f Sarah Lynn's Sweets

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Do you ever get a craving to bake something sweet only to discover you are missing key ingredients? It's been a while since I baked sweet treats, but the other night I was having a craving for cookies - specifically lemon cookies. I soon discovered, though, that I was out of eggs...typically a key ingredient to making cookies. I didn't want to head to the grocery, so I decided to find an eggless cookie recipe.

Besides saving me a trip to the store, it also gave me an opportunity to try my hand at alternate ways to bake. I've had a few requests for specialty baked treats that meet dietary restrictions including egg free, dairy free, and gluten free. I've really only tried egg free desserts that I hadn't had much luck with...until this cookie recipe!

Baking a cookie without eggs wasn't the only obstacle I ran into with this recipe. I started by following a recipe I found online. After following the directions to the letter, I ended up with a crumbly mess! The recipe definitely seemed like it didn't have enough liquid (especially with the exclusion of the eggs). But, I wasn't expecting it to be so crumbly. I decided to add some lemon juice until it got to a better dough consistency. Thankfully, that worked!

These cookies have such a light texture and consistency from the powdered sugar, they just melt in your mouth! I added even more lemon flavor by creating a lemon icing for the top of the cookies. It was a bit thick, so I iced them while they were still warm. I even added a dash of fresh lemon zest to the top of the cookies, for an extra kick of fresh flavor.

Individually Baked Mac 'n Cheese

When my husband and I got married we received so many wonderful wedding gifts, most of which came from our registry. One of our most used gifts, though, was a set of ramekins we had not even thought to ask for. I was surprised by just how useful the mini dishes are! Whether its with prep work, melting butter, storing sauces, or even being used as bakeware, we use the ramekins all the time! I've even shared a couple recipes on here that utilized these handy dishes - mini chicken pot pies and microwaveable deep dish cookie.

Today's recipe that uses ramekins was inspired by our favorite steakhouse. One of their best sides is the baked macaroni and cheese, which is baked and served in a ramekin. It got me thinking that we could cook our favorite baked macaroni in ours!

I love the look of mini dishes baked in ramekins, they are perfect for a dinner party. Another great aspect of the mini mac 'n cheese dishes are that you can individualize them to different tastes. You could mix in different flavors or ingredients in each ramekin to customize each dish. We kept ours simple with some bacon bits. We did personalize them slightly by topping them with different types of cheese for mine and my husband's. He used the sharp cheddar we used in the dish, while I used a spicy pepper jack cheese to give mine a little kick.

This baked mac 'n cheese recipe is delicious and I can't wait to make this mini version again!

Individually Baked Mac 'n Cheese ingredients:
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni pasta (or your favorite small pasta)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (half stick)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mix ins: bacon bits, veggies, ham, etc.
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for the topping)
Individually Baked Mac 'n Cheese instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Prepare pasta per instructions on box
  • Drain pasta and set to the side
  • Grate block of cheddar cheese
  • Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat
  • Gradually whisk in flour and salt
  • Heat until mixture sarts to bubble and turns pale brown (approximately 3 mins)
  • Slowly mix in 1 cup milk
  • Once combined, mix in the second cup of milk
  • Continue cooking and whisking until sauce begins to thicken
  • Season with freshly ground black pepper
  • Slowly mix in cheese
  • Once melted, remove pan from heat
  • Stir in cooked pasta 
  • Mix in bacon bits or any other add ins (you could also mix them in the smaller dishes)
  • Split mac 'n cheese between ramekins
  • Mix together breadcrumbs and melted butter
  • Top mac 'n cheese with breadcrumbs and a little more cheese (I used spicy pepper jack cheese, my husband used just sharp cheddar)
  • Top with additional black pepper, if desired

I've shared quite a few savory dishes lately. It's been fun experimenting with cooking, but I'll be back to sweet treats next week. I have some new lemon cookies I'm excited to share!

Maple-Bourbon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

When I began my adventure in blogging, I first focused solely on sweet treats and dessert recipes. Slowly over time, I began to venture over into the savory side. While I still prefer baking, I have gained confidence in cooking and have started to experiment and expand my repertoire. There are so many ingredients and dishes I still want to work with though! 

I was thinking about this at the start of the year and decided to make a bucket list of 100 recipes I'd love to try out. The list includes a mixture of sweet and savory dishes. I'll make sure and mention when a new recipe I'm sharing is off the list, but check back to see which I've completed. You may notice recipes that are already marked off, I decided to include dishes from last year. In 2014 there were a few dishes I had been excited to try for a long time, and was particularly proud of (such as my Italian cream cake or homemade noodles).

Today I'm marking the first recipe off the list for 2015 - bourbon glazed salmon. One thing I've loved about the blog, and experimenting in the kitchen, is that it has helped evolve my palette. There are foods I was sure I used to dislike (or at least never wanted to try) that I've begun to rediscover. One of those foods is salmon. I used to dislike (or assumed I disliked) any and all seafood. Recently, though, I tried salmon for the first time in years and realized I had been missing out! 

I'm always up for discovering new recipes to add to the rotation, especially ones that are healthy, so I decided to try a salmon dish. I looked around online for a glaze to compliment the fish and found one from Better Homes and Garden that sounded perfect - a maple bourbon glaze. If your keeping track, this isn't the first dish I've made that has a bourbon glaze, I previously tried an ancho bourbon pork chop and a maple bourbon pork chop. I also used bourbon in the Whisky BBQ Sliders (which would be great for any upcoming game day parties). This glaze is slightly different than the others, it contains bourbon, maple syrup, orange juice, and pecans. Yum! The combination is sweet with a bit of a citrus kick. The pecans add flavor and  a bit of texture contrast.