Lemon Thyme Shortbread

For Fourth of July this year I made lemon thyme shortbread cookies to go along with our fresh berry salad and homemade whipped cream. For more on this see:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2016/07/06/4th-of-july-weekend/

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I’ve wanted to learn to make shortbread for a long time and lemon is one of my favorite summer ingredients for baking.

I found a recipe from: twopeasandtheirpod: lemon-rosemary-shortbread that I adapted to make these star shaped light summer cookies.

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These are not high in sugar, although they are very buttery. People commented they would go well with tea, and were more like British biscuits. Yes I would agree they are more European in style as compared to most of my other sugar filled crunchy or gooey cookies.

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But I think in the spring and summer sometimes you need something light that pairs well with iced tea or fresh berries. What I love about these cookies is that the texture is light but still more moist then a cracker and they have a perfect burst of lemon.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 TBS lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 C lemon juice.

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Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, lemon zest, and thyme together.
  2. In a separate bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.

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Note: add more lemon juice or zest for a stronger lemon burst or more vanilla for a more mild smooth flavor

4. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour or until firm.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put parchment paper, a Silpat, or grease your cookie sheet and put aside.

IMG_65976. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick square. Cut into shape of your choosing using a lightly floured cookie cutter.

IMG_65967. Place shortbread cookies on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown around the edges

8. Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.

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Then Enjoy!

Luke thought they were good but a little heavy on the thyme. If your not a fan or herbs in your cookies you can always take them out of the recipe or substitute them for some fresh vanilla bean.

4th of July weekend

So what did we do for the 4th?

Well after more than a week with Luke’s parents we were ready for a weekend in. (More on that week to come soon.) We spent most of the weekend working on the house, working on some of those projects that take only a few hours but are hard to fit in. We also got some quiet time to just regroup together, and on our own.

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On the 4th we celebrated with burgers, local hard cider, and dessert. For the 4th this year I decided to make a new cookie (always looking for excuses to experiment). After research online I decided to make lemon thyme shortbread cookies (recipe to come). To make them festive I used a star cookie cutter.

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To complete our dessert I made a berry salad adding fresh mint from our garden, then made some whipped cream with a little vanilla and agave. It was a refreshing and light festive dessert. Maybe a new tradition? For more on this see:

https://agreenesadventures.org/2013/03/30/hot-cross-buns-and-berry-salad-a-new-easter-tradition/

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After dessert we drove over to Loon Lake to enjoy the fireworks, we got a perfect spot, closest I’ve ever been to a fireworks show.

 

Hope you had fun celebrating with friends and family for the holiday weekend.

Happy 4th of July!

 

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To celebrate this year I made new red white and blue cookies using the summer cookies jello recipe with a few tweeks (more on this to come).

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We also are doing a BBQ for two of hamburgers with homemade buns and baked potato wedges. Luke and I are enjoying the sun shine, finally.

Whether you are enjoying time with your family or friends, having a BBQ, going to a concert, or watching fireworks I hope you all enjoy celebrating our nation’s independence.

 

Stars Hollow, Fireworks, and Minions: Holiday Weekend in review

As I mentioned in my 4th of July post Luke had a four day weekend! Instead of traveling or packing up the camping gear we decided to stay local so Luke could get a lot of “Luke time” (aka play computer games and not think about work) at home. So instead we explored nearby for holiday weekend events and celebrate the 4th with our own BBQ for two.

We started our 4th of July with some patriotic pancakes. Using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancake mix I added a little honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and fresh blueberries and strawberries for our Thursday brunch.

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The rest of the day was spent relaxing with no particular plan in mind. For our BBQ using pre cut stew meat, Luke combined soy sauce,  sirachica, and some spices to create a savory but kicking steak marinade. And what BBQ is complete without some corn on the cob straight from the grill? All served with some local hard cider.

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When it got dark we went on a walk to the Bridge st. where we watched fireworks over the Chemung river.

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wish I could take credit for this picture but I’m not that good

Friday was a complete day in highlighted by finishing a good book and making some great homemade fish tacos (recipe to come).

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Saturday we drove up to Hammondsport  just north of Bath where Luke works. And if there is any town to be named a real life Stars Hollow this is it! Named “America’s coolest small town” by Budget Travel, the central park has a gazebo where summer concerts are held Thursday nights.

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Surrounding the park are mom and pop diners and bakeries, antiques, an ice cream parlor, pubs, a toy store, a BBQ joint, coffee shops, city hall, and the downtown church.

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After a humid walk we got back in the car and drove to the northside of town to check out the fireman’s carnival. This small town fundraiser for the local fire department included a BBQ chicken dinner, raffles, and of course carnival rides and all those games to win a giant stuffed pink monkey topped off with a fireworks show later in the night.

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After walking through the carnival, we found the Keuka lakeside park full of people with their families enjoying the waterfront in swimsuits, BBQing, or kayaking on the lake.

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We then drove with the windows down to the mall to catch the last showing of Despicable Me 2. We laughed over and over again at some minion mischief while sharing a box of junior mints

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And today? Well today is our chance to regroup from a great long weekend, check off a few weekly chores, and see what’s ahead for the next week.

What did your family do for the holiday weekend?

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Luke has today and tomorrow off so our plan today is to not have too much of a plan and enjoy it! We started the morning off slow with some red, white, and blue pancakes (gluten-free pancakes with fresh strawberries and blueberries). Then tonight we will enjoy some grilled corn on the cob and steak kebabs. After that? I’m sure we will grab a picnic blanket or our camping chairs and  drive out to one of the many wonderful fireworks show displays in the area.

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And my holiday tree has gone patriotic. Small sparkler red and blue fireworks (wire decorations) shoot from the moss grass stones at the based of the tree. The mini mason jars are filled with blue glass stones and alternating blue and white candles. (I thought I’d bought an American flag ribbon to go around the base but I was wrong 😦 I guess next year.)

If you are a last minute planner or got a last minute invite to a party today check out my Memorial Day treat. They are fast easy, dessert kebabs only assembly required.

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Or if you have about an hour and a cake mix lying around check out my 4th of July funfetti cheesecake cookies.

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What are your patriotic day plans?

4th of July Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies

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We are coming up on the biggest all-American summer BBQ holiday of the year. So I thought I’d send you my festive cookie recipe now in case you debating what sweet treat to bring or serve at your family/friend BBQ.

I found the original verison of this recipe on pintrest then gave it to my mom so she could make cookies for father’s day. (For original recipe click here!).  After seeing some amazing pictures and hearing how easy and delicious these cookies were I decided to make some of my own to share at our church picnic and with Luke’s co-workers.

So here is my 4th of July twist on the Funfetti cheesecake cookies.

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4th of July Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies

Makes about 32 cookies

Prep time 5-10 minutes

Baking time 30 minutes

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Ingredients

1 box stars and stripes Funfetti cake mix

(If you can’t find this cake mix then get a basic white cake mix and use 2 TBS red and blue sprinkles)

1 small box instant cheesecake pudding mix (you can use vanilla if you don’t like cheesecake)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup white chocolate chips (or red and blue candy coated chocolate pieces)

* If you want: extra red and blue sprinkles and/or some red/blue food die

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, vegetable oil spray, or Silpats.

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2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, vegetable oil, eggs, sprinkles and vanilla until a dough forms. You may be able to replace the oil and eggs for greek yogurt, I would suggest using about a 3/4 C.

3. If you want to add a blue or red tint to the dough add only 2/3 drops of one color and stir it in with the ½ cup of white chocolate chips. If you want red and blue stripes in the dough, add 2 drops each color and lightly stir it together after you have added the white chips.

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4. Using a cookie scoop or small spoon, drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

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5. If you have leftover white chocolate chips or sprinkles you can press a few chips onto the tops of each cookie.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookie start to lightly brown on top.

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The centers will still be very soft.

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Let them cool for at least two minutes before trying to enjoy these deliciously sweet treats!

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What’s your plan for the 4th?