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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Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry season will be here soon!  I had been craving this Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake for a couple of weeks and, thankfully, had some sliced berries in the freezer from last year so only had to wait for some free time to bake this up.  Oh, it smells so good as it bakes! You’ll definitely want a piece (or two or three) of this delicious cake!

 

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

 

 

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake
I have no idea where I got this recipe from.  I cut it out back in college and try to make it at least once when strawberries are in season.  So sorry, I don’t know who to give credit to…just know that I did not make this up!

Ingredients
1 c miniature marshmallows
1 pkg (16-oz) frozen sweetened slice strawberries, thawed
1 pkg (3-oz) strawberry gelatin
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c milk, room temperature
optional (I highly recommend): fresh strawberries and whipped cream

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Sprinkle marshmallows evenly into a greased 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking dish and set aside.

In a bowl, combine strawberries and gelatin powder and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Pour batter over the marshmallows.

Spoon strawberry mixture evenly over batter.

Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Cut into squares and garnish with fresh berries and whipped cream.

My Comments
I don’t sweeten my strawberries when I freeze them and don’t add sugar to them when I thaw them out.

I sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

As you can see, I topped mine with whipped cream and slivered almonds.  I also like whipped cream and mini chocolate chips on top!

Some Photos Along the Way
Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

 

How cool is that? The marshmallows and strawberries trade places while baking! This really has turned my world upside-down! In a good way :).

Here’s to a super strawberry-licious summer! It can’t get here soon enough!

Tuna Cakes

Good morning! It’s definitely SPRING and I hope you all are enjoying warmer weather and beauty all around.  This past week I found I’m kinda ready for some lighter meals.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some winter comfort food but I think it’s time to lighten it up a bit.

These Tuna Cakes are perfect for a lighter spring and/or summer meal.  They’re pretty quick to prep and cook and they taste great! Pair with a salad and you’re good to go.

 

Tuna Cakes

 

Tuna Cakes
from the Spring 2008 issue of Food & Family Magazine

makes about 12 cakes

Ingredients
2 cans (6 oz each) light tuna, in water, drained and flaked
1 pkg (6 oz) stuffing mix for chicken
1 c shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 c shredded carrots
1/3 c mayonnaise
2 T pickle relish
3/4 c water

What To Do
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat.  Scoop the tuna mixture, using about 1/3 cup for each cake, into skillet in batches.

Gently flatten cakes using a spatula.

Cook 3 minutes on each side or until they’re golden brown on both sides, turning cakes over carefully.

My Comments
I recommend scooping all the tuna mixture so it’s ready to go when you start cooking.  If you have an ice cream scoop, that would be helpful.  I don’t have one so stuffed the mixture into my 1/3 measuring cup.

So….as you’ll see in my photos below…and I JUST realized this as I was typing out the ingredient list…I totally forgot to add the mayo when I made these yesterday! What was I thinking??? Oh well, they still turned out great.  I did have to add a little more water after it sat in the fridge because it wasn’t holding together very well – now I know why! Yeesh! But if you don’t like mayo or can’t eat it for whatever reason or if you realize you’re out of mayo, please know that you can just leave it out and add a bit more water and it’ll be just fine.

This batch made 11 tuna cakes.

Some Photos Along the Way
Tuna Cakes

Tuna Cakes

 

These tuna cakes are great! Hooray for spring and summer coming! I hope you try these out and oh, you can make up the mixture ahead of time and then just cook some up as needed.  I bet it’d be good with some tarter sauce too but I just squeezed some lemon on mine and was happy.

Have a great week!

Funfetti Cookies

I love sprinkles.  I buy them in little 6-packs, which may be the only 6-packs I’ve ever purchased, now that I think about it. I love it when said 6-packs go on sale after certain holidays or seasons.  Confetti, jimmies, nonpareils, I’m not picky.  I love them all.

As you may have noticed, Thirty Seconds on High received a makeover yesterday, and as I was editing, I thought, “Where are the sprinkles?” How is it that I love sprinkles so much that I put them in my pancake batter but they haven’t appeared  hardly at all on my blog?

Well, here are some sprinkles!!!!
Funfetti Cookies

Easter is this weekend and if you need a fun easy dessert, just throw some sprinkles into your favorite sugar cookie dough (not the rollout kind) and voila, you’ll have pretty, festive, yummy cookies to enjoy!

 

Funfetti Cookies

 

Funfetti Cookies
My favorite sugar cookie dough recipe is from King Arthur Flour.  It’s pretty much the same as the Rollout Sugar Cookie dough I posted a while ago, but uses only 3 cups of flour and the process is a bit different.

Ingredients
3 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature (that’s 2 sticks)
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c cream cheese (that’s 2 oz – you’ll want this to also be at room temperature)
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t almond extract
1 large egg, room temperature
Sprinkles!! Your choice of color(s) and kind

Topping – 3/4 c sugar for dredging

What To Do
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment (I love using silicone baking mats!).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the egg; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the mixture is evenly moistened.

Gently stir in your sprinkles.  Just put enough in until you think it’s enough.  I don’t think there can be too many. 🙂

Place the 3/4 cup sugar in a large plastic bowl, or in a shallow pan.  Scoop the dough by tablespoons into the sugar, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with sugar.

Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown at the edges.

Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.

My Comments
I think the sugar topping/dredging is optional.  I did not coat my dough balls in sugar this time, but I have done it in the past and it does add a nice crunch and shimmer.

For the sprinkles, this time I divided the dough in half and added confetti sprinkles to one half and jimmies to the other.  I have, in the past, used nonpareils and they worked well too.

I still like to chill my dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.  I pretty much chill all my cookie doughs before baking.

I bake mine at 350ºF for about 8-9 minutes.  Every oven is different so I recommend testing a couple first before putting a whole tray in.

Some Photos Along the Way

Confetti Funfetti
Funfetti Cookies

Jimmies Funfetti
Funfetti Cookies

Side-by-Side Comparison
Funfetti Comparison

Nonpareils Funfetti (from Christmas and dredged in sugar)
Funfetti Cookies

 

Sprinkle mania – how fun! And nothing says “FUN” more than these Funfetti Cookies.  Adaptable for any season or occasion, these cookies are sure to be a hit with your family and friends.  Have a FUN Friday, a FUN weekend and Happy Easter!

Strawberry Muffins

Hello! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful spring day today like I am here in central Illinois.  I started working in my garden this morning and when I went to check on my strawberries, I noticed these pretty little white flowers, which means it’s almost strawberry season!

 

strawberry plant

strawberry plant 2

 

I super-♥ strawberry season and if you weren’t a Thirty Seconds on High reader last year, you should definitely check out Strawberry Week.  You will find a different recipe using fresh strawberries every day for a week!

In preparation for the upcoming season, here’s a great recipe for some delicious muffins! It’s not every day that you get to make muffins with fresh strawberries so be sure and take advantage while you can.  You won’t be sorry!

 

Strawberry Muffins

 

Strawberry Muffins
from Baked Perfection
makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
2 eggs
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c diced strawberries
sugar for dusting

What To Do
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl beat together eggs and sugar. Mix in oil, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture (be sure not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in strawberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups so they are 2/3 of the way full.  Dust each muffin with sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

My Comments
I used normal plain non-fat yogurt.

Using a cookie scoop is a great way to minimize messy transferring of batter from bowl to muffin tin.

I baked mine at 350°F for the same amount of time.  I can’t imagine baking them at 400°F and not burning.

 

I’m so excited for strawberry season to come!! I hope you try these muffins and love them as much as I do.  Have a great weekend!