Lemon Meringue Bars

Can you believe it’s August already? To me, August means the “dog days of summer” have arrived.  We now need a refreshing treat more than ever.  I know you may not want to turn your oven on, but trust me, these Lemon Meringue Bars are worth it.  A cross between lemon bars and lemon meringue pie, this treat really hits the spot.

 
Lemon Meringue Bars

 

Lemon Meringue Bars
from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients
Crust
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks (save the whites for the topping)

Filling
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
grated rind (zest) from 2 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Topping
3 large egg whites (from above)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

What To Do
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan; line the pan with parchment paper or foil, with the edges of the paper going up the sides.

To make the crust: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Mix in half the dry ingredients, then add the egg yolks. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough comes together.

Pat the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from the oven.

To make the filling: Combine the condensed milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice, stirring until blended. The mixture will thicken slightly. Spread it on the cooled crust and set aside.

To make the topping: In a clean bowl with clean beaters or whisk, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until foamy. With the mixer running, add the sugar gradually and beat until thick, and the whites hold a medium peak.

Spread or pipe the meringue over the filling, and return the bars to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, loosen the ends of the bars from the pan, and use the parchment or foil to lift the whole recipe straight up out of the pan onto a cutting surface. Now the bars will be much easier to cut into squares.

My Comments
I made this in stages and it worked out really well.  I made the crust one day.  The next day made the filling and kept it in the fridge.  The next day I made the meringue and assembled everything and baked.

When patting the crust dough into the pan, I found it worked a lot better if my hands were wet.  That kept the dough from sticking to my hands.

For the topping, I spread the meringue on top with an offset spatula.  Then I used the back of a spoon to make little peaks all over by lowering the back of the spoon onto the meringue then lifting up quickly.

Some Photos Along the Way
Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

Lemon Meringue Bars

 

Get ready to pucker up for this refreshing summer dessert.  Lemony goodness all around.  Have a great weekend!

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No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

We’ve had some unusually cool weather recently but hot and humid is on its way back soon.  Try these no-bake cheesecakes for a nice treat without having to turn your oven or stove on! These are also a great way to showcase and enjoy delicious summer fruits like peaches, strawberries, blueberries…you get the idea!

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes
slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction
makes 6-8 individual servings or one 9″ pie

Ingredients
Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped fruit – I used peaches

Garnish
whipped cream
fresh fruit

What To Do
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between 6 individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer. Place serving dishes into the refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese for 2-3 minutes.

Add in sweetened condensed milk mix until smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the cream cheese is fully incorporated.

Add in lemon juice and vanilla and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Fold in fruit.

Evenly spoon mixture into prepared serving dishes, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Before serving, top with whipped cream, fruit and lemon slices.

My Comments
I used peaches because that’s what I had.  I’d like to try this with other fruits too.

I used about 2.5 tablespoons of crust mixture for each serving dish.  I guess it depends on how big your dishes are.

I would like more lemon flavor so next time I will add some lemon zest to the cheesecake batter.

I did pipe on the whipped cream but you certainly can spoon it on and spread it around.  I was just feeling fancy.

Some Photos Along the Way
No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

These would be great for a summer party or just to fancy up your family dinner.  All without breaking a sweat.

Happy Friday to you all – have a great weekend!

Lemon Almond Bread

I know this isn’t really lemon season but maybe like 5:00 – it is somewhere! I e-mailed myself this recipe a while ago and yesterday realized I had all the ingredients so thought, “why not?” and voila, we have delicious Lemon Almond Bread to enjoy throughout a cold gloomy week.  Nothing brings a little sunshine in like some lemon goodness and when paired with almond, it’s even better.

 

Lemon Almond Bread

 

These would also make nice little gifts if you’re looking to spread some homemade love this Christmas season.

 

Lemon Almond Bread

 

Lemon Almond Bread
from Two Peas & Their Pod

makes 1 loaf

Ingredients
Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, for garnishing the loaf

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. Whisk into the flour mixture. Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the almond milk, oil, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

While the bread is cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze of the lemon almond bread. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the bread. Cut and serve.

My Comments
So obviously, I divided the batter into 4 mini loaf pans – pan size 5.5″ x 3″ and 2″ tall.

Lemon Almond Bread

Baking time for me was 30 minutes.

I made half of the lemon glaze recipe and that was plenty.  I drizzled a little on top of the almond slivers too.

 

Lemon Almond Bread

 

These little loaves of bread are perfect for breakfast, snacks or dessert.  I love the burst of lemon and crunch of the almonds.  The two really go nicely together.  I had not tried pairing lemons and almonds together before but I certainly will again now that I know how wonderful it is!

I hope you have a great week! If life gives you lemons, strike back with some almonds and turn something sour into something sweet!

 

Lemon Almond Bread

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken

Looking for a delicious dinner idea? I tried this recipe for Lemon Teriyaki Chicken earlier this week and really liked it.  I ate the last piece just a little bit ago and I have to admit, I’m a little sad that there’s no more.  Oh well, I will just have to make it again…soon!

 

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken

 

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken
from C. Coulston in Ohio (I cut this out of a magazine loooooong ago – I have no idea which magazine)

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz ea)
2 T all-purpose flour
3 T butter
1/4 c teriyaki sauce
2 T lemon juice
3/4 t minced garlic
1/2 t sugar

What To Do
Flatten chicken to 1/2″ thickness; coat with flour.  In a large skillet, cook chicken in butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.  Remove and keep warm.

Add the teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, garlic and sugar to the skillet; stir to loosen browned bits.  Return the chicken to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

My Comments
I used a package of boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins.  They are smaller so I didn’t have to flatten them out.

I highly recommend using a real lemon for the juice.

 

I really liked this dish.  I served the chicken with some left over stir fried vegetables and a bit of rice.  I think it made for a nice weeknight meal.

Have a great weekend!

Creamy Lemon Pudding Cheesecake

It’s technically spring and although it doesn’t really feel like it yet (or look like it – woke up to snow today!), we can, and should, go ahead and enjoy a luscious lemony spring dessert.  Remember “if you build it, they will come” from Field of Dreams? Maybe if we bake it, spring-like weather will come.  It’s worth a try!

 

Creamy Lemon Pudding Cheesecake

 

Creamy Lemon Pudding Cheesecake
from the Spring 2004 Kraft Food & Family Magazine

Ingredients
1 1/4 c crushed vanilla wafers (about 40 wafers)
3/4 c plus 1 T sugar, divided
3 T butter, melted
4 pkg (8 oz ea) cream cheese, softened
2 T flour
2 T milk
1 c sour cream, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
2 pkg (4-serving size each) lemon instant pudding
1 c thawed strawberry whipped topping
white chocolate curls, optional

What To Do
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Mix wafer crumbs, 1 T sugar and the butter; press firmly onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, remaining 3/4 c sugar, flour and milk in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until just blended.  Add sour cream; beat until just blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended.  Stir in dry pudding mixes until just blended.  Pour mixture into pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is almost set.  Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; cool completely.  Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Remove side of pan.  Top cheesecake with whipped topping and white chocolate curls, if desired, just before serving.  Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

My Comments
All I can really say is YUM!

Oh, and obviously, from the photo, I opted not to use white chocolate curls and made my own plain whipped cream.  Maybe next time I will try the chocolate curls and/or strawberry whipped topping or just put fresh strawberries on the side.

 

I do love cheesecake and this lemon version is quite delicious! Here’s to sunshine and warmth and budding trees and flowers and not having to bundle up anymore! 🙂