Lemon Bars with a Twist of Lime

Lemon Lime Bars Recipe
Lemon Bars with a Twist of Lime
Author: 
Serves: 16 squares
 

Grated lime zest in the crust deepens the citrus flavor of these popular bar cookies.
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon very finely grated lime zest
Topping:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Sifted confectioners’ sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Make the crust: Mix the flour, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and lime zest on low speed (or with a wooden spoon), just until mixed. Pat dough evenly into an ungreased 8-inch square cake pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, until crust is firm to the touch but not browned. Remove from the oven.
  4. While the crust bakes, prepare the topping. Beat eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon and lime juices on medium speed for about 8 minutes, until mixture is a pale lemon color. Mix in flour and baking powder, and beat just until combined.
  5. Pour topping over hot crust. Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until filling is firm to the touch and does not wiggle.
  6. Let cool completely in the pan, then refrigerate for 15 minutes. With a small, sharp knife, cut evenly into squares. If filling starts to stick to knife, wipe knife blade off frequently with a wet paper towel. Remove cookies from pan with a small spatula.
  7. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

3.1.09

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies
Author: 
Serves: 48 cookies
 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped blanched almonds (optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray or lightly grease baking sheets.
  2. Cream butter and shortening with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and egg yolks, one at a time, then beat in almond extract. Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Stir into egg mixture until well blended.
  3. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. (If dough is too soft to handle, refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.) If desired, roll tops of balls in chopped almonds. Place on prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1½ inches between cookies.
  4. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are golden, flattened, and crackled on top. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Vanilla Crescents

Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Author: 
Serves: 48 cookies
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at cool room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped (reserve pod)
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) almonds, finely ground
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting cookies

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with ½ cup confectioners’ sugar and the salt until creamy. Beat in the vanilla scrapings and egg yolk, then beat in the flour and almonds on low speed to make a stiff dough.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set but not brown. Let stand on cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
  4. While still warm, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Let cool, then dust again with sugar.
  5. Store in an airtight tin with the vanilla bean pod (if you used a vanilla bean). These taste best if left to “age” a week or longer.

Double Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps recipe
Serves: 60 cookies
 

Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup unsulfured molasses
  • ¼ cup finely minced crystallized ginger

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture just until mixed. The dough will be medium-soft. If it is too sticky to handle, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into balls slightly smaller than 1 inch in diameter between your palms. Place on the prepared cookies sheets, spacing them 1½ inches apart. Press each ball lightly with the bottom of a drinking glass, then top each cookie with a few pieces of crystallized ginger.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven until slightly flattened, crackled on top, and golden on the bottom, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

  • From Very Merry Cookie Party: How to Plan and Host a Cookie Exchange, by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt (Chronicle Books, 2010)

Apricot Bars

Serves: Makes 36 small bars
 

Ingredients
Crust:
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
Filling:
  • ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Prepare the crust. In a food processor, combine the butter, flour, and sugar and pulse for a few seconds until a crumbly dough forms. Remove half of the mixture from the processor and set aside to use for the topping. Pat the remaining half of the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the dried apricots and water over medium heat. Cook until all of the water is absorbed and the apricots are soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the apricots to the food processor and process to a smooth paste. Add the apricot preserves, brown sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla and process until thoroughly combined.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven. Using a rubber or icing spatula, carefully spread the filling evenly over the hot crust. Then sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars, dipping the knife into hot water and wiping it dry before each cut. Carefully remove the bars from the pan with a small offset spatula or an icing spatula.

  • From Very Merry Cookie Party: How to Plan and Host a Christmas Cookie Exchange,  by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt (Chronicle Books, 2010)