lemon

Lemon Liqueur

Lemon Peels in Vodka

I make homemade liqueurs throughout the year, using seasonal fruits. Fall and winter are best for citrus, so it is lemon liqueur time!!! All you need to get started is a jar, some vodka and lemons. Since you are using the peels, best to use organic lemons, if you can find them. Use a vegetable peeler to get just the yellow part of the lemon peel. A little of the white is OK, but too much will make your liqueur bitter. Combine the peels with the vodka in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Now it’s just a waiting game. Once the peels have steeped long enough to flavor the vodka, just sweeten, if you like, and let the liqueur mature a little longer. Well worth the wait. You can use the same recipe to make lime liqueur, too. You can also use half lemon and half lime peels in the same batch for lemon/lime liqueur. You can also add other flavors, like mint, to your mixture.

 

 

Homemade Lemon Liqueur

8 lemons
3 c. vodka
1 c. sugar syrup

Peel lemons using a vegetable peeler. Use only the yellow part of the peel. If you get larger pieces of the white pith, scrape off and discard. Place peels in jar with the vodka. Cover and place in a cupboard.
Steep peels 2-3 weeks. Strain and filter and add sugar syrup. Mature 1-2 weeks.

Note: you can also make lime liqueur with the peels of 8 limes, or use 4 lemons and 4 limes for a lemon-lime liqueur.

Variation: You can also use rum as the base for a great daiquiri!

Note: To make citrus flavors without the peels substitute 2 t. pure extracts for the fruit and add sugar syrup right away. Just steep a few days to mature a little.

Also, lemon or lime are terrific unsweetened, to add to other cocktails. You can make some without the added simple syrup.

Lemons in the Snow

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

The funny name for these cookies is really easy to explain. The cookies are flavored with both lemon juice and lemon zest in the dough. When nearly cooled, they are rolled in powdered sugar. They end up looking like little snowballs. Yummy, lemon flavored snowballs. The dough also contains finely ground almonds, for extra texture. They are a delicate, cake like cookie, with a slightly crisp outside. You could also add a little grated lemon peel to the powdered sugar, before rolling the cookies in it, for a more intense lemon flavor.

 

Lemons in the Snow Cookies

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel -or more if you like
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
confectioners’ sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and egg until well blended. Add lemon juice and peel. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Add almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (cookies will not brown on top). Remove immediately to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Makes 36.

 

Corn Salad with Lemonade Mustard Dressing

Corn Salad with Lemonade Mustard Dressing

Corn Salad with Lemonade Mustard Dressing

Continuing with my cooking with lemonade assignment I came up with a simple salad dressing. It’s only 4 ingredients and while I used it on this corn salad it would also be great tossed on a green salad or maybe a potato salad. I am always looking for new salad ideas. This is one I will be making again soon.

 

Corn Salad with Lemonade Mustard Dressing

6 c. cooked corn, off the cob
1 sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small sweet onion, diced
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
1 recipe lemonade mustard dressing- recipe follows

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill at least an hour before serving. Serves 8.

Lemonade Mustard Dressing

½ c. oil
1/3 c. lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 T. whole grain mustard
1 t. hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 t. salt, or to taste
Place all ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Serve as a salad dressing on mixed greens or with assorted veggies.

 

 

Lemonade Cookies

Lemonade Cookies

Lemonade Cookies

These are a perfect summertime cookie. With the sweet tangy flavor of lemonade they are a great addition to any picnic or cookout. They are soft, cake-like cookies with lemonade in the batter. Once baked they are brushed with a little lemonade concentrate and sprinkled with sugar for an extra  lemonade flavor.

Lemonade Cookies

1 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

2 eggs

1/2 c. lemonade concentrate, plus extra for brushing on cookies

2 t. lemon zest

3 c. flour

1 t. baking soda

In medium bowl beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and then add the lemonade concentrate and lemon zest. Combine the flour and baking soda and stir into the butter mixture. Chill dough 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease baking sheets. Scoop dough in rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden. Once cookies have cooled brush with a little lemonade concentrate and sprinkle with sugar. Makes about 5 dozen.

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

I always enjoy the combination of lemon and cheesecake. I wanted a new recipe and decided to  jazz up the flavor with lemonade both in the filling and as a glaze on top. The end result is just what I had hoped for. Creamy, not too sweet and a pop of lemon flavor from the glaze. I also wanted to add more texture to the crust so I added some oats in addition to the graham crackers and baked this cheesecake in a 9×13-inch pan. You could serve it with a few berries on top, if you like. Here is the recipe.

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

Crust:
¾ c. butter (1½ sticks)
1 ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. oatmeal, old-fashioned or quick cooking
¼ t. salt
Filling:
2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ c. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed*
3 T. flour
2 eggs
2 t. grated lemon peel
Glaze:
¾ c. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed*
2½  T. cornstarch

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Beat together butter with the rest of crust ingredients. Press into bottom of prepared pan and bake 20 minutes. Beat cream cheese, lemonade and flour until fluffy. Stir in eggs and peel. Pour over crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Cool then add the glaze. To make the glaze: in small saucepan combine the lemonade with the cornstarch. Heat together over medium heat until mixture becomes thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Pour over cheesecake. Store covered in fridge. Makes 24 squares.

*You can use store bought frozen lemonade concentrate or here is the recipe I use to make my own.

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

1 1/3 c. lemon juice- fresh or bottled

1 c. sugar

lemon zest, optional

Combine ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Freeze until ready to use. Makes a little over 1 1/2 cups. To use: combine three parts water to one part  concentrate.

http://thecharmedkitchen.com/2014/07/12/homemade-lemonade-mix/

 

 

 

 

Homemade Lemonade Mix

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

Lemonade will always be a favorite summertime drink for me. I make it plain or sometimes with berries added. I like the convenience of those frozen lemonade concentrates but I prefer using fresh squeezed lemon juice.  I started making my own concentrate a few years ago when I got a whole case of lemons from a friend. I juiced the lemons  and froze much of the juice just plain. There was still a lot of juice.  I decided I might as well try to make some lemonade concentrate, too. I went to the store and read the ingredients on several brands of frozen lemonade concentrate. High fructose corn syrup and concentrated lemon juice. Well I decided that wasn’t going to work for me so I did something radical. I stirred some sugar together with lemon juice until the sugar dissolved.  There didn’t seem to be much point in adding water- that would defeat the purpose of it being a concentrate. Then I just froze the juice/sugar mixture.

Sometimes I freeze a whole batch together either in a plastic container or in a Ziploc bag.  I also froze some of this lemonade mix in ice cube trays. That way once frozen I could pop the cubes into bags and just take out what I needed at the time. I’ll often add some lemon zest, too. Don’t toss all that zest, either. If you are going to be juicing a lot of lemon just for the juice, zest them first- and freeze or dry the zest for later use.

Well here is the recipe for my lemonade concentrate.

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

1 1/3 c. lemon juice- fresh or bottled

1 c. sugar*

lemon zest, optional

Combine ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Freeze until ready to use. Makes a little over 1 1/2 cups. To use: combine three parts water to one part  concentrate.

* You can use honey instead of sugar- but only use 1/2 c. honey as it is much sweeter than sugar.

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

Often the best things are the simple things. I will admit to making some pretty fancy dishes  at times. I am not afraid of adding lots of ingredients for layers of flavor. But sometimes less is more. I had about 8 oz. of frozen raspberries. Well, they weren’t frozen anymore. I had thawed out a bag of raspberries for use in a cake. I had some extra and didn’t really want to freeze them again. I also had some fresh lemon juice so I decided to make a raspberry lemonade.  I started with lemon juice, the berries and all the juices from the berries and a little sugar. Mixed it all together and added some water. At first I thought I’d strain out the berries but I decided to leave them in. Simple and delicious. Perfect refresher for a warm day.

Lemon Tea Cake

Lemon Tea Cake

Lemon Tea Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes of all time. It is a simple cake enhanced with lemon zest. Once out of the oven you poke the hot cake with a large fork or a skewer and pour a lemon syrup over it. Moist, tangy and fragrant it is a great addition to afternoon tea. Great all on its own this cake is also wonderful served with fresh berries and whipped cream for a light dessert.

Lemon Tea Cake

 2 lemons

3 T. sugar for topping

½ c. butter, softened

¾ c. sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 c. flour

6 T. milk or half and half

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- inch loaf pan and line with wax or parchment paper. Grate the lemon rinds and set aside. Combine the juice of 1 of the lemons with the 3 tablespoons of sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Set aside.

Cream together the butter with the rest of the sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time until well mixed. Stir in the flour and lemon peel and beat well. Add the milk and beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at least an hour. The cake should spring back when touched lightly. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven pierce it all over with a long tined fork or a skewer. Pour over the reserved lemon juice mixture. Cool cake in pan before serving. Cake will be moist and tangy.

Sour Cream Lemon Cupcakes

Sour Cream Lemon Cupcake

Sour Cream Lemon Cupcake

There really isn’t a cupcake I don’t like but I have to say that these are one of my favorites. They are rich and moist with a lovely lemon flavor. Perfect for any occasion they are sure to be a hit when you make them.

Sour Cream Lemon Cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon each baking powder and salt

2 cups sour cream

Frosting:

9 tablespoons butter, softened

6 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar

6 tablespoons lemon juice

1T. vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 tablespoon milk

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill 30 greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and milk; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Makes 30.

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