12 Baguette Recipes We’d Bring To The Olympic Village

During the Paris games, the Olympic Village will produce more than 12,000 baguettes.

Most will come from bakers stationed at the village’s boulangerie—a French bakery, built within a former power plant, tasked with producing enough bread to sufficient…

During the Paris games, the Olympic Village will produce more than 12,000 baguettes.

Most will come from bakers stationed at the village’s boulangerie—a French bakery, built within a former power plant, tasked with producing enough bread to sufficiently carb load the more than 10,000 athletes competing at the summer games.

Read More >>

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Easy Recipe

Calling all cinnamon bread lovers! Our recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread offers a delightful twist on the classic. It’s a quick bread, so forget the yeast and all the fuss that comes with it – no kneading, no waiting for rise, just mix, layer, and bake! Plus, it boasts two secret weapons: a touch…

The post Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Easy Recipe appeared first on A Well Seasoned Kitchen.

Calling all cinnamon bread lovers! Our recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread offers a delightful twist on the classic. It’s a quick bread, so forget the yeast and all the fuss that comes with it – no kneading, no waiting for rise, just mix, layer, and bake! Plus, it boasts two secret weapons: a touch of orange zest for a subtle brightness, and sour cream for unparalleled moistness. This recipe was unearthed from my mom’s recipe files – written on a bank deposit slip of all places. It’s a keeper for sure!

3 slices of Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread on a white plate, with the loaf behind

Why This Easy Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe is a Keeper

One day I was browsing through my home gourmet mom’s extensive files and came across a treasure – a hand-scrawled recipe for “Cinnamon Loaf” written on a bank deposit slip. Intrigued by its unique origins and the fact that I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided to whip up a loaf for our weekend guests. Well, it was a showstopper! This quick bread didn’t require any fancy ingredients or techniques, yet the combination of flavors and textures had everyone reaching for seconds. It’s been a regular on my baking rotation ever since, and here’s why you should add it to yours:

  • Effortless elegance. Forget the intimidation factor of traditional yeast breads. This quick bread comes together super easily – no kneading, no rising, just mixing and layering. It’s perfect for both accomplished bakers and those new to bread-making.
  • A taste of home. The warm flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar are sure to evoke nostalgic memories. For me, it’s like stepping back into my grandma Nama’s kitchen, enjoying a comforting slice of cinnamon toast.
  • Pantry staples. All the ingredients you need are likely already on hand. And if not, they’ll be at your local grocery store.
  • Secret ingredient duo. A touch of orange zest in the cinnamon filling adds delightful depth and brightness, while sour cream creates a remarkably moist and tender crumb.
  • Adaptable size. This versatile recipe can be baked in one large loaf pan, perfect for sharing with a crowd, or divided into two medium loaves, or even four mini loaves that are ideal for gifting.
Loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread with 3 slices in front standing at an angle, showing the inside

Ingredients Needed for This Easy Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

Here’s all you’ll need to create this delicious Cinnamon Bread:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Table salt
  • Butter (salted)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Orange zest
Overhead view of all the ingredients in Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread, labeled

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

And here’s all you have to do to create this delicious homemade bread:

  1. Prep ingredients.
    Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Prep oven and baking pan(s).
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter your baking pan or pans (see sizes in Notes below). Line with two pieces of buttered parchment paper, cut to fit and placed crosswise, with around 2 inches overlapping outside the pan.
  3. Combine dry ingredients.
    In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. Cream butter and sugar.
    In a large bowl, using the paddle attachment of a hand-held or stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  5. Add remaining wet ingredients.
    Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, sour cream, and milk until well blended.
  6. Add dry ingredients.
    At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating just until blended (do not overmix). Dough will be very thick.
  7. Place half of batter in pan.
    Spoon half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s) and smooth so the top is level.
  8. Add cinnamon-sugar layer.
    In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Using your hands, blend in the orange zest; set aside 1 tablespoon. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over top of the batter in the pan(s). Overhead view of first layer of batter in prepared pan, with cinnamon-sugar mixture sprinkled on top
  9. Add remaining batter.
    Carefully spoon the remaining batter over the top and smooth so the top is level.
  10. Finish top.
    Using a sharp knife, make a cut along the top of the batter lengthwise to within 1 inch of each end. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the cut. Batter in pan, in oven, showing the cut on top that's filled with cinnamon-sugar mixture
  11. Bake.
    Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for a large pan, 35 to 40 minutes for medium pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the center (but not through the cinnamon sugar) comes out clean.
  12. Cool.
    Remove the bread from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan(s) using the parchment paper. Remove parchment paper and place bread on a wire rack to cool completely.
Side view of a loaf of Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread with two slices at an angle, showing the inside

How to Serve Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This bread can be served sliced warm or at room temperature. I like to add a bit of butter as well. It’s also delicious as the base for French toast!

Tips to Ensure your Homemade Cinnamon Bread Turns out Perfect

Here are some secrets to ensure your homemade cinnamon swirl bread turns out perfect every time:

  • Bring ingredients to room temperature. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Don’t skip this step; cold ingredients won’t combine properly.
  • Don’t overmix. Once the dry and wet ingredients are just combined, stop mixing. Overmixing can lead to a tough and dense loaf.
  • Monitor bread during the last 10 minutes of baking. Keep an eye on your bread during the last few minutes of baking. Every oven is different, so adjust the baking time slightly if needed to achieve a golden brown crust without burning.
  • Cool the bread. Let the bread cool completely before slicing. This allows the crumb to set properly and prevents it from crumbling.
Loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread with two slices cut in front and lying down

Variations and Additions

While this Easy Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread is delicious as is, feel free to add more ingredients to your taste. Chopped pecans or walnuts, raisins, or dried cranberries would all be delicious in this bread!
 
Alternatively, add an orange-flavored glaze to the top: In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons fresh orange juice until well blended. Mixture should be fairly thick, yet thin enough to drizzle. If too thick, add more juice. Drizzle over the top of the cooked and cooled bread (I like to put it in a squeeze bottle).

Storing Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Once the bread has cooled completely, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Bread can also be wrapped and placed in a ziptop baggie (or securely wrapped a second time with aluminum foil) and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen wrapped bread overnight in the refrigerator.

Other No Yeast Breads, Muffins, and Rolls To Try

Print
3 slices of Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread on a white plate, with the loaf behind

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Easy Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

This recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread offers a delightful twist on the classic. It’s a quick bread, so forget the yeast and all the fuss that comes with it – no kneading, no waiting for rise, just mix, swirl, and bake! Plus, it boasts two secret weapons: a touch of orange zest for a subtle brightness, and sour cream for unparalleled moistness. This recipe was unearthed from my mom’s recipe files – written on a bank deposit slip of all places.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 large, 2 medium, or 4 small loaves (see pan sizes in Notes)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided use
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (from about 1 large navel orange)

Instructions

  1. Bring all ingredients to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter your baking pan or pans (see sizes in Notes below). Line with two pieces of buttered parchment paper, cut to fit and placed crosswise, with around 2 inches overlapping outside the pan.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes.
  5. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, sour cream, and milk until well blended.
  6. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating just until blended (do not overmix). Dough will be very thick.
  7. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s) and smooth so the top is level.
  8. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Using your hands, blend in the orange zest; set aside 1 tablespoon. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter in the pan(s).
  9. Carefully spoon the remaining batter over the top and smooth so the top is level.
  10. Using a sharp knife, make a cut along the top of the batter lengthwise to within 1 inch of each end. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of the cut.
  11. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for a large pan, 35 to 40 minutes for medium pans, or until a toothpick inserted in the center (but not through the cinnamon sugar) comes out clean.
  12. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  13. LIft the bread out of the pan(s) using the parchment paper. Remove parchment paper and place bread on a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Pan sizes for this recipe: 1 large (9 by 5-inch), 2 medium (8 by 4-inch), or 4 small (5 3/4 by 3 1/4-inch) loaves. Note that the medium loaves won’t be as tall as the large loaf.

High altitude adjustments: No adjustments are necessary up to 7500 feet. Use only medium or small pans above that level and reduce baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon.

Make ahead: Bread can be baked, cooled completely, wrapped with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerated for up to 4 days. It can also be placed in a freezer-safe baggie and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

  • Author: From “Fresh Tastes” by Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Quick breads
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

The post Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread – Easy Recipe appeared first on A Well Seasoned Kitchen.

These Barley-Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies Are the Perfect Intro to ‘Bread and Roses’

The use of edible flowers in cooking and baking—along with freshly milled flours from heirloom grains like einkorn, buckwheat, and spelt—are having a moment.

Rose Wilde takes advantage of both in Bread and Roses: 100+ Grain Forward Recipes featuring G…

The use of edible flowers in cooking and baking—along with freshly milled flours from heirloom grains like einkorn, buckwheat, and spelt—are having a moment.

Rose Wilde takes advantage of both in Bread and Roses: 100+ Grain Forward Recipes featuring Global Ingredients and Botanicals, a recent Food52 Baking Club pick. (Snacking Bakes by Yossy Arefi is our next selection—join us to bake through it!)

Read More >>

The Best Lemon Bars – Easy Family Recipe

Sunshine on a plate! Straight from my grandmother Nama’s kitchen, these Homemade Lemon Bars are a treasured family recipe. Lovingly passed down for three generations, this recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare with readily available pantry ingredients. Bursting with citrusy flavor from both fresh lemon juice and zest, the addition of a unique ingredient makes…

The post The Best Lemon Bars – Easy Family Recipe appeared first on A Well Seasoned Kitchen.

Sunshine on a plate! Straight from my grandmother Nama’s kitchen, these Homemade Lemon Bars are a treasured family recipe. Lovingly passed down for three generations, this recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare with readily available pantry ingredients. Bursting with citrusy flavor from both fresh lemon juice and zest, the addition of a unique ingredient makes them lighter than other, more dense lemon bars. And, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, these homemade lemon bars appeal to both young and old, making them a delightful dessert for any occasion, from family dinner to bridal showers or graduation celebrations.

Homemade Lemon Bars stacked on a serving tray with small plates and flowers in the background

What is a Lemon Bar?

A lemon bar is a popular cookie consisting of a tart lemon filling layered on top of a buttery shortbread crust. After baking, the dessert is typically cut into small squares or rectangles for serving. Lemon bars are known for their refreshing citrus flavor and are enjoyed as a sweet treat or dessert.

 Why This is the BEST Lemon Bars Recipe

These luscious cookies hold special memories for me. My maternal grandmother, whom we called Nama, always whipped them up whenever we visited her in Tucson (she actually called them Lemon Love Notes!). They were so delicious, that we insisted Mom recreate them for us back home. And the tradition continues! Every time I serve these cookies, they vanish in a flash, with at least one person inevitably asking for the recipe. Here’s what makes this lemon bar recipe stand out:

  • Balanced flavors. I find lemon bar cookies are often too lemony or too sugary. Nama’s recipe achieves just the right balance between sweet and tart, ensuring every bite is just right.
  • More zesty lemon flavor. Adding fresh lemon zest alongside lemon juice infuses the bars with an extra layer of citrusy depth.
  • Lighter filling. Unlike denser, more stiff lemon bars, ours offer a lighter lemon filling, thanks to the addition of baking powder. Its leavening action subtly lifts the filling during baking.
  • Frosted topping. Versus most other lemon bars that are topped with powdered sugar, Nama’s lemon bars stand out with a delectable frosting. This elegant finish not only adds a creamy richness but also complements the tangy lemon flavor perfectly.
  • Easy to prepare. Nama’s easy-to-follow recipe guarantees consistent results every time.
  • Crowd pleaser. Whether you’re serving a family gathering or a party with friends, these lemon bars are guaranteed to be a hit with everyone, young and old alike.
close up of a small plate holding 2 Homemade Lemon Bars

Ingredients for Homemade Lemon Bars

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to create these bright, refreshing lemon bars from scratch (quantities are provided in the recipe card below):

Cookie crust

  • Butter – Nama, mom and I all use salted butter for the best taste. If you opt for unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered (Confectioners’) sugar
  • All-purpose flour

Lemon filling

  • Large eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemons – I recommend using regular lemons and not Meyer, as the latter’s lower acidic content results in less tangy flavor, making the cookies bland
  • Baking powder – don’t skip as this is the key to making the filling lighter.
  • Table salt

Frosting

  • Butter, salted
  • Powdered (Confectioners’) sugar
  • Whole milk – you can substitute 2% milk
  • Vanilla extract
Homemade Lemon Bars stacked on a serving tray in the background, with flowers and a small plate with two lemon bars in the front

How to Make Lemon Bars from Scratch

Follow these simple steps to achieve a delicious cookie-like crust and a luscious lemon filling:

A. Preheat oven and prep pan (if needed)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. You have the option to use a 7 by 11-inch glass baking dish as is or line it with two pieces of parchment paper, placed crosswise. (I don’t recommend using a metal pan.) The paper will make it easier to remove the cookies from the pan, but you will not get those lightly browned chewy edges.

B. Cookie crust

  1. Combine butter and sugar.
    With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth, fluffy, and light in color, around 3 to 4 minutes. 
  2. Add flour.
    Add the flour and mix just the mixture starts to form clumps. Don’t overmix. close up of raw crust dough showing the lumpy texture
  3. Press into pan.
    Press dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, in an even layer. Crust dough pressed into baking dish, before baking
  4. Bake.
    Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside (don’t turn the oven off).

C. Lemon filling

  1. Combine eggs and sugar.
    Again with the electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together just until light in color and well blended. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients; blend.
    Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and blend until just mixed. 
  3. Add to crust.
    Spread the lemon mixture over top of baked crust. Unbaked lemon filing in baking dish on top of baked crust
  4. Bake.
    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set – gently press the top with your finger to test. (Lemon filling will have puffed up and then settled down a bit).  Set aside to cool in the pan for at least one hour before frosting. Cooked lemon bars, in baking dish before adding frosting

 D. Frosting

  1. Combine ingredients.
     In a small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together until frosting consistency. Add more milk if too thick or more sugar if too thin.
  2. Spread on cookies.
    Spread over the top of the cooled bars. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Frosted homemade lemon bars, in baking dish

Variation in Method – Without an Electric Mixer

If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can combine the lemon bar ingredients for each layer the way my grandmother did in her original recipe – by hand:

  • For the Crust: Place all crust ingredients in a mixing bowl, and using a fork, gently blend just until they are well combined and the mixture is forming clumps.
  • For the Lemon Filling: Place the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until light in color and well blended. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.

Tips for the Best Lemon Bars

Here are my tips to ensure that your lemon bars turn out perfectly every time:

  • Use fresh lemons. For the best flavor, always use freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest. Bottled lemon juice lacks the vibrant taste that fresh lemons provide. And, I don’t recommend using Meyer lemons in this recipe; they have less “zing” due to their lower acidity.
  • Don’t overmix the crust. Overmixing the ingredients can lead to a tough and chewy crust. Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients are combined and forming lumps.
  • Bake the crust before adding the filling. Don’t skip this step! Pre-baking the crust ensures that it holds its shape and doesn’t become soggy when the lemon filling is added. 
  • Cool the bars completely. It’s important to let the lemon bars cool to room temperature before frosting, so the frosting adheres properly.
  • Refrigerate before slicing. You need to refrigerate these cookies for at least one hour before slicing, to allow them to set. They will be much easier to slice cold!

Variations on the Classic Lemon Bars Recipe

While this easy lemon bars recipe is undeniably delicious, there are several ways to make them your own. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add candied ginger. Following on the heels of my Blueberry Lemon Tart recipe, add chopped candied ginger to the filling. 
  • Add coconut. Add shredded coconut into the crust or sprinkle it on top of the bars.

Let me know (in the comments below) if you come up with some other fun modifications!

Homemade Lemon Bars stacked on a serving tray with small plates and flowers in the background

How to Serve This Recipe for Lemon Bars

To serve this easy dessert:

  • Using a sharp knife cut the refrigerated cookies into bars. I usually cut them into 15 pieces, but for a larger group, I cut them slightly smaller, into around 24 pieces.
  • Place on a serving platter or individual serving plates.
  • Add a small sprig of fresh mint leaves to the plate or platter for a pop of contrasting color. 

Note that if you stack the cookies for a long time (e.g., other than to quickly serve), place parchment paper between the layers to keep them from sticking together.

How to Store Lemon Bars

If you have any leftover lemon bars or want to prepare them in advance, cover them tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate. They are best when consumed within 2 to 3 days, but will last up to 4 to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. (See note in section above about stacking the bars.)

Lemon Bars FAQs

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?

While it is possible to use bottled lemon juice, I recommend using fresh lemons for the best flavor. Bottled lemon juice lacks the bright, tangy taste that fresh lemons provide.

Can I substitute margarine for butter in the crust?

While margarine can be used as a substitute, the flavor and texture of the crust may be slightly different. Butter is preferred for its rich flavor and superior baking properties.

Can I use a different type of citrus fruit, such as oranges or limes?

Lemon bars are traditionally made with lemons, but you can experiment with other citrus fruits. Let me know how they turn out!

Can I make the lemon bars gluten-free?

Yes, you can make gluten-free lemon bars by using 1 cup gluten-free flour and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. Double-check that all of your other ingredients are also gluten-free.

Do lemon bars need to be refrigerated?

Yes, for best results keep them well covered, in the refrigerator.

How long do lemon bars last in the fridge?

Lemon bars are best eaten within 2 to 3 days, but will last up to 4 to 5 days.

Can you freeze lemon bars?

Yes, you can freeze these lemon bars. It’s best to wrap each bar with plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe ziptop baggie. They will last for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
 

More Cookie Recipes to Enjoy

Print
Homemade Lemon Bars stacked on a serving tray in the background, with flowers and a small plate showing two lemon bars in the front

Best Lemon Bars – A Family Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Sunshine on a plate! Straight from my grandmother Nama’s kitchen, these Homemade Lemon Bars are a treasured family recipe. Lovingly passed down for three generations, this recipe is surprisingly easy to prepare with readily available pantry ingredients. Bursting with citrusy flavor from both fresh lemon juice and zest, the addition of a unique ingredient makes them lighter than other, more dense lemon bars. And, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, these homemade lemon bars appeal to both young and old, making them a delightful dessert for any occasion, from family dinner to bridal showers or graduation celebrations.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooling time: 120 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 15 to 24 bar cookies

Ingredients

Cookie Crust

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered (Confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon Filling

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest (about 2 medium lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon above 7,000 feet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

Frosting

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter , melted
  • 3/4 cup powdered (Confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk (or more)1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Optional (see note below): line a 7 by 11-inch pan with parchment paper.

Cookie Crust

  1. With an electric mixer, blend together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth, fluffy, and light in color, around 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and mix just the mixture starts to form clumps. Don’t overmix.
  2. Press dough into the bottom of the 7 by 11-inch baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside (don’t turn the oven off).

Lemon filling

  1. Again with the electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together just until light in color and well blended. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder and salt and blend until just mixed. Spread over top of cooked crust.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set – gently press the top with your finger to test. (Lemon filling will have puffed up and then settled down a bit). Set aside to cool in the pan for at least one hour before frosting.

Frosting

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together until frosting consistency. Add more milk if too thick or more sugar if too thin.
  2. Spread over the top of the cookies.
  3. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into bars (either 18, 24, or 28, depending on how large you want the cookies to be).
  4. Store the cookies, covered, in the refrigerator. Can serve cold or at room temperature.

Notes

Note about baking dish: If you line the pan with parchment paper the cookies will be easier to remove from the pan. However, you won’t get those browned, chewy edges; your choice.

High altitude: No adjustments are necessary up to 7000 feet. Above that level, reduce the baking powder to 1/4 teaspoon.

Gluten free: Substitute 1 cup gluten-free flour and 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum for the 1 cup flour. Double-check that all of your other ingredients are also gluten-free.

  • Author: From “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®” by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Cookies, desserts
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American

The post The Best Lemon Bars – Easy Family Recipe appeared first on A Well Seasoned Kitchen.

Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers with Chutney – Make Ahead

Ditch the boring cheese ball and impress your guests with these irresistible Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers! Straight from my mom’s recipe box, these bite-sized delights boast a flaky, golden crust cradling a creamy, cheesy filling with a hint of savory onion and a touch of curry powder. But the real star of the show is…

The post Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers with Chutney – Make Ahead appeared first on A Well Seasoned Kitchen.

Ditch the boring cheese ball and impress your guests with these irresistible Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers! Straight from my mom’s recipe box, these bite-sized delights boast a flaky, golden crust cradling a creamy, cheesy filling with a hint of savory onion and a touch of curry powder. But the real star of the show is the tangy-sweet mango chutney that adds a burst of flavor and takes this easy appetizer over the top. Plus, you make them ahead of time, freeze, and then bake just before serving. Say goodbye to last-minute stress and hello to rave reviews!

pale blue stand holding a portion of Mini Cheese Tarts with 3 on a plate in front

Why I Love Make Ahead Appetizers – Especially This Recipe

My mom was a firm believer in make-ahead entertaining. She always swore by prepping dishes in advance, not just to reduce pre-party stress, but to be able to spend party time with her guests. These mini tarts were a go-to favorite appetizer for this very reason – you can whip them up months in advance and bake them straight from frozen. They’ve become a signature dish of mine too, and I always keep a batch stashed in the freezer for those last-minute get-togethers!
 
In addition to make-ahead convenience, here’s what makes this cheesy appetizer recipe stand out:

  • Unique flavor. The combination of creamy cheese, savory curry, and tangy chutney is unexpected and delicious.
  • Easy and customizable. This recipe is freezer-friendly and uses store-bought puff pastry for convenience. Plus, you can experiment with different types of cheese and/or chutney to match your taste (see recommendations below).
  • Elegant presentation. These mini tarts are perfect for a party or potluck because they look impressive and are easy to eat.

Ingredients and Equipment Needed

cutting board holding all ingredients for Mini Cheese Tarts, labeled

To make these mini tarts, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Cream cheese – I think regular is best, but you can substitute low fat if needed
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Garlic
  • Curry powder – I recommend Madras curry
  • Mango chutney – often under the name “Major Grey’s” it may or may not say “mango”
  • Green onions
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling pastry
  • Frozen puff pastry

In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Electric Mixer with whisk attachment
  • Rubber spatula (for scraping down the sides of the bowl)
  • Rolling pin and mat
  • Large sharp knife
  • Mini muffin pans
  • Mini tart tamper (recommended but not required)
  • Measuring spoons and cups

Close up of 11 Mini Cheese Tarts on a light blue platter

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Mini Tarts with Cheese and Chutney

Here’s how you create these little bites of deliciousness:

  1. Mix cream cheese.
    Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese until smooth, around 2 to 3 minutes. Whipped cream cheese in the mixer bowl, showing when it's smooth
  2. Add the Cheddar, garlic, and curry powder and blend well. Mixer bowl showing adding the Cheddar cheese, curry and garlic to the cream cheese
  3. Add remaining filling ingredients.
    Chop up the large pieces in the chutney and add to the cheese mixture along with the onions, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Season to taste with salt. Set aside. Mixer bowl with whisk inside showing when ingredients are mixed enough
  4. Cut puff pastry into squares.
    On a lightly floured surface roll out one piece of puff pastry into a 12-inch square. Cut into 2-inch squares. Rolled puff pastry sheet with 6 squares cut out
  5. Press squares into small mini-muffin tins and prick with a fork. Mini muffin tin holding puff pastry squares, unfilled
  6. Fill squares and freeze.
    Spoon 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each square. Cover with saran wrap and freeze tarts in the tins. mini muffin tin holding filled puff pastry squares, unbaked
  7. Bake.
    To bake the tarts, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove tarts from the freezer and bake in the tins for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffy, bubbly and the pastry is golden brown.
  8. Let sit; serve.
    Let tarts sit in tins for 1 minute, then remove to a serving platter and serve warm. Note: they will puff up during baking, then collapse somewhat when removed from the oven. This is normal!
pale blue stand holding a portion of Mini Cheese Tarts with 3 on a plate in front

Tips for Making Perfect Mini Tarts

Over the years of making these cheese tarts, I’ve learned a few lessons that I thought I would share with you to ensure your tarts come out perfectly:

  • These tarts MUST be baked from frozen. Don’t skip this step or thaw them before baking! If you do, the puff pastry bottoms will puff up so far that they’ll push out the filling.
  • For best results, don’t overfill the tarts, just 1 teaspoon of filling. If you add more, the filling can bubble out of squares when cooked.
  • It’s important to taste the filling after mixing and adjust the seasoning as needed. Spices, like the curry and cayenne powder, lose their punch of flavor over time (after opening), so if yours are older, you may need to add more.
  • Don’t use packaged shredded Cheddar cheese – grate it yourself. The stuff they add to pre-shredded cheese to keep it from caking also can keep it from melting properly. And, the flavor will be less than freshly grated cheese.
  • Keep puff pastry sheet cold. If it gets warm, it will be difficult to roll and cut, and won’t puff as much when baked.
  • A note on baking time: If your tarts are baked in a pan that came out of the freezer, since it’s cold it will likely take the tarts closer to 18 minutes to fully cook. On the other hand, if frozen tarts are placed in a room temperature pan, then their cooking time will be closer to 15 minutes.

Variations and Customization Options

While the classic mini cheese tart appetizer with chutney is simply divine, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients. Here are a few variations and customization options to consider:

  • Swap out 1/4 of the cream cheese for goat cheese, to add a bit of tang.
  • Replace the Cheddar cheese with shredded gouda cheese.
  • Create a holiday version with cranberry chutney instead of mango.
  • Add chopped fresh herbs like chives, cilantro, or parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Add chopped cooked ham or bacon for a richer appetizer.

Close up of 11 Mini Cheese Tarts on a light blue platter

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

One of the best things about these mini cheese tart appetizers is that they must be prepared ahead of time, making them a stress-free option for entertaining. Prepare the tarts through the freezing step. If you aren’t baking the tarts the same day, once they are frozen, remove them from the muffin tins and place in freezer bags to store. They will last for up to 3 months; after that, the pastry won’t puff. When ready to bake, place frozen tarts back into mini-muffin tins.
 
Alternatively, the filling can be made up to 3 days ahead, placed in an airtight container, and refrigerated. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months.  Bring to room temperature before filling pastry squares.

More Make-Ahead Appetizers

Print
pale blue stand holding a portion of Mini Cheese Tarts with 3 on a plate in front

Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers with Chutney

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

Ditch the boring cheese ball and impress your guests with these irresistible Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers! Straight from my mom’s recipe box, these bite-sized delights boast a flaky, golden crust cradling a creamy, cheesy filling with a hint of savory onion and a touch of curry powder. But the real star of the show is the tangy-sweet chutney that adds a burst of flavor and takes this easy appetizer over the top. Plus, you make them ahead of time, freeze, and then bake just before serving. Say goodbye to last-minute stress and hello to rave reviews!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Freezing time: 120 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 38 minutes
  • Yield: 36 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons cup mango chutney
  • 2 medium green onions (white, light green, and some of the dark green portion), chopped
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling pastry
  • 1/2 package (17 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed (1 sheet)

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese until smooth, around 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the Cheddar, garlic, and curry powder and blend well.
  3. Chop up the large pieces in the chutney and add to the cheese mixture along with the onions, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured surface roll out one piece of puff pastry into a 12-inch square. Cut into 2-inch squares.
  5. Press squares into small mini-muffin tins and prick with a fork.
  6. Spoon 1 teaspoon filling into the center of each square. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze tarts in the tins.
  7. To bake the tarts, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove tarts from the freezer and bake in the tins for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffy, bubbly and the pastry is golden brown.
  8. Let tarts sit in tins for 1 minute, then remove to a platter and serve warm.

Notes

Make ahead: Tarts can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. If you aren’t baking the tarts the same day, once they are frozen, remove them from the muffin tins and place in freezer bags to store. Place frozen tarts back into mini-muffin tins to bake.

The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Can also be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months.  Bring to room temperature before filling pastry squares, then freeze before baking.

  • Author: From “A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®” by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: finger food, make ahead
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Note: this recipe was originally posted in 2009 and then updated significantly with new photos and additional information in March 2024.

The post Mini Cheese Tart Appetizers with Chutney – Make Ahead appeared first on A Well Seasoned Kitchen.

5 Gift Ideas For The Baker in Your Life

If you have a friend or family member who loves to bake, then consider yourself lucky. Why, you might ask? Because they are some of the easiest people to buy for. And take that from someone who loves to bake, and is overjoyed when gifted with any cookb…

If you have a friend or family member who loves to bake, then consider yourself lucky. Why, you might ask? Because they are some of the easiest people to buy for. And take that from someone who loves to bake, and is overjoyed when gifted with any cookbook, kitchen gadget, or decorative cake plate. Additions to our baking collection are always welcome, whether it’s a kitchen tool, a fun new ingredient, or something food-themed (like a butter ornament, for example–hint hint). With that said, here are some of my top gift picks for that special baker in your life.

1. Magnetic Retro Kitchen Timer

Okay yes, this isn’t necessarily baking exclusive, however, what baker wouldn’t want this retro kitchen timer hanging out in the kitchen? It’s cute, it comes in several different colors for you to choose from, and it sticks to the fridge which means you’ll never lose it. Plus, it eliminates the need to attempt to set a timer on your phone with flour-covered fingers. And if that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.

Read More >>

How Canned Fruit Can Cheer Up Your Winter Baking Routine

Samantha Seneviratne, author of the new cookbook Bake Smart: Sweets and Secrets from My Oven to Yours, believes that canned fruit might not deserve the not-so-stellar reputation it often gets. “We’ve all been advocating for the use of frozen fruit when…

Samantha Seneviratne, author of the new cookbook Bake Smart: Sweets and Secrets from My Oven to Yours, believes that canned fruit might not deserve the not-so-stellar reputation it often gets. “We've all been advocating for the use of frozen fruit when fresh is unavailable…but canned is a different story,” she said. “It gets a bad wrap for being overly sweet, but I realized that when it comes to dessert, that sweetness is an asset. Why not embrace it?”

According to Samantha, one way to appreciate canned fruit (and all its inherent sweetness) is by using it as the filling for a flaky, jammy galette. Specifically, the iteration in the just-published Bake Smart is full of canned apricots, along with pistachios and a touch of lemon zest.

Read More >>

Our 34 Best Gluten-Free Baking Recipes

Gluten-free baking often gets a bad rap, but that doesn’t need to be the case. By using alternative flours, grains, and starches, you can get results similar to those in traditional, wheat-based recipes—but even better is using these ingredients to ach…

Gluten-free baking often gets a bad rap, but that doesn’t need to be the case. By using alternative flours, grains, and starches, you can get results similar to those in traditional, wheat-based recipes—but even better is using these ingredients to achieve textures and flavors that are unique and delicious in their own right. You can use glutinous rice flour to make a chewy, squishy mochi cake, for example, or reach for almond meal to make a dense, rich torte. And those are just cakes—you can also make satisfying breads, cookies, pies, and more that just so happen to be without gluten. To get you started, here are 34 of our best gluten-free baking recipes.


Gluten-Free Breads

Of all the baked goods to turn gluten-free, breads are probably the toughest to get right. These four recipes will always have your back, though—whether you’re making a simple bread for sandwiches or cornbread to serve with your next bowl of chili.

Read More >>

Erin Jeanne McDowell’s Foolproof Tips for Perfect Holiday Pies

Erin Jeanne McDowell, baking expert and Food52 Resident, is no stranger to making pies. She’s written a whole book on the subject (called, literally, The Book on Pie), graced our
Bake It Up a Notch videos with hours of helpful advice, and shared her r…

Erin Jeanne McDowell, baking expert and Food52 Resident, is no stranger to making pies. She’s written a whole book on the subject (called, literally, The Book on Pie), graced our Bake It Up a Notch videos with hours of helpful advice, and shared her recipes—including her famous All-Buttah Pie Crust—on our site. And in this month’s episode of her show, Erin’s back with even more tips, all aimed at helping you perfect your pies throughout the fall and holiday season. Rather than focusing on a specific recipe or method, Erin goes through the three main types of fall pies (pecan, pumpkin, and apple) and troubleshoots common issues that occur with each one. That way, you can still reach for your tried-and-true family recipe—but maybe this year, you’ll be sure to avoid a soggy bottomed pie crust or a cracked surface on your custard filling. Here are five of our favorite takeaways from Erin’s video.

1. Use Pie Weights Correctly

It’s common knowledge that, when par-baking a pie crust, it’s important to weigh it down with dry beans, pie weights, or another heavy, heat-proof material. What I didn’t know is that those weights should not just cover the bottom of the crust—they should also go all the way up the sides, filling the pie dish completely. “We’re not only trying to weigh down the base of the crust so that it doesn’t puff up, we’re also trying to weigh down and support the sides of the crust,” Erin says. It’s a trick that stops the pie crust from slumping and sliding down the sides of the pan during baking.

Read More >>

5 Tools We Use to Make the Perfect Pie, Every Time

Pie season is here (did it ever leave?), and as you break out your pie dishes and rolling pins, you may decide it’s time to upgrade those tools you’ve been baking with for years (if not decades). Whether you’re still using the same pie dish you bought …

Pie season is here (did it ever leave?), and as you break out your pie dishes and rolling pins, you may decide it’s time to upgrade those tools you’ve been baking with for years (if not decades). Whether you’re still using the same pie dish you bought 15 years ago, or you’ve never owned one in the first place, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to refresh your pie-making toolkit in advance of the biggest pie day of all, Thanksgiving.


1. Rolling Pin

Yes, you could technically use a wine bottle to roll out a pie crust—we won’t stop you. But if you’re looking for an easier, more efficient experience, reach for a rolling pin. Whether you choose a tapered, French silhouette or a more classic, handled shape, we like ones made with sturdy, durable hardwood. Marble is another great option, as it has the added benefit of keeping your doughs cool—a must when making pies.

Read More >>