Tag Archives: lemon

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake for #SundaySupper

By the way, this cake? Is BOMB. So don’t forget to bookmark and Pin it before you read on: just because I’m straying off-topic today (and I will be you’ll see), doesn’t mean this cake wasn’t devoured in about two seconds to the highest accolade. Did I mention it’s probably in my Top 5 Recipes for this year? 

My blog is my Pensieve, and you are all the unfortunate captive witnesses to my unfiltered thoughts. Muahahaha.

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Well I mean, not “captive,” really. It’s not like I can actually keep you here–unless you find my charm so overwhelmingly paralyzing that your eyeballs stay glued to the screen in spite of your concerted efforts to tear them away. I bet this is a major problem for most of you, right? Right.

Today’s post is going to be a ramblepost…in case your gut didn’t inform you already.

However, I should mention before I continue that today’s post is also a #SundaySupper post with the way-talented SS bloggers! And the theme is Saving Summer, which is why I’m sharing lemons. The best thing about lemons is that you can “save” them by freezing them and simply popping them into the microwave for a few seconds when you need fresh juice/zest! Neat trick, right?

Okay, #continueramble…

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The funny thing about my rambles and writing this food blog is that I’m not actually really into writing about food. Okay, so when it comes to picking recipes from the bajillion-and-fifty-two that live on the interwebs, awesome descriptions about how your (say, random example) Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake features a tangy, sweet, incredibly moist, savor-every-bite crumb topping with the perfect balance of vanilla drizzle might convince someone that they actually want to make your recipe.

But while I could (and probably should) be writing things of that nature on a FOOD BLOG, I’m just standing over here at my computer going YawnyYawnYawnittyYaaaawn.

“Selling” my recipes to you reminds me too much of my marketing days. I’d much rather be doing things other than raving to you about how insanely quickly this coffee cake was eaten up by all my friends.

So many other things, I’m sure.

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Seriously. I don’t feel like talking about it, okay? I mean, look at those gifs and these photos. Who would want to talk about them ALL DAY?

Apophasis, people. English major says: Look it up.

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But let’s be serious for a second here. One thing I’ve never really had a chance to talk about here is that I’m not the stereotypical food blogger. I certainly never considered turning it into a career or more than a really great hobby. In fact, I’m totally a writer first, baker second, social media guru third, photographer fourth, and lord-oh-lord-me an editor/administrative/organized human being disaster last. So when people find out I’m a food blogger and tell me I must looooove baking & taking pics & everything, I’m all just like

Yeah that stuff’s aight

and we all move on with our lives. Maybe eat a slice of lemon curd cake while we write children’s picture books and nonsense stories (which would be my dream line of work someday–now I just need to find someone who will pay me to write little tales and eat homemade desserts all day).

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But that being said,

There is also something indescribably wonderful about being part of a blogging community.

I do love baking, and I do love photographing and being all uppity on my social media. I love the idea of doing all these things, but there are things about it I don’t love: I certainly don’t relish having to wait until my dinner is cold to eat it because I spent the previous hour shooting it in the twilight lighting. I type so much, my carpal tunnel is much worse now and I’m fighting tooth & nail to keep it at bay (this is probably one of the worst job hazards). And let’s face it, my jeans could probably do without the gallons of butter and margarine and delicious enriching refined ingredients that go into a large chunk of my baked goods.

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However, blogging is more than the sum of its parts for me and when I cobble it all together a la peach cobbler,

I lurve it

Like, a lot.

It’s the writing AND the baking AND the photographing AND the communities AND the people AND the life experiences that make blogging so exciting. Just like a sack of flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, milk, and baking soda all sitting on your counter, nothing about it is inherently exciting…that is, until you combine them and measure them and bake them with care, and you step back to realize that you’ve created a masterpiece.

Sort of like this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake. Amiright? (By the way, you totally saw that tacky glorious metaphor coming, didn’t you? Ha!)

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That’s why, after this totally off-topic post, I’m still totally happy to rave to you about this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake, which has been ten years in the making.

Yes, that’s a lot of time spent on one coffee cake. When we were young, my mom would buy this glorious lemon curd coffee cake from Safeway. It isn’t just nostalgia: I loved this cake to pieces. Crumbly, moist pieces. My mom stopped buying it as we got a little older, but I still dream about it a few times a month. It wasn’t until this month, when my mom sent me back with a whole tubful of lemons–yay for SUMMER–that I finally sat down and thought to myself: finally. Lemon Curd Coffee Cake, here I come!

I paired the very best lemon curd recipe I’ve made with the very best coffee cake recipe I’ve made, so it was a sure recipe for success. Combine that with the fact that I tweaked for extra crumb / vanilla drizzle, and you’ll know exactly why my friends absolutely plowed through the 9-inch cake I made last week.

I’ve got big gifs and I cannot lie.

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I’m sharing this save-the-summer dessert with my very favorite #SundaySupper crew today, so don’t forget to check out all the amazing stuff they’ve come up with to save this summer!

Ala

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Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake for #SundaySupper

This is the ONLY way to make and serve coffee cake. With a super intense crumb topping and a lusciously tart&sweet lemon curd filling, this decadent dessert will get gobbled up ASAP at any time of day! A personal favorite. Lemon curd recipe adapted from Allrecipes. Coffee crumb cake recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

    For the lemon curd:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 3 lemons (I used approximately 1/4 cup zest)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • For the coffee crumb cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter or margarine, cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • For the vanilla glaze drizzle:
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon milk, added only as needed

Instructions

    For the lemon curd:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat in microwave at 1-minute intervals, stirring in between each interval. Continue heating until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 4-5 minutes total).
  3. Cover bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two weeks).
  4. For the coffee crumb cake:
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture.
  7. Mix baking powder and baking soda into the remaining large bowl of flour mixture. Add buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, and mix vigorously until batter is smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Sally notes here that it should resemble frosting.) Pour half of the batter into prepared pan, then spread 2/3 of the lemon curd in dollops over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top; dollop with remaining lemon curd.
  8. To make the crumb: Mix brown sugar into the reserved flour mixture. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the cake batter and lemon curd.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. For the vanilla glaze:
  11. Combine sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk (as needed to reach drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the top of your cooled coffee cake and enjoy!

Notes

Buttermilk substitute: Instead of the 3/4 cup buttermilk in the recipe, you can make your own buttermilk by using 11 tablespoons of milk/soy milk/coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/08/10/lemon-curd-coffee-crumb-cake-sundaysupper/

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here—>Sunday Supper Movement.

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes, Fruit Desserts

Guest Post from Jessiker Bakes: Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

So about three weeks ago I reached out to the inestimable Jessica from Jessiker Bakes about doing a guest post for me because I was going a little cray-cray with my personal life. Two weeks later, I click through my blog feed and read this post and immediately start shrieking at my computer, “Oh my gosh, girl, CONGRATS. AHHHH!!!” (For those of you who didn’t click through the link: yes, Jessica is ENGAGED!)

So that’s the sort of relationship I have with her blog. Unparalleled and borderline hysterical adoration.

I’m so lucky to bring her over today to post for you guys! She is a psychic superstar because I have had lemon on the mind all. Week. Long. No joke. And she’s one of the most personable folks on the blogosphere ever, period, so you definitely need to check out her blog if you know what’s good for you!

But let me shut my drooling trap before I get myself into a wagonful of trouble. Here’s Jess for ya, folks!

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Hey there, I’m Jessica from Jessiker Bakes! Over on my blog I love sharing simple, healthy and delicious recipes. I’ll be sharing one of my favourite scones with you that I managed to cut the fat in half but keep the ridiculously delicious flavour – these Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze. These scones mean business. They are so moist, and packed with the flavours of lemon and blueberries. And I love me some lemon. I think the addition of the yogurt in place of fat made a huge difference in the moistness level that I loved completely, as well as making this seem even more suitable to chow down on of breakfast.

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I used half whole wheat flour and half pastry flour, which I think added even more to the feel of a breakfast pastry over cake, making this a hearty and delicious meal. Oh I mean, dessert. I mean breakfast. I had it for breakfast. Yes, breakfast! But this was not only perfectly suitable but so delicious!

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I don’t even need to justify it to you. You just need to try it. It’s delicious with or without the glaze, but the glaze added that extra touch of new-favourite-scone to it. Enjoy!

Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1⁄3 cup) and zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup yogurt, plain or greek
  • 1⁄2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Glaze
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 cup sifted powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour (except the 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry/dough blender, cut in the butter until butter is incorporated except for a few spots of butter. You could also use a fork to cut the butter in.
  4. Add the lemon juice, yogurt, milk and egg in a separate bowl, mixing.
  5. Add this mixture to the dough and mix until it just comes together. The dough should be thick.
  6. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. Stir in the blueberries carefully into the dough.
  7. Place dough unto cookie sheet and form into a circle, evening out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick.
  8. Cut the dough equally into 8 pieces (I usually cut in half, then into four, then six, then eight).
  9. Bake for 17 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and prepare glaze.
  11. Glaze
  12. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth (run through a food processor if necessary). If too runny, add 1 tablespoon at a time of powdered sugar. If too thick, add 1 teaspoon at a time of milk.
  13. Drizzle over the scones.
  14. Enjoy!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/22/guest-post-jessiker-bakes-healthier-lemon-blueberry-scones-lemon-cream-cheese-glaze/

If you are not dripping saliva all over your keyboard, I will slap you silly with what is left of my unfrosted dignity.

A huge THANK YOU to my loveliest newly-engaged friend Jess–congrats, you wonderful woman, you!

Loving what you read today? Connect with Jessica!

Blog: theblog.jessikerbakes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessikerbakes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessikerbakes

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jessiker101

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jessikerbakes/

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Buttery Moist Lemony Glazed Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake

These past few months, I have spent a lot (I mean, a lot–like, I-am-sorry-but-I-feel-preternaturally-compelled-to-word-vomit-to-you-guys a lot) of time talking about my upcoming examsSo today, let’s talk friends and the best pound cake you’ve never met instead.

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To begin with my friends: As the weeks wear on and THE date creeps closer, I have noticed an exponential amount of tiptoeing from my friends and family. In my book, there have only ever been four reasons you would have to tiptoe around someone: 

1. The Guilt: You are not supposed to be wherever you are at the moment you are tiptoeing–in which case, #shamingsession.

2. The Terror: You are afraid whomever it is around whom you are tiptoeing is going to explode at the any second. KABLOOIE!

3. The Sympathy: You are at someone’s bedside.

4. The Impending Stardom: You are practicing for your lead role in an upcoming show of “Swan Lake.” Ballerina feet, ladies!

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Now, I know it is not due to the fact that they are  practicing to become world-famous ballerinas, because a) they can’t ALL be leads in Swan Lake, and b) I have not seen so much as a frill of a tutu on any of their persons. Nor can the tiptoeing be attributed to a sympathy-induced bedside manner, because last I checked (granted, this was a few hours ago) I still have a pulse. And finally, I am almost certain that they cannot all be tiptoeing out of guilt, because I have not been lurking around any shady street corners or drug stores lately. Or at least none I’m going to fess up to here.

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So this leaves us with the inevitable truth: I am a ticking time bomb and my friends are afraid of the Big Kablooie. Right?

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Wrong! 

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^ It’s because of that.

My friend and I recently had the following conversation (and yes, I do actually converse like this when I’m really really really tired–and yes, you should all encourage my friend to become the next A.A. Milne):

Ala: I’ll be in and out
but I just thought I’d say hello :)
fellow human being whom I happen to like <3
Friend: i think they’ve actually invented a word for that
they’re called friends :)
That same day, a friend texted me about a spontaneous Disneyland trip that didn’t pan out but made us feel so spontaneous anyway; a second friend told me just how excited he was to get ‘us time’ in again after my exam; and a third friend paid me a surprise visit in the middle of the night with hot, fresh garlic bread to make sure I had some ‘real food,’ and we proceeded to caterwaul the rest of the night away to the Frozen soundtrack. <3

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I thought this post and these quotes would be the perfect place to publicly declare that my friends are Piglets to my Pooh. They are the strawberry to my lemon pound cake and, to be completely honest, you would probably be reading a lot more crazy stuff (Crazy? I love crazy!<–kinda like that) if they weren’t around to keep me grounded. So if you guys are reading this (and I know you are!), stop being sneaky this one time and leave a comment below before you go back to your tiptoeing so I can APPRECIATE YOU RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW <3

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It has taken eight months, a whole series of events, and unexpected happiness from various little corners of my life for the truth to hit me with the full force of the giant meteor that killed the dinosaurs. Bigger. Valentine’s Day comes once a year–an exam like this might come once in a lifetime–but friends really, honestly, and truly are forever. And even as I make out the faint rustle of the tiptoers all around me, taking care lest they disturb me from the latest writing frenzy that has possessed my flying hand, I can hear their silent cheers of ‘Rah! Rah!’ rising up in proud defiance of a world whose limits seem at every moment to close in on me, and find they cannot.

And this finally, finally brings me back to this pound cake I promised I would tell you about.

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I made loaves upon loaves of this pound cake to share with my friends and to show them how much I appreciate everything they do, from tiptoeing to caterwauling to cheering to reading my blog. They hands down loved it. This cheery lemon pound cake is everything the title/photos say and more: possibly the creamiest, butteriest, moistest pound cake I have ever made. Everything from the melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese in the batter to the fluffiness of the eggs and sugar, as well as the brightness of the lemon and the tanginess of the strawberry jam, make this the ultimate sweet treat to show someone you love them, whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or Friends Day (which is every day in my book!).

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Don’t forget to take a moment this week to appreciate your friends and all the people you love in your life!

Ala

Buttery, Moist Lemony Glazed Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake

Yield: Two 9×5-inch loaves, OR One 10-inch tube pan

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (reduced fat or regular), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (optional but highly recommended)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup strawberry (or raspberry) jam, warmed in the microwave

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. (Note: You may also use one 10-inch tube pan, but you will need to carefully increase your baking time in Step 7.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until very smooth.
  3. Beat in sugar until very fluffy and pale–I beat it vigorously for a good five minutes by hand to get that great creamy pound cake crumb!
  4. Mix in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  5. Carefully mix in flour until just incorporated.
  6. Pour one-fourth of your batter into one of the prepared 9×5-inch loaf pans. Pour 2/3 cup warmed strawberry preserves in an even layer over this batter, then top the preserves with another one-fourth of your pound cake batter. Repeat with second loaf pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, possibly with little crumbs sticking to it. Small crumbs (not raw batter!) are great! They indicate that your cake is baked through but not overbaked. Always err on the side of a little underbakedness. At this point, remove your cake from the oven and allow it to cool on the stovetop for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely.
  8. When your pound cake has cooled completely, top with lemon vanilla glaze (recipe below).

Lemon Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla soy milk or regular milk or vanilla/plain substitute milks of any kind
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional

Directions:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour over cooled pound cake and allow to harden completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
© Wallflour Girl. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use without prior permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Am I the only one who not only does not want autumn to come, but would happily embrace summer (and all its fruity, sunshiney glory) the whole year round?

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If you’re following other food blogs, you’ve probably seen hints of pumpkin and warm cinnamon spices creeping slowly but steadily into recipes in recent weeks. I mean, I’m all about individual choice and stuff, but here, at least…

NO WAY. And more summer please.

Hence these prototypically summery lemon blueberry cupcakes during the last week of August. Because I’m a summer rebel and I’m trying going to convert y’all with these, too.

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I love summer berries and all of nature’s sweet fruit,and I firmly believe that they appear between the months of May and August (or even longer, if you’re lucky like me!) for a reason. Summer is the best seasons, so let’s not quibble.

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Don’t get me wrong–I love fall. But I am the kind of girl who either likes seasons and holidays when they’re supposed to come (i.e. no Christmas music in November, please), or writes a pumpkin dessert post in the middle of April because heck, nobody else is doing it. And if I want pumpkin in springy April, I’m going to make it. I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet who has completely atemporal taste buds.

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But that whole summer-is-ending-and-hooray-for-fall-thing? Again, personal preference–but I’m not buying it.

So you get lemon. And blueberry. And REALLY GREAT MOIST CUPCAKES.

You will become a summer re-convert, I promise.

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Aside from the obvious perks, another reason why I love summer is because it allows me to do proper photoshoots in summer lighting

If you’ve seen my last few posts, you may have noticed less props and way, way less photo prep. As a result, I haven’t been able to submit a lot of my photos to Foodgawker and Tastespotter like I usually do, which makes me a little sad. This is because by the time I get home from work and finish my study quota for the day, the daylight has usually faded and the result is lots of crappy photos shot under our kind of anti-photo florescent kitchen lights.

So basically, sunlight rocksAlthough so would having a pair of literarily-inclined elves who could do my reading for me. That would also rock very much.

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After reading through nearly ten consecutive pumpkin posts on other blogs, I finally ran home from work on Friday and sat down to photograph these cupcakes. They look yummy, don’t they? Trust me, they taste even better.

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(On My Kitchen Table:  Assorted poems by Romantic authors such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and–most recently–Lord Byron. Don Juan is longer than my mom’s rants, period. Somebody get me a cupcake and a massive paper shredder, please.)  

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So what do you think: is it time for summer, or fall?

Summer Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting 78-082413

Love,

Ala

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Summery Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes with Lemony Frosting
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (I used the zest from one HUGE lemon)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) lemon juice, depending on taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes with vigorous beating by hand.
    3. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
    4. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt until just incorporated.
    5. Add lemon zest, milk, and lemon juice. Stir in slowly until well combined (note: make sure not to stir vigorously, though–doing so will toughen up the gluten and create a much tougher cupcake).

Fold in fresh blueberries.

  1. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and fill each liner 3/4 way with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, make lemon frosting (recipe below).
  2. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before frosting; top with blueberries. Then sit back, take a bite, and enjoy your gorgeous summer!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, as needed

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in sugar (you may need more or less, as desired). Gradually add vanilla and lemon juice, stirring until you reach the desired consistency. You may not need all of the lemon juice. Frost your cupcakes and delight your summer guests!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

Lemon Raspberry Squares

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If you’re like me and spent your diaper days thinking you would grow up to be a Disney princess/character, you have probably long since experienced that moment when some well-meaning adult sat you down, looked you straight in your beaming bright baby eyes, and said one of the following:

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Speech A: “Kid, let’s face it. Ariel was the daughter who ran away from her tyrannical sea king of a father who forbade his entire kingdom to sleep when she went missing, and then she ended up marrying a guy she “knew” for 48 hours and having a kid who ended up ditching them because all SHE wanted to do was go to the sea. Talk about a dysfunctional family…

Speech B:Belle never worked for that damn loaf of bread she was always singing about. And she was a victim of Stockholm’s syndrome. Does that sound like la vie en rose to you? Because if it does–well, in the words a hallucinogen-induced anthropomorphized talking candlestick…Be my guest.

Speech C:Aladdin–chronic liar. Rapunzel–societal recluse. Simba–unrealistic responsibility-shirker. Peter Pan–one big Freudian slip. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella–desperate damsels in distress fleeing from murderous pursuers and sought by princes with really, REALLY  overactive sets of lips.”

And so on and so forth.

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I WAS NOT INFORMED OF ANY OF THIS.

Okay, maybe a few times. But I wasn’t informed of it in a way that would’ve persuaded me to actually buy it. I mean, so fine–Disney movies admittedly have their share of issues. I mean really, really big and sometimes morally reprehensible issues. And I recognize that. But really, since when is everything perfect in life?

Never, that’s when. As the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

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Fortunately, I am not a big fan of cake. Of all the delectable, makes-life-worth-living desserts out there, cake simply isn’t at the top of my list. Lemon squares, however, are.

As the good saying goes, “When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade.”

Or the better one, “When life throws lemons at you, make orange juice and watch the world wonder how you did it.”

Or, the best one, “When life throws lemons at you, throw ‘em back and yell really loudly like a feral animal so your enemies will run away screaming in terror.”

Okay, I made that last one up.

But you COULD make these tangy, gooey, sweet and tart lemon squares with a really satisfying strawberry or raspberry jam layer and turn even your worst enemies into BFFL’s.

You’ll want this recipe! Print it now and get those lemons going, folks.

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Or better yet, let the seven little dwarves sitting in your closet do it while you indulge.

Because I know you have ‘em.

Don’t think I don’t. But this job’s mine, folks. And another batch of these gorgeous lemon squares will be too, if you don’t hurry up and make your own. I WILL devour them.

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Which Disney character would you love to be in your life?

Ala


Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Lemon Raspberry Squares
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest of 1-2 lemons (approximately 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together butter, 1/3 cup white sugar, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Continue mixing until the mixture turns from crumbly to pretty smooth (of a more butter-like consistency). Press evenly and lightly into prepared pan. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and firm.
  3. As the crust is baking, make your lemon filling by whisking together 1 1/4 cups white sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.
  4. Spread jam of your choice over the slightly cooled crust, taking care to leave about half an inch around the edges so the jam doesn’t burn. Pour lemon mixture over crust and jam, and return pan to oven. Bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, until filling is mostly set. (The squares will firm up as they cool, and in the fridge as well.) Allow squares to cool completely at room temperature before transferring them in the pan (covered) to the fridge and allowing them to set up for at least a few hours, or preferably overnight.
  5. Cut into squares the next day and serve while singing Disney princess songs and humming to your helper animals!

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Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies

I’d like to file a complaint.

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Somebody has stolen all of the sunshine.

If you’re from a place where spring actually feels like spring, and summer looks like–well, like it’s supposed to, this is saying a lot.

I like my sunshine.

Mine. No touchie.

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Having just flown back from a truly EPIC 4-day trip to St. Louis and Chicago, I’ve learned two things:

Thing #1: It’s not spring-like everywhere in the spring.

Cue multiple photos of me wearing 2 thick sweaters, 2 heavy coats, 2 pairs of gloves, knee-high socks, and boots the size of an overgrown sea elephant while waddling (much like a sea elephant) around the entire city trying to peek out at touristy attractions like the Bean without disturbing my puffy scarf and beanie.

Yes, the Chicagoans were visibly laughing as they passed by in their t-shirts. I would’ve done something about it, too…if waddling over to punch them in all my ridiculous layers didn’t make it look like I was just getting ready to give them a big bear hug or something.

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Thing #2: As much as I told myself I wouldn’t be a pansy and say it’s “freezing cold” anymore when it’s, y’know, notThe lack of sunshine around here is killing me.

On my last day in St. Louis, it had warmed up to the point that I was eating renowned frozen custard from Ted Drewes wearing a tank top and a light jacket.

Today, I had to wear a thick jacket. Nuh-uh. Uncalled for, Cali!

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So that’s what these brownies are for. Some people like to do rain dances. Since it’s been a dark, cloudy, overcast, likely-to-pour day over here, though, I huddled up inside with my books and made these gorgeously dark black sesame brownies and decided to throw in a bit of sunshine.

Then do a little dance. The sunshine brownie dance.  Because they’re really, really yummy and super bright! You’ll love the smoky (and healthy!) taste of black sesame topped with the tangy bright taste of lemon curd sunshine.

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What’s your favorite kind of weather or date? :) 

I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

I’d love to hear what you’re thinking! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read/comment/follow. I hope you’re enjoying the weather and/or the indoors, wherever you’re at!

Ala

I was Featured on Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Adapted from Pig Pig’s Corner
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 5/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (optional, for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine melted butter and black sesame seeds. Grind until it turns into a fine or slightly gritty paste.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sesame paste, sugar, and soy sauce. Fry it for 2-3 minutes, or until the black sesame becomes smoky and fragrant. (The oils will start to separate when it’s ready–be sure not to overfry, otherwise you’ll burn your sesame!) Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Add cooled sesame mixture to a large mixing bowl. Mix in eggs one by one.
  5. Gently fold in flour until just incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top with white sesame seeds and serve with a dollop of lemon curd sunshine! (Recipe follows.)

Lemon Curd Sunshine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, then heat in microwave at 1-minute intervals for approximately 4-5 minutes total, stirring between each interval. Your curd will be ready when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from microwave (straining out any excess egg whites as necessary through a mesh strainer) and allow to cool slightly before serving. Sunshine, order’s up! 

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates

“Sorry–It’s Still Summer!” Cinnamon Rolls (Raspberry Cheesecake Rolls with Lemon Icing)

With the plethora of pumpkin and autumnal recipes hitting the web these days, I thought we all needed a little reminding that it is not, in fact, autumn everywhere in the world. In some places, it’s legitimately springtime, and in others, it’s legitimately autumn but actually not because it doesn’t feel like autumn. It feels, in fact, like summertime. Still. In October.

So I say…

Why fight it? And if anyone says otherwise, you can just say what I say–

“Sorry–it’s still summer! And summer says I’m making these rolls.”

There are some bloggers who say, “Oh look, the calendar says it’s autumn–I guess it’s time to make autumn recipes! Hooray!” Don’t get me wrong–I love pumpkin and apple and cinnamon and pecan and the list could go on and on of recipes. I love them all; I’ve even posted my own fair share of them recently, like this pumpkin spiced granola or this delicious pumpkin pull-apart bread.

But if summer wants to overstay its equinox and beat me on the brow with high-90′s weather as I trudge to my classroom with enough brick-like books for a mason to build a house with, I say we fight back.

With…cinnamon rolls. Raspberry cheesecake ones, more specifically.

And tangy sweet lemon glaze. Very importanto.

Funflour Fact #6: Speaking of made-up sort-of-sounds-legit words (“importanto” is not, to my knowledge, a real word), did you know that the Spanish word for “pelican” is “pelicano,” and that words with the same etymological origins are called “cognates”?

What’s also very importanto is trying your hand at new things, like this fun challenge Julie is hosting over at Willow Bird Baking!

Flour Power: Feeling up for a challenge? Don’t forget to head on over to Julie’s blog and check out all the entries, and submit one of your own, too!

If you haven’t guessed it already, the theme is…da da da…autumn!

Just kidding. It’s cinnamon rolls. I haven’t reached that blessed pinnacle of ironic wit at which I could make that sort of a joke entry and get away with it yet. Soon. Soon.

Go wild, go crazy, or go summery, if you’re like me and clinging onto those last (blazing) streaks of sunshine.

And once you’re done being a wild child, bake a batch of these–because I guarantee you that they are “berry” blazing summery good!

Happy reading, and happy eatings!

“Sorry, Sir–Still Summer!” Cinnamon Rolls (Raspberry Cheesecake Rolls with Lemon Icing)
Yield: 6 cinnamon rolls
Base recipe adapted from Allrecipes
 
For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons  (or half an average packet) dry active yeast
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

How to make the dough:

  1. Heat up milk in saucepan until warm enough that you can comfortably dip your finger in for a few seconds without scalding yourself. Transfer to a large bowl and dissolve white sugar. Stir in yeast and allow to sit in a warm spot for 10 minutes. This is the proofing step–your mixture should foam slightly and give off a “bread-y” smell. (If it doesn’t, your yeast is no longer active, so you might have to toss it out and try again.)
  2. Mix in melted margarine and salt. Add flour gradually and stir in until a dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead by pulling dough away from your body, then folding it back in on itself. Rotate dough a quarter of a turn after each pull. Knead until pressing two fingers gently into dough creates two indentations that hold their shape–then you’ll know that your dough is smooth, elastic, and ready to go!
  3. Place into a well-greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Place in a warm spot and allow dough to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Turn out onto lightly-floured board and punch down dough. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into a 9×13″ rectangle and spread filling evenly over dough (see below). Starting from one of the short ends, roll up dough until it forms a tight spiral. Be careful not to push too hard though, or your filling will spill out! Cut into six even pieces and place them seam-side up in a greased 9″ baking pan. Place in a warm place and allow dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Bake cinnamon rolls in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and immediately pour glaze over hot rolls so that it melts into the dough; allow rolls to cool slightly before spreading on frosting (see below).

For the filling:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened (you’ll be using the other 2 oz. for the icing, so keep it handy)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberry preserves, adjusted to taste
  • Splash of vanilla

To make filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy. Add preserves and vanilla, then stir until mixture is fluffy. Spread onto dough (step 4, above).

For the glaze (to pour over rolls while hot):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Splash of vanilla extract

To make glaze: Combine all ingredients and stir until it forms a thinnish glaze. (Feel free to add more lemon juice or powdered sugar as necessary to adjust the consistency.) Pour over cinnamon rolls immediately after they come out of the oven to allow glaze to soak into dough.

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Splash of vanilla extract

To make frosting: Whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until your frosting is fluffy; add more sugar or lemon juice as necessary to reach desired consistency. Spread over warm rolls immediately before serving.

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Fruit Desserts