Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Lemon Bars

These Lemon Bars are to die for!  I don’t bake all that often, cooking is more my thing, but I had plenty of lemons and eggs to use up and this recipe fits the ticket on both counts.  The bottom of the bar is a wonderful tasty shortbread crust and then the lemon egg custard bakes on the top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and hope they serve this stuff in heaven!

I was prepping the filling and almost forgot to add the lemon juice (2 cups worth) – I don’t think they would have turned out so lemony.  This makes a huge pan worth.  Be sure you have the right dimensions mentioned in the directions, or if you must split them into smaller pans and bake them slightly shorter time.  (I made the error of using a shallow cookie pan first.. and then ended up making more shortbread crust for  a Pyrex dish, because I had so much filling left and it was too good to waste.  That worked fine too.  I think you could get away with using two Pyrex 8x13x2 inch dishes if you don’t have the 11x17x1 that the recipe calls for.  If you press the shortbread up the sides a little rather than just putting in the bottom I find the custard does not brown as quickly along the sidesNext time I will reduce the sugar some, but not a whole lot)

I found this recipe in a cookbook I have used in the past for the Ginger Cookies and Blueberry Butter Cake which both are fantastic recipes as well.  This recipe is another one that does not disappoint!  Get the book!

Sue’s Luscious Lemon Squares (adapted from Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook pg 202)

24 squares depending on the size you cut.

Crust:

  • 3/4 lbs cold unsalted butter
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur is a great brand!)
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (that’s powdered sugar folks)

Filling:

  • 10 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar (I will reduce this by 1/2 cup next time making that 2 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons  grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice (12-14 lemons juiced)
  • 8 Tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar

Directions:

Preheat the oven  to 350 F

To make the shortbread crust: cut the butter into smaller pieces.  Add the 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 cups of flour and the butter to a food processor and pulse until it starts to come together.  (It will also change color and become slightly darker than when you started and the crumbs will be more like oatmeal grains)  Dump them into the 11x17x1 inch pan and press the crust into the bottom of the un-greased pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden around the edges (it may not be cooked in the center and it will be perfectly okay).

While the crust is baking, mix the filling: Whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Add the grated lemonrind and juice and beat for 5 minutes with a hand mixer.  The batter will be light and golden and smooth.  Combine the flour and baking powder and beat it into the batter just until combined.

Pour the filling into the crust (it may be easier to use a ladle to ladle the filling into the pan)  Fill right to edge.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Cool before cutting into squares.  Store in the refrigerator.  Just before serving dust with additional confectioners sugar.  Enjoy.

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Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

I am a passionate cookbook collector.  In my 17 years of marriage I must have by now in my possession over 200 cookbooks.  I was for a few months a member of a cookbook club.  I got to buy the cookbooks at a good price and they would send them to me.  One such nugget is the Black Dog Restaurant Cookbook.  In this cookbook there are a few recipes that I have made over the past few years.  These cookies are not hard like Gingersnap cookies.  They have a nice soft chewy texture.  My daughters who are not big fans of ginger are big fans of these cookies and I think they are great for Christmas or any other occasion.  Just hum the tune from Sesame Street: “C is for Cookie”. 🙂

Here is a recipe from the book that I adapted. 

Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

Makes 8 dozen cookies.  I freeze some for later.

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 5 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar in the raw to roll the cookies in before baking

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Blend the ginger with 1/2 cup of the oil.  I use a hand blender.  Process until well minced.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups sugar, molasses and eggs.  Strain the ginger/oil liquid and add the strained ginger infused oil to the sugar mixture.  Add remaining cup of oil to the mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and flour.  Ad the dry ingredients to the wet mix and blend well.
  5. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up. Scoop the cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop, form into balls (I find if I moisten my hands with a little water the dough does not stick to me.)  Roll in sugar in the raw (regular sugar works fine too- I love the texture of sugar in the raw)
  6. Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, just until the tops crack and cookies are flat.
  7. Leave on the cookie sheet a few minutes to firm up before removing them to wire racks to cook completely.  Enjoy!

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