TWD: Limoncello Cupcakes

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I made these limoncello cupcakes for Easter and they could not have been more appropriate for a dessert on a spring evening! Even better- the leftovers were just as tasty the next day! I enjoy limoncello and was happy to have a good excuse to buy it and store it in our freezer for upcoming warm evenings :-)

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I’m generally not a huge cupcake fan but would happily add these to a regular baking rotation. They were light and full of flavor and my friend Roxanne (aka The Cake Engineer) , gave me tip to use a fork to poke tiny holes into the cupcake before soaking it with syrup. Good idea! I’ll definitely do that the next time which will probably keep the cupcake liners from getting sticky from the syrup running down the sides. Either way, what a yummy cupcake!

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I piped out the frosting and Dorie was correct, next time I’ll double the frosting so each cupcake gets some love. :-)

TWD: Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars

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I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for Tuesdays with Dorie, I probably would not have selected this recipe on my own to make. But just like that article clothing you don’t want to try on because it doesn’t look appealing on the hanger, these bars turned out to be completely amazing. The photos unfortunately don’t do these bars any justice what so ever.

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I decided to make the caramelized Rice Krispie topping because I was dying to see how they would turn out (and the snap, crackle, pop while they were cooling was just awesome).

I was surprised at how thin the dough was. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it baked just fine and needed about 20 minutes. Wasn’t crispy at all and after topping the bars I just left it out on the counter for a few hours. They were perfect for dessert and all gone the next day. Definitely looking forward to enjoying these again! What a pleasant surprise! Check out everyone else’s bars here!

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Zeppole di San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph’s fried pastries)

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March 19th is a very special day to Italians. It is the feast day of Saint Joseph and Father’s Day is also celebrated on this day and it is celebrated with delicious pastries that vary by region. St. Joseph is also the patron saint of the school I attended growing up and I fondly remember the ice cream treats that we had. :-)

2 years ago I was able to find these pastries at Antico Pizza Napoletana here in Atlanta and was so excited that I ate several. Last year, no such luck and I was crushed. This year I came to the realization that I could just attempt to make them myself and then I wouldn’t have to worry about being able to find them.

This recipe is from Southern Italian Desserts and the recipe can also be found here if you’d like to make your own!  I was very anxious about making the zeppole because of the trickiness of making pastry cream and frying the dough (I had 0 experience using a deep fryer before making these). The first batch of pastry cream resulted in curdled eggs. Thanks to my good friend Tara and helpful You Tube videos, I was able to temper it better and the 2nd try was perfect (and extra delicious- this recipe called for lemon).

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I made the dough the next day (March 19th) after work- the pastries are best eaten a little warm and definitely do not keep, which while a shame, definitely encourages you to go all out and have another (and maybe just 1 more because they won’t keep, and boy are they good!)

I was really pleased with how easy it was to use my deep fryer and could not have been more happy with how the pastries turned out- especially since it was the first time I was making them. Next time I’ll know to pipe the dough a little thicker- when played in the fryer it shouldn’t end up like a doughnut. The hole should come close to closing and create almost a well for the pastry cream to rest in (details, details) :-)

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I’m looking forward to making these again next year and honoring the Italian side of my family- it gave me a great, great sense of pride to be able to make them. I just wish I could have shared them with everyone in my family :)

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TWD: Lemon Madeleines

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The first delicious recipe for March is Dorie’s Lemon Madeleines on page 212. I have not made madeleines in a really long time so it was great to break out that pan again and they turned out beautifully with Dorie’s tips.

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Here they are right out of the oven, unglazed and tempting. I was planning to go all out and make the lemon glaze but my Mom texted me to eat one for her while it was still nice and warm. Naturally, I obliged (major arm twisting involved).

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I glazed the rest and it’s possible that they were even tastier. I think the glaze might have helped the madeleines keep longer than they would have without the glaze but we’ll never know. They were all gone the next day anyway.

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What I didn’t put aside for my husband I brought into work. My coworkers (@ Georgia Tech) were intrigued by the notion that madeleines tasted the best as soon as they were made and the quality of them decreased rapidly as time increased. There was talk of equations and exponential decay. And then everyone just ate and enjoyed. :-)

Happy Pi Day in advance!