Rustic Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Tart

Summer is officially here! That means soon there will be all kinds of fresh berries available! Yippee! I’m really more of an autumn girl – actually, around the end of May I start looking forward to sweaters, colorful leaves, hearty soups and the smell of new school supplies. It’s a sickness. Add it to the list of things that are completely and totally wrong with me. But, summertime certainly has the corner on berries. And I love berries. My favorite are raspberries. Especially when they are dusted with powdered sugar like perfect little summer snow-capped mountains of juicy goodness.

Rustic Raspberry Lemon Tart - Bakerlady

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Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars

I love all things lemon. I always have lemony recipes hanging around to try. My plan for this week was to immerse myself in all things yellow happiness fruit baking related. When I went to make two lemon desserts today I found half my lemons had vanished. They were in the fruit basket two days ago and now suddenly they are gone. Then I remembered my husband made honey/brandy/lemon hot water to combat his cold over the weekend. He used my dessert earmarked lemons! The nerve! I was so irate that I was midway thru a strongly worded e-mail to him before I realized what I doing was a huge mistake. Not to mention completely absurd. I mean really, chastising a husband for making himself a remedy instead of just moaning on the couch in a breathy, anguished voice for me to bring him something soothing? That’s just insanity. I decided to appreciate the fact that hubby was feeling better today (and all on his own!) and that I still had enough sunny citrus to make these glorious bars. Crazy lemon loving e-mail deleted. Crisis averted.
Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars - Bakerlady

Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata always ends up being my second choice when it is on the menu at a restaurant. I have good intentions, but just never end up ordering it. Something about capers I think. They are one of those foods that I feel like I’m supposed to like, but have never really fully joined the bandwagon. I feel the same way about pesto. I try it all the time, and it’s always just ok. “Fine” and “ok” don’t cut it when I’m paying for a meal. I hate wasting a dinner out on food I’m not going to be in love with. So, the piccata always takes a back seat. I decided to make some myself to verify the caper conundrum. Do I like them? Or not? I found this recipe on my cousin’s blog and since she LOVES chicken piccata, I figured if any recipe was gonna float my boat, this one would. I was right. It was excellent. Capers and all.

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Happy National Cheesecake Day

Did you hear? It’s today! Whoever thought up such a holiday should be sainted. What a brilliant idea. I absolutely adore cheesecake. I usually reserve it for very special occasions because I cannot resist it. Can NOT. I’ll eat enough to make myself totally sick. It’s just too delicious. Maybe you don’t have the cheesecake sickness like I do and can make it more often without weighing 1000 pounds. I’m so jealous of your self control. I dug into the Bakerlady vault and found few of my favorite recipes to help you celebrate! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

My favorite to make for Thanksgiving with my family. A perfect pumpkin pie-y taste with a cool creamy topping and a gingersnap crust.

Lemon Cheesecake

The most delicious cheesecake ever. Straight out of Bon Appetit magazine (circa 1989). Light lemon cheesecake with a gorgeous lemon curd swirled thru the top!

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

A no bake cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top.

Mini Cheesecakes

Perfect for parties, and having a little bite of my favorite dessert. Adorable mini cheesecakes with all your favorite flavor including a mini graham cracker crust, topped with your favorite pie filling.

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

Seattle Chocolates used to make an incredible white chocolate orange truffle. They had a gold wrapper with a creamy white chocolate truffle inside. When I was a teenager who didn’t have to worry about things like love handles, cellulite and flab, I would eat them by the handful. My first job was at a Hallmark shop (best job ever!) and we had a bin of loose Seattle’s Chocolates in various flavors. Those bins of golden wrapped deliciousness were one of my favorite things to restock because I’d sift thru them as I went, pulling out all the white chocolate orange flavored truffles.

As I searched online I discovered that the orange truffles are no longer made. Sad day. But all is not lost! They have a lemon version now. And I love love love all things lemon. So what did I do? I made some.

Teenage Tonya would have just purchased a bag. It’s only money right? Single income, two kids and bills to pay Tonya has too much frugality flowing thru her veins to spend $42 on truffles. I also would rather not figure out how to keep from eating two-and-a-half pounds of chocolate.

These truffles are exactly the same consistency I remember. A little firm, a little soft. Perfectly creamy and rich. The lemon flavor is just enough to give you a hint of tart flowing thru silken white chocolate. The dusting of lemony sugar on the outside makes these refreshing little truffles simply stunning.


White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

adapted from Wit & Whistle

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
9 ounces good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
pinch of salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
2 tsp. freshly-squeezed, strained lemon juice
superfine granulated Sugar, for coating
grated zest of 1 lemon, for coating

In small, heavy, non-aluminum saucepan, combine the heavy cream and lemon zest. Over low heat, heat until cream comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover tightly and let sit for 20 minutes.

Combine the white chocolate, salt, and butter in medium heatproof bowl. Remove the cover from the cream and reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat. Strain through fine-meshed strainer into white chocolate mixture. Press down on the lemon zest left in the strainer to extract all the liquid from it.

Place white chocolate mixture over a pot of warm water on low heat* (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir the chocolate frequently just until almost melted. Remove the bowl from the warm pot. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Chill at least 4 hours, covering tightly when cold. While truffle mixture is cooling, zest one lemon into 1/2 cup of superfine granulated sugar and cover.

To make truffles: Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, form balls of about 1 inch diameter from the cold truffle base. Roll in lemon sugar until well-coated. Store truffles airtight in refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for longer storage. To serve, remove from refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving time. Let stand at room temperature, covered, until serving time.

Tom Collins

Oh joy! Rapture! It’s finally here. The day I can purchase hard alcohol from a supermarket. More specifically, from Costco. To celebrate, I went out and purchased a large bottle of gin. It’s the base for many of my husband’s favorite drinks. Including this one. There’s some debate on whether I should call this a Gin Fizz or a Tom Collins. Both have the same ingredients, but (apparently) a Gin Fizz is shaken and a Tom Collins is just stirred. I guess old Tom isn’t the James Bond of cocktails. I’ve been making them so long and calling them Tom that I just can’t switch now. Forgive me if I’m totally blowing your mind not calling it a Gin Fizz.


This beverage is perfectly refreshing. Like a grown up lemonade. With a powerful punch. If you aren’t a gin drinker, be careful. It’s a higher proof than vodka, rum or whiskey. Meaning, it’s gonna hit you like a Mack truck if you don’t take it slow. I love the shaking part of drink making. Shake shake shake!!

Traditionally a Tom Collins is garnished with an orange and a marachino cherry, so I’ve included them in the recipe. However, my husband hates garnishes on his drinks. According to him, they are fru-fru and get in the way of actually drinking.  He’s perfectly fine with just a topper of club soda.


Enjoy!

Tom Collins
makes 1 cocktail (the pictured version is a double)

2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 tsp simple syrup*
3 oz club soda
1 maraschino cherry
1 slice orange

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well. Strain into a collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.

*Simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water heated until the sugar has dissolved. It can be cooled and refrigerated for about a week. It is used in all kinds of drink recipes and is very convenient to have on hand.

Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

I simply adore the bright fresh flavor of lemon. It just makes for happy food. I’m not really sure what the right label for this treat is. It’s too sweet to be a bread, too light to be a true pound cake and too bread-like to be a cake. It’s fabulous, whatever it is. Filled with cheery tart lemon and sweet succulent blueberries, this pseudo-pound cake is a taste explosion. It’s double glazed and is absolutely delicious.

I pulled portions from several different recipes to create a version of pound cake that was flavorful without the traditional heaps of butter in it. This version gets its dense richness from non-fat greek yogurt and a little bit of oil. It is perfectly balanced between sweet/tart and rich/light.

You will love it. Eat it for breakfast, a snack or for dessert. Or, all three! Yum!

Print Recipe for Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Double Glazed Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh or *frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

    Lemon Sugar

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

    Lemon Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

  • In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with greek yogurt, beating well after each addition. Toss the blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour and fold the blueberries and lemon peel into the batter.
  • Transfer to a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan lined at the bottom with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  • While bread is cooling (in the pan), combine lemon sugar ingredients in a saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved. Cook 2 minutes longer. After removing from pan, poke holes in warm bread and brush lemon sugar on tops and sides. Allow to sink in, then brush again.
  • Combine ingredients for lemon glaze; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely. Brush with glaze again after cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).

* If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter.

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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Shortbread Tarts

These delectable morsels are perfect for just about any occasion. Elegant enough for a bridal or baby shower and bite sized for an appetizer heavy party. You can make large quantities of them easily and highlight any of the best fruits of whatever season you’re in. I went with raspberries because I don’t think there’s anything that pairs quite as nicely with a bright tart lemon creme than a fresh sweet raspberry. The buttery rich shortbread crust makes the silky lemon creme filling sing! They are beautiful on a platter and delightful to eat as well. [Read more…]

Drizzled English Lemon Pound Cake

Usually I am not a fan of cakes that start with a box. I’m no Sandra Lee. That said, I wanted to do a trial run of a cake for our church’s newest addition. He says back in the home country (England) they have a lemon pound cake thing that has drizzles of lemon running thru it so the whole thing is moist and lemony and delicious. I found a recipe for something called a poke cake – which sounded promising. I altered it a bit and here’s what I came up with. Test case #1 in the search for the perfect Drizzled English Lemon Pound Cake. Depending on the feedback I get tonight I’ll probably end up combining this recipe (the poke/lemon drizzle part) with my simple lemon pound cake. I have a feeling this cake is going to be awesome, but not quite as dense as a pound cake should be.
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