Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love lemon? Tell me about it

For my column this week, I wrote about how much I love dishes with lemon. It even makes ice cream better. And I asked for your favorite ways to use lemon.

How's this for a deal? In exchange for your suggestions, I'll share a recipe. When I interviewed Dale Richardson of East Mecklenburg High School about bargain cooking recently, she shared a couple of good, frugal-cook recipes. But she also sent over a dessert plate that included these little cookie/cakes, part of a project her class was making when our photographer was there. The cakes didn't fit with the frugal-cooking series, but it was such a simple and tasty recipe, I had to share.

Lemon Blossoms From Dale Richardson, East Mecklenburg High School.

1 package yellow cake mix
1 small package instant lemon pudding
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cups powdered sugar
Grated zest from 1 lemon
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tins or coat them with pan coating.

Combine and blend the cake mix, pudding, eggs and oil. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Fill each muffin cup about half-way. Bake 12 minutes.

Make glaze while cakes are baking. Sift the sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil and water. Mix until smooth.

Turn lemon cakes out and glaze while warm: Dip tops of cakes in the glaze or spoon the glaze over the warm cakes. Place on wire racks over waxed paper to catch drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly, at least 1 hour, before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.


Anonymous said...

Loved the column about lemons.
Here's cookie recipe that always get compliments:
Ginger Lemon Cookies
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 c plus 2 tbs sugar (more for sprinkling)
1 large egg
a Tbs grated lemon zest
1 1/3 c all-purp flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c diced crystallized ginger, cut tiny
Heat oven 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix butter and sugar on med high mixer speed till light and fluffy up to 5 min. scraping down sides. Add egg. Mix on high to combine. Add zest and combine.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, gr. ginger, baking soda, salt and cryst. ginger. Add to butter mix, and use med. low speed to combine about 20 sec.
Drop batter by heaping teaspoon onto baking sheet, spacing 2 in. and bake about 7 min.
Yields about 3 doz.

Kathleen Purvis said...

Thanks, those sound like great cookies.

PalmettoGirl said...

Ha! Lemon is, without question, my all-time favorite flavor(ing). It may be too late, but I'm happy to share a couple of all-time favorite recipes!

Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken

1 chicken, cut up
Zest and juice of two lemons
1 lemon, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 strips bacon, finely diced (optional)

Toss all ingredients – except bacon, salt and pepper -- together in a large roasting or broiler pan. Allow to rest 15-20 minutes (taking the "chill" off the chicken before cooking). Preheat oven to 450. (If you have a convection oven, now’s the time to use it.) Arrange chicken in pan, so pieces are not touching, skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter raw bacon (if using) over top. Roast for 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Check, and, using tongs, squeeze roasted lemon chunks over chicken. (Don't turn chicken.) Return to oven and continue roasting until crispy brown and done (about 20-25 minutes). Allow to rest 10-15 minutes before serving.

PalmettoGirl said...

OK. And here's a soup recipe! (Which I may have to make again tomorrow. Thanks for the tasty reminder.)

Greek-Inspired Lemon Chicken Soup

Six cups chicken stock with chopped chicken
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup orzo (or rice)
2 eggs, separated
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring stock, bay leaf, oregano and lemon zest to a boil. Stir in orzo. As orzo cooks, whip eggs whites in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Whisk in, individually, egg yolks. Whisk in lemon juice. When orzo is almost done, remove stock from heat, and remove and discard bay leaf. Very gradually, stir in one cup of hot stock into egg mixture. (This important step tempers the eggs, so they stay frothy and don’t curdle.) Gently stir tempered egg mixture into stock. Soup will be creamy-looking, and somewhat frothy. If you want to be fancy, sprinkle fresh chopped parsley, or better still, fresh dill, on top and serve.

PalmettoGirl said...

And finally, the cake I made for my 17yo's birthday just this month. (Based on a recipe I've been using for, no kidding, 40 years.)

Old-Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
zest from two large lemons
6 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

juice of one lemon (reserve juice from second lemon, using as needed)
2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 10 –inch bundt pan. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In mixer, cream butter and add sugar slowly, beating constantly to cream well. Blend in lemon zest, adding eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in sour cream. Add flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well and constantly. Stir in vanilla and turn batter into pan, rapping the pan sharply on the counter once or twice to release air bubbles.

Bake about 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done. Place on a rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Loosen cake around edge of pan as needed and turn onto rack to cool completely.

Make glaze, stirring lemon juice and confectioners sugar together, and then, drizzling over top of cake. Serve as is, or with whipped cream and raspberries.

Yui said...

Well lemon is kind of the goddes of herb for me :)
I have it everyday. I start my day with one litre of water mixed well with a whole fresh lemon juice. I even use it as beauty skin care for my acne scars, everyday. And talk about cookies, I always have it in the glaze. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait for the weekend to try this.

Anonymous said...

This is actually a (very delicious) Paula Deen recipe. http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/lemon_blossoms/