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pound (4 sticks) plus 4 tbsp butter, melted
2 pounds caramels
8 tbsp half-and-half
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chip morsels
(2 cups chopped pecans - optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the quick oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking 
soda in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the melted butter
and mix well. Divide the oatmeal mixture in half. Press one half
of this dough into an ungreased 13X18-inch sheet cake pan. 
Bake for 10-14 minutes, until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels and half-and-half in a 2 quart
microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high at 1 minute intervals,
stirring in between, until smooth and creamy. Reserve about
1/3 of the caramel mixture and pour the remaining over the
oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel.
Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top and drizzle with
the reserved caramel.

Return the pan to the oven and bake 12 minutes more, until
light golden brown. Cool the Carmelitas completely before
slicing into 2-inch bars. (**The bars freeze well for up to
1 month.)  Lining a pan of bar cookies with parchment
paper will make it easier to remove them to the work
surface where they can be cut more precisely.

This recipe can be halved if you don't need quite so many
bars!

I've been baking a lot lately, including Tea Party sweets for 120 ladies,
and Carmelitas for a Graduation Party!!

The Tea Party was lovely and each table was beautifully decorated by
a group of ladies who brought their own china and tableware from home.
I unfortunately didn't get many pictures - most turned out blurry because
I was in such a hurry!! I only got one pre-party photo of the Lemon Tea
Cookies that I made!! Here are some of the pictures.....







The tables were beautiful, don't you think?!

So glad you stopped by!! Hope you have a chance to try the recipe!!




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Springtime Macarons


The art of making Macarons is a continual learning
experience. Just when you think you finally have it,
something goes wrong. I'm constantly dealing with
new problems that come up, then searching the internet
for the answer. 

Lately my Macarons have had a hollow space inside 
and have been browning too much. I baked 2 pans
of Macarons today, and the first pan turned out 
like this.......

These were baked at 300 degrees like the directions said,
and they turned out way too brown! However, everyone's 
oven is different, and you always have to remember to 
adjust the temperature accordingly.

I always pipe my Macarons on a sheet of Parchment Paper which
is on top of my Template. It helps me to pipe uniform Macarons
that are nearly the same size. You're never going to pipe them
perfectly, but the template helps so much! Here's a link so that
you can print your own template!

Sandwich Macarons with filling of choice.  I used my 
Pink Marshmallow Buttercream and it was delicious!

Here's the recipe that I used today along with helpful troubleshooting
tips and this link tells which food coloring is best to use in making
Macarons to avoid over browning. 

Happy baking!! xo!




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Sprinkles & Adorable Retro Sprinkle Bottles


I thought I'd take a moment to show you how I make my lovely
colored Sprinkles! It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Place white sprinkles in a ziplock bag - I get my sprinkles from Pfeil & Holing.
  2. Add desired amount of food coloring - I get mine from Wilton.
  3. Shake to combine!

Place sprinkles in pretty bottles to use in your creations!
I got these adorable Retro Glass Sprinkle Bottles from 
The Layer Cake Shop! Love the bottles and the shop!!

This tip really came in handy when I made my 
need several bottles of sprinkles to make them. 

It's a handy trick if you do a lot of baking! 
Thanks for stopping by! xo!




Lemon Bunny Scones for Spring



I'm so excited to share with you today some adorable and
delicious Lemon Bunny Scones! I wanted to try a new scone 
recipe and this one is my current favorite!! I love the bunny shapes 
and the pretty pastel colors - perfect for Spring Teas & Brunches! 

The scones are delicious & light, but what I loved was that they 
maintained their shape while baking so now I can use my cookie 
cutters and know that my scones will still be beautiful after baking!

First, I rolled my dough out to 1/2". Then I cut out 10
bunny shapes. There was a good deal of dough left but not 
enough to get but 2-3 more bunny shapes, so I decided to
make bunny tails!

I just rolled the dough out again and cut out 12 small circles
to be the "bunny tails." 

The directions said to bake them for 13-15 minutes. My oven 
took 10 minutes. Then I let them cool completely and dipped
the tops of the scones in a simple lemon juice/powdered sugar
glaze. I made the glaze in two colors - pink and yellow.

I didn't realize how quickly this type of icing can harden and
my sprinkles almost didn't stick so my advice is to dip the
shapes one at a time and use your sprinkles immediately.
For the bunny shapes I used Micro Mix Sprinkles from
Wilton. I loved these sprinkles with their pastel colors
and Springtime shapes. For the bunny tails I used some
shredded unsweetened coconut from Bob's Red Mill.


Lemon Bunny Scones
adapted from here

Ingredients:

2 cups AP flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
zest of 2 lemons
4 oz (1 stick) cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

For Glaze: 
juice of 2 lemons
powdered sugar 
pink & yellow food coloring
pastel sprinkles
shredded unsweetened coconut

In a food processor put the first 4 ingredients in and pulse
a couple of times. Add zest and pulse. Add butter and pulse
until the butter is the size of "peas." Pour most of the cream
in and pulse. Keep adding small amounts of cream until the
dough comes together.

Dump mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead until
smooth enough to roll out. Roll out to 1/2" and cut out your
shapes. Place shapes on a baking sheet about 1/2" apart
and place in the fridge for 15 minutes. This will help the
scones maintain their shape. Preheat oven to 425F.
Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

While scones are cooling make a glaze by mixing
  powdered sugar and lemon juice until thick enough 
to spread, then add food coloring.  Carefully dip tops 
of scones in glaze, then immediately sprinkle with 
sprinkles or coconut.

So cute - don't you think?!

I'm joining Rose Chintz Cottage today for Tea Time Tuesday! 
Stop by for some cute Teatime ideas!

This is a really wonderful scone recipe! So light & scrumptious!!
Hope you give it a try!!