I made this teatime treat this past weekend and four different guests asked for the recipe. I’m happy to share it.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
350 agrees F.
line a 9×13 baking pan with cooking parchment
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at aa time. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture in parts, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Turn about half of the batter into the baking pan.
Bonnie stayed with us last weekend and had these lemon squares for teatime. I always serve something chocolate and something non-chocolate at teatime. Otherwise the guests rebel.
These are very easy to make. You could also use two or three packages of cream cheese, which will make lemon flavored cheesecake. You can sprinkle the squares with powdered sugar to serve, or you could decorate them with candied violets or rose petals.
preheat oven to 350 F.
1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups flour
Mix the crust ingredients together and turn into an 8”x8” or 9’x9′ metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment. Press the crumbs into an even crust on the bottom of the pan. A small measuring cup works well for this.
1 8 oz. Package of cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup flour
2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice.
Grated zest of ½ lemon
Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer, scraping the sides regularly, until the cream cheese is soft and smooth. Beat in eggs, ,one at a time, beating well after each addition, to avoid lumps. Then beat in all of the other ingredients and pour the mixture on top of the crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just colored around the edges. Do not brown.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate ’till cold. Loosen the cooking parchment. Turn the cake onto a cutting board, peel off the cooking parchment, then turn again onto a serving plate,
Cut into squares with a small knife dipped into water between cuts.
Ami, in my real estate office (Coastline Realty) was just asked to bring a sugar-free dessert to a Christmas party. I suggested cheesecake, since it doesn’t depend on sugar for its appeal (it depends on butterfat) nor for its texture. This is a pretty standard New York style cheesecake – since I’m one of the few New Yorkers in Cape May – except that it has a Pasta Frolla crust. I’ve just discovered Monkfruit sweetner as an alternative to sugar. It doesn’t have the spinach-y taste of Stevia. We can buy it locally as Monkfruit in the Raw.
1 ½ cups flour
1 stick unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp orange or lemon extract.
Chip the butter into the flour. Add the salt, egg and extract. Knead together to make a dough. Roll or press out the dough to line a 9” springform pan.
Alternatively, buy a pre-made frozen pie crust and thaw, then press into a 9” springform pan.
4 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1 cup Monkfruit in the Raw sweetener
¾ cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Beat cream cheese in a mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time and beat in. Add all of the other ingredients. Pour into the crust and bake for 1 hour at 350 F. Leave in the turned off oven for hours afterward, then refrigerate.
Of course, if you’d prefer augured version, just substitute sugar for the Monkfruit. In other Cape May news, there’s only one more chance for a Christmas Candlelight Tour this year. December 27th is the date. Come and stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
This is another recipe for Millie and her family. We served this pumpkin apricot cake for teatime while she was here last week, and she asked for the recipe. I always like desserts that include two ingredients that are similar colors but different flavors, like honeydew and green grapes, chocolate and coffee, and this pumpkin and apricot cake.
Cape May B&B Pumpkin Apricot Cake
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. baking soda 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon 1 1/2 c. each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar 1 c. oil 2 c. canned pumpkin 4 eggs 2 cups dried apricots, cut up
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the sugars, mixing well.
Mix dry ingredients with the oil and pumpkin, stirring until well combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly. Stir in apricots. Pour into 2 greased and floured bundt pans. (I use small-ish silicone pans)
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when prodded with your finger.. (I start testing after 35 minutes) Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Place on wire rack to cool.
This recipe is for Millie, She and her family had these cookies at teatime this past week. I make these chocolate chunk cookies or cookie bars all the time. Sometimes, I vary them by using just white chocolate, lemon extract, and perhaps some pignoli, or some pistachio nuts. The dough is endlessly versatile. If you add a few tablespoons of water to the dough, it will rise and be cakier. If you add butter and bake it a little darker, it will be crisper.
Ingredients: 2 1/’2 cups of all purpose flour 1 ¾ cups of sugar 1 Tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup 72% chocolate, chopped ½ cup 60% chocolate, chopped ½ cup white chocolate, chopped (I don’t really measure the chocolate. I use Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% bars, Ghirardelli 60% cholcolate chips, and Ghirardelli white melting wafers
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the molasses and orange extract into the melted butter. Add the melted butter mixture and the egg to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until you form an even dough. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a pat or two of soft butter.
Fold in chopped chocolates until just mixed. If you fold too much the chocolate will melt. (Not a tragedy)
Scoop (with a small scoop) onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake at 4oo F. for 9 minutes. Cool on sheets for 10 minutes then on cookie racks. You can also bake these by pressing the dough into a parchment-lined jelly roll pan (mine is the insulated kind), then sprinkling the chopped chocolate on top and baking the same way. Then cut into cookie bars after it has cooled for 10 minutes.
You can decorate these cookies with random squiggles of chocolate by melting some 74% chocolate, and a little butter. Squeeze this out of a ziplock bag with the corner snipped.
I’ve had a recipe for peppermint cookies on this blog before, but these are different from the earlier ones. Our guest, Dale, wrote and asked me to post the recipe for last week’s peppermint sandwich cookies. They look like Oreo’s on steroids, but taste much better.
I make them medium size, then make sandwich cookies with the quick peppermint butter-cream.
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
1 ¼ cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste 2 cups flour ¾ cup Dutch cocoa 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt
Beat the butter and sugar together until they are fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Mix the flour, cocoa, soda and salt together and beat the mixture into the butter mixture. Drop by tablespoons full onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I use a scoop to get exactly even size domes. Bake for 9 minutes at 350F. Cool on cookie sheets, then again on cookie racks.
For the peppermint cream.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, creamed in an electric mixer
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon peppermint extract
a few tablespoons of water
Cream the butter ’till light and fluffy. Beat in the extract and powdered sugar, one cup at a time. If the mixture doesn’t make frosting, beat in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is creamy and frosting consistency. You could add a tiny drop of red food coloring if you want the frosting to be pink. I seldom do.
When the cookies are thoroughly cold, put a dollop of frosting on one, then top with another and twist the sandwich to distribute the filling evenly. Keep cool ’till serving.
I often serve these for teatime. They started out as regular lemon bars. Then I thought, why not add cream cheese. Cream cheese is good in everything! So now they are lemon cheesecake bars. Our guest Joanne liked them and asked for the recipe. So here it is –
Leith Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Start with a 13″x 9″ pan. I line all baking pans with parchment paper and spray them with Pam to make turning them out easier. Melt 2 sticks of butter. Mix 2 cups of flour together with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Pour the melted butter on top of the flour mixture. Mix and cut the mixture with a rubber spatula and toss the crumbs into the baking pan. Press the dough into an even layer and bake for 10 minutes. Take out and let cool.
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure that the mixture is smooth before adding the next egg. Add the lemon juice and grated zest. Beat. Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Beat ’till smooth. Pour onto the crust and bake for about 23 minutes until the edges have a tiny bit of golden color and the filling is close to set. It will stiffen more as it cools.
Cool, then refrigerate for a few hours. I sprinkle it with powdered sugar when cold, then flip it onto a plastic cutting board, then flip back onto a serving dish. To cut into squares, keep a glass of water nearby and dip your knife into water between each cut. This will make the cuts clean and smooth. Or, even better, come stay at Leith Hall and let me make them for you.
Usually I wait ‘till a guests asks for a recipe before making it a blog post, but this afternoon I’m making chocolate salami for tea, and I can’t resist telling you how to make it. The idea is Italian, so it looks like a Genoa salami, though people make it all over Eastern Europe too, with slight variations. I use a combination of Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips and some 70% Belgian chocolate from Trader Joe’s.
8 oz. unsalted butter 16 oz. chocolate 1 cup nuts, lightly crushed (Italians would use almonds and hazelnuts. I used pecans) About 1 cup cookies, lightly chunked (Italians would use biscotti (cantucci) or amaretti. You could use any simple cookie like shortbread or digestives) ¼ cup rum, or coffee, or orange juice (I use rum) Zest of 1 orange or ¼ tsp. orange extract. 1 cup raisins (Italians don’t often use raisins, but I like them) ½ cup powdered sugar for coating.
In Italy, the recipe includes raw eggs as they don’t have the salmonella problem that we do. This recipe has a little more butter to make up for leaving out the eggs.
Melt the butter, rum and chocolate together and mix. Mix all of the other ingredients together, then mix with the chocolate. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 ½ hours. Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil on your counter. Then lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on the aluminum foil. Turn the cold mixture out onto the plastic wrap. Wrap with plastic wrap and shape it into a roll. Wrap the aluminum foil and shape again into a roll. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, unwrap the roll and dust with powdered sugar. Cut some slices and arrange them like an antipasto plate with the remainder of the roll.
Next, I’ll have to figure out some other trompe l’oeil sweets that look like savories.
Our guest, Cheryl, requested this recipe for frittata that I serve for breakfast. I’ve found that people don’t want exotic or unusual ingredients at breakfast-time. They want comfort. I bake the frittata in a quiche pan. Since a frittata means fried in Italian, I guess it’s not a real frittata – it’s sort of a quiche without a crust. You can also add diced cooked potato to the frittata and make it a luncheon dish or even a light supper.
Breakfast Frittata 6 eggs 1 quart of whole milk 2 Tbs. cornstarch ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground black pepper 1 Tbs. chervil ½ of a large red bell pepper or 1 small red bell pepper – diced ½ of a small red onion – diced About 3 oz. Swiss cheese , grated
Beat the eggs, milk, cornstarch, salt, pepper, chervil together. You can adjust the amount of milk to fit your quiche pan. If you add another cup of milk, add another teaspoon of cornstarch. Saute the pepper and onion in a little bit of oil or butter. Sprinkle the pepper and onion on the bottom of the quiche pan. Sprinkle a generous layer of Swiss cheese over the pepper and onion mixture. Ladle the egg batter on top of the other ingredients. Bake at 375 F. for about twenty minutes. The frittata is done when the top is lightly browned and the center is no longer liquid. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Or, better yet, just come visit us at Leith Hall and let me make it for you!
I served this pumpkin apricot cake this past weekend for afternoon tea. The simple syrup makes it very moist and delicious. I like pumpkin and apricots together because they are so similar (orange color and gooey). You could use golden raisins, or dried cherries, or nuts. (Suzie doesn’t like nuts, so they seldom turn up in my recipes)You could use cream cheese frosting – either on a loaf or on traditional round layers.
Pumpkin Apricot Cake from Leith Hall
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. baking soda 1 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon 1 1/2 c. each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar 1 c. oil 2 c. canned pumpkin 4 eggs
2 cups dried apricots, cut up
Simple syrup= 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, brought to a boil
Mix all of the dried ingredients together. Mix all of the wet ingredients together. Mix all of the ingredients (except apricots) together with a wire whisk. Mix in the apricots with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pour into 2 parchment-lined and greased 9 1/2 x 5 1/4-inch loaf pans. Or bake in plain or fancy bundt pans, or in layer cake pans
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes (for a loaf or bundt, less for layers) or until cake is firm and springs back when prodded with a finger. Cool for 5 minutes. pour simple syrup on cakes when cool. Wait at least a couple of hours before unmolding and serving.
Come visit us at Leith Hall and sample Elan’s goodies at breakfast and afternoon tea !