Think Pink Lemonade Bars

What’s the first fruit that comes to mind when you think of “summer”?

I think of lazy days on my grandma’s patio, and the taste of sour-sweet pink lemonade.  To me, strawberries and lemons blend to create a magical summer hybrid. This memory of lazy, fruity days contrasts drastically from my feelings right now of being very stuck indoors in New York, a sentiment that we’re all coping with in the United States.  It can be difficult to get into that summer spirit when we aren’t seeing friends or doing the fun things we think of when we want to connect during a balmy summer in the city. That being said, we need to stick to the rules so that we can pull ourselves out of this pandemic mess.

These Pink Lemonade Bars are full of tart lemon mingling with luscious strawberry. The bars are an alluring light pink, dusted with a pinch of powdered sugar, and garnished with strawberry slices and fresh flowers. They are the pure, polar opposite of the tumult we are experiencing this summer. Each bite transports you to a magical outdoor party, complete with your favorite tangy summer memories.

What else is inspiring me this month, besides anecdotes from summers past? 

This Dior Autumn-Winter 2020-2021 video captured my attention recently. Whether you are fashion-forward or comfy and content, Dior’s miniature clothes being prepared for mermaids and other mythical creatures and characters will fascinate and enchant you. Can you guess which stylish creature is my favorite? It will be interesting to see how other fashion brands showcase their designs as the pandemic wears on.

I’ve been enjoying the recipe and restaurant posts by Dom of Dom N’ The City. Her food photography makes me want to lick the computer screen. Check out her recent blog post for a list of some Black-owned businesses to support in Brooklyn.

The Qi floral tea is a beautiful whole flower tea that blossoms in your cup. It’s soothing just to watch the flowers unfurl in a glass mug. A cup of calm is exactly what you need sometimes, especially during months like these.   

The television show Devs captured our attention on Hulu, initially because we are fascinated with Nick Offerman in any role beyond Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation. This ominous show about a tech company in Silicon Valley had us contemplating the future of Big Tech, determinism, and the nature of life itself.

Enough chit-chat. Scroll down for this summery Think Pink Lemonade Bars recipe!

Ingredients:

(Makes about 12 bars)

For the Crust:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For The Filling:
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3-4 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup chopped strawberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a baking pan with parchment and spray with a nonstick cooking spray (I used a 9×13 inch pan). I like to leave some extra parchment along the edges, so that the bars are easier to pull out when they are done baking.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for the crust together until light and fluffy. Then, incorporate the flour and salt. Your dough will be slightly crumbly.
  4. Line your prepared pan with your dough. Pack it into each corner so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown along the edges.
  6. Blend the strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and eggs in a food processor. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pulse until smooth.
  7. Once smooth, pour the filling over your prepared crust.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top of the bars begins to look slightly brown. Take out off the oven and let cool.
  9. Sift on a layer of powdered sugar. Cut and serve.

Recipe adapted from The Baker Upstairs.

Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies

This blog post is dedicated to fiercely protecting the things in life that make you feel fulfilled and light.  Like these Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies!

Do what you love.

I think this is a statement that both motivates and plagues millennials.  We’re prompted to find a job we’re passionate about, because we’ll be plugging every waking hour into it. There is little to no “clocking off.” Nothing is ever as finished or as polished as it could be if you just spent more time with it.  Working in digital media, work duties extend to the weekend and after-hours at home. 

I had this on my mind recently, as I was tasked with putting together a staff bio for myself at the agency where I work.  Before even beginning the process, I had the sinking feeling that everything that makes me “me” has been fading away. 

It’s difficult to balance a relationship and friendships on my current schedule, let alone pursue the silly and fun extra things that have contributed to forming the unique individual who was drawn to the energy of New York almost three years ago.  

I’ve found that it’s important to understand the distinction that doing what I love as a career won’t necessarily make me feel fulfilled, even if it is a key part of the equation.  The fun side projects and shenanigans are just as important for well-rounded contentment.  

My big New Year gift to myself will be truly carving out time for one or two things that are just for me… like updating this blog, which I haven’t done since October! 

These Linzer Cookies are laden with sweet Brins Strawberry Lemongrass Jam and have a crumbly-yet-chewy consistency that only gets better as the cookies age. I adapted this recipe from a King Arthur Flour recipe that includes both AP flour and almond flour. 

These little cookies pack a fruity punch. I suggest adding orange zest to the dough for an even more flavorful cookie. 

Scroll down for the recipe! 

Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Brins Strawberry Lemongrass jam

Instructions:

  1. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until light and fluffy.
  2. Incorporate egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until combined
  3. Whisk together flour, almond flour, and salt.  Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the whipped butter mixture.
  4. Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Roll out dough until about 1/4″ thick. Cut into circle shapes. Using a smaller flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut flower windows in half of the circles. 
  7.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. 
  8. Let cool.  Once cool, dollop some jam onto the cookies and sandwich with the flower halves.  They taste great immediately, but taste even better if you let them sit for a few hours.  Give the jam some time to soak into the cookie!