Fresh fruit bars

20120627-130018.jpgWhat do you do 2 hours before you planned to be at someone’s house for a barbecue? Decide to bring dessert, that’s what. So what you have almost nothing in the house and no clue what to make. Open the fridge, it will come to you.

Thankfully it did come to me last Sunday. I had beautiful berries fresh from the market the day before. They were perfectly ripe and sweet and the strawberries at least, we’re possibly the last of the season. So I decided to go simple.20120627-130325.jpgI threw together the same crust from Joy the Bakers recipe for lemon bars and mixed berries with a bit of cornstarch and sugar to go on top. I went light on the sugar so as not to overwhelm the superb flavor of the berries. Super easy and I had a great dessert ready to go in no time at all.

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Strawberry Raspberry Bars

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 quart fresh strawberries, cut to size of raspberries
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar

Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch pan. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and salt, beat to combine. Dump the crust mixture into buttered pan and push down with your fingers to form an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.

2. Make the filling: While the crust is baking, combine berries, cornstarch and sugar mixing thoroughly, until berries begin to break down a bit. When crust comes out of the oven, immediately pour berry mixture onto crust and spread evenly. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until berries look slightly dried out on top. Don’t worry, they won’t be. Cool completely, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.

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Of late…

20120611-124140.jpgBeginnings of s’mores brownies.

20120611-124246.jpgThe finished product.

20120611-124326.jpgChewy soft chocolate chip cookies.

20120611-124425.jpgRaspberry citrus bars. Soooo tart and sweet.

20120611-124522.jpgRidiculously large dessert tray.

20120611-124737.jpgRising.

20120611-124844.jpgSoft steamy sandwich bread.

20120611-125202.jpgSugared berries on dough.

20120611-125319.jpgRolled and sliced for another rise.

Just a little peak at what has come out of my kitchen that I just haven’t had time to tell you all about. Some are recipe worthy, so I’ll fill you in on those later. Others are just thrown together in a rush but still pretty to look at and delicious to eat.

Limoncello Ice Cream

20120529-190206.jpgI have been desperately craving a cocktail recently. It’s summer, it’s hot, and I just want a mojito. Like now. I like fancy drinks. Ones that you find in swanky restaurants and could never reproduce at home. The bartenders there are like alcohol geniuses. They are like master chefs of the cocktail. Thats what I miss.

20120529-190301.jpgI’ve been trying to trick myself into thinking I’m having a cocktail. One way has been by adding a tiny splash of artisanal balsamic vinegar. A favorite of mine has been the Mango Waldburg Balsam from Vom Fass. It almost makes me think I’m having a real cocktail. Almost.

To further satisfy my cocktail cravings I decided to make some Limoncello ice cream. I made all of this lovely Limoncello for the holidays and haven’t been able to have any of the large bottle that sits in my fridge. So I decided to put a bit into a some ice cream.

20120529-190354.jpgThis ice cream is supremely creamy. It’s lemon flavor is intense without becoming over powering. It was exactly what I was looking for when I set out to make Limoncello ice cream. Total win! Oh and it’s super easy so you should totally make it this weekend!

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Limoncello Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
peel of 1 lemon, in strips
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Limoncello
pinch of salt

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan heat cream, milk and lemon peel over medium high heat. Heat until it just starts to simmer.

2. In a medium bowl whisk sugar, honey and egg yolks. Slowly stream in hot milk mixture whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Return to heat, whisking until slightly thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon.

3. Prepare an ice bath. Pour ice cream base through a strainer over a medium bowl and place in ice bath. Leave lemon peels in strainer in mixture to steep for approximately 20 minutes. Add Limoncello and salt and whisk. Transfer to fridge to chill, overnight if possible. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions.