glazed passion fruit bars

Glazed Passion Fruit Bars | daisysworld.net

If you like lemon bars, I think you’ll love this variation of my Meyer Lemon-Mascarpone Bars, which substitutes passion fruit juice for lemon juice. Like lemon bars, these Passion Fruit Bars have a thick, buttery shortbread crust and luscious ooey, gooey filling, but with the distinct, floral flavor and aroma of passion fruit. The sharp tartness of the passion fruit is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the sugar and the richness of the creamy mascarpone. The glaze adds a touch more sweet-tart flavor and a little crunch from the passion fruit seeds.

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vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes | daisysworld.net

We’ve been suffering through a heat wave in Southern California, which has disrupted what has otherwise been a mild summer. We don’t have air conditioning, but we live close enough to the beach to benefit from the coastal breezes so our house cools off quite nicely in the evenings, without the exorbitant electric bills.  However, we do have a couple of weeks each summer when we wish we had air conditioning to cool us off and this has been one of those weeks. Continue reading

at the county fair: funnel cake

At the County Fair: Funnel Cakes

For many Americans, going to the state or county fair is as much a summer tradition as baseball and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Despite the searing heat and sweaty crowds, we flock to the fair to enjoy the carnival games, rides, attractions, and, of course, the food. For me, the food is only one reason to go. Shocking, right? I can skip the games (I’m way too old for stuffed animals), the rides (I never understood the appeal of spinning really fast while suspended in mid-air), and the animals (too smelly, too hot, and ewww, too smelly). I just can’t skip the corn dogs, grilled corn, and, of course, the funnel cake! Continue reading

strawberry rhubarb mini-tarts

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini-Tarts

I don’t often repeat things on the blog, but I love the concept of tarts made with puff pastry so much that I made another version, this time with a strawberry and rhubarb filling. These simple and easy to make tarts come together quickly once the sheet of frozen puff pastry is thawed, so these mini-tarts are great if you’re pinched for time. The best part is that they’re absolutely delicious. I love the flaky layers of dough as the base for tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and an almond crumble flavored with a hint of cinnamon. There’s also a hidden layer of orange-scented cream cheese on the bottom that gives these mini-tarts a touch of creaminess.

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blood orange hazelnut muffins

Blood Orange Hazelnut Muffins

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, if I had these muffins, I’d eat breakfast every day. Heck, I’d eat two breakfasts a day. Unfortunately, this type of logic doesn’t follow healthy dietary guidelines, so I go without breakfast on some mornings and relish the days that I can indulge.

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red currant and poppy seed cake

A month ago, I would have passed on making this cake. It wasn’t because this recipe, from Aran Goyoaga of the breathtakingly beautiful blog Canelle et Vanille, didn’t sound delicious.  On the contrary, her recipe have always been so tempting, but I’ve never attempted any of them.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m a little embarrassed to say!  Continue reading

passion fruit and vanilla bean cupcakes

We all have our favorite way to relax and clear our heads after a busy week at work. Some people listen to music or read a book, or perhaps practice yoga, while others prefer to unwind by doing something physical like running or cycling. For me, baking is a great way to relax.  It gives me a sense of calm and provides an escape from the stresses of work, which is full of competing deadlines, ringing phones, and unanswered emails.  I can focus on something entirely of my own choosing. I don’t have to stretch or hydrate, and I’m not concerned about how fast or how far I’m going. Continue reading

pistachio-lemon crinkle cookies

This recipe pairs two of my favorite ingredients, meyer lemons and pistachios, in these soft, chewy cookies. They’re lemony, nutty, and very refreshing. They’re the perfect cookies for Spring.  These Pistachio-Lemon Crinkle Cookies are addictive, with a great combination of tartness from the lemons and the sweetness from the powdered sugar. So quick and easy to make, you’ll be eating delicious cookies in less than an hour. Continue reading

chocolate cinnamon crinkle cookies

I am not normally a made-from-scratch cookie baker.  For many years, I’ve been buying frozen cookie dough from my nephews’ school as part of their fundraising efforts.  When both boys moved to different schools, the fundraiser ended and with it went my ready-made cookie dough supply.  Now, I am “forced” to make cookie dough myself.  I don’t really have any go-to cookie recipes aside from my Snickerdoodle Cookies so I’ve been testing out recipes I’ve seen on different blogs and websites. So far, I’ve discovered a couple of keepers, like the Pistachio-Tangerine Cookies and the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies that I featured in previous blog posts. Continue reading

pistachio and tangerine cookies

I have one more pistachio recipe to share and I think it’s a good one! I wanted to use some leftover pistachios to make a variation of the Russian Tea Cakes, which are usually made with walnuts. A quick search for a recipe on Google yielded a similar cookie, Pistachio Snowballs, from Dandy Sugar which combines pistachio with tangerine. This is a new flavor combination for me and I was immediately intrigued. Serendipitously, I had a couple of tangerines that I bought last week for a recipe I ended up not making (and frankly, don’t remember). I love it when I find a recipe to make and I have all the ingredients at hand.

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lemon shortbread cookies

Yesterday I needed a break from the weekend chores so I decide to make some shortbread cookies.  They are easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand.  This recipe is adapted from one given to Aunt Janet by Mrs. Beaten, a Scottish neighbor of hers when she lived in Hilo, HI.  These cookies have a great lemony flavor and are perfect with a cup of tea.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Beaten
Yields 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon (preferably meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, finely chopped for garnish

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