Parchment Cooking

Perfect Lemon Squares

February 7, 2013

Perfect Lemon Squares

You've been good all year so far so it's time for a little lemon treat.  Well maybe you haven't been good, but make these lemon squares and ponder how to be better. 


2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3/4 Cup Cut-Up Butter

5 Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

3 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

2 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Peel

3/4 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Half & Half

Extra Confectioners’ Sugar for Dusting


Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  You will want the parchment paper to extend over the edges for lifting.  In a large size bowl combine the 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch and kosher salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender.  You will want the mixture to look like coarse crumbs.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the parchment lined pan.  Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are a very light brown.  While the shortbread crust is baking make the lemon topping.  In a large size bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, lemon peel, lemon juice and half & half.  Remove the shortbread crust from the oven and slowly pour the lemon topping over the hot crust.  Place back into the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.  You will want the center set so feel free to bake a bit longer if the center is not quite set.  Remember all ovens bake differently.  Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan.  Use the parchment paper hanging over the sides to lift out of the pan.  Place onto a hard surface and cut into squares.  Just before serving dust powdered sugar over the tops.  Makes approximately 36 cookies. 

Oven Roasted Green Beans & Cipollini Onions

January 9, 2013

Oven Roasted Green Beans & Cipollini Onions

After the holidays eating healthy is on the top of everyone’s list.  Here is an easy and delicious way to cook green beans.


1 Pound Trimmed French Green Beans

1 Cup Sliced Cipollini Onions

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 375º F.  Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Wash and trim the green beans.  Peel the cipollini onions and slice horizontally.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the green beans and cipollini onions on the parchment paper.  Drizzle the olive over the mixture.  Sprinkle with the salt & pepper.  Roast for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and using tongs toss the green beans and onions.  Place back in the oven and roast for another 4 to 8 minutes.  Remember that every oven cooks differently.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.  Serves 4

Victoria’s Scones

September 30, 2012

Victoria’s Scones

It’s Sunday Morning!  Treat yourself to a great cup of coffee and a couple of scones.  You’ll love my scone recipe and your loved ones will too.


2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Sugar

3 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

5 Tablespoons Butter

2 Beaten Eggs

1/2 Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk

1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 425° F.  In a large size bowl mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.  Cut in the butter with your fingers until the mixture is rather lumpy.  Next add the eggs and buttermilk (or sour milk).  Combine but don’t overdo it.  Turn your mixture onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough for about one minute.  Now pat the dough into a 3/4 inch thickness.  Cut into triangle shapes and put on either a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve these scones warm with blackberry, raspberry or apricot jam.  Makes 12 scones.

Country Plum Tart

September 17, 2012

Country Plum Tart

Just spoon the filling in the center of the pastry circle and leave a 2 inch boarder around the filling.  Gently fold the pastry edge over the filling.  Pleat the pastry as necessary to keep it flat against the fruit.  Use the parchment to lift the pastry.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 


1 Recipe For A Single Crust Pie

1/4 Cup Sugar

4 Teaspoons Unbleached Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Ginger

2 Cups Sliced Plums

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat your oven to 375° F.  Prepare the pastry for a single crust pie.  On a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper roll the pastry into a 13 inch circle.  Slide the paper with the pastry onto a baking sheet and set aside.  For the filling you will want to get a large size bowl.  Stir together the sugar, flour and nutmeg.  Add the slice plums and lemon juice.  Toss until well coated.  Mound the filling in the center of the pastry.  Leave the outer 2 inches uncovered.  Fold the uncovered pastry up over the filling.  Pleat as necessary.  Sprinkle the filling and pastry with the cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 50 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden.  You may want to cover the edge of the tart with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning.  Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes on the baking sheet on a wire rack.  Makes 1 Country Plum Tart and serves 4. 

Salmon & Vegetable Bake

September 16, 2012

Salmon & Vegetable Bake

Here is the perfect Sunday dinner dish.  You won’t need to do much, but put everything in foil pouches, pop in the oven and go about your afternoon or evening. You can cook this dish in parchment paper if you choose to instead of foil. 


1 Pound Fresh Skinless Salmon (3/4 Inch Thick)

4 Sliced Carrots

2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms

5 Sliced Green Onions (Including Green Part)

2 Teaspoons Grated Orange Peel

2 Tablespoons Fresh Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Tarragon)

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Halved Garlic Cloves

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Sliced Oranges

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Rinse the salmon and pat dry with paper towels.  Cut the salmon into four serving size pieces and set aside.  Fill a small saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Place the sliced carrots in the saucepan boil for just 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.  Tear off four large pieces of heavy foil.  The foil pieces should be about 24 inch by 18 inches.  Fold each piece of foil in half to make an 18×12 inch piece.  In a large size bowl combine the carrots, mushrooms, green onions,garlic, orange peel, herbs, kosher salt and pepper.  Gently toss to combine.  Divide the vegetables among the four pieces of foil.  Make sure to place the vegetables in the center of each piece of foil.  Drizzle each with olive oil and then top the salmon pieces.  Place the orange slices on top of the salmon pieces.  Seal the edges of the foil with a double fold.  Place the foil packets in a large baking pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.  You will want the salmon to flake when you open a packet to check for doneness.  Remove from the oven and open the packets carefully so that the steam will escape.  Transfer the packets to each dinner plate.  Serves 4

Sentimental Sugar Cookies

September 12, 2012

Sentimental Sugar Cookies

I grew up making and eating these delicious Sugar Cookies.  Sentimental Sugar Cookies are great all year round cookies as well as holiday cookies.  You can use colored sugar on the top or leave them plain. 


1/2 Cup Softened Butter

1/2 Cup Shortening

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Egg Yolks

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

Preheat your oven to 300° F.  In a large size bowl beat together the butter and shortening with an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar.  Beat until well combined.  Now beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.  Turn your mixer to low and beat in the flour.  Remove the beaters and shape the dough into 1 inch balls.  Place the cookie balls 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes until the edges are set.  Make sure not to let the edges brown.  Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 3 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.  Decorate with colored sugars if you desire.  Makes 48 cookies.

Twice Baked Potatoes

September 2, 2012

Twice Baked Potatoes

Talk about a guilty pleasure!  Talk about the best of both worlds!  I love baked potatoes and I love mashed potatoes.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think that I have met a potato that I didn’t like.  Twice Baked Potatoes takes some effort, but isn’t complicated.  The payoff, however, is huge. 


4 Medium Baking Potatoes

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 Cup Half & Half

1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Chives

1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat your oven to 400° F.  Scrub the potatoes and pat dry.  Pierce the potatoes with a fork.  Place in the oven and bake on the center rack for 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven let stand for 10 minutes.  Hold each potato with an oven mitt or dish towel and cut a lengthwise slice off the top.  The potatoes will look like little canoes.  Carefully scoop out the insides and place into a bowl.  Make sure that you don’t scoop all of the insides out so the potatoes hold their shape.  Mash the potato pulp with an electric mixer on a low speed.  Add the butter, half & half, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chives.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese.  Spoon the mashed potato mixture back into the potato shells.  Place onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet.  Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the tops of the potatoes.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.  Serves 4

Victoria’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

August 28, 2012

Victoria’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Softened Butter

2 Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 1/2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  In a large size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt.  Set aside.  In a separate large bowl mix together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat until fluffy.  If you are using an electric mixer then beat on medium for 1 minute.  On a low speed add the flour mixture a little at a time.  Mix for 1 minute.  Add the old-fashioned rolled oats and dark chocolate chips and mix to combine.  Cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Do not over bake.  These cookies are best just a touch underdone.  Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing.  Remove and transfer to wire racks to completely cool.  Transfer to a cookie plate and just try not to eat them all.  Trust me… they won’t last long.  Makes about 3 dozen. 

Burrata Stuffed Peppers

August 14, 2012

Burrata Stuffed Peppers

I love this dish.  You can either bake the burrata or leave it at room temperature.  It is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. 


4 Small to Medium Sized Red Bell Peppers

16 Ounces Burrata

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Herb Paste

Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Slice off the top of each pepper and then scoop out and throw away the membrane.  Cut a think sliver off the bottom of the peppers so they will sit flat.  Put the peppers on a parchment paper and drizzle the peppers with the olive oil.  Place the peppers in the oven for 10 minutes.  While the peppers are baking put the burrata in a medium size bowl and mix with a fork.  Remove the peppers from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.  Fill the peppers with the burrata and place back in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.  Dot the herb paste on top of the burrata and all over the serving plate.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Serves 4

Root Beer Brownies

June 27, 2012

Root Beer Brownies

The small amount of root beer extract really brings out the chocolate in these brownies.  Wow, what a dessert!


12 Ounces Softened Butter

2 1/4 Cups Sugar

1 1/4 Cups Cocoa

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

4 Tablespoons Root Beer Extract

1/4 Cup Cold Brewed Coffee

4 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Demerara Sugar


Preheat your oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In a large size bowl place the softened butter.  Add the sugar to the butter and mix until combined.  Add the eggs and beat until smooth.   Add the coffee, vanilla and root beer extract and stir.  In a separate large bowl combine the cocoa, salt, baking powder and flour.  Stir until well combined.  Finally add the chocolate chips and stir.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the demerara sugar.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes.  The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center.  Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving.  Makes 24 Root Beer Brownies.

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