Luscious Lemon Bars

March 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

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It is finally spring!! The weather has been quite bizarre this winter but I’m ready for some sunny spring days. With the change of the season, I’ve been craving bright, fresh flavors and these luscious lemon bars are the perfect answer!

I’ve always loved lemon bars for the creamy, tart filling on top of a rich shortbread base. But sometimes I have trouble finding ones that have just the right balance of sweetness and tartness or crust and filling. After some searching, I figured it would be much easier and more satisfying if I just make them from scratch.

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These lemon bars are my absolute favorite! There is a perfect ratio of buttery shortbread to luscious, tart lemon filling that makes these super addicting. I love the freshness that the tart lemon filling provides but there isn’t too much that it makes your whole mouth pucker. They are also really simple to make and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand so there’s no excuse to not make these lemon bars!

Happy Spring!

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The Best Soft, Fluffy Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream

February 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

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So, I originally wasn’t planning on baking anything for Valentine’s Day this year. Crazy, right? While on Instagram this past week, I’ve been drooling over all of the cute confections and treats everyone else was making, and then when I stumbled across a recipe for soft, fluffy sugar cookies (i.e. Lofthouse-style cookie), I thought of one of my best friends who would absolutely love them. I immediately knew that I wanted to bake a batch so I could send some to her in the mail and also give some to my other Galentines. And that’s all it took – I went from not baking anything to baking two dozen of these cookies plus a dozen black bottom cupcakes (recipe coming soon!) all in one night.

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It’s been proven that these cookies are incredibly addicting. My friends literally finished the ones I gave them in a single sitting. The cookies are perfectly soft, fluffy, and almost more like cake than a traditional cookie, but no one’s complaining. The vanilla buttercream brings these cookies over the top and makes them more special and indulgent.

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The cookie plus buttercream definitely makes for a very sweet treat, which is why I added a suggestion for less sugar in the buttercream. However even after making it with the full amount of sugar and thinking I wouldn’t like it, I was surprised that I kept on eating them because they are THAT good. What was even more shocking was my friend who has a low tolerance for sugar ate all of hers too!

Bottom line – these are the best sugar cookies ever. If you’re planning on making these to give away, be sure to make yourself a batch too otherwise there’ll be none left to gift!

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Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti

December 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Who else has been busy baking up a storm for the holiday season? I participated in Food52’s Holiday Swap for the first time this year and it was so fun putting together a package of treats, including these biscotti and butter cookies, as well as receiving one in the mail! I love gifting homemade goodies because I think people really appreciate the love and time that goes into making them. Plus it is the holiday season so bring on all of the sweets!

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This is my all-time favorite biscotti recipe. Most biscotti are so hard that you feel like you’re going to break a tooth eating them. These biscotti, on the other hand, are still crisp but have ground pistachios added to the dough to help the cookies break apart more easily. That means you can actually enjoy them whether you eat them alone or dip them into your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate!

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And since ’tis the season after all, I added dried cranberries and dipped the biscotti in white chocolate with a drizzle of dark chocolate. I absolutely love biscotti with some chocolate on them because when you dunk them into your hot drink, it gets all melty and is oh so comforting.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday!

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Matcha Green Tea Macarons with Green Tea-White Chocolate Ganache

May 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed drinking green tea and eating green tea-flavored desserts so I’m loving the current trend of adding matcha green tea powder to anything and everything! I’ve seen green tea swirled pound cakes, shortbread cookies, panna cotta, and other delicious things that I can’t wait to try.

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This time, I decided to make these matcha green tea macarons with green tea-white chocolate ganache! My first attempt at making macarons several years ago were a (yummy) failure – the tops were crackly and there were no “feet” (pied). The whole process was kind of daunting given the high maintenance reputation that these delicate cookies have, until I took a macaron workshop and realized that they actually aren’t too difficult to make once you know a few tips and the consistency of the batter to strive for. I remember the excitement and joy of making macarons all by myself for the first time and now I really enjoy making them!

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Pumpkin Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

October 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

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To me, it isn’t fall without some pumpkin-filled treats. Once October hits, you know you can expect to see pumpkin in anything and everything, ranging from lattes, waffles, ravioli, and chili. So when I studied abroad in Sydney last fall, it was quite a shock to discover that pumpkin was not a strictly fall food and Aussies are not as obsessed with the bright orange gourd compared to their American counterparts. For Aussies, pumpkins were simply another delicious year-round squash that could usually be found roasted in leafy green or couscous salads and other savory dishes.

Much to my dismay, neither canned pumpkin puree nor whole pumpkins existed in their grocery stores so I was deprived of quintessential fall baking, which was torturous when I saw so many amazing new pumpkin recipes I wanted to try, including these brilliant thumbprint cookies from Joy the Baker. Less you get the wrong idea, let me say that I wouldn’t trade my experience in Aus for a pumpkin spice latte! Besides, the coffee and brunch scene in Sydney was so on point.

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With all that said, I am back in the States where I can, and am highly encouraged to, celebrate fall with pumpkin goodies. I’ve been waiting a year to make these cookies and I am so glad I finally got the chance because they’re so delicious! They literally taste like mini pumpkin pies with the buttery, tender cookie paired with a creamy pumpkin caramel filling.

They are perfectly bite-size, which makes it very easy to pop three of them in your mouth before realizing it (not that I know from personal experience). I challenge you to only eat one. If you succeed, kudos to you for having more self-control than me. DSC_0028DSC_0015 « Read the rest of this entry »

Anzac Biscuits

April 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

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In honor of Anzac Day, which is on April 25, I decided to make Anzac biscuits! Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand when soldiers from both countries who died in war are remembered for their military service.

During World War I, it was said that families and friends of the Anzacs made a firmer version of modern-day Anzac biscuits (biscuits: cookies to Americans) to ship to them. These biscuits were specifically made for the soldiers because they had a long shelf life, could be transported easily on boats, and were filling.

The recipe from Butter Baking that I used to make these biscuits are delicious and super quick to make! You probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients already in your pantry too. These cookies are made with: flour, rolled oats, coconut, sugar, butter, honey, salt, baking soda, and boiling water. These might be the easiest cookies you ever make!

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Gooey Speculoos Butter Cake

March 19, 2015 § 3 Comments

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If you’ve never had gooey butter cake, you need to make this ASAP. If you’ve had gooey butter cake before, you need to make this ASAP. The St. Louis classic fused with speculoos (a.k.a. Biscoff or cookie butter) is one of the best combinations out there!

An easy, sweet dough is made and patted into a baking pan and the speculoos layer is spread on top of it. The whole thing is baked until the center is just undercooked so the cake remains moist, gooey, and irresistible! « Read the rest of this entry »

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