by Joanne Fluke
& Staci McLaughlin
This week we have recipes from Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke and Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin. At the end of this post are details on how to win copies of both books!
From: Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke
ORANGE DREAMSICLE BAR COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
Orange Cookie Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 cup cold salted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 1/2 pound)
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar (no need to sift, unless it’s got big lumps)
4 beaten eggs (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
2 cups white (granulated) sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (I used Minute Maid)
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (pack it down when you measure it)
Extra powdered (confectioners)sugar to sprinkle on top
Hannah’s 1st Note: Orange zest is the finely grated peel from an orange. Use just the colored part. The white is bitter. One orange will yield approximately 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest and that’s enough for this recipe.
To make the Crust:
Place the 2 cups of flour in the bowl of a food processor.
Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces. Place them on top of the flour.
Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest on top of the butter.
Sprinkle the powdered sugar on top of the orange zest.
Process with the steel blade in an on-and-off motion until the resulting mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.
Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangular cake pan by spraying it with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, for even easier removal, line the cake pan with heavy-duty foil and spray that with Pam.
(Then all you have to do is lift them out of the pan, peel off the foil, and cut them up into pieces.)
Spread the crust mixture out in the prepared pan and pat it down with your impeccably clean hands.
Then use a metal spatula to even it out and make it smooth on top.
Get ready to put your crust in the oven. You will prepare the Orange Filling while your crust is baking.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s golden around the edges. When it’s baked, you will be removing the pan from the oven and pouring on the filling you’ll make, so don’t turn off the oven until both the crust and the filling are baked!
Hannah’s 2nd Note: If your butter is a bit too soft when you make the crust, you may end up with a mass that balls up and clings to the food processor bowl. That’s okay. Just scoop it up and spread it out in the bottom of your prepared pan.
Hannah’s 3rd Note: Don’t wash your food processor quite yet. You’ll need it to make the orange filling. (The same applies to your bowl and fork if you made the crust by hand.)
To make the Orange Filling:
Combine the eggs with the white sugar (You can use your food processor and the steel blade to do this, or you can do it by hand in a bowl.)
Add the orange juice, orange zest, orange liqueur, orange extract (if you decided to use it), salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.
Add the flour and mix until everything is incorporated.
(This mixture will be runny and it’s supposed to be.)
When your crust is baked, remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cold stove top burner or a wire rack.
Remember, don’t shut off the oven! Just leave it on at 350 degrees F.
Pour the orange filling you just made on top of the crust you just baked. Let it sit on the cold stove burner for a full 5 minutes. (This helps the filling stick to the crust.)
When the 5 minutes are up, use potholders to pick up the pan and return it to the oven. Bake your Orange Dreamsicle Bar Cookies for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool your bar cookies in the pan on a cold stove top burner or a wire rack. When the pan has cooled to room temperature, sprinkle some of your extra powdered sugar on top.
Cover your pan with foil and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Then take it out of the refrigerator, sprinkle the top with more powdered sugar, and cut your Orange Dreamsicle Bars into brownie-sized pieces. Place them on a pretty platter, and serve them with plenty of hot, strong coffee or tall glasses of milk.
Hannah’s 4th Note: If you would prefer not to use alcohol in these bar cookies, simply substitute another 1/4 cup of orange juice for the orange liqueur. That’s what Lisa and I do at The Cookie Jar. This recipe works both ways and I can honestly tell you that I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Orange Dreamsicle Bar Cookies!
From: Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin
It’s Esther here, giving you my favorite lemon curd recipe. First, take a vegetable peeler and remove the zest of three lemons, making sure not to get any white pith in the mix. Put the zest in a blender or food processor with a cup of sugar (more if you like things on the sweeter side) and pulse it together until the zest is all minced up.
Then cream one stick (eight tablespoons) of butter that’s been sitting out at room temperature, and mix in the lemon and sugar mixture. Once every- thing is nice and creamy, add four eggs, one at a time. Squeeze in the juice from those three lemons (watch the seeds!), and mix everything together.
Pour the concoction into a small saucepan and warm on low heat, making sure to stir constantly, until the curd starts to thicken. This usually takes ten minutes, but can sometimes take longer. Once the curd thickens, remove it from the heat. It will keep thickening as it cools. You can store any left- overs in the refrigerator, but considering how good this stuff is, you may not have any!
To enter to win a copy of Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke and Murder Most Wholesome by Staci McLaughlin, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “recipes,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 20, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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