Key Lime Cookies

I have spent a lot of time wondering what I should do with the limes my mom brought me. They are cute little things, and incredibly ripe. But, I don’t have a single lime recipe in my kitchen that calls for actual limes, only lime juice, and even those recipes are few and far between.

Enter Pinterest.

Not sure how the average woman ever survived without Pinterest. Still wondering how my mother survives without Pinterest. I am on it at least 10 times a day looking for information and recipes and helpful tips. It is my life saver.

So I found this Key Lime Cookie recipe.

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus 2 cups more for rolling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup fresh key lime juice (regular lime juice is ok)
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the egg yolk, lime juice, and zest until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed just until combined. The dough will be very crumbly. Using your hands, knead the dough gently until it comes together and forms a ball. Roll the dough into 1″ sized balls and place 1″ apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  3. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the reserved 2 cups of powdered sugar, and place back on the baking sheet to cool completely. Sift the remaining powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

The only thing that I would change is the baking time. I had mine in for 20 minutes and the bottoms got burnt. And you really don’t have to use your hand to mix the dough together. In fact, it is really advisable that you do not use your hand, otherwise you just end up with a hand full of dough goo and you have to explain to your husband why there is key lime cookie stuck to your wedding band set.. not good.

I am in love with these cookies though! They were really simple and delicious. I must confess I have been eating them for breakfast with my cup of coffee, and in the evening with a cup of tea, and sometimes at lunch time as dessert… they are just really light and refreshing. And the recipe makes a ton! I will definitely be making these in the future. I am thinking lemon, orange…maybe ever coloring the dough somehow to make them pretty?

Oh my god. Green lime cookies.

Cake Bakin’ Stepford

I have had an amazing day! Sometimes, life just comes together in beautiful symmetry and you are in the mood to do stuff and you have the ingredients to make stuff and the baby is behaving and it all just works.

This morning did not start out that way at all…

We got up at our normal time but instead of having our morning bottle in bed, I brought Little Darling downstairs to her highchair and let her have some Cheerios and her bottle there. I have been starting to mix some whole milk into her morning and evening bottle to get her ready to wean at the end of the year. Breakfast went well. She was happy, I was happy.

After breakfast I decided we needed to get a shower. I have been introducing her to showers since they are slightly less messy than baths and easy for us to take together, thus answering the question of what to do with the baby while I shower on the days she wakes up before I do. She loves playing in the water and splashing around on the bottom of the tub, I enjoy not wondering what she is getting into while I am indisposed. Everybody wins.

I got the shower going and started undressing Little Darling. After she was down to her diaper, I went about getting myself ready to get in. I took my eyes off of her for all of about 3 seconds while I took my shirt off. She managed to flip the full length mirror onto herself, its not hung because the bathroom isn’t finished yet. Thankfully, it isn’t really heavy and it mostly just scared her, but she fell backwards and hit her head on the floor and the mirror landed on her arm. She was screaming and crying and shaking and holding on to me like the world was ending. It was fun. Let me tell you.

I managed to get my clothes and her diaper off and we got into the shower. She instantly perked up and began playing in the shower spray and completely forgot that just two minutes she was near death. I finally unglued her from my hip and got her to play on the tub floor while I indulged in some hot water and shampoo. As I am rinsing my hair, she crawls in between my legs and looked up. Shampoo right in the eyes, of course. More screaming, more crying. It just wasn’t my morning.

Everything got better after her morning nap. She was much happier and had completely forgotten the disasters of the morning. I was in the mood to work on some food so we got to work. I got my butternut squash in the oven to roast. All I did was slice it in half, clean out the guts and seeds, sprinkled each half with some lemon salt and put a slice of butter on top.

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In the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour. Then all I had to do was remove the skin, chop up the flesh, and get it into the freezer. I now have 4 squashes in my freezer to make some delicious soups this winter.

After the squash, I still wasn’t satisfied with my kitchen time, so I cleaned all the pomegranates I had bought at the Aldi sale and put those in the freezer too. Then I got to thinking that I should bake something with those pomegranate anils.

I poked around on Pinterest for a while looking for an easy recipe and finally decided to just make one up. The result was delicious, moist, protein packed pomegranate cranberry cake!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used vanilla because that is what we had)
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 -1.5 cups pomegranate anils

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Recipe:

  • Mix it all together and put it in an 8×8 pan
  • Bake for 45 min to 1 hour

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This cake was delicious! It was so moist and flavorful. I would love to use unsweetened cranberry juice and plain greek yogurt next time to cut down on the sugar, and use cranberries instead of pomegranates to make it a true cranberry cake. Maybe as a holiday dessert? I may also try putting it into a 9×13 pan because the 8×8 took FOREVER to bake and I was concerned the edges were getting to dark while the inside was still complete goo. I added a glaze to the top, just powdered sugar with some melted butter and a few splashes of milk, to make it pretty.

The vanilla yogurt has 20 grams of protein per cup, so you are getting a healthy dose of protein when you eat it, you can almost feel good about taking a second slice. Which I guarantee you, you will want to. It was all I could do not to eat it all in one sitting.

Preggo Cookie Dough

When I was pregnant, I rarely got cravings for anything other than caramel apples and ice cubes. But, on a rare occasion, I would find myself with a sweet tooth that I could not deny. I would eat pints of rainbow sherbet like it was nothing. The container balanced on my belly and the large soup spoon as my server. Then I came across this little gem. Not only did I eat lots and lots of this when I was pregnant, but I also scooped it into little balls, froze them, dipped them in chocolate, and gave them away as presents for Christmas. Wonderful Husband loves it, the family loved it, I love it.

It’s a keeper.

But seriously, don’t even kid yourself into thinking that this is anywhere near healthy, or good for you. It is bad. It is really, really bad for you.

Enjoy!

Egg-less Cookie Dough:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
Pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla and milk. Mix in the flour, salt, and chocolate chips until well blended. Chill in the refrigerator.

*Disclaimer* I see in the comments of the original post that a lot of people are real concerned about the raw flour. If it makes you feel safer you can spread the flour on a baking sheet and bake it until its browned up and that should get rid of any weird diseases. I don’t worry about it, but I know some people like to play it safe.

Dulce De Leche

I have seen this homemade Dulce De Leche on Pinterest several times and was curious as to weather or not it would work. I have a family reunion this weekend and have a chocolate/pretzel/caramel cake I wanted to make for it so I figured now would be the perfect time to try it.

I knew the general idea is making the caramel from condensed milk, but I had seen multiple variations on what steps to follow. Some sites say to just put the unopened can in a slow cooker, some say to submerge it, some say to make sure to open it or it may explode. After a lot of back and forth and research I decided to submerge the unopened can in my large stock pot and simmer it for a few hours. Every site I saw said to make sure you let it cool fully before opening it, so after 3 hours I pulled it out and set it in the sink and left it alone until it was cool to the touch.

Imagine my surprise when I opened it, and it had worked!

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I was so happy it looked just like the pictures I had seen online! A success!

It doesn’t really taste like caramel that we are used to eating, it tastes lighter and creamier, like dulce de leche is supposed to taste. I was really excited to use it in my recipe.

I had found a recipe for cookie bars using cake mix. The lady who had posted it said it was incredibly versatile and she had added all kinds of fun things like M&Ms and chocolate chips and things. I had originally wanted to make these brownies that i found on Tablespoon, but as usual I was missing something (this time it was the brownie mix, oops) so I was trying to fake it. I figured with the “super versatile” cookie bar recipe I could use my chocolate cake mix to make pretzel caramel cookie bars.

FAIL.

I laid the pretzels down in the bottom of my 9×13 pan, realized I had forgotten to spray it and had to take all the pretzels back out. Sprayed it, put the pretzels back.

The recipe for the cookie bars is one box of cake mix, 5 T melted butter, and 2 eggs (beaten). I mixed up the dough and it was SUPER thick. Crazy thick, like my spoon was stuck in it thick. I added some milk and some oil and got my spoon dislodged but it was still incredibly thick. I tried to smoosh it down over the brownies into the pan, like how you make rice krispie treats. Only, it didn’t work very well. The pretzels were sliding everywhere and sticking up through the dough like sad little pretzel bones.

I had originally planned to reserve all the caramel and spoon in on top of the bars when they were finished but I got antsy and decided to swirl the caramel on top before baking it. I believe this is where I went wrong.

I stuck the pan in the oven- the original recipe calls for 20 minutes at 350.

Unfortunately, as it baked the cake puffed up and sucked up all the caramel so when it was finished I had a weird tasting chocolate cake with pretzels on the bottom. I could barely even cut pieces because the pretzels were so hard and weird the knife kept slipping. I spooned the remaining Dulce on top, but because I had already swirled some into the recipe there wasn’t enough to make a nice thick layer, it just looks like a sad caramel drizzle. Not even a pretty drizzle.

I am still taking it to the reunion, because cake is cake and if it stays here I will eat it. I would at least like to pawn off a few pieces on some relatives.

In all fairness, I tried the cookie bar recipe with yellow cake and Reese Pieces, much more similar to the original recipe and they turned out great. So I am assuming the caramel/chocolate cake were the problem. I am not sure it REALLY matters, because lets face it, I made a can of caramel… I could just eat that with a spoon.

Rhubarb Cake

Recently my FIL asked me if I like rhubarb, I, of course, told him that I do. Truth be told, I have never had much contact with rhubarb, I had a friend in elementary school who had a big rhubarb patch in her front yard and we would pull off stalks and chew on them, making faces at how sour they were. I have eaten a strawberry rhubarb pie once in a while, and I think I may have come in contact with a rhubarb jam at some point in time. However, here at the Stepford Homestead, we never say no to free food. So when my FIL handed me a Budweiser box full of rhubarb I was super pumped!

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Then the reality set in, that I have no idea what to do with this huge box of rhubarb. Thank god for Pinterest, I mean seriously, how did we survive without it? Do you know how many cookbooks I would have to own in order to have all my Pinterest recipes in my house? Like I have said before, we thrive on technology.

I found this recipe on Karis’ Kitchen and it seemed more than easy enough. I had all of the ingredients on hand so I got right to work. I ended up substituting the plain Greek yogurt for vanilla because that’s what I had on hand, and the crumble got a little out of control because it wasn’t crumbling and I kept adding more and more cinnamon and flour.

Recipe:

Ingredients (serves 12)
Cake
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 pound (4 cups) diced rhubarb
Topping
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour as much flour as needed to make it crumbly
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon as much cinnamon as needed to make it not taste flour-y
Instructions
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  • In a large bowl, stir together sugar, baking soda, salt and 2 cups flour. Stir in the eggs and Greek yogurt until smooth, then fold in the rhubarb. Batter will be very thick batter will be so thick you will be convinced you have made this recipe wrong- Keep going! Pour into pan and spread evenly.
  • In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in flour and cinnamon until the mixture is crumbly. Then sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake.

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  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

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Results:
This cake is AMAZING! I have already had two huge pieces and am contemplating a third. It bakes up so nice and fluffy, the rhubarb lets off a lot of water so its super moist. The crumble is crisp and crumbly and sweet. There is just nothing bad about this cake. I baked it almost exactly 45 minutes, I checked it at 40 and it was still a little gooey but 45 seemed perfect. It also made the house smell wonderful, like you would imagine a grandmas house would smell.

I think next time I will add oatmeal to the crumble and flax seed to the batter to give it a bit of oomph. Maybe attempt some substitutions to make it skinny and a little more guilt free?