Cookies, Recipes

Strawberry Lemon Blondies

These Strawberry Lemon Blondies are the perfect mix of sweet richness, real fruit & bursting with real strawberry flavor throughout.

This strawberry lemon blondie recipe is so easy to make from scratch! With  fresh strawberries, and a slightly tart lemon flavor these blondies are the perfect spring or summer dessert! Blondies are essentially vanilla brownies. They’re dense, sweet, chewy bars.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY LEMON BLONDIES

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Now you will beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir well. Gently fold in the fresh strawberries and lemon zest.

Scoop the blondie batter into a 9×9-inch baking dish that has been prepared with parchment paper. Be sure to leave just enough parchment paper sticking up from two of the edges so you can easily lift the blondies out of the pan after baking.

Press the batter down evenly. 

Bake the Strawberry Lemon Blondies at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. Be sure you don’t over-bake them or they will be dry and crumbly. 

While the blondies are baking, chop one cup of strawberries and place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of sugar for the topping and stir together.

Cool the blondies in the pan for at least 5 minutes, then lift out of the pan, cut into bars, and cool completely to room temperature.

Spoon the strawberry topping mixture over each square before serving. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (164 grams) granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) fresh squeezed lemon juice plus ¼ of a lemon for the topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 1/4 cups (306 grams) all purpose flour (use the fluff/scoop/level method for measuring)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ zest of lemon 
  • 2 cups (127 grams) diced fresh strawberries

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F

Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper with long edges. This will help you lift out the blondies for easy glazing and slicing later.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg.

When the egg is fully incorporated, beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. 

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the wet ingredients, mixing until no more dry flour is present.

Gently fold in 1 cup of the diced strawberries and lemon zest. 

Spread the mixture into your pan and spread out as evenly as possible. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, just until starting to turn golden around the edges and the center is set.

Dice  the remaining cup of strawberries and place in a bowl. Add the ¼  of one lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of sugar and stir together.

Cool the blondies in the pan for at least 5 minutes, then lift out of the pan, cut into bars, and cool completely to room temperature.

Spoon the strawberry topping mixture over each square before serving.

Cookies, Recipes

Red Velvet Cookies

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet cookies recipe was the inspiration for this cookie. I absolutely love red velvet cake, it is my favorite! So when I watched Paula Deen make red velvet cookies out of a cake box, I fell in love! 

These cookies are the easiest cookies you will ever make! All you need is 5 simple ingredients and yes, I said a box of cake mix! And the best thing is that this recipe can be used with any cake mix for so many great flavor combinations! Wait to see my Chocolate Peppermint cookies! 

So if you are looking for a soft and tender, beautifully crackled cookie with a white chocolate drizzle, look no more!  

Ingredients

  • 1 (18 oz) box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 (8 oz) package room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • White Chocolate Drizzle
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted 
  • Christmas Sprinkles

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. 

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. 

Beat in the egg, Then beat in the vanilla extract.

Beat in the cake mix. 

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. 

Scoop and roll into balls. Arrange 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheets. 

The cookie dough is sticky, I like to keep a cup of water next to the bowl and dip the scoop in to help the dough from sticking.

Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. 

Bake for 12 minutes. 

Let cool on wired rack.

White Chocolate Drizzle 

While the cookies are cooling, place the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 10 seconds.

Remove and stir then place back into the microwave for 10 seconds.

Remove and stir until completely melted. Be careful not to overcook the white chocolate!

Dip a fork or spoon into melted chocolate, and let the first large drip (to prevent a large drop) land in the bowl. Drizzle chocolate over the edges and tops of cookies. Sprinkle Christmas sprinkles immediately. Let dry for 15-25 minutes. 

This recipe was inspired and adapted from Paula Deen.

Blogs, Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Ghostly Brownies

I wanted to make something easy and fun for my brother and sister in law’s Halloween party. There are so many cute Halloween treat ideas on Pinterest- it was hard to decide on one. I know we all have seen the “Nailed It” memes so I wanted to choose wisely. Thank you Betty Crocker for this easy and fun recipe!

These ghost brownies are super easy, I promise you will “Nail it”! They start with a boxed brownie mix, top the brownies with a large marshmallow covered in white frosting, and decorated with black gel icing to make a cute face!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box (16 oz) Brownie mix plus ingredients needed on the box
  • 1 cup Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting (from 16-oz container)
  • 16 large marshmallows
  • Black Decorating Gel icing

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven  to 350°F 

Grease a 8- or 9-inch square pan, bottom and sides with butter or cooking spray. 

Make and bake brownies as directed on the box. 

Cool completely on the cooling rack, about 1 1/2 hours. 

Carefully remove brownies from the pan.

Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of each brownie.

Place1 large marshmallow on top of the dollop of frosting- this will help the marshmallow stay in place. 

Scoop 1 cup of frosting in a microwavable bowl and heat uncovered on High 20 to 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds, until frosting can be stirred smooth and liquidy. 

If frosting becomes too firm while decorating, microwave 5 seconds; stir.

Spoon 1 tablespoon frosting over each marshmallow, allowing the frosting to drip over the marshmallow and brownie to coat. 

Let stand until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. 

Use black gel to make eyes and mouths.

Blogs, Recipes

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil cake has a crackling crust and an aromatic oil-rich middle, which, if it held any more moisture, would be pudding. 

This is one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever bake! You’ll love how simple it is to make.

All you need to do is whisk your dry ingredients together in one bowl, your liquid ingredients in another, and then combine them. The batter will be smooth and a little on the thin side. Just pour it into a greased pan and bake. 

The olive oil cake is delicious on its own, with just a little powdered sugar for garnish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange – for the juice & zest
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Rosemary for garnish (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9 inch cake pan make sure to coat all the sides with butter. 

Cream the sugar, eggs and vanilla together on medium for 2 minutes – I used my Kitchen Aid..

Add the olive oil and mix. 

Mix in the orange juice and orange zest for about another minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder and flour. 

Add to the ingredients above in two batches. For each batch, gently mix to incorporate all of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 

Pour into the cake pan.

Make sure there are no air bubbles in your cake batter before baking – you will need to tap the pan on a counter or shake it a bit. The air bubbles will cause an uneven surface or cracks in the top of the cake so try to remove them as best you can. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back from the touch and the edges pull away from the pan. 

Cool completely or on a wire rack.

Put confectioners sugar in a duster and shake it on to the top of the cake. 

Enjoy!

Recipes

Zeppole

In 2007, my family and I took a Carnival cruise around the Mediterranean coast. My Papa, grandfather had the biggest sweet tooth and loved to try all the Italian desserts. While we were in Naples, we stopped at a cafe for Limoncello. In the bakery case, they were selling fried dough dusted with powdered sugar, Zeppole. Naturally, my Papa ordered us some to go along with our Limoncello. We were handed a brown paper bag filled with Zeppoles.

We explored Naples, carrying that beautiful greasy bag, pulling Zeppole out one at a time, getting the sugar all over ourselves. We were two very happy people! 

Zeppole are tiny Italian doughnuts – crisp, light and incredibly fluffy, usually served in a brown paper bag or wrapped in parchment paper.

Zeppole make the perfect Hostess gift. Brian and I made them for our Friends Thanksgiving at our friend’s Jason and Paul’s house.

As it turns out, Zeppole are really easy to make at home and take almost no time at all — about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of unsifted flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Confectioners Sugar for Dusting or maybe Cinnamon Sugar
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Crack your two eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until foamy.  

Add all of your dry ingredients into the eggs in the mixing bowl while on slow speed and then add  your ricotta and vanilla right away.  

Continue to mix on a slow speed till it is all combined.  The batter will be thick…creamy and sticky.  It is not a cookie dough consistency…it is a rich thick waffle type batter. Do not over mix.

Have your oil ready in your favorite pot.  I use a cast iron  dutch oven.  Your oil should be approximately 375 degrees.

I use a small cookie dough scoop …first I spray it with oil so that batter doesn’t stick …then scoop up the batter (no exact measurement here : ) and carefully drop it into the oil…repeat with consecutive scoops but don’t let them touch…

Zeppoles will turn themselves over. Fry them for about about 3 minutes…if they are a little bigger…a little longer.

Once you get to that nice deep golden brown it is time to scoop them up and place them on brown paper or paper towels to drain. Continue with another batch. 

Sprinkle them with Confectioners sugar or some Cinnamon Sugar.