DIY · Drinks

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Limoncello!

Limoncello

When Life gives you lemons……

Make Limoncello!

Though, if that’s the case, it would help if Life threw in a bottle of vodka to help out with the process, too.

Limoncello

Last month, my sister equipped me with a bag of Meyer lemons from her mother-in-law’s tree. After using many of the fragrant lemons for baking, I decided to use the rest to make a batch of Limoncello to give away as gifts for the holidays.

Originating from the South of Italy, Limoncello is traditionally made with lemon peels and a very high proof grain alcohol—but vodka can also do the trick.

The floral (and STRONG) boozy goodness can be served straight up over ice or with some tonic water and squeeze of lime. Either way, you’ll be enjoying a bit of summer in a glass.

Salute!

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Limoncello

Ingredients:

1 750ml Bottle Vodka (100 proof or higher)
Peels of 12 Lemons (I used a combination of Meyer and Eureka)
3 Cups Simple Syrup

In a very large container with an airtight lid, combine lemon peels and vodka. (I used a 1 gallon glass jar.) Tightly screw on the lid and place the jar in a cool, dark place for 14-15 days. Take off the lid, remove the lemon peels, and stir in the simple syrup. Screw the lid back on and replace to the cool, dark place for an additional 30 days. Gently shake the container every day or so if/when the sugar collects at the bottom.

When ready to bottle, strain the limoncello with a fine sieve. Using a funnel, fill airtight bottles. ENJOY!

*I ended up squeezing the 12 “naked” lemons and made a TON of fresh lemonade and froze the remaining juice in ice trays to use at a later time.

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Desserts/Pastries

“Two Peas in a Pod” Lemon Cupcakes

"Two Peas in a Pod" Lemon Cupcakes

 

Mimi is one of my oldest and dearest friends that I’ve known for almost 25 years. We’ve shared so many milestones, made so many memories……..needless to say, I love me some Mimi 🙂

So you can imagine my utter glee when I found out that she was expecting twins!!! In fact, the twins were such eager little ones that they arrived almost two months early. We were excited to welcome Baby Christopher and Baby Abigail at the end of February—and both are getting stronger with each day!

Mimi and Jinhyeong had their baby shower this past weekend and the theme was perfect—–Two Peas in a Pod. The color scheme was green and yellow and with that, I just knew what I wanted to bring to the baby shower.

 

"Two Peas in a Pod" Lemon Cupcakes

 

Lemon Cupcakes filled with Lemon Curd and a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting—-and topped with fondant sculpted peas! Aren’t the peas darling?

 

"Two Peas in a Pod" Lemon Cupcakes

 

I must admit, I spent more time making these little fondant toppers than I did making the cupcakes—-but they were so much fun! I used premade fondant and dyed them with food color gels to get the right hue for the peas and shells. I also painted on some eyelashes and rosy cheeks for the “Baby Abigail peas” to delineate them from her big brother Christopher.

 

"Two Peas in a Pod" Lemon Cupcakes

 

Fondant is pretty fun and easy to work with—quite reminiscent of sculpting with Play-Doh! I also learned from my cake pops to nix the food color markers and painted the faces with food color gels and toothpicks. MUCH more effective don’t you think?

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not the greatest fan of the flavor fondant. But it’s the perfect medium to sculpt things with. Just be sure to use a tad of water when you adhere the pieces together or cornstarch when you want to prevent the fondant from sticking.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t give full credit to my nieces Nina and Maya for rolling out all the little peas while I shaped the shells. They were such troopers! 🙂

 

"Two Peas in a Pod" Lemon Cupcakes

 

Over all, I think the new Mama, Papa and their guests enjoyed the “Two Peas in a Pod” Lemon Cupcakes. They were whimsical treats to accompany the oober cute decor that the hostesses prepared. 🙂

Just my small contribution to Welcome Baby Christopher and Baby Abigail!!!!!!!! xoxo!

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“Two Peas in a Pod” Lemon Cupcakes
From Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 28-30 Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
4 tablespoons limoncello
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup lemon juice
Zest of two lemons

For the lemon curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks

For the cream cheese limoncello frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoon limoncello
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 drops yellow food color

1. Prepare the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the limoncello and beat an additional minute. On low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the lemon curd. In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the lemon zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk the lemon mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool completely.

3. Prepare the cream cheese limoncello frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the limoncello and beat for an additional minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.

4. Assemble the cupcakes. Cut a hole into each cupcake with the large end of a melon baller or the back end of a large pastry tip. Fill each cavity with the lemon curd. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese limoncello frosting and pipe onto each cupcake. Top with fondant peas.