Habanero Limoncello

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A little sunshine for this holiday season! I just love the hue that limoncello turns  as it marinates with lemon zest. Limoncello is essentially an infused vodka, a traditional drink originating from Italy. Using our Meyer lemons, I wanted to try making limocello for the first time. A suggestion from a friend, thanks Ellen! I added a kick by using habenaro vodka, which I had on hand. It turned out great, and not too spicy, but you can also use regular Vodka as well. Lemoncello can be enjoyed by itself, or as a mixer with champagne, ginger ale, (think moscow mules), or create your own!  Lemoncello only uses the zest of the lemon, so juice the remaining lemons to create other holiday treats, lemonade or freeze juice in ice cube trays for future use. This makes a unexpected gift and freezes well once made to enjoy during summer!

Ingredients:

  • 10 Lemons
  • 750 ML Premium Habenaro Vodka (Regular Vodka ok as well)
  • 3 1/2 C Water
  • 2 C sugar

Directions:

With very sharp knife or potato peeler remove the outer rind of lemon, trying to avoid the inner white pith. Too much pith in the vodka will make a very bitter drink. Place rinds evenly in jars, and add vodka till 3/4 way to top. Place on lid and allow to rest in dry dark place for 1-3 weeks. Then make a simple syrup by adding the water and sugar and heating sugar until dissolved. Stir often. Allow to cool. Pour vodka with rind through strainer into the pan with simple syrup. Stir and pour into jars. Allow to rest further an additional week in refrigerator. Enjoy and give!

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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Cookies; Sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar and Zest

img_9008Meyer Lemon Cheese Cake Cookies with Cinnoman Sugar and Zest

Our Meyer lemon tree  is officially producing! All year I wait for these beautiful lemons, a signal that Christmas is also approaching. In trying to take a step back this season (cards not done, shopping to be finished) it’s time to make cookies!

Some one once said they are working to view their children as little beings that need to be nurtured, and not as objects in the way. How often I need reminding. This is a cookie you can have fun with. Kids can put there thumbprints in them, they do not have to be perfect. I place graham crackers in a bag for the kids to pound and smash-up.

I used a lemon blue berry juice I happened to have made, and fresh yogurt  I make from our diary farm,  but just fresh squeezed lemon juice and greek yogurt will work fine. Try adding a dash of pomegranate as well for festive flair.

Yeild: Approx 46 Cookies                                                      Time: Prep- 30 min./ Cook- 15min.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 C  Graham Cracker Crumbs (approx 1 sleeve)img_8998
  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Sticks Butter, softened
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, separated
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Yogurt
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnoman Sugar

Directions: 

Preheat Oven to 350 F. In large bowl mix flour, baking soda, graham crumbs, and salt. In bowl of mixer beat brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg white and beat until combined. Fold into large bowl with flour mixture until just combined. Mixture will be crumbly this is ok!

Replace bowl of mixer and add softened cream cheese and granulated sugar. I chose not to wash bowl, just to use it again for the filling. figure it’s all going to the same place right? Turned out just fine, and when your cooking with 3 kids you have to learn to cut your corners! Once cream cheese is fluffy, add yogurt and zest of 1 lemon (zest only the yellow, trying to avoid the white pith as this is very bitter). Add egg yolk and beat until just combined.

On parchment lined baking sheets place large table-spoon full of graham cookie mixture. Flatten with thumb to make indent in center and repeat. Add 1/2 tbsp full of cream cheese mixture in center. It is ok if it over flows, I tend to like the look of this luscious cream cheese mixture overflowing, but if you want a neater cookie add a  smaller amount at a time. Bake until filling is set and cookies are golden brown. Approx. 12-15 minutes.Sprinkle with cinnoman sugar and another good zesting of lemon if desired.  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes and them transfer to wire rack. Enjoy!