Spring has sprung in the Holy City which means only one thing: wedding showers, baby showers, and bachelor/bachelorette weekends on Folly will soon take up the season's prime weekend real estate.
With the bees bumbling in the azaleas and the aroma of freshly bloomed gardenias dancing through the breeze, it's hard to hate on these events because it's such a beautiful time of year! Who doesn't love weekends filled with free food, free booze, and days spent surrounded by family and friends while soaking up the scenery at a local plantation or squishing your toes between the sand?
The hosts of these events, that's who.
Planning parties can be as stressful as the walk of shame on Wednesday morning after having "just one drink" with your bestie on Tuesday, so today I bring you a super simple recipe for Lemon Blossom Thumbprint Cookie Cups that are easy to make, soft on your wallet, and will feed a dozen people.
The fact that Pinterest has over taken the land doesn't help party planning in the least bit. Now things as simple as Easter baskets have become giant umbrellas filled with locally sourced, organic golden goose eggs and toys that would put my toddler's Goodwill Christmas gifts to shame. So, it's safe to assume most people are expecting bigger, better, and more bedazzled when it comes to weddings or showers.
I'm here to tell you it's possible to impress your guests without breaking your back or your bank.
Any Charleston shindig must have a lemon dessert on the table. Not doing so would be blasphemous and would surely entice your Maw Maw to shake her head and mumble, "Oh, bless your heart!" while begrudingly grabbing a handful of Jordan Almonds.
From what I've gathered, traditional lemon blossoms are now made with boxed cake mix and instant pudding, but remember we are here to impress! The homemade lemon pastry cream is super simple to make and is nestled in scratch-made lemon poppyseed shortbread cookie-cups. No special tools are needed and, to make it easier on yourself, you could even make each component of the dish the night before your event then throw them together at the last minute before your guests arrive.
Beautiful, classy, citrusy, and sweet, these Lemon Blossom Thumbprint Cookie Cups will easily become your go-to creation for any and all summer celebrations.
For the Lemon Blossom Thumbprint Cookie Cups:
½ cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
Zest and juice of one fresh lemon
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 ½-2 cups unbleached whole wheat flour
For the Lemon Pastry Cream:
1 cup milk
zest from one fresh lemon
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the Lemon Blossom Cookie Cups:
1. Preheat oven to 325° (F).
2. Using a mixer or beaters, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Stir in juice and seeds.
4. Using a spatula, gently fold in flour 1/2 cup at a time, making sure to stir only until the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix. Continue to add flour until it is no longer sticky.
5. Dump dough onto a floured surface, pinch off a piece, roll it into a ball, and place in a greased mini muffin pan. Continue until you have 24 balls.
6. Using clean hands, gently press your thumb into the center of each ball, forming the dough into a little cup. If the dough sticks to your thumb, dip it in a little flour before you make each indention.
7. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Let cool completely, gently remove from tin, then fill w/ lemon pastry cream.
For the Lemon Pastry Cream:
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and flour. Set aside.
2. Pour milk and lemon zest into a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat.
3. Whisk 1-2 small ladles full of the warmed milk into the egg/sugar mixture to "temper" the eggs then pour the rest in and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
4 Return the mixture to the sauce pot and whisk constantly, about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture thickens and resembles pudding.
5. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, and fresh lemon juice until well incorporated.
6. Transfer to a small bowl and cover w/ a piece of plastic wrap, directly on the surface of the cream, to stop a skin from forming.
7. Allow to chill for minimum of 2-24 hrs before filling the cups.