Lemon Berry Butter Cookies

Happy Tuesday!  It’s almost summer and I’m back … with another way to use my new favorite lemon secret sauce!  I’m kind of hung up on berries and lemon right now, but I promise that I’ll be moving on to Nutter Butter cookies, chocolate, cupcakes or some other sweet thing ;)  I’m sure that these Lemon Berry Butter Cookies will put a smile on your face!  The lemon flavor provides a little tang … crystal sugar give the cookies a great crunch and the berries are juicy bites of springtime!

Lemon Berry Butter Cookies

Baking or dessert making has not been happening too much around here lately.  Do you find that you have too many projects and never enough time?  We have unfinished projects up the wazoo!   I’ve been sewing, doing a little gardening, organizing, cleaning and painting.  Our painter (me) finally showed up … as the hubby would say.  I do the painting, because I’m picky … not perfect … just picky about the way the hubby (or anyone else) paints ;)  My biggest problem is that I put off doing the painting … I’d rather bake, do laundry or shop … anything other than paint!

berry lemon sugar cookie


Maybe I should stop painting and start exercising, because I ate waaaay too many of these cookies!  Actually, I ran out of paint and need to buy more … have to do two more doors and our bedroom will finally be done!

Lemon Berry Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 2-3/4 cups flour
  • Crystal sugar for rolling
  • 1 to 2 cups of berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
  • Lemon Secret Sauce (click here for recipe)
  1. Make lemon sauce and place in the refrigerator.  (You will probably not use all of it.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add egg and vanilla, beat well.
  5. Add about half of the flour and beat well, add remaining flour and beat well.
  6. Roll dough into 1″ balls, roll dough in crystal sugar and place on prepared baking sheets about 2″ apart.
  7. Bake 11 -13 minutes.  The bottom of the cookies will be light golden brown.  Remove cookies from oven, let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely .   Makes 36 – 40 cookies.
  8. Frost cookies with lemon sauce, top with a few berries and serve.

Note:  Refrigerate any remaining frosted cookies, beware that they may become slightly soft (but still yummy).  The cookies are best when served immediately.  Son#3 is not a fan of lemon … he loved the cookies before they were frosted!

lemon berry sugar butter cookie

In the past, I’ve shared that we always have some D.I.Y. project going on.  One of the recent ones was a nightstand with storage for me.  We found this small three drawer dresser at a local Salvation Army Thrift Store that was $40 and came with a desk.  We bought it, didn’t need the desk … so we donated it back to the store.   I may be the painter in the family, but the hubby is the wood and furniture refinisher!  He sanded it, stained it black, rubbed it with steel wool to allow some of the original color to show thru and added new hardware.  I now have a new bed side table, recycled a perfectly good piece of furniture and helped out a great charity :)

nightstand bedside


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Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce

It’s berry season!  Berry shortcake is my idea of a perfect Memorial Day, or any day,  dessert … shortcake biscuits warm from the oven, topped with cool (and a little tangy) lemon sauce and fresh berries.  I just discovered the “lemon secret sauce” by accident … a happy accident.  This resulted in a new version of an old favorite … Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce!

very berry shortcake with lemon secret sauce

Do you ever have an idea that doesn’t turn out the way that you thought it would, but does result in something wonderful?  Well, that’s my lemon secret sauce … it’s not really a secret … I just like the name ;)

strawberry shortcake lemon sauce

I made the sauce for another recipe … thought that it would become much stiffer as it sat in the refrigerator … it didn’t and now I’m thankful for that!  You know what they say … when life gives you creamy lemon sauce … make berry shortcake … or something like that ;)

Very Berry Lemon Shortcake - SweetSimpleStuff.com

The shortcake biscuits were made using this Bisquick recipe, feel free to use your favorite recipe or store-bought shortcake.  I chose to slice the strawberries and sprinkle them with a few tablespoons of sugar, because that’s what my family likes.  Usually the berries are naturally sweet and sugar is optional … it’s up to you.

Very Berry Shortcake with Lemon Secret Sauce

  • 1 cup lemon curd (10.5 ounce jar or homemade)
  • 8 ounce package of Neuchâtel cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 cups mixed berries (sweeten with sugar if desired)
  • 6 shortcake biscuits
  1. Make lemon sauce – Place lemon curd, cheese, 1/2 cup sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl  and mix well.  Taste and add more sugar if desired.   Cover bowl and chill until ready for use.
  2. Wash, drain and slice berries.  Sweeten with sugar if desired.  Refrigerate.
  3. Make shortcake biscuits.
  4. To serve – Split biscuits, spoon some lemon sauce on bottom half of biscuit, add some berries, add top of biscuit, top with more lemon sauce and berries.  Makes 6 servings.

Note:  This recipe makes plenty of lemon sauce and you will probably have some leftover.  Keep sauce covered and stored in the refrigerator.  I’m finding more ways to use the “lemon secret sauce” and will share them with you soon ;) 

Triple Berry Lemon Shortcake - SweetSimpleStuff.com

I apologize for my absence in the blogging world.  My brain has been in pause mode … I’m thankful that it’s working again ;)  Personally, I’ve had some technical issues receiving emails (don’t know if I did something wrong) and have heard that some followers have had the same problems.   Hopefully, everyone that signed up to receive emails, is actually getting them.  Facebook followers – you may or may not see what I’m sharing (Facebook has changed some things), remember to “like, share or comment” or you may not see future posts.

Just a note – I used my favorite lemon curd from Trader Joe’s …

lemon curd

and chose to use Neuchâtel cheese (light/low-fat cream cheese) because it is softer than regular cream cheese, but I’m sure that regular would work too!

Do you like the flavor combo of lemon and berries?

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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

It is September … already!

Halloween merchandise is popping up in stores … Christmas too!

I know it happens every year at this time … but I’m still amazed how quickly time passes!

Summer just can’t be over … I still have strawberries in the fridge!

Which brings me to this …

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream … made with no eggs or ice cream maker!

It was very easy and after all, I needed to use the strawberries before they spoiled ;)   I also had some heavy cream that reached its expiration date and I wanted to use it up.

I found a recipe from Kraft Foods and had to make some alterations because of what I had on hand.

I used an 8 cup measuring cup and hand mixer to mix cream cheese and powdered sugar … added the heavy cream and whipped until thick and fairly stiff.  I left the beaters in the mixture and put it in the freezer for about an hour …

Add the strawberries and graham crackers …

Whip it … whip it good …

Cover it and put it back in the freezer … which seems like forever!  This is a good time to test your patience … then reward yourself … maybe a few more people, too …

Now, ask yourself … which bowl should I eat?

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

(adapted from Kraft Foods)

  • 4 ounces light cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries (plus extra for garnish)
  • 3 graham crackers (plus extra for garnish)
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, use a  mixer to beat cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Add heavy cream and beat until thickened and fairly stiff.  Place in freezer for 1-2 hours.
  2. Add chopped strawberries and broken graham crackers.  Use a mixer to combine well and beat for 1-2 minutes.  Cover tightly and place back in the freezer for 8 hours or until firm.
  3. Remove dessert from freezer 15 minutes before serving.  Garnish with extra sliced strawberries and graham crackers.  Makes about 8 servings.

I love ice cream … but, am ready for autumn and some cooler temperatures … how about you?







Red, White & Blueberry Cones

I went to the grocery store yesterday … so many berries are in season right now and on sale … buy one, get one free!  Red, white & blueberry cones were about to be created.

Here they are …

This is a very simple dessert and can be made early in the day and stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

This is what you will need …

  • 12 Sugar Cones
  • 8 ounces melted white chocolate
  • Cheesecake flavored Instant Pudding (small package)
  • 1 – 3/4 cups Milk
  • 6 ounces raspberries
  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • Red or Blue Sprinkles
  • Whipped Cream

The cones can be made several days in advance and stored in an air tight container … it’s a real timesaver.  To make the cones … spoon melted chocolate in the cone … rotate it, to coat the entire inside … pour out the chocolate and tap the cone to remove excess chocolate … add sprinkles to the outside edge … set aside to let the chocolate harden up …

Make sure to check the inside for total chocolate coverage … because this seals the cone and won’t let the filling leak out … these cones are great for ice cream too!  Do you like my handy-dandy cone holder?  It is actually a barbecue tool for making jalapeno poppers … I love things that can be used for more than one thing … and the hubby has never used it …

Make the pudding (using 1 – 3/4 cups) following the directions on the package.  Fold in the berries … remember to reserve some for garnishing …

Fill the cones with the pudding mixture … you can store them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Garnish with whipped cream and reserved berries when ready to serve …

Perfect for a 4th of July gathering!

My honest opinion … I think these are great without pudding … just berries (a little sugar if needed) in a chocolate coated cone and topped with whipped cream … I added the pudding to make the family happy. 

I am looking forward to your honest opinions!

Cheesecake Bars with Sugar Cookie Crust

Summer time is birthday time for our family.  In a five-week span we celebrate the following birthdays … my hubby (the peanut butter addict), son #2, son #3, one nephew, one brother-in-law, one sister-in-law and mine!   My two sons’ birthdays are one day apart … not good planning on our part.  If we aren’t careful, we could suffer from birthday cake overload.  We have learned to have birthday dessert … not always cake.  This is one of those desserts!

Before we start … let me explain that I sometimes use mixes for cakes or brownies.  But, I always make cookies from scratch … never a mix … never ready made cookie dough … except for this recipe.  I have had this recipe for many years, it calls for ready made refrigerated sugar cookie dough.  After making these cheesecake bars several times, I thought it was silly to buy sugar cookie dough … so I made my own dough.  I don’t know why … but the cookies made with the ready made refrigerated dough won the contest.   I felt defeated … the Pillsbury Doughboy won … well, at least he’s cute!

I have altered the recipe to fit our family’s tastes … I live with picky people! Today we have one half blueberry and one half chocolate chip.

This is what you will need … sugar cookie dough, cream cheese, sugar, an egg, blueberry pie filling, chocolate chips and oil spray …

Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan … then press the room temperature sugar cookie dough on the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan …

Beat the softened cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer …

Add the egg and beat until smooth …

It should look smooth like this … if you didn’t drop it on the floor like I did!  Good news … the mixer survived and it didn’t even crack a floor tile!

Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust …

Sprinkle chocolate chips over half of the pan to make Son #2 happy …

I can’t forget Son #3 … so dollop (that’s a technical term) blueberry pie filling on the other half …

Using a butter or dinner knife, swirl the pie filling with the cream cheese and press the chocolate chips in the cream cheese a little …

Bake … and cool completely before cutting …

The original recipe called for blueberry pie filling only … I like to add a little lemon zest in the cream cheese.  I am giving you the recipe for the way I made it … one half blueberry and one half chocolate chip.  This is one of those recipes that can be changed to fit your needs.  Have fun with it!

Cheesecake Bars with Sugar Cookie Crust

1 16.5 ounce package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough (room temperature)

8 ounces cream cheese (softened)

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup blueberry pie filling (1-1/2 cups if making all blueberry)

3/4 cup chocolate chips (1-1/2 cups if making all chocolate chip)

1.  Press dough evenly in a greased 9″ x 13″ baking pan.

2.  In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar.  Add egg and beat until smooth.

3.  Spread cream cheese mixture over cookie dough.

4.  Dollop pie filling on half of the cheese mixture and sprinkle chocolate chips on the other half.

5.  Using a knife, swirl the pie filling and cream cheese mixture.  Press the chocolate in the cream cheese mixture.

6.  Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until edges of crust are golden brown.

7.  Cool completely, cut into bars, refrigerate.

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Easy pudding with berries

My sister-in-law, Georgia, has been here on vacation and is on her way home to Tennessee.  We usually get to see her only once a year and had a good-bye dinner the other night … I was asked to bring dessert.   I needed to use whatever I had at home and because there was no time for a grocery store trip.  Seven people would be at the dinner … four of which are diabetic and I know that they rely on sugar-free instant pudding as a safe dessert.  There were strawberries in the fridge that “needed” to be used.  So, I came up with this combo and it was sooo simple and fast!

This is what I used … strawberries, sugar-free (or regular) instant pudding mix, milk, cream cheese and vanilla bean paste …

In a mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese and vanilla bean paste  …

Add milk  … and pudding mix


Beat until smooth …

Scoop into dessert dishes …

Top with berries …

Garnish with whipped cream, if desired …

Easy pudding with berries

4 ounces softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract may be substituted)

3 cups milk

1 box (6 serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix (regular or sugar-free)

2 – 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (other berries may be substituted)

Whipped cream for garnish

In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.  Add milk and pudding mix … beat until smooth.  Scoop into dessert dishes.   Top with berries and chill until ready to serve.  Top with whipped cream if desired.

Serves 8

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