Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup

This syrup is great on Swedish Pancakes.

Makes about 2 cups of syrup.

Ingredients:

2 cups hulled fresh strawberries

1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

In a medium saucepan, stir together all of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and strain through a mesh sieve over a large bowl.

Use a spatula or wooden spoon to extract all of the juice.

Discard the seeds and store the syrup in the refrigerator.

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Chocolate Thumbprints

This recipe comes from The Ultimate Cookie Book.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar or chocolate sprinkles

36 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.

Stir in the flour.

Cover and chill the dough for about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar or sprinkles to coat.

Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet

Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are firm.

Immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

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This recipe is adapted from the “pear-cinnamon streusel squares” recipe in The Ultimate Cookie Book.   Moist and delicious.

Serves 9-12

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

2 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped tart apples, such as Granny Smith

3/4 cup cinnamon chips (these are found near the chocolate chips in most grocery stores)

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2+ teaspoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large bowl or food processor, mix together the 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.

Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Remove 1 1/2 cups of the mixture; set aside.

Press the remaining oats mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the eggs and granulated sugar until smooth.

Whisk in the 2 tablespoons flour, then the baking powder and salt.

Stir in apples and cinnamon chips.

Gently spread the fruit mixture over the hot crust and sprinkle with the reserved oat mixture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes more or until golden brown.

Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Cut into bars.

In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 teaspoons milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is of drizzling consistency.

Drizzle over bars.

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Cake-like cookies with a delicious chocolate flavor.

Makes 4-5 dozen

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and melted chocolate chips and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

Gradually add this to the creamed mixture.

Add the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are firm.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!

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Lemony Lemon Cake

A delicious cake with tart lemon filling and creamy lemon frosting.

Makes 1 two-layer cake

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 egg yolks

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2  cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

1/4 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup milk

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons milk

To make the filling, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.

Add 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth.

Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture.

Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, beating the lemon mixture rapidly.

Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until thickened.  (Do not boil.)

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a medium bowl.

Press plastic wrap onto the surface to keep a skin from forming and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans.

To make the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the flour mixture alternatively with the lemon juice and milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth.

Beat in the milk, then increase the speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble, place on cake layer on a serving plate and spread with some of the lemon filling.

To with the second cake layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with the lemon frosting.

Decorate with extra lemon filling, if desired.

Refrigerate the cake until serving time.

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Delicious Lemon Bars

Sweet and lemony.

Serves 15

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the base, mix together 2 cups flour, confectioners’ sugar, and butter until it clings together.

Press into a 9 by 13 inch pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

To make the filling, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Stir in 1/4 cup flour and baking powder.

Pour over the half baked crust.

Bake for another 25 minutes.

Cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into bars.

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These muffins are great with either bluberries or huckleberries.  The topping makes them extra yummy.

Makes 24

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 egg whites

2-3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or huckleberries

flour for the berries

Topping:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 24 standard muffin cups with foil or paper baking cups or lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Beat together the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add the milk and vanilla; beat at low speed for 30 seconds.

Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add the egg whites and beat for 1 more minute.

Toss the blueberries or huckleberries in just enough flour to coat them and fold them into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling half full.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the topping, combine 1/3 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl; mix well.

Cut in the 1/4 cup butter with a pastry cutter or a food processor until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble.

Stir in the nuts.

Sprinkle the topping over the partially baked muffins.

Return to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

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