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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies- Lizzy McAvoy- The Girl in the Apron

Ingredients:

1 Cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

½ Cup Granulated Sugar

½ Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

¼ tsp Almond Extract

2 Large Eggs

2 ¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 Cup (12 oz Package) Chocolate Chips (I used Semi Sweet)

Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add butter and sugars. Whip together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until light in color and fluffy.

Add eggs; mixing until thoroughly combined.

Mix in flour (in small increments) and baking soda. Once combined, mix in chocolate chips.

Using a one tablespoon scoop, drop rounded tablespoons on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. (For jumbo cookies do 12-14 mins, for smaller cookies do 8-10 mins.) Cool on cookie sheets until set enough to transfer to cooling racks. (If you don’t have a cooling rack, a cool cookie sheet or piece of parchment paper will work great!)

Enjoy!



Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake- Lizzy McAvoy- The Girl in the Apron

Ingredients:

Shortcake:

½ Cup Unsalted Butter, softened

½ Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Eggs

1 ¼ Cup Unbleached Flour

⅔ Cup Milk

2 ½ tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Toppings:

1 Lb Fresh Strawberries, washed and sliced

Homemade Whipped Topping (recipe below)

Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add flour, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.

Add baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix well until combined.

In a greased 8x8 glass dish or 9” round cake pan (greased and floured), pour in batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and cake is a nice golden color.

When cake is completely cooled, cut into squares and top with strawberries and whipped topping. Enjoy!



Homemade Whipped Topping:


1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar

Splash of Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl, add heavy whipping cream. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream. Start on a low setting and gradually increase speed to prevent splattering liquid out of the bowl. As the heavy cream begins to thicken, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat whipped cream to stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes.



Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

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Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Some of my favorite childhood memories are sleepovers at my Grandparents house. My Mom was a part time nurse at the hospital, working the night shift, and my Dad was a new business owner working all hours pouring concrete. When both my sister and I’s parents were working, we would be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We’d never complain about that. It was the only time we drank Pop (my sister’s go to choice was Dr.Pepper and mine was Fresca), binge watched soap operas and old VHS recordings and had American Cheese Omelets for breakfast. But one of my favorite things to do was walk down to the my Grandparents basement, grab a box of Funfetti sitting on the shelf, a little tub of icing and come upstairs to make a cake with my Grandma. It soon became a lasting favorite memory and favorite cake of mine. I had an itch to try making it from scratch a couple years ago. This recipe is so easy to make and a fun addition to any party or get together!  

 

Yields 24-27 Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup butter flavored shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

3 cups cake flour

4 tsp baking powder

⅔ cup milk

⅔ cup water

2 tsp vanilla

Splash of almond extract

½ cup rainbow sprinkles

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time blending after each addition.

Gradually add flour and milk/water alternately in small batches, beginning and ending with flour. Add baking powder and mix until blended.

Mix in extracts and sprinkles.

Line 2 muffin tins with liners and evenly spoon cupcake mixture in, filling ¾ of the way up. Bake for 15-18 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 mins and remove to cool completely.

Ice with Funfetti Buttercream Frosting and top with sprinkles.

Enjoy!
 

Funfetti Buttercream Frosting:

 

½ cup butter flavored shortening

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Splash of almond extract

½ tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup rainbow sprinkles

 

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat shortening and butter together until combined.

With the mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar and extracts.

Once combined, turn the speed up on mixer to medium high and beat icing for 3-4 minutes or until light in color and fluffy.

Gently stir in sprinkles.

Top Funfetti Cupcakes and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Lizzy's Lemon Bars

Lizzy’s Lemon Bars- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

 

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

Happy Spring All! I am a firm believer…. When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars. I confess, I may be a bit of a nut for all things lemony. Lemonheads, Lemonade and of course, Lemon Bars. I have researched the health benefits of lemons to convince myself that eating half a pan of Lemon Bars in one day is okay; I mean their high in Vitamin C. So healthy right? Now let’s talk to good stuff! This tasty treat starts off with a flaky, buttery crust and the filling is made with fresh grated lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice. I keep it light on the sugar so that zing of the lemon pulls through. And folks you know here at The Girl in the Apron… It’s SO quick, it’s SO easy and here’s how you do it.

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

 

Filling:

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

Juice of 3 lemons (appox. ⅓ cup juice)

Zest of 3 lemons (appox. 2 Tbsp lemon zest)

3 Tbsp all purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

Garnish: powdered sugar

 

Here’s How You Do It:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a 13x9 inch baking with cooking spray.

Making the crust: In a large bowl, put flour, powdered sugar and butter. Using a fork or pastry blender, mix butter into flour/sugar until completely combined. It’ll easily shape into a ball, no dry or mealy consistency. Press mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

While the crust is cooking prepare the filling. In the same bowl you make the crust, combine all the filling and mix well till smooth.

Remove crust from oven and pour filling into hot pan. Place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until filling doesn’t jiggle when moved.

Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Happy Baking!

 

Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta- The Girl in the Apron- Lizzy McAvoy

 

Note from The Girl in the Apron:

My Mother would tell stories about her Grandmother drying homemade pasta on the kitchen counter on newspaper when she was a little girl. I remember making homemade pasta with my Grandpa at his kitchen table. So all to say, we’re all about carb-y Italian goodness at our house. I bought my first hand crank pasta maker when I was about 13. I was taught to make pasta the traditional way on the table top; but since the Girl in the Apron is all about quick and easy, we’ll be making it in the mixer.  It’s made with low cost ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.The only specialty kitchen tool you’ll need in a pasta maker but I’ve put some great options below. Beware, once you’ve had homemade pasta: you’ll be addicted. Now with that being said, here’s how you do it.

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cups unbleached all purpose flour

7 eggs

1 Tbsp olive oil

 

Here’s How You Do It:

In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add flour. Turn mixer on low speed with flour to remove any clumps.

Whisk eggs. Add olive oil to eggs and mix together.

With the mixer still on low, slowly add in egg mixture in small increments. Increase the speed to medium. The dough will begin to pull away from the side of the bowl. If the dough seems dry and notice it not coming together to form a ball, add 1-2 Tablespoons of water. A little water goes a long way, so be careful not to add too much.

Once the dough is completely combined place it on a flat floured surface. Begin to knead the dough for 5 minutes, continuing to flour if needed to prevent sticking.

Leave on the counter for up to an hour covered or use it immediately. Using a pasta maker, proceed with rolling out and cutting pasta. Buon appetito!

Pasta Maker Recommendations:

Imperia Pasta Maker

Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment

Hand Pasta Cutter  paired with Kitchen Aid Roller Attachment

 

 

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup- The Girl In The Apron

 

Note from The Girl In The Apron:

We have come to the tail end of winter and begging for those beginning glances of Spring. In the meantime, while we’re trying to combat the winter blues I turn to one of my favorite childhood recipes: Potato Leek Soup. This soup was a staple in our house growing up and my Mom could always whip it up in flash. You can enjoy this soup all year round, but it’s particularly delicious in the winter months when leeks are in prime season. This soup can be topped with an assortment of delicious additions and can be a great get together food. So call up your friends, make a big pot and even set up a Make Your Own Potato Soup Bar. Try chives, bacon and cheddar cheese…. Go a little crazy and do pulled pork with a side of cornbread or even some steamed broccoli. It’s an affordable dish that is universally loved. And as always with The Girl In The Apron, it’s quick, it’s easy and here’s how you do it! xo L.

Ingredients

5 lbs yukon gold potatoes*, peeled, rinsed + roughly chopped

4 cups whole milk**

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 stalk celery, rinsed + chopped

1 small sweet onion, chopped

3 green leek stalks, rinsed very well and cut half moon

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp ground black pepper

1-2 tsp salt

1 cup instant mashed potatoes***

Toppings: cheddar cheese, green onions

 

Here’s How You Do It

 

Place potatoes in a large non stick pot.

Barely cover potatoes with water and place on medium high heat.

Add 2 cups milk, butter, celery, onion, leeks, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and salt. Add 1 cup milk so potatoes are barely covered. Mix all the ingredients together.

Bring soup to a rolling boiling and cover. Boil for 25- 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If a fork easily goes through the potatoes, even splitting pieces in half, you’re tots are ready.

Using a potato masher, mash your soup to desired consistency. Add 1 cup milk and stir to combine.

Bring soup to a gentle simmer, gradually sprinkle 1 cup instant potatoes over soup: stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

Soup will thicken immediately. Add more or less instant potatoes for a thicker or thinner soup.

Serve warm, add toppings and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!


* I prefer the yukon gold potato. It makes for a creamier and less starchy soup  texture.

** I like to use Fairlife Whole Milk for this recipe. However, 2% or 1% milk tastes just as delicious with fewer calories.

*** My Mom has always used Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes. It’s a trusted brand in our house that we love.

**** Keep a close eye on your pot until you find the proper heat to acheive a rollling boil,  this soup will easily boil over when covered or uncovered.

 

Kitchen Tip: Cleaning and Cutting Leeks

 

 

M&M Cookies

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Note from the Girl in the Apron:

One of my dearest friends adores M&Ms; she can never get enough of them. So when her birthday rolls around, M&M Cookies must make a sweet treat appearance. This recipe is so easy to whip up. Whether you’re hosting an after-school get together for your kids or a wine night with your girlfriends, this recipe will always be a crowd favorite. You can easily make these cookies in less than 30 mins. Have fun with them and use any variety of your favorite M&M candy!

Happy Cooking!

Recipe:

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached if you have it)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups candy-coated milk chocolate pieces (such as M&M's© ), reserve 1/2 cup for decoration

 

In a large bowl, whip shortening, brown sugar and white sugar on medium-high speed for 2-3 mins. Add eggs one at a time. Be sure to scrape down your bowl. Mix in extracts. Add flour and baking soda to butter mixture. Blend well. 

Gently fold in 1 cup chocolate candy. 

Drop dough by teaspoonful onto parchment lined baking sheet. Smooth the edges and lightly flatten the tops of the dough. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining 1/2 cup candies. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

Very Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Very Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Note from The Girl in The Apron:

This is a recipe my family and I enjoy often. The ingredients (especially the veggies) in this soup are easy to find at any grocery store or local market. This soup has a large margin for improvisation. Substitute any of the vegetables with you or your families favorites veggies. If Swiss Chard isn't available or in season, Fresh Spinach is a great alternative. It’s a quick recipe to assemble and enjoy for many days. I try to purchased low sodium or no sodium Vegetable Broth if possible. This recipe could be substituted with a Chicken Broth as well. I always like to garnish my Minestrone Soup with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese. I hope you enjoy this family favorite!

Happy Cooking!

Recipe:

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Cups Onions, diced

2 Cups Fennel Bulb, diced

1 Cup Celery, diced

1 Cup Carrot, diced

4 Garlic Cloves, smashed and skin removed

1 Cup Zucchini, sliced in half moon

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 Can (15 oz) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Can (15 oz) Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed

3 (32 oz) Containers Vegetable Broth (Preferably Low Sodium or No Sodium)

1 Can (14.5 Oz) Diced Tomatoes in Juice

1 Tablespoon (Or 1 Cube) Vegetable Bouillon,

8 Cups Fresh Swiss Chard, de-ribbed and sliced

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Sweat onion, fennel, celery, carrot, and garlic in 3 T. olive oil in a large pot over medium- high heat; sauce for about 4-5 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Season vegetables with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Add canned tomatoes and canned beans. Stir in broth and vegetable bouillon.

Using kitchen twine, tie together 10 sprigs of fresh thyme; add thyme to pan.

Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours. Remove thyme.

Add swiss chard and parmesan cheese. Allow to simmer for 4-5 mins. Serve and garnish with Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy!

 

Cleaning and Cutting Swiss Chard: