Recipes

Italian Lemon Cookies

I grew up just north of Boston, close to incredible Italian bakeries.  If you couldn’t find something where we lived,  you could be in Boston in 30 minutes, go to the North End and find almost anything.  I have to confess, I took it for granted.  I know, I know.  How could I take something like that for granted? I guess I just thought they were everywhere.  If you live in an area of the country where there are authentic Italian bakeries, first don’t take it for granted and second, please have an anginetti cookie for me!

When we moved to a city north of the Atlanta, 17 years ago I couldn’t find a single free standing bakery in a 10 mile radius.   I looked.  When I asked friends where they would go to buy nice pastries or a special dessert the answer was always Publix or Kroger.  The grocery store?   Yeah. Uh… that’s not the answer I was hoping for.  (Thank Goodness there was a Dunkin’ Donuts in the next town.  No DD, no bakeries, as a Bostonian, I can’t even…;)

Fast forward to this weekend. I was going through some old recipe cards my mom had given me over the years, and I had totally forgotten about one from an elderly Italian woman who lived across the street when I was growing up – Mrs. DeBurro.  It was for her lemon cookies.  My mom loved them.  I was so excited I decided to make them right away and figured I’d drop some off for mom.   I had to run to the store for the lemon extract, but other than that I couldn’t believe how simple they were.  They only thing that made it a little difficult were words like “a pinch of salt” and “some confectionary sugar”.  She passed away a long time ago, so, without any way to clarify, I’d just have to see how it went.

I made the cookies according to her recipe (only with a little more flour because she said to add flour so the dough wasn’t too sticky).  I was so excited when they came out of the oven. I broke one open, let it cool for 30 seconds, and popped it into my mouth.  And….not exactly what I expected.  It tasted more like a little warm lemon bread than a cookie. (Important Note:  If you’ve made it this far, you need to read to the end of this post…because as John Lennon said…”Everything will be okay in the end.  If it’s not okay.  Then it’s not the end.”)

At this point I was really craving the Italian lemon cookie I had in my mind.  So, of course,  I went on Pinterest.   I was convinced Mrs. D  must have just left out an ingredient!  If I could figure out what it was I could make them again and add it.

I came across a few recipes that looked similar.   One was made by Proud Italian Cook and used butter instead of oil like Mrs. D.  (Here is a link to the Proud Italian Cook’s recipe.) But that was the big difference.  Maybe I just needed to make a whole new cookie.  I decided to try the Proud Italian Cook’s recipe as I was really looking for an authentic Italian cookie.  So, back to the grocery store I went for more flour, butter and lemon extract.   A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon;)

The second recipe came together pretty quickly as well.  (If you decide to make it, definitely take the time to cool the butter and then put it in your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment for about 6-8 minutes and you will see the butter and sugar start getting really creamy!  I thought a few minutes in nothing was going to happen, but it does.)

While the second lemon cookies were baking I figured I’d at least frost the first cookies as directed with “some confectionary sugar, a little milk and a little lemon extract”.  (I promise, word for word, those were the directions. You’ll see.)  I had to finish them -OCD;)  I dipped the two dozen cookies I had made into the glaze and set them aside to dry.  (I didn’t finish baking all the dough at that point. They easily made two dozen more cookies.) Then, I finished baking the Proud Italian Cook’s cookies and then put her frosting together – very specific measurements – confectionary sugar and limoncello.  Very nice.

At this point my husband came in the kitchen, and just stood there, staring at all the cookies I had made, with a look that pretty much said, have you gone completely crazy?  So, I told him the short version.  First ones – not what I expected.  Second ones – I think better.  I told him he was welcome to try them and let me know what he thought.

So, he tried the first ones, and he said, “what’s wrong with them?”  Huh?  “What do you mean?  Don’t they taste like lemon bread?”   “No.  They taste like cookies…just softer. ”   So, I picked one up and bit into it  (I am definitely going to gain weight blogging. LOL!)   At that point, several hours out of the oven, completely cooled,  with a nice glaze soaked in…he was right!  They were really good!  No way!   In fact, they reminded me of the cookies from the bakery!  Way to go Mrs. DeBurro!  I’m so sorry I ever doubted you!

So, now I have two lemon cookie recipes! And I will definitely visit The Proud Italian Cook again – just followed her on Pinterest;)  Below is the recipe Mrs. DeBurro used for so many years.   Just don’t add too much extra flour… frost them well… and let them cool for a few hours before you try them.

Buon Appetito!

 

Mrs. DeBurro's Italian Lemon Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • FOR COOKIES...
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 Tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt (I used ¼ teaspoon salt)
  • 4 Cups of flour
  • FOR FROSTING...(See my notes below)
  • Confectionary Sugar
  • Milk
  • Dash of lemon extract
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, oil and sugar together. Add the milk, vanilla and lemon extract.
  2. In another large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  3. Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture until the dough is firm, but not sticky
  4. Roll small pieces of dough into walnut sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper)
  5. Bake at 375 for approximately 10 minutes. Until bottoms are light brown.
  6. For frosting - mix some confectionary sugar and some milk with a dash of lemon extract. Brush cookies with glaze. It will have a smooth glaze over the whole cookie (I used 2 cups of confectionary sugar, 4 TBSP of milk and ½ teaspoon of lemon extract - beat ingredients together with a whisk until smooth and then dip the cookies and put on a cookie rack to dry.) You can dip twice or just make the glaze thicker if you like more frosting.
  7. NOTE: Cover cookies loosely as they will stay wet if you cover completely with Saran Wrap. They tastes even better day 2!!

 

Food and Recipes

Welcome to the Food and Recipes section of Managed By Mom.

My first memories of cooking are with my grandmother.  I remember being 4 or 5 years old, in our tiny kitchen in Massachuestts, watching her make crusts for apple pies.  We had one apple tree in our back yard.  Yes, exactly one.  And one pear and one peach tree – a fruit trifecta;)  (I have no idea how they got there and, apparently, I never thought to ask.)

In the fall my grandmother would gather the ripe apples she could reach, and have me pick up those that had just fallen, and we’d make apple pies and apple tarts so the fruit wouldn’t go to waste.  Well, she would really make them and I would be her helper. Even now I can smell the mingling of butter, apples and cinnamon that would waft from the oven as we baked.  It was heavenly!  We spent many afternoons together over the years baking pies, cookies, and cakes.  She taught me most of what I know about cooking, and the wonderful memories I have from being in the kitchen with her probably explain why I enjoy it so much.

I’ve spent many hours baking and cooking with my own kids over the years.  Cookies were defintely their favorite – especially chocolate chip – and not cookie bars – they had to be individually cookies;)  Cakes with dump trucks and ballerinas on them, and muffins and cupcakes of every flavor!  Sometimes they had more frosting on their faces than made it to the cupcakes;) I hope they look back on those times as fondly as I do.

Birthday cakes are still home made at our house, and if you ask my kids what the secret ingredient is they will wink and say “love”;)   We’ve had lots of great times, and at least a few mishaps – like the time I put too much chocolate mousse between the cake layers – and the top layer slid off- and landed the floor next to the table.  The shock on all our faces must have been priceless!  Maybe VISA will make a commercial.

I hope you’ll find some recipes here you’ll want to try.  Scroll through this site or click on any of the links below.  I only post recipes I have personally made, so there aren’t any on this site that haven’t been “test driven”.  I try to post at least one new recipe each week. So please check back from time to time to see what’s new.

Feel free to contact me and share what you liked or how you tweaked a recipe to make it your own.  I’d love to hear about it!

XO

Kate

Food and Recipes

BREAKFAST:

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Easy and Delicious Bran Muffins

 

LUNCH:

Peach Asiago Flat Bread Pizza

Easy Thai Chicken Noodle Bowls

Italian Salad

 

DINNER:

Holiday Apple Sausage Stuffing

Peach Asiago Flat Bread Pizza

Easy Thai Chicken Noodle Bowls

Italian Salad

Beef Stroganoff

Andrew’s Favorite Potato Soup

Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines for Under $20 2017-2018

DESSERTS:

Rosie’s Bakery Brownie Shortbread

Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan Cookies

Italian Lemon Cookies

A Perfect Cup of Pour Over Coffee

I love a good cup of coffee! I mean L-O-V-E!  If you are a coffee lover you know what I’m talking about! That perfect cup, perfect strength and roast (I like medium or dark roast), at just the right temperature, with just enough cream and sugar….hold please…I need to make a cup right now! I’ve had several good coffee makers including a Braun and a Cuisinart, but eventually I broke something, they stopped working, or decalcifying them with vinegar no longer got rid of that funky taste. This past May it was time for a new one. So, I did a little research and decided to try a “pour over” coffee maker.
I purchased an 8 Cup Chemex Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker for $43.22.  I recommend buying the 8 cup over the 4 or 6 cup because a “cup”, as defined by Chemex, is only 5oz.  So, an 8 cup only brews 40 oz of coffee (which is about 3 large cups in Kate’s kitchen).  I’ve been using this coffee maker for seven months now and can give an honest review – I totally love it!

Of course there are pro’s and cons. First the pros- it’s beyond simple.   You can see it brew, so there’s no doubt if when it’s done, and cleaning is a breeze! I literally put some water in, squirt two pumps of Dawn and swish. Rinse until the bubbles are gone. Clean!  The cons, it takes a little more active time on your part, about 10 minutes total, and you need to use course ground coffee (which I never saw in the grocery store until recently). And it is made of glass, which is not a con in my opinion, but if you have granite countertops just be careful. You will still need coffee filters. I absolutely recommend the ones made by Chemex. They are much thicker than a regular filter and fit perfectly.  I found the best deal on them at my local Crate and Barrel (100 filters for $8.95).

 

It had been years since I ground my own coffee but since I was switching things up I decided I was going to go all in. So I researched and bought a Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder for $29.99 on Amazon.  I don’t usually buy one of the cheapest anything, but it had great reviews. I’ve been using it for 7 months now and so far I am very happy with it. (Except it is loud…I mean…exceptionally loud. It doesn’t wake up my husband in the morning, but then he can sleep through a tornado.)

Here is where I will save you money on the whole pour over thing. Everything I read said you needed a long neck kettle. I looked online at at stores and had settled on the Hario 1.2 Liter (40oz) kettle I saw on Amazon for $34.42. I hated to spend more money at that point, and thought it was just another thing I needed to store in the cabinet or leave on the stove when I wasn’t using it. (This mom already has enough clutter!) So I decided to just use a glass measuring cup with a spout to start and if I liked the coffee maker I would buy a kettle. I quickly realized you didn’t really need a long neck kettle, what you actually needed was the thin stream of hot water provided by the neck. The only downside with my measuring cup was that it was 2 Cups – only 16 oz. I was filling twice, but it was a little annoying. So one day at Ikea I stumbled across a 32 oz measuring cup! Vardagen $4.99.  It works perfectly and I also use it when making rice, baking or cooking.  Better than the kettle for my needs.  If you decide to try a pour over buy whatever makes you happy. You will have it a long time!

Kate’s recipe for the perfect cup of coffee – Makes 40 oz

Put a clean filter into the neck of  your 8 cup Chemex Coffee Maker
Fill your Burr Mr. Coffee Burr Grinder with whatever whole bean coffee you like. Set to “Coarse Grind” (all the way on the right) and set the number of cups to 6.

Pour the ground coffee into the filter
Boil water in your long neck kettle or pour boiling water into a 32 oz glass measuring cup:)
Pour water in a stream around the edge of the inside of the filter to wet it, just touching the edge of the coffee that is in the filter. Using a constant stream (not critical) pour in circles, making your way to the middle of the coffee and ensuring all the grounds are wet. (At this point you will see the water looks foamy. Great! CO2 is being released from the beans..smells fab!). Now wait 30 seconds as the water filters through. Then pour the rest of the water over the beans as you began..outside in..making sure all the beans are covered in water (just don’t over flow the filter/coffee maker!). It should just take a few minutes to go through. Then just discard the filter and pour! Voila! the perfect cup of coffee!

My current favorite coffee is Kenya Peaberry sold at The Fresh Market for $11/lb. I usually buy just over a half pound of beans a week so $7 for about 20 cups of coffee!

Delicious and Healthy Bran Muffins

 

My favorite muffins are blueberry, banana-nut, orange-cranberry and…yes bran.   The older I get the more I think about what I’m putting in my body.   I want it to taste good but I also want it to be good for me.  Muffins made mostly with white flour and sugar taste great, but they don’t fill me up and they don’t stay with me for more than maybe an hour.  So, I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes and have finally come up with something that really works for me and my family.  It’s based on this great muffin from A Bountiful Kitchen that you can find here –http://abountifulkitchen.com/2012/02/buttermilk-bran-muffins.html .

This bran muffin is SUPER easy to make, has ingredients in it that are good for you including cholesterol lowering bran and walnuts with good fats for your brain, eggs for protein, and black strap molasses for iron.  You can substitute 1/4 Cup of the 1/2 Cup of vegetable oil with olive oil and not notice the difference – which is what I do.  One of these with a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of milk and you’re good till lunch!

Delicious Bran Muffins

Makes 16 large bran muffins

1/2  Cup vegetable Oil (can use 1/4 vegetable oil and 1/4 olive oil)

3 cups All Bran Cereal

2 Cups Buttermilk

4 Eggs beaten

4 TBSP Molasses

3/4 Cup of Light Brown Sugar

2 – 4 tsp of vanilla (I use 4 tsp of home made vanilla)

1  1/2 Cups of organic whole wheat flour

1 Cup of organic white flour

2 1/2 tsp of baking soda

2 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of chopped walnuts

18  whole walnuts

1 Cup of Kellogs Special K Pumpkin Spice Crunch crushed.

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Spray your 12 muffin pan with Pompeian Grapeseed Oil or PAM nonstick Coconut oil spray.  In a big bowl combine the All Bran cereal, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, molasses, brown sugar and vanilla.  Mix it very well and put it aside.  In another large bowl combine both of the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Use a whisk and stir for about a minute until all ingredients have been well mixed.  Add the cup of chopped walnuts and stir with a spoon until walnuts are completely coated with flour and distributed.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir slowly, just until incorporated.  Your batter should be thick.  Do not over stir, just until no white flour is visible.  Put enough batter in each muffin cup to reach the top.  Don’t worry if it is not even.  Now center one whole walnut on the top of each muffin.  Sprinkle each muffin with a bit of the Special K Pumpkin Spice Crunch.  Put the muffins in the 425 degree oven FOR FIVE MINUTES.  Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake them for an additional  10 – 12 minutes.  When you take them out test them just to make sure a knife or toothpick comes out clean.  Let them sit for 5 minutes and then take them out to cool on a rack.  You should be able to get 4 additional muffins out of this batter for a total of 16 muffins.

I usually leave 4 out and then freeze the rest of them in individual sandwich bags.  This keeps them just baked fresh.  It makes it easy to take one out the night before to eat in the morning, or grab one, even frozen and it will be defrosted by the time you get to work.

I hope you enjoy it!!

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