Lemon S’mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Look at that crispy gooey marshmallow! Look at it nestled up against the tart and creamy lemon curd! Have you ever seen lemon curd look more mouthwatering than this? I’ve already shared lemon curd paired with puff pastry, as part of a parfait, and even spread on a waffle so I wanted to come up with a completely different use for the citrusy treat I shared on Monday. Enter this Lemon S’mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies. Even though spring just started, the cold temperatures in Boston already have me daydreaming about summer. Between the bright lemon curd and the charred marshmallows, these s’mores combine spring and summer in the best possible mash-up.

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

If it’s still a little too chilly to warm up the fire pit for a traditional roasted marshmallow, you can use your broiler or – carefully – use your gas grill. Roasting the marshmallow in the broiler doesn’t take much time so make sure you watch it carefully. You can broil the marshmallow right on top of one of the cookies or on a small piece of nonstick aluminum foil, but do not put the lemon curd in the broiler. If you still want that roasting on a stick experience you can be like me and – carefully – roast the marshmallow on a heat-safe skewer over a low flame of your gas grill. Mmmmm.

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I still haven’t gotten to the best part of these s’mores. Well, one of the best parts. Yes, I know there’s only three components, but don’t make me choose! The soft gingersnap cookies are so amazingly delicious. I’m not kidding when I say they are soft; they’re just like out of a bakery. The exterior is soft; the inside is soft; they’re chewy and sweet and the ginger, molasses and spices come together perfectly. Can you tell I’m a little bit excited?

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was deciding what cookie to use for the s’mores I knew a traditional graham cracker wouldn’t cut it. I didn’t want a crunchy cookie; I wanted the s’mores to have a soft perfect-bite quality, similar to a whoopie pie. If you want the classic graham cracker crunch then cinnamon graham crackers would pair well, but I would definitely recommend the soft gingersnap cookies for the most ideal lemon s’mores experience.

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The recipe below is for a full batch of the soft gingersnap cookies as well as how to make one s’more. The s’mores are pretty big so I would suggest planning on one per person. I would definitely recommend making the full batch of soft gingersnap cookies because, trust me, you will want s’more of those. This recipe wraps up my week on lemon curd here in the Lemon & Mocha kitchen – just in time for Easter! Do you have a favorite way to enjoy lemon curd? Or, which of these are you going to try first?! Enjoy!

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon S'mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies
 
Yield: 24 cookies; 1 s'more
Ingredients
for the soft gingersnap cookies
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus additional for rolling the dough
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
for the s’mores
  • 2 cookies, per s’more
  • 2 teaspoons lemon curd, per s’more
  • 1-2 marshmallows per s’more, depending on size of marshmallows
Directions
for the soft gingersnap cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the egg and molasses and beat to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Place a few tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon of dough; roll into a ball then roll in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Continue, placing the cookie dough balls about 2” apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and the edges have started to lightly brown. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then carefully move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool.
for the s’mores
  1. Pick two cookies that are of equal size and slather one of them with the lemon curd. Roast your marshmallow or marshmallows. Place the roasted marshmallow(s) on the cookie with the lemon curd then sandwich with the other cookie, pressing down while you pull out your roasting stick or skewer.
Notes
This recipe is for a full batch of the soft gingersnap cookies as well as how to make one s’more. The s’mores are pretty big so I would suggest planning on one per person.

Gingersnap cookies from Taste of Home.
Lemon curd from Sketches and Scribbles.

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits. Yes, you read that correctly. I will let that sink in for a moment. As much as I love all the chocolatey treats I’ve made over the years, this might be one of my favorite desserts I’ve ever made. I say one of because I definitely would never be able to choose. You know about my love affair with homemade lemon curd from Monday’s post so I’m going to skip ahead here and dive right into this no-bake cookie butter cheesecake layer.

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’ve never tasted cookie butter before (also known as speculoos spread), it tastes like crushed up sweet spice cookies that have been turned into a spread a little thicker than peanut butter. If that description is blowing your mind right now wait until you actually try some; definite life-changing experience right there. So this amazing spreadable cookie butter is combined with cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Right when you think it can’t get any better, Cool Whip is folded in to make the whole layer light, airy, and perfect for eating by the spoonful. But try to resist! You need it for the parfaits!

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits  |  Lemon & Mocha

The cookie crumb layer is made with speculoos cookie crumbs, which are the same cookies used to make cookie butter. The predominant flavor is brown sugar with a bit of cinnamon. I used the Lotus Biscoff brand for both the cookies and the cookie butter, but Trader Joe’s also makes an excellent version of both products.

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits  |  Lemon & Mocha

The buttery cinnamonyness (say that five times fast!) of the speculoos cookie crumbs and cheesecake pair perfectly with the tart creaminess of the lemon curd. Top it all off with some Cool Whip and extra cookie crumbs and you are one spoon away from light, creamy, and flavor-exploding heaven.

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits  |  Lemon & Mocha

These are the first parfaits I’ve made and they do take a fair amount of time to put together. The presentation is spot on and they would look really nice for a shower or fancy brunch. Next time I might try putting all the layers in a small trifle bowl to reduce the amount of assembly time. And I say next time because these will be happening again very, very soon. Enjoy!

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lemon Cookie Butter Cheesecake Parfaits
 
Yield: 4 parfaits (see note)
Ingredients
for the lemon curd layer
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
for the cookie crumb layer
  • 16 speculoos cookies, about half of an 8.8 ounce package
for the cheesecake layer
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup cookie butter or speculoos spread
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 8 ounces reduced fat Cool Whip
for the topping
  • 4 ounces low fat Cool Whip
Directions
for the lemon curd layer
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and eggs. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the pieces of butter. Whisk the curd frequently until the curd is thick enough that it keeps the mark of the whisk when you touch it to the curd in the saucepan.
  2. Transfer the lemon curd to a small bowl to cool. If there are small lumps of egg you can push the curd through a fine mesh sieve, but I typically skip this step because it will also strain out the lemon zest, which adds a lot of flavor. Cover the surface of the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap so that it’s completely touching the curd. Place in the fridge to cool.
for the cookie crumb layer
  1. In a food processor, pulse the cookies until you have crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, carefully smash the cookies in a freezer bag with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Put in a bowl and set aside.
for the cheesecake layer
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, cookie butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the Cool Whip and fold in until combined. Try not to eat it all and set aside.
assembling the parfaits
  1. Use parfait dishes or stemless wine glasses to layer the parfaits. Start with the cookie crumbs. It will depend on the size of your dish, but I used a couple spoonfuls. Then top with some of the cheesecake layer. You’re going to want the cheesecake layer to be the thickest layer (other than the Cool Whip on top). It takes a bit to get into a rhythm with these; I found if I used a spoon to push the cheesecake cream to touch the edge of the glass all around it stuck better and let me smooth it instead of it moving around with my spoon when I was trying to spread it. Next is the lemon curd layer. A little goes a long way; you don’t want it to overpower the cookie butter cheesecake. The layer looks thick in mine, but that was because I was trying to make sure it was visible it for the photos. Next top with another cookie crumb layer, then more cheesecake, then more lemon curd. Finally top with Cool Whip to fill the glass, smooth and sprinkle some cookie crumbs on top. Eat or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Notes
I used 11 ounce stemless wine glasses and it made 4 parfaits. Depending on how hungry you are, this was a lot of parfait for 1 serving. Maybe fill them only ¾ of the way up or use smaller glasses.

Lemon curd from Sketches and Scribbles.

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you have never had homemade lemon curd you are in for a treat. Homemade lemon curd is luscious, tart, and sweet with a texture similar to pudding. In other words, nothing like the jelly-consistency store-bought lemon curd I have purchased. Not that I have anything against store-bought lemon curd; I grab it if I’m super time-crunched for a recipe or if I’m simply mixing a bit of it into a dish. But every time I make homemade lemon curd I stand there swooning while spooning it into my mouth thinking, why don’t I make this more often? Oh yeah, because then I will stand at my kitchen counter and eat it with a spoon while making inappropriate noises. Got it.

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

Making the lemon curd is super simple. As long as you keep your heat on medium-low and continuously whisk it you literally cannot mess it up. You can do this! It takes a bit for the lemon curd to start to get thick. It will stay liquidy for quite a while and you will be ready to give up. But don’t! Because then all of a sudden it will become thick and you will be moments away from the most decadent lemon spoonful of heaven you’ve ever had.

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

Other than eating it with a spoon, lemon curd is great for topping all sorts of baked goods to make them bright and springy. Lemon curd especially pairs well with berries. Some of my favorite ways to serve lemon curd is on this easy puffy pastry tart with berries, on top of this lemon cheesecake, or as part of a DIY waffle bar. I have a couple new outrageous ways to use lemon curd that I will be sharing later this week so stay tuned!

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd  |  Lemon & Mocha

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd
 
Yield: about 1½ cups
Ingredients
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and eggs. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the pieces of butter. Whisk the curd frequently until the curd is thick enough that it keeps the mark of the whisk when you touch it to the curd in the saucepan. It takes a bit of time for it to thicken, but just keep whisking!
  2. Transfer the lemon curd to a small bowl to cool. If there are small lumps of egg you can push the curd through a fine mesh sieve, but I typically skip this step because it will also strain out the lemon zest, which adds a lot of flavor. Cover the surface of the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap so that it’s completely touching the curd. Place in the fridge to cool.

Recipe from Sketches and Scribbles.

Strawberry Dutch Baby

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, this recipe has a funny name, but I will get to that in a minute. For now, let’s focus on how absolutely delicious and stunning it looks. Beautiful! The enormous pancake is light and bursting with vanilla and cinnamon-sugar flavors. Crispy puffed pockets and softened doughy pillows cradle the syrupy strawberries and the whipped cream. Are you dreaming in your bed or did you actually just make this in no time at all with a blender and cast iron skillet? Since I just posted it you probably are dreaming, but you could be the later and be the hero of brunch this weekend.

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had seen these Dutch babies on Instagram and cooking shows for a while now, but I never actually read through a recipe. I assumed to look so impressive that they must be complicated. I apologize to the last five years of my life for never reading a recipe because it is the opposite of complicated. Complicated doesn’t even exist on the same continent! The eggs are beaten until frothy then the rest of the ingredients are dumped in for some more mixing. I used a blender to do this to make it even easier. The mixture is poured into a cast iron skillet that’s been getting hot on the stove-top with melted butter. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet any oven safe skillet will work. Into the oven it goes! When it is done in the oven it gets sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, loaded with syrupy strawberries, and dolloped with whipped cream. In come the brunch eaters with their forks to savor the puffiness until the puff deflates, but the Dutch baby stays just as delicious.

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

I came across this recipe when I was brainstorming for Christmas morning. I wanted something that would be minimally hands-on while also looking impressive. That’s hard to come by in the realm of brunch food. Thank the breakfast heavens for these oddly-named Dutch baby things. I did a bit of research, aka read Wikipedia, about the name and it turns out that this cross between a pancake and a popover isn’t Dutch at all. It is an American food and name said to be coined by a family cafe in Seattle, Washington in 1942. It seems to be their version of the German-style pancakes known as pfannkuchen, which look like slightly thicker crepes and are topped with fruit and sweet toppings. They speculate the Dutch part of the name came from the German word deutsch, which means German, but no word on where the baby part came in. My guess is that it is so delicious when you eat it that your speech becomes incoherent like a baby’s.

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

Part of the Strawberry Dutch Baby’s deliciousness is that it has the perfect amount of sweetness. Even though the actual Dutch baby has no sugar in it, all the sweetness is coming from the cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top and the syrupy strawberries. So stop dreaming and start planning when you’re going to make this impressively easy popover pancake!

Strawberry Dutch Baby  |  Lemon & Mocha

Strawberry Dutch Baby
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, tops removed and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Blend the eggs until frothy and pale in a high-speed blender, about 1 minute. Add the milk, flour, cinnamon, and salt then continue to blend until combined.
  3. Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, or an oven safe skillet. Once melted, remove from the heat and quickly pour in the prepared batter. Place right into the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the pancake has puffed, about 18-22 minutes.
  4. While the Dutch baby is baking, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of the cinnamon-sugar (reserving some for the Dutch baby) over the sliced strawberries then stir to coat and let sit until the Dutch Baby is ready.
  5. When the Dutch Baby is done, remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle it with the cinnamon-sugar. Don’t be shy about it! Add the strawberries and whipped cream. Serve sliced with the extra strawberries and whipped cream.
Notes
If you do not have a blender, you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer.

Recipe slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

Could there be any more delicious words in one recipe name? Oozing with melted mozzarella, this bread is begging to be made and shared. But maybe shared with a small group of people so there’s more for you. Unless you bake two, then the more the merrier!

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

In all seriousness, this recipe comes to you from a very special place. It was inspired by my Aunt Karen’s pepperoni bread, which is a definite top three staple at all extended family gatherings. When it comes out of the oven quiet whispers of its presence get spread throughout the party. Everyone fulfills their duty of not being selfish by letting at least one other person know it’s ready without alerting too many people so you have time to go snag some yourself before it’s gone in approximately eight minutes. And eight is probably being generous.

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I think of a recipe that is easy, family-friendly, and perfect for large-groups I immediately think of Aunt Karen’s pepperoni bread, however, it doesn’t really make me think of springtime or Easter. So I set out to “springify” the recipe and came up with the Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto you are currently drooling over on your screen. The pesto brightens up the bread and pairs well with the lighter prosciutto, which still brings the same mouthwatering deliciousness as the pepperonis.

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

In addition to being completely whisper-worthy delicious, this Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto is a necessary recipe in your repertoire for two other reasons. The first is that even though it looks fancy with its hypnotizing spirals of cheese, pesto, and prosciutto, making it is very simple. I use Trader Joe’s garlic and herb pizza dough (hard to beat $0.99 fresh dough that tastes like you got it at a pizza shop), but you can use any pre-made or homemade pizza dough you wish.

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

The pizza dough is rolled out then topped with pesto, fresh Parmesan, and crispy prosciutto. I quickly crisped the prosciutto in a pan over medium-high heat, but you can skip the crisping if you are in even more of a time-crunch. Then comes the shredded mozzarella. After a quick egg wash to seal the edges, the dough gets rolled up, topped with more egg wash and Parmesan, then baked until the top has a gorgeous browned crust and the inside is bursting with gooey cheese. Done!

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

The second reason you need this recipe in your life is that it is a great make-ahead dish. Whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or a dinner party I love make-ahead recipes. Make and bake the Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto ahead of time then when you’re ready to eat it simply reheat wrapped in foil in a warm oven for about 20 minutes. If you want clean and even slices you can cut the bread after it has cooled before wrapping it up like a loaf in the foil. This way after it is warmed in the oven it will already be sliced and ready to be eaten.

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you decide to make your own pesto, I highly recommend this kale pesto. I make a batch of it and then freeze it in separate small freezer bags. I lay the sealed bags flat in my freezer to freeze so once they are solid they take up barely any room. Freezing them like that also makes it easy to break off a chunk when you need only a little bit of pesto instead of defrosting the entire bag. Since they are frozen in a thin layer instead of a block they also defrost very quickly.

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope you and your family, friends, and lucky taste-testers enjoy this Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto!

Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pizza dough
  • 3 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg
Directions
  1. Set the dough out to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil and set aside. Meanwhile, crisp the prosciutto in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Flip the prosciutto once it becomes slightly browned then continue to cook until the other side is slightly browned as well. Once done, turn off the pan and lay the crispy prosciutto on a paper towel to soak up any grease.
  2. Using cornmeal or flour so it doesn’t stick, roll out the dough on a clean surface until it is roughly the shape of an 11” x 14” rectangle. I usually hold it then let gravity stretch the dough to get it started. Leaving a 1” border, evenly spread the pesto on the dough. Sprinkle the pesto with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. Next, evenly lay the crispy prosciutto. Top with the shredded mozzarella.
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg on the border you left. Gently fold the short edges in then, working carefully, tightly roll the dough up lengthwise. You want to be rolling from long edge to the other long edge, being sure to tuck in the short edge sides as needed. When you’re done rolling, pinch the dough at the seam to seal it. I like to pinch it twice to make sure it’s really tight. Carefully place the bread roll seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the egg on all exposed top and sides of the roll then sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan.
  4. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly then cut into slices and serve.