It’s still winter here in Alexandria as I write this entry. When I was planning the menu for the year, I thought surely, the first signs of Spring would be revealed this week in March. Even though Spring feels very far away, making lots of different lemon treats has brightened my outlook (and made my kitchen smell nice). In fact, it’s been a bit of lemon overload if such a thing exists.
In addition to our menu:
- Lemon Bar Cheesecake with Homemade Lemon Curd Topping and Candied Lemon Slices
- “Bee” Cream Puffs with Honey Cream, and
- Millionaire Bars,
we also made a number of lemon tarts with various fillings and tart doughs as well as candied lemon peel with leftover previously squeezed lemons. What we were after was a “showstopper” dessert – sorry, Lemon Tart.
Lemon Tarts are completely delicious and elegant, but we were going for more wow factor this time. And, did we ever find it, in this cheesecake from Southern Living’s Cakes & Pies Special Edition 2014. The cheesecake contains four (!) packages of cream cheese and a swirled layer of Lemon Curd (recipe included and is made in the microwave if you can believe it) which is also used to top the cake, and finally, a crown of Candied Lemon Slices (recipe included is both quick and easy). While this cake is straightforward, delicious, and beautiful, it takes a LONG time to put together, making it perfect for a really special occasion.
The inspiration for this month’s treats evolved from a roll of gold and black honeycomb print washi tape. I’m always looking for ways to include a bee theme each Spring, so naturally I was excited to find the tape. But, the dramatic color scheme did prove more of a challenge this time with coordinating other flavors and treats.
Thankfully, I also came across an idea for transforming macarons into bees and thought the idea might work well with cream puffs. Voila! Our second treat materialized! We used sliced almonds for wings and melted chocolate stripes for their segmented bodies. And, we modified a custard filling, eliminating the eggs and substituting fruit for honey to pipe in the puffs. The result was a cloud of super creamy, lightly-sweetened, sophisticated deliciousness. Yum!
Last, but certainly not least, were the Millionaire Bars. Or, as we affectionately call them, “Billionaire Bars” 🙂 These bars are essentially a homemade version of Twix bars and are, therefore, highly addictive. The swanky name refers to their richness and decadence.
With the homemade version, you can control the sweetness, and that’s what we did. Though, come to think of it, if we had added more sugar, we probably wouldn’t have eaten so many! After reading through a number of recipes, we used the one from the Little Spice Jar which calls for a shortbread base, a thickened sweetened condensed milk caramel layer, and a melted chocolate topping. We added butter to the melted chocolate so it was easy to bite into.
corrie @ Peachie’s Treats