Coconut Macaroons (cheat)

King Arthur Flour makes a macaroon mix that’s amazingly easy. All you add is boiling water and then bake. Chris’ brother Dan brought them for Christmas and they were really good, so I bought a box for those times when I need a quick cookie fix. This time I also made break and bake toll house (mint swirl), but those came out way too crunchy. Yuck. I’ll never buy those again.
The macaroons, however, are delicious!

Glazed Lemon Cookies

 

Phil’s birthday is coming up and he loves lemon, so I made Martha Stewart’s glazed lemon cookies. The glaze is the best part. I wanted to eat all of the leftover glaze but I maintained just enough self control  and licked the spoon when I was done. Yum.  🙂
They’re super easy… this recipe’s definitely a keeper. Took only 1.5 hours from start to finish, with lots of time between for cooling. Also, they’re all items I keep in the house. Easy.
The recipe took a total of 4 med-large lemons (zest of all 4, juice of 3)…. it tastes like spring in a cookie!

If only spring would come… tomorrow’s supposed to snow. Hope it skips us.  🙂
Hope these cookies last until his birthday party too!

Ingredients: COOKIES

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients: LEMON GLAZE
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool 2 minutes on sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 
In medium bowl whisk glaze ingredients (2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp lemon zest, and 1/3 cup lemon juice). Spoon glaze over cookies and let set, about 1 hour. [This is a glaze, not icing, so it shouldn’t be thick but it will cool and make a hard glaze over the cookie]
Maybe I’ll bake something else tomorrow if we do have a snow day after all.

Quicker Cinnamon Buns

With lots of icing… keep it thick when mixing so it stays thicker when it hits the hot buns.

Two hours ago I was craving cinnamon buns… I’ve been good, so I thought replacing dinner with a cinnamon bun wouldn’t be so bad, but only if I made them myself instead of buying those salty chemically biscuit buns in the store [I love those too, but if I’m going to reward myself with a rare treat it’s going to be a good one].
Yum. It was worth the work (this version is much quicker than the yeast dough version, no waiting for dough to rise).
There’s still a dough to make, but it’s stickier, and instead of yeast it uses baking powder to rise. Genius. I still managed to make a mess and get flour and brown sugar all over the counter and floor.  🙂
I removed the cream cheese from the icing recipe and used powdered buttermilk instead of fresh. Powdered works perfectly… what a great ingredient! I also eliminated the ground cloves… not a flavor I want in my cinnamon buns!
It makes 8 buns at 386 calories per piece (if you follow my version… I can’t account for it if you add the cream cheese). The original recipe was from America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. It’s the best baking book on the planet. I’ve loved everything I’ve made from this book. Such an awesome show too. Here’s my modified version.

INGREDIENTS [Note: I measured by weight when available]

FILLING:
3/4 cup (5.25 oz) dark brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon [they only call for 2 tsp but I increased it a little]
1/8 tsp ground cloves [Omitted this]
1/8 tsp kosher salt

BUNS:
2 1/2 cups (12.5 oz) all purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I made reconstituted with 5 tbsp powdered buttermilk and 1.25 cups water)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

GLAZE:
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) confectioner’s sugar
3 oz cream cheese, softened [omitted this too]
3 tbsp buttermilk [I used only 2 tbsp], reconstituted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425 F, move rack to middle of oven. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan (I used an 8″).
Mix all filling ingredients into a small bowl.
For the Buns: Whisk flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. In a medium bowl whisk the buttermilk and 2 tbsp of the melted butter. Stir buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until a dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth, about 1 minute.
Press the dough into a 12×9 inch rectangle and brush with 2 tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle filling over the dough leaving a 3/4 inch border along the top of the rectangle (the wide end of the top). Press filling to adhere it to dough.
Loosen the dough with a bench scraper and roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log seam side down (make sure log is still about 12″ long with an even diameter. Pat the ends of the cylinder to even them.
Slice the cylinder into 8 even rolls [should be about 1 1/2″ wide, mine were much wider and a bit looser, but it still worked fine]. TIP: flour a bread knife before making the cuts to avoid drag.
Arrange the rolls in the pan, cut side up. Brush with remaining melted butter.
Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown [mine took 27 minutes].
For the Glaze: Flip the rolls out on to a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk the confectioner’s sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until smooth. [You would also whisk in the softened cream cheese if you used it in the recipe.]
Flip the rolls upright, drizzle with glaze, and serve immediately.
I stored the leftovers in tupperware. We’ll see how they taste at breakfast tomorrow.

Slightly blurry closeup… my hands were shaking because I couldn’t wait to eat it!   😉