They say when life hands you lemons you should squeeze the most out of the moment. In the Places in the Home test kitchen, I take that not only as sound but as delicious advice. I’m thinking Lemon Angel Squares.
How do I love thee lemon? Let me count the ways I find to include you in the recipes of our culinary lives. The citrusy goodness, the tangy zing of the zest and the brilliant flavor notes of fresh lemon juice balances as it brightens. I prefer substituting a generous squeeze of lemon for salt in several of my recipes. Lemon is simply an essential ingredient favored for flavor by cooks, bakers and chefs in recipes of both the sweet and the savory kind.
Fresh in season blackberries and the herb of my heart, fresh mint, round out the flavor of these summer tastes so good treats. What we serve should look as good as it tastes. The three part harmony on the plated side of a prepared recipe is simple- flavor it up, pretty it up and serve it up. Aromas entice, but we eat with our eyes first.
The Places in the Home test kitchen becomes sweet tooth central in the summer months. The is there anything sweet to eat gang prefers lighter desserts big on summer flavor (coconut, tropical, lemony, melons, berries, etc…) over heavier cakes and pies usually associated with cold weather noshing and nesting. Yes, there is a distinct association between foods and flavors and the seasons. A quick inventory of the sweets shelf resulted in a Duncan Hines Signature Angel Food cake mix staring back at me. Angel food cake stands on its own as a light dessert, and the fresh blackberries I picked up at the market would only add to the mix, but this dessert combination did not call out to me. Isn’t it funny how creative one can become when a sweet tooth is involved? A lone can of lemon pie filling, a gorgeous lemon primed and ready for zest, and a recent rediscovery of the fresh mint I planted in a window box planter a couple of spring seasons ago filled in the blanks. Cream cheese and powdered sugar are basic staples around my kitchen so it’s all good.
This recipe for Lemon Angel Squares is easy, delicious and a nice choice for a summer treat. The taste is fresh, the bite is lemon bright and did I mention this recipe is easy. Just add summer.
Lemon Angel Squares
1 16 ounce package angel food cake mix
1 21 ounce can lemon pie filling
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the angel food cake mix with the lemon pie filling and zest in a mixing bowl; blend until smooth.
Pour the batter into an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and top springs back when lightly touched, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares.
Cream Cheese Icing
3 oz. cream cheese
2-3 tbsp. milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
Beat together all ingredients. It’s that simple! Generously frost each square with cream cheese icing and garnish with blackberries and mint.