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?

♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties!  ♦

Strawberries & Cream Fool

Hello!  How are you?  I am home from my “spring break” and life is back to normal!  While we were away … a few items in the fridge reached their expiration date … shhh, don’t tell Son #3 … he gets a little worried if the date has passed.  I confess … a pint of heavy cream was about two days past it’s date, but it was fine (I tested it) … could not let it go to waste … dessert was waiting … Strawberries and Cream Fool!

Strawberries & Cream Fool

My nice sister-in-law went to the strawberry farm and brought these to me ….

basket of strawberries

She actually gave me six baskets of berries … two mysteriously disappeared before their photo shoot ;)  These strawberries are not only beautiful, they tasted wonderful … oh, how I love spring and summer fruit!

Creamy and cold desserts containing fruit, especially berries, are some of our favorites!  I’m sure you will like this one too!  Oh, I almost forgot to tell you … I threw in some light (1/3 less fat, neufchatel) cream cheese, just to add a little extra creaminess!

Strawberries & Cream Fool

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
  • 8 ounces light 1/3 less fat (neufchatel) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
  • 3 cups sliced/chopped fresh strawberries
  • A few whole strawberries for garnish if desired
  1. Place a medium-sized bowl and mixer beaters in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Remove from fridge, add heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar, beat until thickened and stiff peaks form.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until well soft and creamy.  Add strawberries and mix for a few minutes, this will help some strawberry juice combine with the cream cheese and create a pretty pink color.
  3. Reserve one cup of prepared whipped cream for garnish.  Fold remaining whipped cream into cream cheese/strawberry mixture.  Put mixture into individual serving dishes if desired.
  4. Place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  Garnish with remaining whipped cream and whole strawberries.  Hint:  Fan cut the strawberries … if you want to be all fancy dancy!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Fool

I have another confession … look at the spoon in the top photo … the “B” on it was meant for me, Brenda … it “accidentally” fell into my hubby’s pocket at the Biltmore Hotel back in 1973!  Please don’t tell the kids that their parents may have a criminal past ;)

Do you go berry pickin’?  I ♥ your comments!

♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties!  ♦

You may enjoy this “skinny” strawberry dessert too …

skinny strawberry dessert





Summer – Part 3 …Tiki Huts and my contribution to Shark Week

Do you remember Summer – Parts 1 and 2, we sailed to the sweet place of Sugar Island

Candy pretzel palm trees

It only makes sense that lodging on Sugar Island would be in Tiki Huts made from candy …

P1030124 Tiki Hut graham cracker

Would you prefer to stay in one of those exotic fancy dancy huts that is perched above the water …

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tiki Huts

I have never stayed in a hut, have you?  Do they have modern plumbing … like bathrooms?

This what you will need to build your own candy hut …


  • Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
  • Graham Crackers
  • White Candy Coating (such as CandiQuik)
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Blue Piping Gel
  • Candy flower sprinkles
  • Small paint brush (food safe)

To make the Tiki Huts …


  1. Melt about half of the bag of PB chips in the microwave.  Mine was very thick and I added some paramount crystals (you could also use vegetable oil or shortening).  Place a dot of melted PB chips on one Mini PB cup (small side up).
  2. Place a Kiss on top of Mini  PB cup, let it sit a moment to harden up.
  3. Use the paint brush to cover the Kiss with the melted PB chips and chill or let harden.  I like the brush strokes, it creates texture!

To make the graham crackers island and water, follow the same steps as when we made sailboats and palm trees …


  • Smear melted white candy on graham cracker, sprinkle cinnamon/sugar, add a Tiki Hut (or 2), add a few flowers, let harden!


  • Smear melted white candy on graham cracker, chill for a few minutes, smear blue piping gel, add a Tiki Hut (or 2, or 3)!

Oh … my contribution to Shark Week …


As you can see from the photo above … these are shark free waters!   This is a shark free blog … as I mentioned in the past … Jaws scared me for life ;)

I always look forward to your comments!

  ♦  I share my stuff with these fun parties!  ♦

Summer – Part 2 … Tropical Island

Summer continued …

The S.S. Sweet Sailboat has reached its destination and I didn’t fall overboard once!

Candy pretzel palm trees

Yeah, I know it’s kind of silly … Sugar Island!  That’s what I do … make sweet and silly stuff :)

To make 12 islands, you will need …

  • 12 square graham crackers
  • 12 short (3″) pretzel rods (such as Snyder’s)
  • 4 ounces melted white candy coating (such as CandiQuik)
  • Cinnamon Sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
  • 12 small green Laffy Taffy candies (you may be able to use 6 – see #1 below)

Let’s get started …


  1. Get pretzels ready … no broken ones ;)
  2. I cut each piece of taffy into 5 pieces and formed each piece into leaf/triangle shapes.  I believe it works better if you cut smaller pieces (about 10 pieces per candy) and flatten them out … which will result in thinner leaves.
  3. Arrange the leaves on one end of the pretzel … you will need to press the taffy to make it stick to the pretzel.

Now for the sandy island …


  1. Make the sand – Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  2. Spread some melted white candy over a graham cracker.
  3. Cover the melted candy with the sugar mixture and chill for a few minutes.
  4. Pour excess sugar mixture back into the bowl.
  5. While the graham cracker is still cold – attach palm tree by dipping base into melted candy, hold in place, sprinkle more sugar on melted candy … hold still until palm tree is attached.  Shake extra sugar back into bowl.

Sweet Slider Cupcakes

Sliders … teeny weenie hamburgers … on cupcakes?  My sliders aren’t hamburgers at all … but I’m sure you knew that.  They are made with Nilla Wafers, York peppermint patties and candy coating.  The cupcakes … well, it is summer … I’m lazy … I used a mix … but I did make my favorite decorator icing (recipe above – all butter version).

This is what you will need to make the sliders … Nilla Wafers, small York peppermint patties and candy coating (frosting could also be used) – red/ketchup, orange/cheese and green/lettuce … I happened to have some candy in tubes (which is very handy, but not necessary) …

This is just like building a real burger … get your buns (Nilla wafers) and hamburger (York) patties ready … put some ketchup (red candy) on the bottom bun …


Then put the hamburger patty on the melted candy … add some melted cheddar cheese (orange candy) on top of the patty …


Don’t forget the lettuce (green candy) … and the top bun … your sliders are cooked!


Now, for the cupcakes … bake your favorite recipe or mix … make your icing … I used a bag and a plain round tip (#12) …

This is the voice of experience … do not make your icing and put it in the fridge … then try to pipe it out of a bag while it is still cold (like I did) … or this will happen … a hard skinny line of icing comes out of the tip … it breaks … it has some pretty big air bubbles … it is pretty ugly … let your icing come up to room temperature (or at least close) …

But help is on the way … sprinkles will save the day!   Sprinkles are a wonderful invention and cover a multitude of boo boos …

Place the sliders on top of the cupcakes …

I believe that if some sprinkles are good … more must be better!

Creamy Lemon Ice

In celebration of the first day of summer I made my first batch of lemon ice … cold, sweet, creamy and fat-free!  I have had this recipe for many years … it calls for half-and-half … wonderfully creamy half-and-half … not exactly Weight Watcher friendly.  Have you ever tried fat-free half-and-half?   I have used it in other recipes … even corn chowder … it works well and tastes good.  So … for the first time I used it to make lemon ice.  The results … wonderful … at least in my opinion.  Of course the real stuff is excellent … but my waistline needs all the help it can get.

The real inspiration for making this is … it is summer … it has been hot in southern California … we finished picking all the lemons off the tree … I had fat-free half-and-half in the fridge … and actually had ripe berries on the vine!

This is what you will need … lemons, sugar and fat-free (or regular) half-and-half … a zesting tool and a reamer are helpful …


Stir together the half-and-half and sugar until the sugar dissolves …

Zest your lemon … then juice it … I used 1 medium  and 1 small lemon (I have Meyer lemons which are very juicy) …

Stir in the lemon juice and zest …


Pour into a shallow 9″ x 13″ pan … cover tightly … pop in the freezer … try to wait patiently for 4 hours …  cut in squares or scoop …


Creamy Lemon Ice

2 cups (1 pint) half-and-half or fat-free half-and-half

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Berries (optional)

Stir together the half-and-half and sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Stir in lemon juice and zest.  Pour into a shallow 9″ x 13″ pan.  Cover tightly.  Freeze at least 4 hours.  Cut in squares or scoop.  Serve with berries if desired.

Visit Gooseberry Patch for more Sweet Treats!