Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This season's hit

It has been a chaotic December, with a road trip to California in the mix. Earlier this month I hosted a shindig at the ranch, and discovered a great recipe for lemon bars in the process. Due to their success, I made them again for my sister's birthday, and again, rave reviews. Therefore, it is my duty to share this recipe with you. I am a non-baker. These are truly easy to make, and delicious.

Luscious Lemon Squares

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into small cubes

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a food processor, blend ingredients until they resemble coarse meal. Press mixture into the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch pan. Bake until set and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool.
For the filling: In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and lemon juice together. Add flour and baking powder, blending only long enough to incorporate. Pour filling into baked crust and bake until set, about 25 minutes.
Cool. Dust with powdered sugar before cutting. Cut into squares (hint: cut the squares in half diagonally for better bite sizes and presentation. I found they were easier to cut if I put them in the freezer to firm for a few minutes just before cutting. - bf). Serves 20-24.

Found at The Food Network.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shout out: Perfect gifts!

Welcome to the madness of the Christmas shopping season! Unfortunately, this year did not find me as crafty and productive as I should have been, and so I too find myself participating in the chaos that is the gift scramble. I happen to be of the disposition that I must find the PERFECT gift for everyone on my shopping list, adding to the pressure. Happily, I have come across the most adorable little online shop, The Pleated Poppy, by Lindsey Cheney. So if you, like me, are looking for handmade, personal gifts, shop shop shop away! I love the aprons and the tea towels!