I’m thinking of the folks in Boston as I write. As a Denver, CO resident, I know too well the sorrow of events of this nature and how it can impact an entire city so my heart and my prayers are with them today. Along with that sorrow though comes hope; seeing evidence of the bounty of good when crisis befalls us is testimony to the true human nature of citizens of this magnificent country of ours. From the everyday citizens who rose to the occasion to the amazing show of grace by the leaders, first responders; police and firefighters, you did Boston proud. To everyone in Boston, stay Boston Strong.
For me, one piece of the puzzle of my life’s craziness is over. Three months of nonstop cleaning, home showings and packing have come to an end and I’m officially moved out of my home of 22 years. I’m living with friends and though I do miss my own home; they have been so supportive and understand my need to concentrate on my daughter for a bit and put the house-hunting into perspective; rushing that decision now would be a mistake. So I’ll try to enjoy this respite (while so missing my kitchen) and will also try to enjoy some time free of the responsibilities of home ownership. Thankfully Karen has a lovely garden; that will help me transition more easily I’m sure!
I simply can not thank enough all of the folks who have stepped up and done some guest posts for me over the last several weeks. Both local friends and those from afar…and today’s post is pretty doggone far! Rachel of the Rachel Cooks blog has helped with this post today; she is in Michigan which, though far away, has such great memories for me. That year my friend and I drove from St. Louis to Petoskey, MI and had the time of our lives after meeting some young men whose only job for the summer was taking care of their Daddy’s yacht. Tough one huh? Or the spring my ex and I hunted for morel mushrooms and discovered a cache that fed us for several meals; I don’t think I’ve had any since that could compare!
Rachel is a huge multi-tasker – staying at home with 2 young children is a big job in itself but she does so with aplomb; all the while sharing fabulous foods from her kitchen on her blog. Please welcome Rachel and make sure you scurry over and check out her blog…it’s good stuff!
Hi everyone! I’m Rachel from Rachel Cooks and I’m so happy to be able to help Barb with a guest post while she’s busy with things which are far more important. It’s so hard when you have friends that don’t live nearby. You can’t give a hug, you can’t make a meal, you can’t clean their house…but what I can do, besides pray, is write a guest post.
I made these Orange Creamsicle Cookie Bars and they are sure to brighten your day, even if only for a minute. They have a bright flavor from the fresh orange zest and a richness from the luxurious vanilla beans. I’d put vanilla beans in just about everything if I could! These are super easy to make and you can store them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them. Or…you can eat them straight out of the freezer. I’m not saying I know anything about that though….
So do me a favor — if you live near Barb, make her a big batch of them and give her a giant hug from me.
Verdict: Loved these—ate way too many of them.
Husband’s take: He liked these too. I didn’t think he would, he’s more of the plain ol’ chocolate chip cookie kind of guy but he really did enjoy these.
Changes I would make: None are necessary.
I’d love for you to stop by Rachel Cooks and say hi some time!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- Seeds of one vanilla bean (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 and ½ cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- orange sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter, salt, sugar, orange zest and vanilla beans. Add egg yolks and mix well. Add flour and mix until a dough forms.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes at 350 degrees or until firm. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, combine all of the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and whip until fluffy.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cookie base and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles.
- Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before slicing into bars and serving.