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    Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

    Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars are soft and chewy with lots of citrusy tang. They’re baked in a 13×9 inch dish which removes the hassle of forming individual cookies – just slice and enjoy!Hello, friends! I hope everyone is well and finding the baking ingredients needed to make all the comfort foods required for these days of sheltering. Thankfully, I am now stocked up on flour, yeast, and the other essentials that keep me working and doing what I love.Lately I’ve been craving the flavors of buttercream birthday cake, but I’ve been without the enthusiasm it takes to bake, fill, and frost an entire layer cake. Sugar cookie bars are a low lift stand-in with all of the nostalgic birthday flavors and lots of sprinkles! This recipe is a departure from the usual sugar cookie flavors of vanilla on vanilla (which is also delicious) and instead uses lots of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice to give these treats some zing!
    The first order of business is to make lemon sugar for the cookie dough. Zest an entire lemon over a bowl of sugar and blend together with your fingertips. The citrus oils disperse through the sugar which uniformly flavors the dough.
    Blended together, the cookie dough will be pale and crumbly. Squeeze a handful of crumbles in your palm – if the dough holds together then you’re on the right track!
    Pat the dough evenly in a buttered dish. The dough will turn lightly golden at the edges as it bakes, but the middle should still remain pale – these are soft baked for a thick, chewy texture.
    The buttercream is thick and fluffy, and so tangy with lemon zest and freshly squeezed juice – yum!
    When the cookie portion is completely cool, spread the billowy frosting evenly over the surface.
    Just look at that frosting to cookie ratio! I’d say that’s about 50/50, which is about right for buttercream lovers (me)!
    This kind of baked good is cute, tasty, and practically made to be shared (in normal circumstances they are SO bake sale-worthy!). So, I’m eager to find a way to safely share baked goods like these with friends and family during this time, and with careful packaging and a doorstep delivery I believe it is possible. I have a little more research to do, and I hope to post my findings and methods here!Stay well! xo

    Lemon Sugar Cookie BarsYields 15 servingsLemon cookie1 cup (200g) granulated sugarZest of one lemon (about 1 tablespoon)2 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened1 egg1 tablespoon sour cream or plain yogurt1 tablespoon lemon juice1 teaspoon vanilla extractLemon buttercream1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened4 cups (450g) powdered sugar3 tablespoons lemon juiceZest of one lemon (about 1 tablespoon)Milk or cream, to thin1/4 teaspoon yellow gel food colorMixed pastel rainbow sprinklesPreheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to blend the zest into the sugar until the zest is well dispersed and the sugar is fragrant with lemon.In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and lemon sugar until creamy. Add the egg, sour cream, lemon juice, and extract. Beat to combine. Add the dry flour mixture and mix together on low speed until well incorporated but still crumbly. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden and the center is still pale. Cool completely before frosting.For the frosting, cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add about 1/3 of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest; beat again. Mix in the remaining confectioners’ sugar, adding the milk or cream to thin the mixture to spreading consistency. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add gel food color and whip until a consistent bright yellow color is achieved.Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cookie in the pan. Cover with sprinkles if desired. Let stand until set, about 10-15 minutes, or chill in the refrigerator until the frosting is firm. Cut into squares before serving. Store cookies in an airtight container for optimal freshness.
    link Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2020Wednesday, April 22, 2020Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chickpea Water or Aquafaba Meringue Cookies

    Try this recipe the next time you open a can of chickpeas! Deliciously crunchy, light, and airy meringue cookies can be made using aquafaba, which is the water that surrounds chickpeas in their commercially prepared can.It’s been said -repeatedly- this past month by various cooking sites, blogs, and news outlets – canned chickpeas are having a moment. It’s the shelf-stable food of choice for many during these days of sheltering at home, because they are loaded with nutrients, protein, and they make an excellent replacement for meat in lots of dishes.I always keep canned chickpeas in my pantry, but I’ve been draining away a useful ingredient every time I made my favorite chickpea dishes! Chickpeas leach starch and protein into the water that surrounds them in their cans, which makes the liquid whippable to voluminous proportions!
    Begin by draining the chickpeas into a sieve over a bowl or glass measure. You should have about 6 oz. of aquafaba from one 15.5oz (439g) can. This is just a smidge more than 3/4 cup.
    Use an electric hand mixer or a standing mixer to whip the bean water, along with some cream of tartar and powdered sugar. It’s miraculous how billowy this stuff gets! I researched a few recipes that used granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar, but I found the powdered sugar gave the most fluffy end result.(Side note: If you’re looking for a cheap, powerful hand mixer, this one is ridiculously strong. Low speed is like high speed. I don’t know how long it will last, but for the past month it has replaced my 5 speed KitchenAid hand mixer for its swift work. Be sure to read all the reviews! They are mixed.)
    You can tint the meringue by folding in gel food color. Try to do this quickly, because I found that as the meringue stands it begins to lose volume. I re-whipped some of the mixture that began looking deflated, and it puffed right back up!
    I went a little crazy with varying the shapes and colors of the cookies, but I really enjoyed the process. If you don’t have piping tips, you could simply drop the meringues from a spoon on parchment, or use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped to pipe some meringue kiss shapes.
    Sprinkles make me happy! 
    Sprinkle tiny nonpareils over the meringues before baking, if desired. Most any sprinkle will survive well in the oven because they bake at a very low temperature.
    I piped a few meringue nests to hold all of the little colorful meringues, which made things feel a little more springy.

    I had some passionfruit flavoring on hand (from this set) which made these cookies so delicious! A few meringues were dipped in chocolate, or drizzled. I highly recommend doing this.
    Aquafaba meringues are even lighter than those made with real egg whites. Chickpea water has less protein in it than egg whites (2.4g for the water versus about 3.6g each white) which could account for its cotton candy-like texture (they practically melt in your mouth!). I also think using the powdered sugar helped keep them super airy.I encourage you to try making a batch next time you’re planning to use chickpeas (zero waste feels good!). But plan ahead, because like standard egg meringues, these cookies need to bake at a low temperature for a couple of hours.

    Chickpea Water or Aquafaba Meringue CookiesYields about 6 dozen1 can (15.5 oz/439g) chickpeas1 teaspoon clear extract (do not use oil-based candy flavoring)1 teaspoon cream of tartar1 cup (140g) powdered sugarOptional:Gel food coloringSprinkles, nonpareilsMelted chocolatePreheat oven to 200°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.Drain the chickpea water into a cup or bowl. Reserve chickpeas for another use.Pour the chickpea water into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until frothy. Add the clear extract and increase the speed to high. With this mixer running, add the cream of tartar. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time (3-4 additions) while the mixer runs. When the mixture turns opaque and fluffy, turn the mixer off and dip your mixer beater(s) into the meringue. If it holds a peak that stands on its own, it’s ready for baking. If not, continue to whip until this consistency is achieved.Divide and tint the meringue as desired. Pipe or spoon onto parchment-lined sheets. Add sprinkles if desired. Bake meringues for two hours, rotating the pans on the oven racks mid-bake. Turn off the oven and let the meringues cool completely inside the oven. (You can also remove and cool on the stove top, but the cookies are more prone to crack). Peel the meringues from the paper and dip in melted chocolate or drizzle.Store meringues in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.Notes:Oil-based flavorings will deflate aquafaba meringue. Make sure you use alcohol or water-based extracts. You could also add the seeds of one vanilla bean for flavor.Deflated meringue can be re-whipped. Pipe or spoon the meringues on the baking sheets soon after it is whipped to avoid them losing shape and becoming flat.
    link Chickpea Water or Aquafaba Meringue Cookies By Heather Baird Published: Thursday, April 09, 2020Thursday, April 09, 2020Chickpea Water or Aquafaba Meringue Cookies Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Flourless Brownie Cookies

    These Flourless Brownie Cookies are absolutely irresistible with their crisp, crackled exteriors and chewy, fudgy centers.I think we all should stop and give ourselves a pat on the back for making it through the strange and turbulent month that was March. It seems we are in for more social distancing this month, and I am ready to comply. The next 30 days will surely have its challenges, but whenever I feel stressed or anxious I like to put on my metaphorical Mr. Spock ears – it’s time to be logical. Or at least try to be as much as possible. With level heads and strong hearts, we can do this!Although I have some flour on hand (and bread recipes are sure to follow) I’m still favoring flourless recipes. I wonder, what are you baking right now? And what ingredients are you having trouble finding? Today I’m sharing this deeply chocolaty cookie recipe that only requires one fresh ingredient: egg whites. (Or, fresh-ish egg whites, the carton of liquid whites I had in the back of my fridge worked perfectly in this recipe!)
    The recipe is adapted from chef François Payard’s famous Chocolate Epiphany cookies. It begins very simply with powdered sugar and cocoa. Egg whites are added in a variable amount – you’ll need about 2, although I used 2 1/2. The amount of cornstarch in powdered sugar varies across brands, which is why you’ll use more or less egg whites.You’ll need the muscle of an electric mixer for this batter, because it will be thick and sticky. Upon completion it should resemble thick brownie batter.
    Dollop batter on your largest parchment-lined cookie sheet, about four inches apart. These cookies will spread as they bake!
    I added coarse pieces of English walnuts to the batter because my favorite brownies also have a hearty amount of walnuts in them. I highly recommend adding a few walnut pieces on top of the unbaked cookie batter, because the nuts toast as they bake.
    If you really want to elevate these cookies, add a sprinkle of coarse or flake sea salt immediately after removing them from the oven. I used the DIY Vanilla Salt I made last Christmas – so, so good!

    My husband, who can be spare with praise, has proclaimed these as his new favorite cookie. I agree that they are exceptional. Their success relies on following the rules of using room temperature egg whites, and resting the batter as directed.

    Flourless Brownie CookiesYields about 131 1/2 cups (170g) powdered sugar6 tablespoons (35g) unsweet cocoa (I used dark cocoa)1/8 teaspoon salt1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons egg white (about 2 to 2 1/2 egg whites) room temperature2 tablespoons vegetable oil2 teaspoons vanilla extract1 cup (95g) coarse walnut pieces, plus more for garnishPreheat the oven to 350◦F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spray paper with cooking spray.In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add 1/4 cup egg whites (2 whites) the oil, and the vanilla extract and mix on low speed using an electric mixer. Increase mixer speed to medium as the sugar and cocoa is absorbed into the liquids. The mixture should be very thick. If the mixture looks too dry, beat in additional egg white 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the walnuts and fold together using a rubber spatula. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. The dough should be thick and viscous.Portion mixture well-spaced on the baking sheets using a cookie scoop or by the heaping tablespoon. Dot tops of cookies with additional walnut pieces, if desired. Let the dough rest on the pans 5 minutes.Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are glossy and crackled. Watch them carefully so they don’t over-bake, especially if your oven tends to run hot. Allow the cookies to cool on the pans. When the cookies are completely cooled, gently peel them from the parchment paper. They will be soft and delicate, so do this carefully.Keep cookies in an air-tight container, and they will stay fresh for about 3 days.
    link Flourless Brownie Cookies By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, April 01, 2020Wednesday, April 01, 2020Flourless Brownie Cookie Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

    These flourless cookies are a quick fix and packed with big peanut butter flavor. They’re soft-baked for your ultimate snacking pleasure!Hello! I hope everyone reading this is doing well and feeling fine. I’m still baking on the practical side, trying to conserve and stretch ingredients, although yesterday’s post might make you think differently. However, the Easter Bunny Cake was created weeks ago when my kitchen life was different. Now it feels like an extravagance to have enough butter to whip up a big batch of buttercream frosting!Until life gets back to normal (and it will!), I’m leaning into easy recipes that rely on fewer ingredients, and that give us happiness and comfort. These cookies fit that description.
    Oatmeal is an ingredient that you can always find in my pantry. It’s a wonderful replacement for flour in this recipe. I used old-fashioned rolled oats, which gives the baked cookies chewy texture. If you only have quick-cooking oats, those will work too, but the cookies will be slightly softer.
    Eggs have been scarce, but this dough uses only uses 1, which I think is a pretty good trade-off for 1 1/2 dozen cookies. I considered halving this recipe, but then thought better of it. 18 cookies disappear pretty fast in my house (especially peanut butter cookies!). But if you’re not keen on baking a whole batch, then the dough freezes beautifully. Freeze half for later and your future self will thank you.
    Portion the cookies using a cookie scoop if you have one, or if you don’t, the amount of dough per cookie is about 4 teaspoons (4 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon). Roll cookies into balls and then flatten with your palm or the bottom of a cup or bowl.

    10 minutes of oven time will yield a soft-baked cookie with set edges and a soft middle. Fresh from the oven they’ll be too soft to transfer to a cooling rack, so allow them to cool on the pan.This is such an easy little weekend bake with big payoff! Keep them in a zip-top bag with the air removed, or in an air-tight container and they’ll last all week.

    Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal CookiesYields 18 cookiesIf you’re avoiding gluten, be sure to use oats and baking chips clearly labeled “gluten-free”.1 cup (270g) smooth/creamy peanut butter (shelf-stable)3/4 cup (160g) brown sugar, tightly packed1 large egg1 teaspoon vanilla extract3/4 cup (75g) old-fashioned rolled oats1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/3 cup (55g) semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for garnishPreheat oven to 350◦F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the peanut butter and brown sugar. Mix well on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the egg; mix in the vanilla extract.To the creamed mixture, add the oats, baking soda and baking powder. Beat on low speed until crumbly; mixture will be thick. Use a rubber spatula to fully incorporate the ingredients into the mixture. Fold in 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips.Portion the dough using a cookie scoop (4 teaspoons, or 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon), roll into balls between your palms, and transfer to the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with your palm or the bottom of a cup or bowl. Dot tops of cookies with 3-4 additional chocolate chips.Bake for 10 minutes and cool completely on the pans. Transfer cookies to an air-tight container, or a zip-top bag with the air removed.Freeze cookies: After dough is rolled into balls, transfer them on the cookie sheet to the freezer. When the dough is frozen, transfer them to a zip-top bag with the air removed and return to the freezer. Thaw and flatten before baking as directed.
    link Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies By Heather Baird Published: Saturday, March 28, 2020Saturday, March 28, 2020Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe LEGGI TUTTO