A book release, a wedding anniversary and lemon squares - why I was MIA last week
Well, that was a long radio silence, over here, wasn't it? I had planned on posting a new recipe last Friday, but alas!, the best laid plans always seem to slip out of my mind, especially when one is rather busy with an impeding book launch and what not... or a wedding anniversary, on the following day. It's a fact, it completely slipped my mind I wanted to post these cookies last week, because this past Saturday I finally published the final novella on the Blood Trilogy. Which means the darn thing is complete, and out there in the world, for readers to grab and enjoy. It's already landed a few (great) reviews, which has made me very excited, as I do think this trilogy is a bit different from the usual books in its genre. It's quite dark, and at points is a bit obsessive - I had one reader comment that there were repetitve parts on SCARS, which made me happy because I was actually going for it, to impart the sense of obsession, when your thoughts go over and over the exact same think and you can't think of nothing else. Alas, I excelled in the repetition but failed to get the readers to realise it was meant to convey how opressive and obsessive that character's thoughts were...
So the book was released Saturday the eight - and it will be a looooong time before I put another book out there, so you have time to catch up on my already published novels, all eight of them - and then our wedding anniversary on the ninth, and with all the preparations for both festivities, the blog post simply slipped my mind. It slipped my mind until yesterday, when I got down to shoot a warm vegan salad and suddenly had this flash light up in my mind reminding me I had not posted on the blog as I intended to! There was nothing to be done, except sit down and write this post, with absolutely no regrets and no guilty feelings. After all, stressing about a hobby is no good, and takes away the joy from said hobby. The post is here, that's all it matters, right?
I took these pictures while we were away on holidays, at the family's Summer house, because I really wanted to play around with very different settings and props, and a completely different light. The photos didn't come out exactly as I had anticipated them, I realised straight away I'm so used to the lighting conditions at my home, I have a very hard time getting around different light settings, but it's not like I don't like the results. I do, it's very different from my usual fare, but change is good, and playing around with different things is even better, gets you out of your comfort zone and the slumps we most times find ourselves in. Plus, I got to shoot with my childhood china set. I was soooo crazy about this set, when I was a kid. I only got to use it when I stayed over at my grandparents, and the fact is, I loved staying at my grandparents, so the set has all these sensorial memories attached to it, from what was such a good time in my life. Nowadays, I let my son use it occasionally, but am always afraid he might break it, as the sentimental value attached to it is beyond words.
But enough with the light - it was nearly dusk! - and the buttery, yellow colours it doused on everything, enough with the memories, enough with the books and the work and the sales and reviews, enough even with the anniversaries and all the chit chat. Because what matters here are these cookies. These lemon squares are the cat's whiskers, you have to believe me. They are just SO lemony, and tart, but at the same time, so sweet and more-ish, you can't just have only one. You'll find yourself going back for more, and then back again, especially if your're like me and lemon is your go to flavour. Plus, they're so buttery and soft in the middle, yet crisp on the edges. I can't praise these cookies enough, really, but you'll have to bake them yourself and see if I'm not right. Just don't blame me if you eat the whole jar in one sitting: it's not my recipe, it's my husband's. Shame on him, I say...
So here's how you can bake them:
- 250 gr cold butter
- 350 gr flour
- 175 gr muscovado sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- zest of a lemon
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
Stir the baking powder and flour together, then add the lemon zest. Pour this mix onto a clean, cold surface and make a hole in the middle. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice and egg. Combine the ingredients into a dough. Knead everything together very softly, and wrap in cling film, refrigerating it for half an hour, at least. After said time, bring the dough out, and roll it quickly over a floured surface, cutting it into the shapes you want - we went for squares because they look so cute like this! Transfer the cookies into a baking tray, lined with baking parchement, and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes at 170º. Once they've cooled enough, you can keep them in air tight containers and they actually last for quite some time. And can we talk about those tiny clumps of sugar that failed to get properly mixed into the dough? After the cookies are baked, biting into one of those is like a rush of caramel exploding in your mouth!