Raspberry Lime Buttermilk Quick Bread

Last week we had extremely unseasonably warm weather up here in New Hampshire, and it was a glorious preview for the upcoming summer season.  To celebrate, I threw open the windows, dug out my favorite Minnetonka moccasins, and got outside as much as possible.

I moved up here in November, when hibernation mode kicks in and everything slows down.  It’s been a long winter.  Walking around my neighborhood last week, I saw dogs lounging on porches, grills emerging from their winter tarps, and the beginning of forsythia buds on the bushes.  All were welcome sights, and have me positively yearning for the warm half of spring and the heat of summer.  I have a car for the first time in over 5 years, Mount Monadnock down the road, and an endless stream of events and festivals I’ve always wanted to go to at my disposal.  I want to see and experience everything.  (Insert silent cry of “Who’s with me??” here)

Not so welcome were the sounds of Keene State students driving or stumbling by my open windows, but hey, I spent the last six years in Boston.  I can manage.

A big part of my job for Yankee Magazine right now is testing recipes for the next “cookbook-azine” we’ll be putting out in the fall.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of the things I’ve been making.  I can’t have you thinking I’m not cooking like a maniac over here, even if I can’t share it.

Asparagus Vinaigrette, Fan-Tan Rolls, Cheese Straws, Coffee Cloud Sponge Cake, Old-Fashioned Soda Crackers, Blueberry Boy Bait

I had some leftover buttermilk from the Fan-Tan Rolls, so I tapped into some of my early-summer cravings and made a loaf of buttermilk quick bread, flavored with frozen raspberries and lime zest.  Raspberry Lime Rickey, anyone?

The bread was just what I thought it would be — tangy, zesty, and a good way to kick of the warm weather season, even though I know it’s going to be awhile before summer officially arrives.  As I am typing this, the thermometer in my kitchen window is flirting with freezing.

It’s all part of the fun of living in New England, and of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Not really…

Raspberry Lime Buttermilk Quick Bread
Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest from one lime

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and lightly fold with a rubber spatula for a few strokes.  Add the raspberries and lime zest and fold a few more times until just combined.  Do not overmix.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Print the recipe for Raspberry Lime Buttermilk Quick Bread.

Citrus Basil Butter Cookies

Confession – I am ardently in love with fresh basil.  Head over heels.  Smitten kitten.  I want to marry it.  All of those things.

Basil is wonderful in many Italian dishes and paired with its BFF’s, tomato and mozzarella, but basil is also a marvelous ingredient in buttery cookies, especially when you also add in the citrus tang of lemon and lime zests.

I found this recipe a little odd.  The dough comes together in a food processor, similar to making pie dough.  The recipe said the dough would form “moist clumps,” but mine wouldn’t hold together to form a ball, so I added in 2 teaspoons of milk to make it wet enough to shape into balls.

The extra milk is probably why the cookies stayed a little moist in the middle, so if I make these again I will poke a few holes in the center of the cookies with a toothpick before I bake them .

Overall, if you love basil like I do, you will want to experiment with these cookies so you can enjoy the burst of fresh basil, citrus and butter when you bite into them.

Citrus Basil Butter Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for pressing  cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil  leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons milk
Sanding sugar (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, butter, basil, zests, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl if a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  If you don’t have a food processor, whir in a blender.
  • Slowly drizzle in the milk until dough just comes together.
  • Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange on baking sheets, leaving 2″ between each.
  • Take a flat-bottom measuring cup and lightly cover it in additional powdered sugar, then press onto each ball of dough to lightly flatten it.
  • Sprinkle tops of the dough with coarse sanding sugar, if desired.
  • Using a toothpick or piece of raw spaghetti, poke a few holes in the center of each cookie.
  • Bake until the edges are brown, around 12-15 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield:  16 cookies

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