Lemon Squares

I subscribe to Everyday Food magazine, and I love it. Most of the time, they feature easy recipes and I make a lot of them for weeknight dinners. In the June issue, they featured lemon squares. I have never attempted lemon squares before, but I adore them. Here is the recipe:

Creamy Lemon Squares

Makes 16 | Prep time: 15 Min | Total Time: 45 Min+chilling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.
  2. Make crust: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add flour, and mix on low just until combined. Press dough into the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of prepared pan; prick all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk together yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan; return to oven, and bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  4. Refrigerate until filling is firm, about 2 hours or up to 3 days. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares, and dust with confectioners sugar.
I cut this recipe in half, because I will most likely be the only person eating them, and I really don’t need 16! It was easy enough to follow. I made the crust, and I didn’t have any parchment paper. This didn’t really cause any problems, but it would have been helpful. The crust took a lot longer to bake than the recipe said, about 35 minutes.
When that was done, I pour the filling in and put it back in the oven for about 20 minutes. I let it cool on the stove, then put it in the fridge for 2 hours. They turned out delicious! They didn’t look very pretty, but they tasted great!

M&M Chip Cookies

After last time’s disaster, I decided to bake something simple: chocolate chip cookies. But for a fun twist, I used dark chocolate M&M’s instead of chocolate chips and added walnuts as well. I have a lot of experience making chocolate chip cookies, so this was no problem whatsoever. Success! I just used the Nestle Tollhouse recipe.

First Experiment: Home-made Girlscout Cookies

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a recipe on bakingbites.com for home-made Girlscout cookies, Samoa’s to be exact (http://bakingbites.com/2008/01/homemade-girl-scout-cookies-samoas). This is what they are supposed to look like.

I will admit, this was a bit of an ambitious first project. I have baked plenty in the past, but, I do not tend to have all of the proper tools needed to create masterpieces. But, I decided to give it a shot. I mixed a batch of dough, rolled it out, and cut out circles with the top of a glass. I put them in the oven… didn’t turn out so great. I couldn’t lift them off with the spatula and they crumbled. It tasted delicious though!

I had some more dough so I tried again. After they were done baking, they were vague circles. So, I took the next step. I put the shredded coconut in the oven to bake, and in the meantime, I melted the caramel in the microwave. Okay.

I started spreading the caramel on the cookies. It didn’t really have a good consistency, and would not spread out. I sprinkled on the coconut and melted chocolate. The results were slightly ridiculous: