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Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

Got plenty of extra citrus hanging around your kitchen,along with an abundance of fresh grown basil? Well combine lemon, limes and a hint of basil for a delicious cookie that taste like you bought them from a gourmet bakery! 

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit Summer 2012


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Ingredients:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 Tbsp of sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp of freshlemon juice
1/2 tsp of finely grated lime zest
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Sanding Sugar (optional)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Place flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zest, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet spacing 2 inch rounds, dusting cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2 inch rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with standing sugar, if using.

Bake until edges are brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire wake; let cool.

 

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Chocolatley Berry-licous Cake.

Have you made a cake completely from scratch yet?  

With the mass variety of cake mix along with the inexpensive cost per box, i always assumed the box mix was a convenience to the everyday moms, whether you were a working mom or stay at home. Up till a few years ago, i was completely dependent on box mixes for cakes, breads, and some cookies. Like who has the time? Well

if you have never made a cake from scratch give this chocolate cake a try. Recipe is courtesy of Hershey’s. The only thing I altered was instead of 3/4 cup of regular Hersey’s cocoa, I lowered it to 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup of “Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa” which gave the cake a layer of deep rich chocolate without the heaviness of a rich dessert.

To the left is the regular cocoa, to the right is the "special dark cocoa"

To the left is the regular cocoa, to the right is the “special dark cocoa”

I also added honey and lime to dress the berries up just a tad, as honey will give berries a nice natural shine.

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The bonus? Well it wasn’t hard at all nor was the list of ingredients a mile long, it’s about the same for scratch made cookies.

So if you pass a berry stand or going to your local farmer’s market grab some berries, whip up a quick and easy cake and experience “Pure Chocolate Bliss”

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Ingredients:

For Cake
2 cups sugar
1 -3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Special Dark Cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

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Filling & Frosting

4 cups fresh berries; (raspberries, blueberries,blackberries,strawberries) cleaned, slice strawberries only
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp fresh lime juice

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 – 3/4 cup powder sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Pre Heat oven to 350°F.
You can either grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans, or line bottom of 9-inch round baking pan with parchment paper.

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In a medium bowl mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a larger bowl mix with a hand or stand mixer all wet ingredients ( eggs, milk, oil and vanilla) on medium speed for 2 minutes.

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Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

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If you have both cakes on the same rack then midway through rotate pans and continue baking, until wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

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Cool 10 minutes before moving cakes from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

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While cake is baking go ahead and wash and clean berries you plan to use. you can stick with strawberries or use a variety. Make sure strawberry tops are also removed.

Put berries in a medium bowl. in a smaller bowl whisk honey and lime until well incorporated, and pour over berries and put into the fridge until ready to use.

Using a small-medium bowl add 2 cups heavy whipping cream, and put bowl into freezer for about 15 minutes.
Using a stand or hand mixer over medium-high speed whip cream for about 2-3 minutes, as you should start to see soft peaks.
Add vanilla extract and start by adding 1/4 cup powder sugar to whip cream and mix some more, keep adding until you reach the desired consistency or until just stiffened. Do not over mix.

Slice the top of the cake round to make a flat surface, use a bread knife so the cake will cut better, and flip over cut side down.

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Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on the bottom layer of cake.
Top bottom layer with about half the amount of berries.

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Add top layer of cake and repeat with whipped cream and berries.

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Slice and serve along with any remaining whipped cream and/or berries on the side.

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Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 Tbsp of sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tsp of finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp of finely grated lime zest
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Sanding Sugar (optional)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Place flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zest, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls. Place on a large baking sheet spacing 2 inch rounds, dusting cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2 inch rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with standing sugar, if using.

Bake until edges are brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire wake; let cool.

 

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