SMiLes by Meg

Lemon Ice Cream Cake

This weekend, I got to do lots of fun things! I went to Brad Paisley with my dad, for our fifth annual summer country concert. I spent the day at Green Harbor with my cousins, which I missed out on for the 3rd this year. And I got to make an ice cream cake that was surprisingly simple, despite how hard it was to find sweetened condensed milk! So this cake starts with making a REALLY easy ice cream. No machine required – just whisk some ingredients together and freeze it. With an ice cream cake, you’re less concerned with

Baklava

Baklava is one of those recipes where you think it must be super complex (there are so many layers!), but when you actually make it, you realize there aren’t that many ingredients, and the process is fairly simple. I wouldn’t have believed any of this, but Sandy, whose recipes have appeared on my blog in the past (Trout Farm Apple Pie, Mud Pie, Oh Henry Bars), gave me a pan and her recipe for Christmas. So obviously I had to give it a try. Now, to be honest, this was actually my second attempt at Baklava. When she first gave

Raspberry Apple Muffins

Another of my awesome baking-related Christmas presents this year was silicon cupcake cups. This may not seem revolutionary, but they’re in some very happy colors, and I have a really bad habit of deciding to make cupcakes or muffins only to realize, once the batter is made, that I don’t have any paper cupcake cups on hand. Enter silicon baking cups – never again will I have to run to CVS only to find out that CVS doesn’t carry cupcake liners! When trying to decide what to make in my new silicon liners, I wanted to make something that I

Orange Spritz Cookies

For my last in this year’s Christmas cookie series, I bring you something a little fruity to round out your cookie boxes: orange spritz cookies. Everything in my box so far had been either chocolate or butter or ginger or some other traditional warm flavor and I wanted a fruit counterpoint. Usually you can do this with some thumbprints, but I really am not a huge fan of jam cookies (other than hamantaschen). I prefer cookies that rely on the zest of a fruit. I also prefer cookies that let me use my cookie press. These checked both boxes. First,

Cranberry Lemon Scones

Last week, I told you’d I’d give you a recipe to use with your leftover fresh cranberries. This week, I’m delivering! These scones are quick, foolproof, and wonderfully crumbly. Eat these fresh from the oven, with coffee, or for dessert with a scoop of ice cream. You really can’t go wrong.

Amaretti

Yesterday, I got back from a 10-day vacation in Italy with Erik. Last week, I promised a recipe for amaretti cookies, which I thought I’d be making while I was there. We did lots of fun things (biking, hiking, exploring new cities, making pizza dough…), but amaretti baking was not one of those things after all. However, a promise is a promise, and my mom insisted that I should make something with an “Italian flair”, so here’s an amaretti recipe anyways!

Blackberry Brown Sugar Bars

When I’m baking in my mom’s kitchen, I usually take a break from my normal cookbooks and use one of hers that I like: The Farmhouse Cookbook.  What I found out this week is that as cute as the cookbook is, it doesn’t actually have that many dessert recipes. I was flipping through it, trying to decide on something, and thought lemon blueberry bread pudding sounded like a great dessert for the meal my mom was cooking. Almost 5 years into this blog, I decided it would be a good idea to check before starting it. Turned out I had

Lemon Berry Stripe Cake

This weekend I decided to bake something exciting. I had the time. I had a book club (which meant it would disappear quickly). I hadn’t made a cake in far too long. Also, Cate made it a couple weeks ago and I got jealous. So I pulled out Ottolenghi’s Sweet cookbook and found the most colorful, interesting looking cake I could: Lemon Berry Stripe Cake.

Hamantaschen

These were really fun. If you don’t know by now, I give up sweets for Lent every year. Which means I try to find people to bake for each week so that I won’t have the temptation around me. This year, Erik made it easy. He wanted to make hamantaschen for Purim so that we could send cookies to a long list of people, all over the country, that he stays in touch with. Sending cookies by mail far from Boston fits in well with my Lenten promise to not eat said cookies. A win-win all around.

Rugelach

Last week, I baked my first recipe out of Sweet, but did so down in DC with Cate and Jonathan. This week, I baked my first recipe out of my own copy of Sweet, and did so here in Cambridge, during a much-needed weekend without travel. I had originally planned on making Torrone, but decided to wait on that. Then, I thought I’d make Ottolenghi’s peanut butter s’more cookies, but again decided it seemed a little too involved. Finally, I settled on Rugelach: impressive looking, but not overly time-consuming. And, as luck would have it, they got one of my