Monday, June 30, 2014

After a darn good chili, my friend Olive served us Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing by Nigella Lawson for dessert. I couldn't keep it out of my mind. A few weeks later, before our milestone wedding anniversary, I made organic candied lemon peel and put it in a large mason jar for the fridge. A week after that, I pulled out our Nigella Lawson wedding gift mixing bowls from our friends Chris and Betty and made up a recipe that is a branch from Ms. Lawson's original. They were so well-loved in our household that I was urged to bring them for our anniversary trip to Montreal. That is why they are called Anniversary Gingerbread Lemon Peel Bars.

Anniversary Gingerbread Lemon Peel Bars 

2/3 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup fancy molasses
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
2 large organic eggs, room temperature
1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 2 Tbsp warm water
2 cups organic flour
1 tsp freshly grated organic lemon peel
6 strips (or more) chopped homemade organic lemon peel, wet or drained, divided

For the Lemon Icing:
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water (or more)

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Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, melt butter with sugar, maple syrup, molasses, fresh ginger and cinnamon. Take off heat then whisk in milk, eggs, baking soda + water mix. Set aside.

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Put flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add freshly grated lemon peel and gently stir. Pour in molasses mix and whisk until well incorporated. Fold in chopped lemon peel. Pour into a greased 8 X 10 pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or firm and skewer or cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake. While cake cools, make the icing.

Whisk icing sugar with the lemon juice, then gradually add water. Make sure the icing is thick.

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With a spatula, spread the icing onto cooled cake, top with chopped lemon peel, leave to set and cut into bars. Makes 10-12 delicious bars.

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Inspired by Olive, Nigella, my mixing bowls, organic lemons, dear friends, my sweet girls and the intense and delicate flavours of love and marriage XO. © 2014

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