lemon

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Posted by on Sep 19, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, lemon | 0 comments

Welcome to MACADAMIA NUT MONTH! Why is this Macadamia Nut Month? Because next month on the 23rd, the final book in my Blood of Earth trilogy comes out! Macadamia nuts are a big product of Hawaii, and Hawaii is a major setting in Roar of Sky. Plus, macadamia nuts are awesome.

If you love these nuts, get ready to bliss out. This month includes recipes for:
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies 
Lemony Macadamia Nut Bars (today)
Mini Fruit Cake Loaves to make now for the holidays (macadamia nuts optional)

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Sweet, tart, crunchy, fresh: these Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies have it all going on.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

My husband loves good lemon treats, and these met his whole-hearted approval–and his co-workers apparently went bonkers for them, too.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

I’m honestly surprised there aren’t more goodies out there that combine lemon and macadamia nuts. It’s such an awesome combination.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Here, the chewiness of the blondies is amped up by a very thin glaze that soaks into the bars while they are still hot. I was afraid the glaze might make them too sweet, but it turned out perfect.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

If you have leftover macadamia nuts around, do remember to store them in the fridge! Their high fat content can cause them to spoil at room temperature, whereas they will keep for ages in the fridge.

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Trust me, no one wants to eat rancid nuts.

Modified from Epicuricloud.

Come back next week for a  recipe with optional macadamia nuts: mini fruit cake loaves, quite customizable with the dried fruit and nuts! And please preorder Roar of Sky!

 

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

Bready or Not: Lemony Macadamia Nut Blondies

These lemony blondies are full of crunchy, chewy perfection. A thin glaze on top adds a necessary sweet boost.

  • Bars
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • zest of 3 lemons; reserve a pinch for glaze
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • reserved lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar. Add eggs one at a time followed by the lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Stir in the flour and salt. When those are just incorporated, add the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

Pour the batter into the ready pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test in the middle.

Immediately after that is done baking, make the glaze by stirring together the confectioners' sugar and reserved lemon juice and zest. Use a chopstick or similar tool to poke small holes across the top of the blondies. Pour the glaze over the top and use a spoon to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.

Let pan cool completely. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board. Slice into bars. Store in a sealed container with wax paper or parchment between the layers.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

Posted by on Jul 18, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

Today’s recipe involves a bit of cookie alchemy: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies.

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

They combine a lot of elements that you don’t normally see together, but the result is an amazing and unique lemon cookie that is spicy and fresh.

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

This is a nuanced cookie. You take a bite, and different levels of flavor evolve on your taste buds.

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

It’s also messy because the cookies are rolled in confectioners’ sugar, so this isn’t a cookie to eat before a fancy meeting or on the go.

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

Note that the sugar coating will be absorbed and/or fall off the cookie over time, so if you want them to look fully coated, eat them fresh. But the flavor is fine if you wait. The presentation changes, that’s all.

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

If you need tips on how to brown butter, there is a lot of advice to be found online, including videos! Browned butter really does make a different in a recipe, as it has a nutty new flavor going on. It’s well worth the effort for certain recipes.

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

 

 

Modified from Martha Stewart Living.

 

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

Bready or Not: Lemon Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies

These lemon cookies are incredibly nuanced, with spices, brown butter, and a powdered sugar coating. Note that the dough needs to be chilled overnight, at minimum, as the dough is otherwise difficult to work with.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Brown butter in a saucepan, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place the two sugars. Stir in the browned butter, followed by the eggs, zest and juice, and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mix. Dough will be loose and oozy. Wrap it up well in plastic wrap and set in fridge to chill for a day or two.

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.

Measure out confectioners' sugar into a small bowl. Scoop a tablespoon of dough, roll it between palms to shape, then roll it in the powdered sugar. Set on parchment paper. Repeat process with other cookies, spacing them out, though expect minimal spreading.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until cookies spread a smidgen and crackle. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to completely cool.

Store between strips of parchment or wax paper in a sealed container. Will keep up to two days, but note the confectioners' sugar will absorb more over time.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

Posted by on Jun 6, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

If you love lemon, brace yourself. These Lemon Shortbread Bites are small, delicious, and poppable like potato chips.

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

This recipe would be perfect for a potluck or picnic or shower. Anywhere where you need small cookies that aren’t necessarily filling… if you manage to restrain yourself.

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

These things are sandy and light in texture, and the lemon glaze gives a refreshing, bright flavor that isn’t hardcore sweet.

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

That’s what makes these so dangerous. They are cookies you can easily grab by the handful.

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

If you have clear vanilla extract, that’s ideal for this recipe so that it doesn’t tint the glaze. But regular ol’ vanilla will certainly do.

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

I don’t know how long these cookies will keep. They tend to vanish rather quickly.

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

Modified from Pink Cake Plate.

 

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

Bready or Not: Lemon Shortbread Bites

Be warned: this recipe makes dangerously-addictive lemony bites of shortbread! The recipes will make anywhere from 45 to 64 cookies, depending on how you slice up the dough, but keep in mind they will spread in the oven. For the glaze, use a clear vanilla extract, if possible, to keep the glaze white rather than tinted.

  • Cookies:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice (more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear, if available)
  • yellow or white sanding sugar, optional

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add in the flour, lemon extract, and zest.

Lay out plastic wrap. Dump dough onto the surface and form into a 6-inch square about 3/4 inch thick. Completely wrap dough and set in fridge for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Using a knife or bench knife, cut dough into small squares; note that they will spread in the oven. Set up on parchment-covered cookie sheet, with cookies spaced out.

Bake 22 to 26 minutes, or until cookies are set and turning golden. Use parchment to slide them onto another surface to cool or let cool on cookies sheet.

Mix confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, until it forms thick but oozy consistency. Drizzle glaze over cookies. If desired, immediately sprinkle sanding sugar on top to create a glittery shine.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Lemony. Fresh. Perfection. Those words are the best way to describe these incredible bars.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Not only are these delicious, but they are easy to make. A food processor is especially handy as you can chop up the nuts and then add in the rest of the crust ingredients, too.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

To soften the cream cheese for the filling, leave it at room temperature for a bit, or do what I usually do: place the cheese on a plate and microwave for like 5 seconds. Then flip it over and zap again, if needed. It just needs to be soft enough to blend, not cooked.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I confess, I sometimes get nervous when I do dessert bars with bottom crusts. Because sometimes, no matter how I compress them into the pan, they fall apart when the bars are cut apart. Not so here! They were surprisingly cohesive. (Here’s hoping you have the same experience.)

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

That cohesiveness makes these dangerously easy to eat. These bars have it all going on. Buttery crumb. Nutty crunches here and there. Vivid lemon flavor in the creamy filling.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I’d like to report how long these can last in the fridge, but I don’t know. I make these bars, and they are suddenly GONE. Poof.

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not Original: Lemon Cheesecake Bars

A Bready or Not Original! Bake up a large dish of delicious, lemony-fresh bars in under a hour.

  • Crust
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • Filling
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 boxes (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 eggs

Prepare a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

Use a food processor (or knife and cutting board) to chop up pecans to small pieces. Add flour, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and butter to bowl, and blend with pecans until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mix; press the rest into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until it's just turning golden.

As the crust bakes, combine all of the filling ingredients until fairly smooth.

Pull the crust out of the oven. Pour filling over the top and smooth to the edges. Crumble the reserved crust across the top.

Bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middle is set.

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour, then place in the fridge to completely chill.

Use the foil to lift the bars onto a cutting board for easy slicing. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

Posted by on Feb 28, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

I modified an old favorite recipe with delicious results: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies!

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

This recipe is derived from my Chewy Honey Maple and Chewy Honey Snickerdoodles. It uses a combination of two flours to add extra chewiness, and cornstarch for tenderness and longevity.

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

However, my first attempt at this recipe was a total bust. I tried to rely on lemon juice and zest for flavor… and while the flavor was there, the cookies turned out FLAT.

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

That would not do. I wanted cookies that were chewy with just the right thickness. Therefore, I removed the lemon, amped up the lemon extract, and added white chocolate chips.

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

That was the right choice. The lemon flavor was just right (and the taste of that and the honey actually grows stronger after a day), and the white chocolate chips added smoothness and mellow sweetness.

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

In other words, if you love lemon cookies, you will LOVE these. And like the other recipes in the same family, these cookies keep well for weeks!

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

 

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

Bready or Not Original: Chewy Honey Lemon Cookies

These chewy cookies will keep well for weeks, and the lemon and honey flavors actually intensify after the first day! Do note that the cookie dough will need to chill in the fridge for at least a few hours prior to baking.

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 cup bread flour (or all-purpose flour, but cookies will be less chewy)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add sugar and honey and beat until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix in the egg and both extracts.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: bread flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.

Slowly stir together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Mix in the white chocolate chips. Encase the dough in plastic wrap and stash in the fridge for several hours or days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Use greased stoneware, parchment paper, or silpat mats. The cookie dough, even straight from the fridge, has a soft Play-Doh-like consistency, so it will spread when it bakes.

Teaspoon-sized cookies need to bake 9 to 12 minutes; tablespoon-sized take 11 to 13 minutes. Let set on cookie sheets for 10 to 15 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.

Cookies will keep in a sealed container for weeks. The lemon and honey flavors will grow stronger after the first day. They are excellent for travel or shipping.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins (potluck-sized)

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, lemon, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins (potluck-sized)

I found a lemon muffin recipe and thought, hey, I’ll rewrite this to be original and I’ll do mini muffins instead!

Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins

Um. Yeah. The original recipe made a couple dozen muffins. My version? 113.

Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins

I swear, I felt like I had created a Bowl of Holding. There was so much batter. So very, very much batter.

Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins

The good news? My efforts were not in vain. The muffins were delicious. They were lemony and light, like puffs of flavor, the perfect remedy to the doldrums of winter.

Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins

The recipe itself is pretty straightforward. Grease your mini muffin pans well (make SURE you have two pans to bake at once) and don’t overfill them. A touch of crumb topping makes them prettier and extra yummy.

Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins

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Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins (potluck-sized)

Bready or Not: Lemon Crumb Mini Muffins

If you need to make a lot of delicious lemony mini muffins, this is the recipe for you! This recipe makes about 113 little muffins. The use of two mini muffin pans that fit side-by-side in the oven is essential here, or you’ll be baking these muffins until the end of time.

  • Crumb topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Mini muffins:
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 16-ounce (2 cups) container sour cream
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Prepare two mini muffin pans with a heavy dose of nonstick spray.

Combine the topping ingredients with a fork. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, mix the eggs until they are thick and frothy. Add the sugar and oil, and beat until they become creamy. Add the lemon zest and juice, both extracts, baking soda, and salt.

At this point, if you are using an electric mixer, you likely need to switch to a big spoon because of the sheer amounts involved. Add the sour cream and flour, pouring in small increments of each to gradually combine everything. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. The batter might be somewhat lumpy.

Use a teaspoon scoop to add batter to each muffin cup. Do NOT fill over 3/4 of each cup--these will grow in the oven! Use a spoon to add crumb topping to the tops.

Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until muffins in the middle pass the toothpick test. Let them cool about 10 minutes, then use something like a chopstick to pry out each muffin to set on a cooling rack.

Heavily apply nonstick spray to both pans again, then repeat the process. Using two pans, this will take three batches to bake.

Store muffins in airtight containers at room temperature. They can also be frozen for weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

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