The fragrance and taste of cinnamon takes me back to when my kids were little. Cinnamon Bun Cake is a twist on buns I made for them all those years ago. And they love it as much as they did on those mornings I got up extra early to make them a special breakfast!
It’s been a rainy couple of days. Rainy days always make me want to curl up with a cup of tea and cookies to watch a good movie. But not just any cookie will do. For a rainy fall day I wanted a big batch of Earl Grey Tea Cookies with Lemon Glaze. These cookies have the light citrus flavor of bergamot that’s perfect for a day like today!
I shared this recipe back in March and I realized I haven’t made these cookies since then. It’s definitely time!
When I was a kid there were still honest-to-goodness malt shoppes in our town. The people behind the counter wore caps, usually made of paper, and you could order pop (soda), root beer floats, ice cream, milkshakes, and my favorite a chocolate malted. I miss those old shoppes and so I decided to bring them back with Bam’s Malt Shoppe Cookies.
When I was a kid the ice cream truck, carefully timed to arrive after dinner every summer evening announced itself with the loud playing of a bouncy tune I believe, about chickens. My favorite treat was the orange pushup; a soft ice cream in a cardboard tube that had a plastic disc in the bottom and a stick protruding from the end. You used the stick to push up the disc which raised the ice cream to a lickable level. There are no ice cream trucks out here but I’ve found a way to recreate my favorite childhood treat. These Orange Creamcicle Bars take me back to those long ago summer evenings and there’s no baking involved! I think they’ll be a summertime favorite for your family, too!
The easiest part of the recipe is making the crust. It’s pretty much the standard graham cracker crust we’ve all made before. I just made graham cracker crumbs, added the melted butter, and stirred until I had the sandy texture I needed.
Next I mixed the cream cheese, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk.
Next came the orange zest and the orange juice. Thank goodness for my son who squeezed about 5 oranges for me!
It was then time to make the whipped cream. I whipped the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks formed. I forgot to get a picture of the stiff peaks but they formed.
Then I ever so gently folded my whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
I retrieved the crust from the freezer and poured the filling in.
After waiting (impatiently) for about 3 hours I removed the foil from the pan and cut my Orange Creamcicle Bars with a dry, hot knife. I used mandarin orange slices to decorate them but you can use orange zest or both!
Orange Creamcicle Bars
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 crackers)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoon sugar
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
Mandarin orange slices (optional)
Put a mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer.
Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl pour the graham cracker crumbs and sugar, mixing to combine well.
Stir in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs resemble damp sand.
Firmly press the graham cracker mix into the bottom of the prepared pan making sure it’s evenly spread and reaches the corners and edges.
Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, condensed milk, and sugar and beat until smooth.
Stir in the orange zest, orange juice, and orange extract and mix until just combined.
In the chilled mixing bowl pour the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula, fold in the whipped cream very gently into the orange mixture. Do not over mix.
Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling over the crust.
Place the pan back in the freezer for at least three hours until the filling is set.
To slice, remove the foil from the baking pan and flatten. Use a dry, hot knife to slice into bars.
Decorate with mandarin orange slices or orange zest.
The bars will need to thaw for just a couple of minutes before serving.
My family loves these Ginger Lemon Mini Muffins and the mini size is perfect for my husband. The lemon adds brightness and the heat of the ginger comes through at the end. With a cup of Earl Grey tea, they’re the perfect Sunday morning treat. They can, of course, be made into full size muffins, just increase the baking time to about 12 -15 minutes.
First I gathered my ingredients
After mincing the ginger I added the sugar and heated the mixture. It smelled so good!
By the final step in mixing I was ready to just grab a spoon!
These little darlings are ready to bake.
I got 4 dozen mini muffins and I expect about 16 full size muffins would be about right for this recipe.
Ginger Lemon Mini Muffins
Yield: 4 dozen mini muffins
1 large piece (about 3.5 ounce) unpeeled fresh ginger (you’ll need 3/4 cup very finely minced ginger)
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. sugar, divided
3 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature + enough very soft to butter muffin cups
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Butter the muffin cups.
Cut the unpeeled ginger into chunks and, in a food processor with a metal blade, process until it is very finely minced.
In a small saucepan, combine the ginger and1/4 cup of the sugar.
Cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the mixture is hot; watch this carefully as it only takes a minute or two.
Set aside to cool until tepid.
In a small bowl stir the lemon zest and the 3 Tbs. sugar and let stand for several minutes to blend the flavors.
Add sugar/zest mix to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking soda to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until blended.
Add the eggs and beat well.
Add the buttermilk and mix until blended.
Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended.
Stir in the ginger-lemon mixture.
Spoon batter into the buttered muffin cups. Fill each cup until nearly full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 9 – 11 minutes.
Cool muffins for 1 minute in the muffin cups then remove to finish cooling.