Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flipping Over These Flops -- YEAH SUMMER!

This Friday is Canada Day.  It’s the first long weekend of the summer which is a sacred thing in a country that cherishes its short summers. Whether you are at your cottage, in your backyard or, lucky enough to be away at summer camp, have great long weekends.  Make sure to roast some marshmallows and sing the national anthem as they burn. I made these Canada Day flip flops in honour of the holiday.  Happy Canada Day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lemon Tree Squares Very Pretty

I made lemon squares this week for my Mom's 80th birthday party.  They are a nice change from chocolate or sugar cookies.  Lemon is just such a fresh taste and squeezing lemons always makes your house smell so good.  I hum Peter, Paul and Mary's "Lemon Tree Very Pretty" whenever I make these.  The recipe is from Magnolia's with some extra commentary from me.  

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup lemon juice (I squeeze this fresh – it’s the only way to go)
6 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 12 x 18-inch jelly roll pan.  I love Bakers Joy for an awesome release but butter will work too.

Grate the lemons – you need 8 teaspoons of zest.  I understand Williams-Sonoma has this glove you can wear that saves knuckles while grating -- I need to check this out and will for sure get back to you on this.

Squeeze enough lemons for one cup of lemon juice.  This Chef'n Citrus Juicer from Williams-Sonoma is awesome.

I can't really tell you how many lemons I squeezed -- probably about 12.  
But I can tell you I LOVE taking pictures of lemons!

To make the CRUST:
In a large bowl, on a low speed of an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  

Spread crust evenly into prepared pan.  Use a large piece of waxed paper to firmly and evenly press down the crust.  I actually roll the crust down under the wax paper – it creates a pretty even crust which is important for the lemon to spread evenly over the crust.  Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before proceeding.

While the crust is cooling, make the TOPPING:
In a medium-size bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, the eggs, the lemon juice, and the zest until well combined.  Pour over slightly warm crust.  Return to oven.  Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, or overnight before cutting, dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving.

The recipe says to cut into 24, three-inch bars but I cut mine into circles just for fun.  I think I’m going to hunt around for a lemon cookie cutter as this would look even cuter don’t you think?  Either way this is a really refreshing dessert.  And lots of people asked for the recipe so here it is to ENJOY.  A nice light dessert to compliment a summer BBQ or brighten up a winter night.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


June is the month that people are graduating.  Whether it is nursery school, grade school, high school, college or university -- graduation is a big accomplishment and should be celebrated.  And anything worth celebrating needs cookies --  so I made these graduation caps and think they are worth the Pomp and Circumstance march (you know... dum dum dum dum dum dum dum...).  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ladybug, Ladybug...

Ladybugs are so darn cute -- they are little, fly and are polka dotted -- really what more could you want?  So I made a bunch of these to package up for clients -- its a perfect hostess gift.

I used my chocolate brownie cookie recipe for these cutie bugs.  I think this recipe is best for smaller cookies because they are so moist so larger cookies could be too heavy and break.

Roll out the dough.  I got this cookie cutter from Copper Gifts.  The cookies are about 1.5" x 1.5" and a perfect bite size that is still big enough to decorate reasonably

Materials Needed for Decorating:

  • royal icing -- I cannot stress enough how much I love the royal icing when made with Ateco meringue powder
  • piping bag
  • piping bottle for flooding the cookies and the dots
  • gel colours of your choice -- I used red, black but I think these would be cute in pink too
  • white non-perils
  • black AmeriColour Gourmet Writer
  • tweezers

1.  In black, outline wings and put a line down the middle.
2.  Pipe the head and add two white non-perils for the eyes.
3.  Flood the wings with red.

4.  Add black polka dots with a thinned out black icing (I think pink heart sprinkles could also look fun) and a small dot on the eyeballs with an edible marker.
I think these turned out CUTE AS A BUG and hope you do too!