May 30, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade

We recently bought 4 pounds of strawberries from Costco for just the two of us!!  Crazy, I know, but it is strawberry season.  I'm a sucker for sweet smelling and beautiful strawberries.  As we were driving home, I realized I should do some fun stuff with all these strawberries.  Several strawberry recipes came to mind, as well as strawberry lemonade.  Off the top of my head I didn't have a recipe for it, so I had to do a little online searching.  I came across the recipe below from Life's Ambrosia.  I had everything on hand except for the sparkling water.  I didn't want to go out, so I just used regular water.  I think it turned out well!  The strawberry lemonade had a very pure, berry flavor, probably because I was a little short on the lemon juice.  It was very yummy nonetheless. 

As I mentioned, there are several other strawberry recipes that will be posted in the near future.  Try to control your excitement, but they will be berry good!  :-)

Strawberry Lemonade

6 Lemons (I used 4)
1 to 1 1/2 cups simple syrup (recipe below)
1 (16 ounce) container strawberries, hulled and halved
1 quart sparkling water (I used plain water)
Ice cubes

Roll the lemons back and forth a couple of times on the counter to release the juices.  Cut the lemons in half and juice into a bowl.  Remove any seeds that may have fallen into the juice.  You should get about 1 cup of lemon juice.

Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the strawberries with 1/2 cup simple syrup, until smooth. 

Pour lemon juice, strawberry puree, 1/2 cup simple syrup and sparkling water into a pitcher.  Add more simple syrup if you want a little more sweetness.  Add ice cubes.  Chill until ready to drink. 

 Simple Syrup

1 part water
1 part sugar

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.

Bring to a boil.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Cool completely.

Hat Tip - Life's Ambrosia

May 8, 2011

Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy

Here I go again with another pecan recipe.  I apologize if you don't like pecans hopefully you will like other recipes on my blog.  :-)  A word of warning -- I do know of at least one more pecan recipe in the near future.  I'm not sure why I seem to be so drawn to pecan recipes, except for the fact that I really like pecans.  

This candy looks so elegant and fancy!  It is super easy to make, so it's a great fake out.  The flavor is delicious.  Sweet white chocolate, rich dark chocolate, toasty pecans, and salty goodness all in one gorgeous bite.  I had quite a bit of candy, luckily it keeps well in the refrigerator for about a month.  

Salty Chocolate-Pecan Candy

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 (4 oz) bars bittersweet chocolate baking bars (I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet)
3 (4 oz) white chocolate baking bars (I used Ghirardelli)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or 3/4 tsp kosher salt

Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted.

Line a 17 x 12 inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Break each bar into 8 equal pieces.  (You will have 48 pieces total.)  Arrange in a checkerboard pattern in jelly-roll pan, alternating white and dark chocolate.  (Pieces will touch.)

Bake at 225 degrees for 5 minutes or just until chocolate is melted.  Remove pan to a wire rack.  Swirl chocolates into a marble pattern using a wooden pick.  Sprinkle evenly with toasted pecans and salt.  

Chill 1 hour or until firm.  Break into pieces.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month.  

Makes 1 3/4 lb

Hat Tip -

May 1, 2011



I think of snickerdoodle cookies as a classic, go to cookie; like chocolate chip or sugar cookies.  I seem to make a lot of go to cookies.  They are pretty simple to make and I usually have the ingredients on hand.  This snickerdoodle recipe was both simple to make and I had all the ingredients.  Yay!  :-)  The only draw back with this recipe is that you have to plan ahead a bit.  The dough has to be refrigerated overnight or for at least 3 hours.  It's not a huge problem, but you will have to wait a bit longer to eat the cookies.  If you are able to plan ahead, then refrigerating the dough can work to your advantage.  The dough can be refrigerated up to 1 week.  I actually made the dough 2 days in advance.  I was responsible for making desserts for a party, so I wanted to get as much done ahead of time as possible and it worked out well.

The cookies smelled so yummy as they were baking.  I just love the smell of cinnamon! 

This recipe comes from the Flour Bakery cookbook.  Sweetie and I visited Flour Bakery many times when we lived in Boston.  Defiantly check out the bakery if you are in the Boston area, you won't be disappointed!  Sweetie's favorite were the sticky sticky buns.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 cup ground cinnamon

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  (This step will take about 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer or a spoon.)  Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar.  Beat in the eggs on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the bowl and paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.  

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.  On low speed (or with the wooden spoon), slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until the flour is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.  

For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 to 4 hours) before baking.  When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.  Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll to coat.  Place the coated balls of dough on a baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart.  Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and slightly soft in the center.  Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.  

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.  The unbaked dough may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes about 24 cookies.