Lemon Vanilla Dream Bars

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These bars a perfect combo of white chocolate and lemon. I found the recipe in a newspaper and thought it sounded delicious. I did have to go out and search for the vanilla bean paste and lemon curd but it was worth it!

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These bars are cake-like with a gooey lemon curd on top. They are sweet and kind of sour and the white chocolate base complements it’s perfectly.

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Lemon Vanilla Dream Bars
Makes 1 dozen

10 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided (or white chocolate chips)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup lemon curd (or orange marmalade or raspberry jam)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cover an 8×8-inch pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides.
2. Melt 8 ounces white chocolate and butter in a bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water; stir. Off heat, stir in sugar and salt.
3. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract and paste. Gently fold in flour. Fold in remaining white chocolate. Spread batter in pan.
4. Dollop lemon curd on batter in 5 or 6 equal portions. With a knife, swirl curd into batter. Bake until a toothpick center comes out clean, but not dry, about 25 to 28 minutes. Let cool.
From: Shauna Server, “Pure Vanilla”

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Vanilla Cupcakes

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Moist, simple cupcakes topped with a creamy vanilla frosting. Perfect for New Year’s!

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These cupcakes take no time to make and you can decorate them with any sort of sprinkles you want.

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Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1 and a half cups flour
1 and a half teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
sprinkles, for decorating

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the cups of a standard (12 cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla and set aside.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of dry ingredients, followed by the milk-vanilla mixture, then add remaining dry ingredients. Don’t overmix.
4. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffins cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
5. For frosting, mix ingredients together with an electric mixture. Mix up to 1/2 cup more sugar or more milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency.

Easy Baked Apples

Delicious honey crisp apples baked to perfection.

Must be eaten with some vanilla ice cream.

Soft, warm apples filled with cinnamon and oats.  Everything melts together and the combination is amazing.

Easy Baked Apples
2 apples, red or green
7 Tbs oats
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Cup the apples in half and core out the middle
3. In a small bowl, mix together oats, maples syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.
4. Divide mixture evenly among apple halves, placing in the center. Place apple halfs on a baking sheet – cut side up, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and bake for 25-35 mins.
5. Remove and serve warm with some vanilla ice cream.