So there’s another reason besides the heat that there hasn’t been much cooking going on in my house. You see, I’ve been working on a new job. It’s a job that I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, and I really thought I would have been able to obtain it before now, but life always seems to throw curveballs at you! It’s a job that is purely on a volunteer basis – no pay at all. And it takes lots of preparation. And I’ll be working 24 hours a day instead of just 8.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen – I’m pregnant. I’m so excited, and I can’t even explain all of the emotions I’m going through right now. But my life at home has slowed down big time. I’m at the tail end of the first trimester, and thank goodness I’ve been pretty lucky. Basically no morning sickness (or afternoon sickness or night sickness!) but this child wipes me out of every ounce of energy I have. So there have not been many meals made at our house, unless you include grilled cheese sandwiches or bowls of cereal.
We decided last year that we would start trying to have a baby in January. So I decided to prepare my blog. I’ve seen quite a few food bloggers become pregnant, and all of a sudden, their blogs become empty. And I totally don’t blame them!! Especially those that have morning sickness or major food aversions. But I started stockpiling recipes, knowing that there wouldn’t be as much food made. And I’m hoping that I get my energy back soon, because those achieves are becoming quickly empty. So hopefully, I’ll be able to keep my posting schedule up.
I haven’t had too many major cravings or aversions, but this baby does not like sweets. Not that they make me sick to eat, but I just have no desire for them at all, which is a totally new thing to me. I’m used to baking 2 or 3 times a week, but I can probably count on one hand all the times I’ve baked in the last 3 months. And all of those were for either Daring Bakers challenges or other people’s birthdays. No recreational baking is going on in my kitchen. (Which may be a good thing since I don’t want to be one of those pregnant women that end up gaining 70 pounds!) So I’ll bring you a virtual treat, because even though I may not want to make and eat sweets right now, I still have no problem looking at them!
I actually made these quite a few months ago, after I had first bought my copy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies. Being a lemon lover, and knowing that I had some cream cheese that needed using, these were a no brainer. The only complaint I had about these cookies was too much cookie and not enough filling. But as I looked on Martha’s website today, I saw that the recipe listed online has the same amount of filling, but the cookie ingredients are cut in half. I’m not sure why they changed this when they published the book. The recipe below is from the book, but I would suggest halving the cookie dough, or doubling the filling!
From Martha Stewart’s Cookies
Makes 4 dozen
For the Crusts:
2 cups all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
vegetable oil or cooking spray
For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in upper third. Coat two 24-cup mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.
Make crusts: Process flour and butter in a food processor until mixture is the consistency of fine crumbs. Add sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Process just until combined and sandy in texture; do not overprocess.
Divide dough into quarters. Divide each quarter into 12 equal pieces, and shape into balls. Place each ball in a muffin cup; press into cup, stretching dough up the sides. Set each muffin tin on a baking sheet. Bake crusts, rotating halfway through, until lightly browned all over and slightly darker at the edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Tap down any puffed centers of the shells with the end of a wooden spoon or your finger. Transfer sheets with muffin tins to wire racks to cool.
Make filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, fill the cooled crusts with filling. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until filling is set and just beginning to color at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Tassies can be refrigerated in single layers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.