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These Rhubarb Custard Bars were my backup after an epic fail on a custard “magic” cake with rhubarb topping that I was planning to take to a gathering. It’s good to have a backup. These bars were the hit of the gathering, all of them were eaten, and many people asked for the recipe. I hadn’t intended to post this, but I did snap a few pictures along the way, so I’m going to do it. I used the recipe found at Taste of Home. It was simple and made a ton.

  • Crust Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • Filling Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 5 cups finely chopped rhubarb
  • Topping Ingredients
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray a 9×13″ baking pan.

Combine flour and sugar, then cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pat into the prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from heat.

While the crust is baking, stir together sugar and flour. Mix in whipping cream and eggs. Stir in rhubarb.

Pour over crust. Return to oven and bake 40-45 minutes until custard is set. Cool.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Fold in whipped cream. Spread evenly over the top and chill. Cover if you’re storing for awhile. Keep refrigerated until served. Cut into squares and serve.

This is such a simple and delicious recipe from Scarlett at madeitateitlovedit.com. What you see pictured here is a Blueberry Cream Pie, but I have tried this recipe using golden raspberries with great success.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 unbaked 9″ pie crust
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups berries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9″ pie pan with the unbaked crust.

Filling: Stir together 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Stir in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Set aside.

Topping: Stir together brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in melted butter. Stir in 1/2 cup flour until well incorporated. Set aside.

Assembly: Place berries into the pie crust. Pour filling over the berries. With your fingers, sprinkle chunks of the topping over the pie.

Bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Later in the day that I made this pie, I put it into a 350 degree oven with the heat turned OFF while we ate dinner, etc. for about an hour. It was the perfect temperature served with ice cream.

My mother had finished the pie crust before she fell and went to the hospital in an ambulance. When I arrived at their house, lemons were falling off the tree and my dad said to use them. I made lemon curd, mixed it with whipped cream to make a mousse, and filled Mom’s pie crust. Delicious!

Two days later I made more lemon curd to fill these tarts. Delicious again! I used the lemon curd recipe found at pastrypal.com. The tart recipe is based upon one found at Home Cooking in Montana. I didn’t have mini-muffin tins and so adjusted Montana’s recipe to use regular muffin tins. The leftover lemon curd is in the freezer for whenever Mom comes back home. She can use it as cake filling or to make another mousse pie. Lemon curd has many uses.

  • Lemon Curd Ingredients
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Dash salt
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) butter, cubed

I created a double boiler by setting a mixing bowl on the edge of a saucepan with a couple inches of water in the saucepan. I brought the water in the saucepan to a boil while I squeezed lemons and prepared the ingredients. In the mixing bowl I whisked together the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Then I set the bowl onto the saucepan and whisked constantly.

The mixture gets frothy as you whisk and then it becomes nearly all froth and then the froth gets thick. Once the mixture is thick enough that it stands up on its own, remove it from the saucepan of water. A handful at a time, whisk in the butter cubes until all the butter cubes are melted. The recipe says you can return it over the water in order to get all the butter melted, but neither I nor the recipe author had to do that. Just sayin’.

Let the curd cool for a few minutes and then place a piece of cling wrap directly on top of the curd so that a skin does not form. Let it cool and then set it into the refrigerator to chill. My guess as to yield is about 3 cups of curd.

In case you’re interested in making Lemon Mousse, whip one cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in 1-1/2 cups lemon curd. Voila! Mousse! It firms up quite nicely in a pie crust or in decorative glasses, a very mild flavor.

  • Mini Tart Crust Ingredients
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups flour

Mix ingredients together with your hands. Make sure it is well incorporated. Set in the refrigerator to chill for a little while so that it’s easy to handle for the next step.

Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into ten even pieces. One-by-one place a dough ball into a muffin cup and spread into the bottom and all the way up the sides.

Set the muffin tin into the refrigerator until the dough is firm, fifteen minutes or so should do it. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Remove from refrigeration and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Start checking them around 13 minutes. The edges should be brown and the centers should be slightly brown. These will look greasy in the middle as there is a lot of butter, but just ignore it and go with it. Once they’re baked, remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While they are still quite warm, use the back of a spoon to press a well into the center of each cup. Let them sit in the muffin tins until they are completely cool. Very carefully remove them from the tins. I ran a knife around the edge of each muffin cup to release them gently, gently.

  • Assembling the Mini Lemon Tarts
  • Using a teaspoon dollop lemon curd into each tart crust.
  • Decorate with berries and mint leaves.
  • Keep refrigerated until serving.
  • Serves ten.

My husband LOVES cheesecake. We were in New York City in October (my first time) and every day he ordered cheesecake at a bakery in the subway terminal to take back to the hotel room. When we’re eating out, he always orders cheesecake for dessert. I have made varying kinds of cheesecake; chocolate, baked, unbaked, etc. and this recipe is the most authentic and best, in my opinion. It’s also a super simple recipe. I should make it more often, but it’s so, so rich! This recipe comes from The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors by Jeff Smith (1990, William Morrow and Company, Inc.).

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar (for crust)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for crust)
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla (I used vanilla paste, thus the specks of brown in the cheesecake)
  • 1 lb. cream cheese, broken into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter (for filling)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup melted butter. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan. I use an 8.5″ pan (since my 9″ broke about fifteen years ago and I haven’t replaced it). [A side note: I cut a round of parchment paper and placed it in the bottom of my springform pan, then pressed in the crumbs mixture. At the end, I was able, using a very large spatula, to slide the entire cheesecake onto a plate while at the same time peeling off the parchment paper. This was really an unnecessary step, but I just wanted to get it out and off the springform bottom. It worked splendidly, but could have so easily gone awry.]

In a food processor, blend the sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and vanilla until it is very smooth and well blended. Add the cream cheese and process until it is smooth, scraping down the bowl a time or two. While blending, pour the 2 Tbsp. melted butter through the top of the machine. Pour mixture over the top of the graham crust.

The flecks of brown are from using vanilla paste, which I really like to use better than vanilla extract.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 45-55 minutes. I give mine a little shake to see if the center is overly soft. It’s hard to tell, just do your best. Turn your broiler on and broil the cheesecake just until the top begins to have attractive spots of brown. I think I left mine a few seconds too long for “attractive.” Oh, well.

  • Optional Raspberry Sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups raspberry juice/pulp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Boil together for about 5-10 minutes or until it’s slightly thickened, but not to jelly stage.

The cheesecake stands very well alone, but because I have a lot of frozen raspberries, I made a raspberry sauce to go with this deliciousness. I’m not a fan of raspberry seeds so I pressed my home-frozen package of thawed raspberries through a sieve and came up with 1-1/2 cups of juice/pulp. These type of sauces are not fussy so you can do your own thing regarding amounts. I was looking for something that would remain a semi-thick liquid when brought down to room temperature. I didn’t want a hot sauce to melt my cheesecake slices. At the same time I wanted the sauce to pour when I was ready for it. This worked very well. I gave the sauce a stir right before serving. I used a gravy boat to store and pour.

I made this last week and there was none left after the meeting. Yummy! Since it is March now, I used previously frozen rhubarb. Last summer I picked rhubarb and froze only small, tender stalks. The bigger stalks I used while fresh and did not freeze. It seems to have made a difference for the frozen rhubarb. It baked well and was not stringy.

The recipe was based upon one from LizTheChef. My cake batter did not spill out of the cake pan, but it did puff up to the extent that the edges were not inside the pan. This made it a little tricky to get out. Also, I felt it could have stayed in the oven another five minutes for the center to be completely done. Not everyone who ate it agreed with that assessment. And like I said, it was gone . . . fast!

  • Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups ricotta, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen and thawed (if using thawed, let it drain completely — do not press it)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9″ cake pan by spraying or greasing, then laying a circle of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan. Spray lightly again.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl stir together the eggs, ricotta, vanilla, and orange peel. Fold into the dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in the melted butter. Stir in 1 cup of the rhubarb.

Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup rhubarb, try to lightly press them into the batter. Sprinkle the top with 2 Tbsp. sugar. Bake 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes and then turn out onto rack, remove parchment, and invert so sugary crust is topside. Let cool completely then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Serve. Prepare to be wowed.

Almond-Coconut Tart Crust and Almond Tart Crust

You can find my first foray into tart crusts here with the Lingonberry Curd Tart, also a gluten-free crust. There are a lot of almond-flour crust recipes on the web and the two in this post I have recently tried. They are both configured as sweet crusts for sweet fillings.

Almond-Coconut Tart Crust

This one can be found at A Foodcentric Life. I liked the crispiness of the crust. I used it as a crust for a golden raspberry curd tart that turned out disastrously, but the disaster had nothing to do with the crust. The crust was great.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter

Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until it’s fully incorporated. I found that mine did not stick together yet. That’s okay, just make sure it’s evenly mixed. I had to scrape the bottom of my food processor and give it a few more whirls to make sure all the butter made it into the dough.

Spray a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

The processed ingredients should stick together in your hands. If it does not stick together when you squeeze it, then you might try adding more butter. I thought mine was too dry, but I carried on without changing anything and it turned out great. Scoop out a pinch at a time and press onto the sides of the tart pan. Add dough a pinch at a time all the way around and then sprinkle the remaining dough into the bottom of the pan and press in evenly. As I said, it’s quite dry, but does stick together. Try to make the dough as even and smooth as possible.

I set mine on a baking sheet to bake, but next time I think I’ll just set the tart pan in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-16 minutes. It should be a golden brown color. Remove from oven. Let sit on a cooling rack until cool and then remove from tart pan. Fill with your favorite no-bake filling.

Almond Tart Crust

This one can be found at wholesomeyum.com. It held up well to the pumpkin cream filling that I used. The texture is a bit more cake-like than cookie-like. I think that’s because of the egg.

  • Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom.

Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until it sticks together smoothly. Remove dough a pinch at a time and, starting along the edge of the tart pan, stick the dough to the pan. Once the edge is complete, use the rest of the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Make sure you go all the way to the top of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from tart pan. Fill with pre-cooked filling, like cream, pudding, or curd.


Here is a picture of my pumpkin cream tart. The pumpkin cream part was ho-hum, I’m not a big fan of pumpkin cream pie so I won’t bother posting the recipe here. The crust is good, though.


Fresh Mandarin oranges (also known as Clementines, Halos, Cuties, etc.) are very popular at Christmastime here. I had too many of them to eat out of hand, so I cast around the internet for a way to use some easily. This recipe fit the bill. I used the one found at Cupcake Project. I don’t have a dehydrator, and am not really interested in a crispy product. That being said, I can’t figure out how I’m going to store these as they are QUITE STICKY. Totally delicious, but QUITE STICKY. Now, I suppose if I were baking some kind of Grand Marnier or orange cake or dessert, I could place these candied Mandarins decoratively on top. But I’m trying to watch what I eat in this quasi-post-holiday season, so instead of using them as a garnish, I am eating these off the paper, several at a time. It’s defeating my purpose, I know. I should never have too much of anything because I feel like I must finish eating it. All of it. Sigh. These are so, so good.

A couple notes . . . the cinnamon flavor is a little bit strong, so next time I might use two cinnamon sticks instead of four. There is a huge amount of leftover syrup, about 3-1/2 cups, what am I going to do with it?

  • Ingredients
  • 8 Mandarin oranges
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Slice the oranges into about 6 thin slices each one. In a large saucepan stir together water and sugar, bring to a boil. Add the mandarins and cinnamon. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat. Stirring only occasionally, let it simmer 40 minutes. Using tongs, remove the slices.

Cupcake Project used a cooling rack set over paper to catch the drips. There is a caveat not to let them sit too long on the racks or the racks will get all sticky, hard to clean. I don’t want to deal with my racks like that, so instead I placed a sheet of wax paper over my racks. Later in the day I used the tongs to turn each slice over. The next day I moved the slices to a new sheet of wax paper. Later that day I turned them over. Note that I was taste-testing them frequently throughout. Ha. The next day I changed the wax paper again. An option for storage would be to dredge each slice through granulated or sanding sugar, but I think I’ll simply layer them between sheets of wax paper. That should work to keep them from sticking to each other.

As I said earlier there’s a lot of leftover syrup. You could make a second batch in the same syrup, that would be super good. I poured my leftover syrup in jars and plan to use as a sweetener for salad dressing or pancake syrup or cocktail syrup. It would taste pretty good to sweeten tea, too.

I’ve made these cookies at Christmas for many years. They are one of my favorites. The recipe comes from Taste of Home. I think these cookies are also know as Split Seconds, although I didn’t know that until now, and I haven’t checked into the Split Seconds recipes. Raspberry Ribbons are super simple to make, but they really don’t store very easily, so it’s the kind of cookie you should probably make only a day ahead or the morning of an event where you’ll need them.

  • Cookie Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (other jam flavors optional)
  • Glaze Ingredients
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Divide dough into four portions and shape each portion into a log of about 2-1/2″ around and 10″ long. Place two logs on each baking sheet. Make a 1/2″ depression lengthwise along the top of each log. Bake 10 minutes.

I’m reusing my parchment paper for these cookies, so please excuse the way it looks in the picture.

Remove from oven and spoon raspberry jam into the depressions. Bake another 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. This is important as you do not want a soggy center beneath the jam. They should be nicely crisp. Remove from oven and cool for two minutes.

I carefully slice into 3/4″ slices while they are still on the cookie sheet, but you can remove them to a cutting board first. It just seems like an extra unnecessary step to me. After slicing, remove to a cooling rack. Be careful not to lose the jam, so do it with care. Separate the slices on the cooling rack.

In a small bowl combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm cookies. Cool completely.

I have made these cookies using other flavors of jam and they’re all great. Raspberry seems to give the most punch to offset the buttery goodness of the cookie dough. Apricot also does this, rhubarb too, but although rhubarb tastes great it’s not as eye-popping pretty as raspberry.

This is a nice anytime cookie, easy to make. It looks very nice on a Christmas cookie platter. I took the recipe from Collecting Memories.

One of my 2018 Christmas Cookie Platters
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable (or Canola) oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In medium bowl, mix together cocoa powder, sugar, and oil. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth and shiny. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into cocoa mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop out dough with a spoon and roll into balls of 1 to 2 inches. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The cookies will spread while baking so place them at least 2″ apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes depending upon the size of the cookies. They should be soft in the center, so they end up being chewy instead of crispy. Let cool for several minutes before removing from baking sheet. The yield is around 5 dozen, depending upon how large you make them.

This recipe is from Not So Humble Pie. I tried this back in 2015 as a cookie to share, but it was a minor disaster because I didn’t follow the directions. The cookies spread out ridiculously, they were so thin and fragile that you had to eat them standing right there over the cooling racks. They were not at all good for sharing. But the flavor. Oh, the flavor. In 2016 I decided to give them another go because I still remembered how delicious they were. That time I weighed the dry ingredients, and used the exact ingredients listed in Not So Humble’s recipe. I didn’t try to convert the measurements from UK to USA. Success! If you do not have a kitchen scale, then please proceed at your own peril. These are refrigerator cookies and are among the easiest type of cookie to make. 

  • Ingredients
  • 1-1/3 cup butter (11 oz.)
  • 12 oz. sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 oz. bread flour
  • 8 oz. cake flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 Egg white, whipped lightly with a fork
  • Decorative or sugar crystals

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in bread flour, cake flour, salt, and cardamom. Divide into two or three portions and roll each portion into a “log” of about 1-1/2″ to 2″. Wrap each log in waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. I leave mine for an hour or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once chilled to quite firm, brush each dough log with egg white and roll the log in decorative sugar. Cut each log into slices of 1/4″ and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. They should be lightly browned and will be a crunchy cookie.

I do these cookies in batches, only taking one log out of the refrigerator at a time. I think part of the spreading problem has to do with the chill on the cookie dough. Keep it cold. Rolling in sugar has its own challenges, the logs are hand-rolled and therefore uneven, so don’t really roll flat against the pan where the decorative sugar is spread. I sprinkle the sugar over them as I roll. You’ll end up with a mess on your hands, and the egg white tends to dissolve the decorative sugar if you touch it, but if you handle the logs as little as possible after the egg white has been brushed on, it’s fine. Then I pop the remainder of the roll back in the refrigerator until I’m ready for it. Keep the dough cold! And lastly, I make mine about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter because they’re seriously addictive and maybe whole-cookie bites into your mouth keep you from eating too many. Maybe. Merry Christmas!