It is amazing how something as simple as a lemon rolling out of the refrigerator can bring back sweet memories of special times in the kitchen. It reminded me that lemon was my husband’s favorite flavor. Yes, believe it or not, lemon even topped chocolate on his flavor list.
There is something about a little juice that seems to make flavors pop. I remember once years ago, when Mauna and I were catering and something I was making just did not taste right. Mauna smiled and said to do what I had told her to try — add a little lemon juice. It worked.
Huey loved lemon meringue pie and also lemon icebox pie. If I couldn’t make either of these time-consuming desserts, he would never complain if I made some of the following easy-to-make Lemon Macaroon Muffin Puffs. If I had a couple of round cake layers, I could slice them in half crosswise, making 4 thin layers. Gail Gorham would turn these layers into a delicious lemon icebox “cake.” Her recipe calls for a box of lemon supreme cake mix, but plain layers also work great.
One of my favorite lemon treats is a batch of Lemon Almond Snaps. These have a tender crunch and the cookies just seem to melt in your mouth. One time when I didn’t want to go to the grocery store for almonds, I made them with ground pecans. They were not good —w on’t try this anymore.
LEMON MACAROON MUFFIN PUFFS
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fine coconut
3 English muffins, split
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In small bowl, beat egg until light and pale yellow. Add butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix well. Stir in coconut. Place English muffin halves on ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of lemon macaroon mixture on each muffin half. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until topping puffs and turns golden brown. Best served warm.
LEMON ALMOND SNAPS
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2/3 cup oil
3 cups all purpose flour
4 1/2 oz. almonds, finely ground
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
In large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs and oil. Beat until blended. In medium bowl, combine flour, almonds, baking soda and salt. Stir to mix. Add flour/almond mixture and lemon extract to creamed mixture. Beat well. Drop dough from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Using bottom of glass that has been dipped into sugar, flatten the dough. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately. Cool on rack.
GAIL GORHAM’S LEMON ICEBOX FILLING FOR CAKE
2 (about 14 oz. each) cans sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated milk)
8 oz. Realemon juice
8 oz. container Cool Whip
Combine condensed milk and Realemon juice. Mix well and reserve 1 cup. Set aside. Spread remaining filling between the four thin cake layers (see above). Mix Cool Whip with reserved filling and spread over top and sides of cake. Keep refrigerated.
— Prudence Hilburn of Piedmont, Alabama, has won more than 30 national cooking awards and written several cookbooks, including, “Simply Southern and More.” Write her at email@example.com or visit www.prudencehilburn.com.