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Megans Cookin: December 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recipe For Lemon Bars with White Chocolate Chips

I’m a lucky girl!

Lemon Bars w/White Chocolate Chips

I came home Christmas night with a bunch of Meyer lemons. Not wasting anytime, I jumped on Twitter and asked if anyone had any killer recipes using lemons.

You gotta love Twitter!

Krista from The Doubled Dipped Life rose to the call and shared a recipe a friend had given to her. She loved it.

It was a lemon bar with a twist!

Lemon Bars w/White Chocolate Chips

It had white chocolate chips in the bars.

White chocolate and lemon are a match made in heaven, who knew?

Lemon Bars w/White Chocolate Chips

The Hubby wrinkled his nose when I told him I was making lemon bars. He’s a chocolate kind of guy.

He ate a 1/4 of the pan. Guess he liked them!

 I think you will too!

I know my friend Barbara did!

Lemon Bars w/White Chocolate Chips

White Chocolate Chip Lemon Bars

(printable Recipe)

1 1/4 cups flour -divided
1 cup sugar-divided
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white chips
2 eggs slightly beaten
The zest and juice from one lemon
Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Stir together 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture onto the bottom of 9-inch baking pan.

3. Bake 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; sprinkle with chips.

4. Stir together eggs, lemon juice, lemon peel, remaining 1/4 cup flour and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in medium bowl; carefully pour over chips and crust.
5. Bake 10 minutes (see note) or until set (you can touch center and it's springy). Cool in pan on wire rack; sift with powdered sugar when completely cool. Cut into bars.

My Notes. Recipe said to bake the bars 10 minutes or until set. My first batch took 20 minutes to set. I made them again, a double batch, and they took 30 minutes to set. I say start with 10 or 15 minutes, and check them. You can always add more time, but you cant take it away!

Monday, December 28, 2009

5 Star Appetizers!


The New Year is upon us and what better way to celebrate then with a sparkling beverage and some 5 Star appetizers? Whether it’s a New Years Eve party or a New Years Day open house, these easy hors-d'œuvre will be as festive as the party itself. Clink on any of the links to take you to the recipe.

And from my family to yours, we wish you a very

Happy New Year! 


Olive Penguins



Cranberry Salsa



Caramelized Pear and Sage Crostini



Chevre Cheesecake with Biscotti Crust




Cheddar Shortbread


Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Dates



Prosciutto, Gruyere, and Dejon Palmiers

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Present

The Christmas Present

by Billy M. Smallwood

I heard a knock on my door one Christmas Eve,
As I looked out my window a man I could see,
he was cold and seemed so lonely and upon a bended knee
he asked can you spare anything for me to eat...

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I opened up the door and as I helped him in,
he looked up at me with such a peaceful grin,
As he drank down some coffee and had a bite to eat,
I put more wood on the fire so he could warm his feet...

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Over there by the fireplace he warmed his tired hands,
I wonder where did he come from, this quiet white haired man,
but I wasn't at all afraid of his peaceful ways you see,
this man dressed in poor, almost as poor as me...

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As he left he turned and thanked me for all I had done,
but he forgot to take his gloves, so out the door I run,
He was gone in the blizzard and I couldn't hardly see,
so I took his ole glove's back to the house

with me...

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Just a little after midnight I awoke in the dark,
there wasn't a bit of fire just glowing cinders in the dark,
and where I'd placed his gloves by my little christmas tree,
there laid a brand new pair, and a Christmas Card for me...

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and it read....
You gave me shelter and food to keep me warm,
you even tried to bring me my gloves in the storm,
so here's you a new pair,... the finest ever seen...
as an angel of the Lord, I'll be sure to tell the King....

Merry Christmas.......

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And a  special Thank You to…

Jerry from Cooking…by the seat of my Pants for the invitation to a very special Dicken’s style Christmas dinner, including roast goose and Figgy Pudding. What a lovely evening.

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Shelby from The Lives and Loves of Grumpy’s HoneybBunch for the micro marshmallows she sent me, That was so sweet and they make me smile!

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Lindsey from Scoop Adventure for being the best Secret Santa and for all the wonderful goodies she sent me. Both the Candied Nuts and the cookies were gone in a wink of an eye and I love my new apron!

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April from Abby Sweets for the box of goodies she sent me in our cookie exchange. Thanks for organizing it and including the Orange Shortbread!!!

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And to Barbara from Barbara Bakes (and April) for being my Baking Buddy. You make the DB challenges' so much more fun. Thanks for the friendship!

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And to you my dear readers, if it weren’t for you, the writing on these pages would be like I was talking to myself. I appreciate you more then words can say.


Merry Christmas… and God bless!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Cookie Recipes!

On the twelfth day of Christmas,

my true love baked for me.

Twelve Molasses Crinkles,

Christmas Cookies


Eleven Chocolate Caramel Bars,

Christmas Cookies


Ten Sparkling Toffee Cookies

Christmas Cookies


Nine Rocky Road Brownies

Christmas Cookies


Eight Pistachio Bites

Christmas Cookies

Seven Mint Bars

Christmas Cookies


Six Browned Butter Cookies

(with Cardamom)

Christmas Cookies

 Five World Peace Cookies,

Christmas Cookies


Four Peant Butter Bars

(Honey roasted with chocolate ganache!)

Christmas Cookies


Three Buttermilk Cookies

(with Nutmeg and sour cream frosting)

 Christmas Cookies


Two Cocoa Cuties

Christmas Cookies


and a chocolate Almond Bar!

Christmas Cookies


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I’m sending my platter full of Christmas Cookies to Susan at Food Blogga. She is hosting the 3rd annual *Eat Christmas Cookies* event. You can check out her site for all the details. And be sure to check out the virtual cookie jar for Christmas Cookies from all over the world.


And be sure to check out my baking buddies Christmas Cookies too!
  • Barbara Bakes
  • My Baking Adventures
  • Stirring the Pot
  • Keeper Worthy Recipes
  • Abby Sweets

    Merry Christmas!

    Molasses Crinkles

    (Printable Recipe)

    3/4 cup shortening

    3/4 cup brown sugar

    1 egg

    1/2 cup Molasses

    1 tsp. cinnamon

    2 1/4 cups flour

    2 tsp. baking soda

    1/2 tsp. cloves

    1 tsp. salt

    1 tsp. ginger

    Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, beat in egg and Fancy Molasses. Add sifted dry ingredients. Chill 1 hour. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place on greased cookie sheet. Press with fork. Brush top with cold water. Sprinkle each cookie with sugar. Bake at 375oF for 10 minutes.

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    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Chocolate Caramel Bars

    Two weeks till Christmas folks! All the houses in the neighborhood are decorated and every weekend there seems to be more parties and festivities to attend. I wish I could bottle the spirit of the season and pull it out when I need a little holiday cheer throughout the year.

    I might not be able to bottle the holiday cheer, but these bars  could cheer me up in a hurry!

    Chocolate Caramel Bars

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    A brown sugar shortbread topped with a chocolate caramel that is sprinkled with a course sea salt. If that doesn't spell “special” to you then I don't know what will.  :)

    This cookie bar is the 11 cookie in my….


    12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies


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    It was also my turn to pick the Martha Monday project hosted by Brette from Martha and Me so I picked this bar from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.mondays

    I must admit, I had a bit of difficulty with this bar. I doubled the recipe and had no problem with the crust. But twice, not once, but twice, I made the caramel and it screwed up. (Notice how I said “IT” screwed up, not me!)

    I boiled the sugar and water just like the directions said but I ended up with a giant hard sugar crystal cube. I didn’t stir it at all during the boiling process because that would cause sugar crystals but I still ended up with them. I don't know if it was because I doubled the recipe or what, but I’m on a mission to play with more caramel this weekend and find out what went wrong.

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    The third time I tried the caramel, I added a 1/2 cup of corn syrup to the sugar and water. I should have let it boil a little longer and become more amber in color but I was a bit flustered. That neurotic behavior left me with a caramel that didn’t quite set. It was more like a chocolate ganache then a caramel. Not that I’m complaining mind you. It was a delicious disaster.

    OK, it wasn’t really a disaster but you see, these cookie bars were suppose to get mailed to one of my cookie baking buddies. And you want to know the worst part? I’m the last baking buddy to mail her package.

    I’m a slacker. There I said it!

    And I cant send her these bars because they would not hold up in the mail. (sigh)

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    Speaking of sending cookies, I got my package from April of Abby Sweets. April was my very first blogging friend that I ever met and we hit it off at the very beginning.

    What did she send me you want to know? She sent me Lemon Cake Cookies, Orange Vanilla Shortbread, and Sugar Glazed Almonds.

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    She also sent me some Scripture Tea and some mini Christmas Loaf pans. I had myself a very merry tea party!

    Thank You April!

    Your the best and I appreciate you more then words can say!

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    I’m sending my delicious disaster bars to Susan at Food Blogga. She is hosting the 3rd annual *Eat Christmas Cookies* event. You can check out her site for all the details. And be sure to check out the virtual cookie jar for Christmas Cookies from all over the world.


    I’m also ending these to Michael of Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Check out what everyone is making over there.

    And be sure to check out my Cookie Baking Buddies!


    Chocolate Caramel Bars

    (Printable Recipe)


    Makes 16

    • 4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for parchment
    • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
    • 10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.
    2. Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
    3. Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.
    4. Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars. Bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

    From Martha Stewart Living, November 2009 |

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    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Whole Grain Challah Bread with Orange Zest and Chocolate Chip

    Challah Bread with Orange Zest and Chocolate Chip!

    That is what I made with  December’s bonus recipe from the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes Group. And there is still plenty of time if you want to bake a long with us. The official kick off is next month so ask Santa for that Cookbook and you’ll be set to go! Well…you’ll need a little Vital Wheat Flour but you can easily find that at your grocery store.

    Christmas Challah Bread with Orange and Chocolate Chip

    The original recipe called for cranberries and orange zest but I knew it would not get eaten in my household as it was written(except by me), so I substituted Chocolate Chips. I know the way to win my family's heart!

    Christmas Challah Bread with Orange and Chocolate Chip

    I brushed a thin glaze of orange juice and powdered sugar on it and sprinkled it with a course sugar. I also substituted the wheat germ for Cream of Wheat cereal. And I baked it all pretty in my new Kugelhoft Bundt Pan. Doesn't it look so jolly and merry? Perfect for the holiday festivities!

    Christmas Challah Bread with Orange and Chocolate Chip

    It made some super-duper toast and I’m sure it would make a dynamite bread pudding! I hope to find out! :)

     Christmas Challah Bread with Orange and Chocolate Chip

    Click on the picture above to get the recipe!

    Happy Holidays!

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