Christmas tends to be my favorite time of the year. Even with depressing events and not having all my family together, the music, the lights, the smells of delicious food baking… Mmmmm! Just missing cold weather. But this is Florida, so we can’t always expect cold weather for Christmas!
We can usually expect friends and/or family, though. And this mama doesn’t like drama, particularly this time of year, so instead of wishing for things that may or may not could happen, I will focus on positives: I got some goals accomplished this year that had been part of my New Year’s resolutions! I learned to be proficient at knitting and getting better every time I knit something. I am still far FAR from being a pro, but I’m pretty happy with the latest results! I would post a picture, but until after Christmas, that will have to wait as said projects are part of our gift exchange and there is NO PEEKING! Also, homesteading has been a desire and goal of mine for some time. When you can’t sit or stand for long periods of time because of serious back problems, you do what you can as you can. So I’ve learned how to make my own sauerkraut (will post that in a later post when I make a new batch), caramelized ginger & simple ginger syrup (along with sparkling Voss water makes an amazing homemade Ginger Ale without the additives like high fructose corn syrup, aka “HFCS”), and the latest Pinterest recipe, Ginger Lemon Bars. O. M. G. New favorite!
For those who love lemon and who like ginger, this is amazing. Lemon and ginger work so well together as it is (have you tried a hot ginger tea with lemon and honey?) that if you haven’t tried ginger, lemon & honey tea, you MUST. It’s great when you’re sick. Seriously. But these babies here? I promise, you’ll be making these again. Wish I could claim they were my own recipe, but credit goes to Sarah over at Broma Bakery. The only things I changed were omitting salt since I used salted butter and I am gluten free so there’s that.
Ginger Lemon Bars
for Cream Cheese Shortbread:
-5 oz. cream cheese
-1/2 C. butter
-2/3 C. sugar
-1/2 tsp. sea salt
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 1/3 C. flour
for the Ginger Lemon Curd:
-1 1/4 C. sugar
-1/2 C. lemon juice
-1 Tblsp. lemon zest
-1 Tblsp. fresh ginger (grated)
-1/2 tsp. sea salt
-2 tsp. vanilla
-1/2 C. Flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and line an 8″x 8″ baking dish/pan with parchment paper and lightly spray again. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt (if using unsalted butter), and vanilla until light & fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Turn mixer to low speed and incorporate flour.
3. Press dough firmly onto bottom of baking dish, spreading evenly to edges. Bake 12-15 minutes.
4. While the shortbread is cooking….. In large bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the Ginger Lemon Curd (except for the flour). Once mixed, whisk in flour, whisking away lumps.
5. Pour Ginger Lemon Curd on top of the Cream Cheese Shortbread and bake an additional 20-30 minutes to set (length of time will depend on your oven and also the dish or pan used; I have a conventional oven and a glass dish which takes longer).
6. Cool to room temperature (or slightly warmer) on wire racks then cool in refrigerator until set and chilled an additional 2+ hours.
7. Cut into bars. You can sprinkle with as little or as much powdered sugar if desired. If you prefer more tangy, you can omit the sugar (like me, HA!).
These are absolutely divine! Now that my baking is done and my knitting projects are finished, I can focus on another resolution I have fallen pretty far behind on: my reading! Want to finally finish the Game of Thrones series (can’t wait till George R.R. Martin comes out with the 6th book in the series; he has 3 more books in the series he is working on, book 6 should be out some time in the new year). Then on to collecting and reading the rest of The Mistborn series and Dresden Files. And so many more!
Wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!