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posted: 5/24/2017 6:00 AM

Cook of the week recipes by Audrey Silverman and Blaise LaVista

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  • Cousins 11-year-old Audrey Silverman and 9-year-old Blaise LaVista, both of Gurnee hold a piece of their lemon cake.

      Cousins 11-year-old Audrey Silverman and 9-year-old Blaise LaVista, both of Gurnee hold a piece of their lemon cake.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • This week's cooks of the week are cousins Audrey Silverman, 11, and Blaise LaVista, 9, both of Gurnee both love desserts but like to cook savory dishes for their family.

      This week's cooks of the week are cousins Audrey Silverman, 11, and Blaise LaVista, 9, both of Gurnee both love desserts but like to cook savory dishes for their family.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • This week's cooks of the week are cousins Audrey Silverman, 11, and Blaise LaVista, 9,  of Gurnee. Audrey, a resourceful baker, says the cake she made for Easter this year needed frosting to help fill some gaps. "It was awesome," Blaise said. "She is really good at decorating with icing."

      This week's cooks of the week are cousins Audrey Silverman, 11, and Blaise LaVista, 9, of Gurnee. Audrey, a resourceful baker, says the cake she made for Easter this year needed frosting to help fill some gaps. "It was awesome," Blaise said. "She is really good at decorating with icing."
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

For the icing

1½ cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about ½ teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container. Makes 44 cookies.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Lemon Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

1¾ teaspoons baking powder

1¼ teaspoons salt

1 1/8 cups unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups of white sugar

4 eggs room temperature

1 1/3 cups milk at room temperature

4 lemons, zested

For the icing

1 cup butter at room temperature

4 cups confectioners' sugar

1 lemon, zested

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Place a rack into the lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until butter is creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in white sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in thoroughly before adding the next. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture in several additions, alternating with milk; begin and end with flour mixture. Do not overbeat. Scrape bowl occasionally. Add the lemon zest and mix well. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 45 minutes. Place cake in pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting pan to remove cake. Allow cake to completely cool on wire rack, 3 to 4 hours.

For the frosting, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl until frosting is smooth and creamy. Pack the frosting into a heavy resealable plastic bag; force the frosting into one corner of the bag. With scissors, clip a small corner of the plastic bag, seal the bag, and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cake in desired pattern.

Strawberry Shortcake

3 pints fresh strawberries

½ cup white sugar

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons white sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

2 cups whipped heavy cream

Slice strawberries and toss them with ½ cup of white sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease and flour one 8-inch round cake pan. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.

While cake is baking, whip the cream in a chilled metal bowl with electric mixer. Mix until cream it stands in stiff peaks.

Slice partially cooled cake in half horizontally, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips

2 cups oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and add sugars until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a

time beat well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat well. Add salt and baking powder, mix

well. Add 1 cup of flour, mix until combined and then add the other cup of flour. Add chocolate

chips and oats, mix until combined. Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded

tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly;

remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely.

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