Raspberry-Lemon Cookies

Sunburns.  Late sunsets.  Mosquito bites.  Flip-flops.  All of these signs of summer have finally appeared, school is out, and I’m settling in to enjoy 10 weeks of sleeping in, sunny days, lots of time with my horse, and lots of time for baking 🙂  One of my favorite summer signs is all the fruit that suddenly appears in the grocery store: peaches, nectarines, watermelon, mangoes, cherries, and more.  Fruits that I really only get to eat throughout the summer because they either cost a fortune or are unavailable on our little island during the winter.

Today while grocery shopping, I spied a display of ripe, red raspberries and just couldn’t resist grabbing a container.  I knew they would get eaten up in no time at all if I let them sit in plain sight on the counter, so as soon as I got home I started brainstorming a fresh, delicious summer recipe to put my raspberries into.  Lemon has always screamed “summer” to me, and I found 3 lemons in the fridge, so before I knew it I was mixing up a batch of raspberry-lemon sugar cookies.

I made these cookies last winter, and remembered how soft and moist they’d been, so I decided to go with that recipe for the cookie base.  I recently saw these cookies on Picky-Palate, and thought that raspberry-infused butter was genius.  I substituted the orange zest and juice in the cookie recipe for lemon, added some raspberry puree to the butter, and altered the frosting to be raspberry-lemon.  The result was a cookie that encompasses  the fresh, sweet, slightly tart taste that can best be described as summer!

Raspberry-Lemon Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup fresh raspberries + 1 Tbs water

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp lemon zest

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Frosting:

1/2 tsp lemon zest

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs raspberry puree (left over from cookies)

1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a blender or food processor, pulse raspberries with 1 Tbs water.  Over a bowl, press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove seeds and pulp; set raspberry liquid aside.  Cream together butter and 2 Tbs raspberry puree until combined.  Add in sugars and mix until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg until well-combined.  Mix in lemon zest and juice.  Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients.

Using a cookie scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop balls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden-brown.  Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the frosting, whisk together 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 2 Tbs lemon juice, 1 Tbs raspberry puree, and 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency).  Let cookies cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies

(Recipe inspirations: Culinary in the Desert and Picky-Palate)

Advertisements

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

From the outside, these cookies look pretty sinful.  Roughly the size of CDs, they appear to be gigantic chocolate chip cookies.  But hidden inside is a double-stuf Oreo, which takes an already-outrageous cookie up to another level.  At room temperature, the exterior is soft and perfectly chewy, while the Oreo retains its usual crunch.  But fresh out of the oven, oh my.  The chocolate chip part becomes warm and gooey, and the Oreo becomes a mess of fudgey chocolate and melty cream.  Disclaimer: emmasbakingaddiction cannot be held responsible for any weight gain caused by consumption of the recipes on this site. 

These cookies, from Picky-Palate, are perfect for a day when you just want to be a little naughty….or more like a lot naughty!  I made a batch, tried one, and immediately started brainstorming a way to get them out of the house before more sinfulness occurred.  Luckily I have a twin brother who, along with his 17-year-old friends, seems to have no limit when it comes to cookies.  Enjoy, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! 🙂

Cherry Galette

When it comes to pie, there are crust people and there are filling people.  I, for one, have always been on Team Filling.  To me, nothing tastes more like summer than a blackberry pie fresh from the oven, bursting with berries picked from the bushes down the road. During apple season in the fall, there’s nothing like a piece of hot apple pie, filled to the brim with tart, tender apples and the sharp bite of cinnamon.  Blueberry, cherry, strawberry rhubarb, coconut cream, lemon meringue, peach, pecan, I love them all.  I rate pie by the quality of its filling, and have always been pretty “meh” about the crust.

That’s why, though it bruises my baker ego to say it, I tend to cheat a little when it comes to making pie.  Or a lot.  Several years back, after a particularly unsuccessful attempt at a pie crust that simply refused to stay together, I dumped out the crumbly mess, wiped my tears of frustration, and headed to the store for a pre-made pie crust.  As I peeled off the packaging to expose the perfectly smooth, uniformly thick pie crust, I took a moment to give thanks to the brilliant individual who came up with the idea of refrigerated pie crust.  And, shameful as it is, I never looked back.  I made dozens of pies over the years, and though I put lots of time and care into creating delicious, homemade fillings, I always relied on that handy-dandy pre-made crust.

Looking back, my apathy towards pie crust isn’t too surprising: I’d been eating pie crust that was made from vegetable oil, not butter, crust that was pumped full of preservatives and emptied of flavor.  Then came a busy day, a need for a dessert, and a recipe that promised to produce a quick, delicious, homemade treat that would bring success to even the most hopeless pie-crust-makers.  A galette, which I’d never tried before, is basically a pie without the top crust.  And the feature it’s best known for is its “rustic” (aka, justifiably messy) appearance.  Perfect.

I took advantage of the fresh bing cherries brought over by a neighbor and put together the quick, 4-ingredient crust in about 5 minutes.  After refrigerating, you just have to roll the dough out, trim it into a circle, dump the fruit into the middle, and fold the crust around the edges.  Best of all, the goal is to look rustic (read: messy).  An hour later, you have a golden-brown, bubbling, open-face pie without the trouble of making the crusts look pretty and perfectly crimped.  The plump, juicy cherries were delicious, yet they didn’t steal the thunder from the second star of the show: the flaky, buttery crust.  I still have a soft spot for pie filling, but after my eye-opening galette experience I just may be open to making a little room in my foodie heart for crust, too.

Cherry Galette

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

11 Tbs cold butter

4-6 Tbs ice water

Filling:

4 cups fresh pitted cherries (or any other fruit you may desire)

3 Tbs flour

1/3 cup white sugar (more or less to taste)

2 Tbs cold butter

1/2 tsp almond extract (omit, or use lemon juice instead, if using a fruit other than cherries)

Directions:

Stir together flour and salt.  Cut butter into small cubes and toss onto flour mixture.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two forks.  When butter is in pea-sized chunks, drizzle in ice water one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork as you go.  When the dough seems to be moist enough, pat it all together into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Put cherries into a large bowl and sprinkle with flour and sugar.  Add almond extract and stir it all together.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a disc at least 12 inches by 12 inches (there will be leftover dough).  If desired, trim the edges to make the crust more circular.  Then fold the dough in half, then in half again, and transfer to a large, un-greased cookie sheet.  Unfold the dough.  Dump the cherries into the middle and dot with 1 Tbs of butter cut into little pieces.  Take the edges of the dough and pull them into the center, pleating as you go.  If needed, moisten your fingers with a little water and smooth over the pleated areas to make it all stick together.  Melt the last tablespoon of butter and brush it over the crust.  Sprinkle with a little sugar, place on the oven’s middle rack, and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbling.  Let cool on the sheet for at least 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites)

Dark Chocolate Chip Scones

Both of my parents are teachers, which means that several times a year there are events such as staff birthdays, holiday parties, and teacher appreciation brunches which require  that some teachers sign up to supply refreshments.  Since our family of four can only consume so many baked goods, and since I love an excuse to bake, I always volunteer to whip up something sweet for such events.

This spring my mom informed me that she had to bring in a baked good for the annual Parent Volunteer Tea, which I took to mean that should bring in a baked good for the tea! I knew that the party would be held at 9:00 in the morning, so I wanted to bake some sort of breakfast/brunch item rather than my usual go-to cookies, brownies, or cake.

I had recently decided that I needed more scones in my life, but had always been a little intimidated by the shaping process that I assumed would require lots of folding, lots of flour, and lots of clean-up.  However, I bit the bullet and made these scones anyway, and boy was I surprised!  They were one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever made, using a single bowl and a spoon instead of a mixer.  Don’t let the short list of ingredients throw you off: the base of the scones is simple, not too sweet, and perfectly tender, with rich dark chocolate chips studded throughout.  They only took a few minutes to mix up, and the shaping took no time at all.  I hate to think about all the times I passed up making scones in the past!  Now that I’ve come to my senses, I know that these will be a repeat at our house for sure. 🙂

Dark Chocolate Chip Scones

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups dark chocolate chips

2 cups chilled whipping cream

Optional: 2 Tbs melted butter and sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips. Pour in cream and mix just until moistened.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until a soft dough is formed.  Divide dough into 3 equal balls.  Pat each ball into a 7-inch disc and cut into eighths.* Place triangles onto lightly greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Optional: brush scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until scones are golden-brown.

*Alternately, the scone dough can be mixed, shaped, and then frozen in an airtight container until ready to bake.  I made these on a Sunday and froze them until the morning of my tea party, which was on a Friday.  You can just pop the frozen scones into the oven, (same temperature) and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until browned.

(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Hershey’s)

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

One of my favorite snacks is granola bars.  They’re filling, semi-healthy, delicious, and easy to grab when you’re on-the-go.  The problem is, these days store-bought granola bars are pretty pricey, especially since you only get about 8-10 in a box.  Last year I tried making these homemade granola bars and fell in love.  They’re super versatile, good for you, and much cheaper than their boxed companions!  I’ve made about 10 different variations of these bars since discovering the recipe, so feel free to experiment with fun combinations.  Happy baking!

Dark Chocolate-Cranberry-Walnut Granola Bars

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.  (I used my wonderful square bar pan).  In a large bowl, whisk together applesauce, peanut butter, agave, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.  Stir in oats, dried cranberries, walnuts, and chocolate chips until evenly mixed.  Press into baking pan, making sure the mixture is tightly packed.  Bake for 25-35 minutes or until edges are golden.  Cool in the freezer for about 1 hour before removing from pan.  Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Good Life Eats)

Variations: Instead of applesauce and peanut butter, try almond butter, pureed dried fruit, mashed banana, pure pumpkin, or apple butter.  Sub in maple syrup or molasses for the agave and honey, try nutmeg, cloves, or ginger in place of the cinnamon, and use whatever kind of dried fruit and nuts you like.  Butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips would be delicious instead of traditional chocolate.  Be creative!

Deceptively Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies.  They’re one of those classic, timeless desserts that no one can seem to say no to, no matter how young or old you are (with the exception of those few unfortunate souls with peanut allergies).  I’ve made these cookies dozens of times, and am always met with rave reviews….the secret is, they contain only 3 ingredients, all of which are probably in your cupboard right now!  With just one bowl, one spoon, one measuring cup, and 10 minutes of baking time, these little miracle cookies are perfectly soft, chewy, and peanut butter-y.  What more could you ask for?

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg in a large bowl until smooth.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten slightly with the tines of a fork if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden-brown.*  Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Yield:about 2 dozen cookies

*Note: Be careful not to over-bake these cookies, or they’ll end up dry and crumbly instead of soft and chewy.