Maple Grilled Salmon

Have you ever given up something you love because of someONE you love more? Some people quit smoking, drinking or gambling. Others become a slightly less obsessed sports fan because the knucklehead they are married to just doesn’t understand and can’t get on board. Not that I would know anything about that last one. My experience with sacrifice involves salmon. Delicious, flaky perfectly rich salmon. Oh how I love it. I could eat it just about every day and never grow tired of it. Honestly, it is my most favorite dinner.

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Lemon Monkey Bread

Every monkey bread recipe I’ve ever seen is made with butter and brown sugar resulting in a caramel covered pull apart bread. This recipe intrigued me because of its main ingredient. Lemon. Lemon? Yes indeed. It is a bright fresh citrus bread drizzled with butter, lemony sugar and a sweet glaze. Lemon is so vibrant and clean. With the beautiful powdery snow around here lately, this monkey bread seemed a perfect complement to the fresh white landscape. This bread looks and tastes like you slaved away making it, in fact, it is so quick and easy you won’t believe it. But absolutely delicious.

This monkey bread is sweet and tart, moist and warm, crusty and soft all together. Ooooh it is so good.

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Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones

At MOPS on Thursday, my friend Bethany brought awesome pumpkin scones. They got me in the mood to bake some myself. Now, my normal scones are amazing and I love the recipe. I’ve just never been super comfortable trying to alter it to a pumpkin scone recipe because there are already so many wet ingredients in it – the primary one being sour cream – which can’t be substituted out because of the unique reaction it has with the baking soda. Once I’d tossed the idea of altering my own recipe, I got a lot more comfortable with just finding the most delicious pumpkin scone recipe I could. This is it. The double glaze sold me right away. I only altered the recipe slightly, using cream instead of the original half-and-half called for (and that’s just because I had one and not the other). The scones themselves are not very sweet at all – I left a couple unglazed for my sweets-hating hubby. They are also quite lightly spiced. I’ll probably add some allspice and or pumpkin pie spice to the next batch. Which, I’ll be making very soon I’m sure. They are moist, light and delicious. Just like a scone should be. [Read more…]

Glazed Lemon Cookies

I was looking for a bright lemon cookie that I could take to game night. I had all the ingredients on hand for these – too bad I didn’t notice the fridge time prior to starting the batch. They need to chill for 2 hours to get nice and firm before slicing. Sadly – that means I couldn’t finish them in time to share with my friends tonight. I wonder what to do with the half batch I haven’t eaten on my own. Hmmmm. If you like lemon, these are for you! These  cookies  pack a whollup of lemon flavor thanks to fresh lemon zest and juice in the cookie, as well as a lemon cream cheese glaze on top. Yum.

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Glazed Lemon Cookies (America’s Test Kitchen)

3/4 C granulated sugar
2 T grated fresh lemon zest
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk
1/2 t vanilla extract

1 T cream cheese, softened
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 C confectioners’ sugar

For the cookies: Process the granulated sugar and lemon zest together in a food processor until the sugar is pale yellow and damp, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and pulse to combine, about 10 pulses. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 15 pulses.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, egg yolk and vanilla together. Do this at the last minute – if the lemon juice and egg sit together too long, they will curdle. With the machine running, add the lemon juice mixture through the feed tube in a slow steady stream, about 10 seconds. Continue to process until the dough begins to form into a ball, 10-15 seconds.

Transfer the dough to a clean counter and roll it into a 10-inch log – about 2 inches thick. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours). A trick to keeping your dough in a round shape while cooling is to cut a paper towel roll lengthwise and set the dough inside…it keeps the side the dough is resting on from going flat.

Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice the dough into 3/8 inch-thick cookies. Lay cookies on the prepared baking sheets spaced about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for 13-16 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Switch and rotate the sheets halfway through cooking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

For the Glaze: Whisk the cream cheese and lemon juice together in a medium bowl until smooth, then whisk in the confectioners’ sugar. Spoon a teaspoon of the glaze onto the center of each cookie and spread it out evenly with th back of the spoon. Let the glaze dry completely, about 30 minutes, before serving.

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