Friday, September 14, 2012

Labor Day baking

I love three-day weekends, and this one was perfect. I spent a day with friends, a day with the hubby, and then had an entire day left to bake!

My pinterest recipes to try board was filling up (I'm embarrassed to admit just how many pins there were), so I thought I'd take a stab at reducing the un-tested recipes on there. I love lemon, but I'm ready for fall, so I did a little bit of summer baking and a little bit of fall baking. Perfect for this end-of-summer holiday!

 First, it was this no-bake lemon cheesecake. Unfortunately, I was multitasking, and I think I left the gelatin and lemon juice mixture for too long. I am pretty sure it's not supposed to completely set up before you mix it in. Oops! So while I imagine it would have been even better if I'd done that properly, I think it turned out OK. It certainly looked beautiful (if I can say so myself).

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
Then it was lemon cookies. Yes, more lemon. These were scrumptious, and definitely the quickest thing I made. Super easy, but I was surprised (I don't know why) that it only made about 24 cookies. I am just used to getting more cookies out of a batch.

Lemon Cookies

Finally, I made pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream. These were a real hit! The caramel was tricky, and it took me 4 tries to manage to make it without burning it (and I still think I may have taken it off the heat about 10 seconds earlier than perfect). The secret was definitely to take it off the heat at the very first sign of color. Mine kept cooking until the cream was all stirred in, so waiting to pull it off when it was already dark was way too late. And cooling it with ice isn't a good solution either - it immediately hardens the caramel (not that I'd be so foolish as to try something like that). But just in case you were thinking it. Yeah.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Oh, and I made some taco soup (a go-to in my house), but used recipes for taco seasoning and ranch mix instead of packets. I think I'd forgo the dill next time (just not a huge fan), and back off the cayenne (hubby was a little overwhelmed by the spiciness). Other than that, it was nice to use spices in my cabinet instead of having to buy something else.