Gifts From The Heart

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I have a strong feeling during this time of year that I don’t want to purchase gifts just for the sake of having something to give.  I feel that everything I give absolutely must come from the heart.  And for that to happen it usually either comes out of my sewing room or my kitchen!

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So today I’d like to share with you a home-made gift that is fun to make, fun to package, and very rewarding to give.

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My favorite Lemon Pound Cake. Sigh.  Can there be anything yummier than lemon anything?

(Printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.)

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This is one of my favorites gifts to give.  I bake mini-loaves, let them cool and then frost them with a simple powdered sugar frosting…

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…and sprinkle with fresh lemon zest on top!

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Let the frosting set about 30 minutes and then carefully wrap your loaves in saran wrap.  I then use brown kraft paper and partially wrap the loaf, tying it with twine and some simple little decorations.  Fresh sprigs of anything look pretty attached to the twine too!

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And what would Lemon Pound Cake be without fresh Lemon Curd to dip it in?  I make the curd up ahead of time, pour it into tiny little jars and refrigerate it until it is set.  Then make a label of some kind and gift it along with the pound cake.

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The best gift ever!

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There are so many little gift boxes for purchase this time of the year, but this was the best deal that I saw.  I found these little box kits in the dollar section at Target.  The gift box is the perfect size for a mini loaf and tiny jar of curd.  It also comes with twine, a little bell and a label.  For one dollar!!!

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This was such a rewarding gift to make and give.  I always feel like home-made anything is worth it!

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As this year draws to a close I feel the need to thank each and every one of you for the gift of your friendship.  It probably doesn’t seem like much to you to read our little blog posts and comment; but I feel like I can speak from the heart of all five of us Farmgirl Bloggers… we truly value our readers.  So thank you.

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What I would like more than anything is to have you over for a piece of Lemon Pound Cake with Curd on the side!  We could sit and have a deep visit about all things Farmgirl!

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Happy Holidays my friend.  Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

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Dori

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P.S.  Printable recipes below!

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Lemon Pound Cake

  • Servings: 2 large loaves or 6 small loaves
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter and flour two 4 1/2-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans.
2. In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not overmix).
5. Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.
6. Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Drizzle powdered sugar frosting over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes.

 

Lemon Curd

  • Servings: 6 tiny jars full
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients
8 Egg Yolks
1 cup Plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed Lemon juice
2 Lemons, zested
12 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces

Directions
1. Place the egg yolks into the top of a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl. Beat vigorously for a minute. Add sugar and beat for another minute. Add lemon juice and zest and give it another good stir.
2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water). Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.
3. Stir in the butter a piece at a time, whisking until each piece is nearly completely melted before adding another one.
4. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a storage container. Cool for a bit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Will keep for about 5–7 days in the refrigerator.

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Leave a comment 34 Comments

  1. Joan H says:

    Oh, I’m with you Dori! Homemade is best! I’ve been sewing up a storm! Your recipes look outstanding. I’ve never tried to make lemon curd, other than for the top layer of lemon bars. Yours looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Thanks for writing Joan!

      Yes, I’ve been sewing up a storm too! Isn’t it the funnest???

      Make that lemon curd! You’ll never regret it!

      – Dori –

  2. Pat says:

    All you have to say to me is: “lemon” and I’m there! Thanks for sharing. i just printed this out and look forward to making it…yum!

  3. Binky Thorsson says:

    Dori, I sew:) agree with you. Gifts from the heart!!! Thanks for sharing your feelings about this. It’s so nice to know someone else feels this way.

    Stay warm and well.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Blinky,

      I guess part of the reason I feel the way I do is for selfish reasons! Ha! I would rather receive something home-made ANY DAY!!!

      Happy Holidays!

      – Dori –

  4. Marlene Capelle says:

    I just got back from Key West, Florida and brought a bottle of Key Lime juice. I’m going to try your recipe with lemon and with lime (separately). Thank you. Happy holidays.

  5. Maxine says:

    That looks and sounds delicious. I love homemade gifting too!♡

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Max,

      And some of the most yummy things come out of your kitchen. :-) (And your sewing room – this I have proof of!!!!)

      Hugs,

      – Dori –

  6. Cyndie Gray says:

    Oh how I would love to join you in your delightful farmhouse kitchen & share some of this yummy-ness ❤

  7. Carleen Sisler says:

    I make cranberry pumpkin loaves and give away and my homemade canned hot pepper mustard and some crackers…i am so anxious to make your recipe and i like how you decorated yours to give away..Thank you for some new ways to fix up my homemade gifts….MERRY CHRISTMAS…

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Carleen,

      Ohhhhh cranberry pumpkin loaves sound SO GOOD. I think I need that recipe! (hint hint!)

      Happy Holidays!

      – Dori –

    • LoriAnn says:

      I would love the recipe for the bread and the jelly they both sound very delicious have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year

      • Dori Troutman says:

        Hi LoriAnn,

        If you scroll all the way to the end of the post (like the VERY end) you’ll see printable recipes for them both! Just click the little print button.

        Happy Holidays!

        – Dori –

  8. denise says:

    can’t wait to try your recipe and I’ll have to go to Target now and look for that cute little gift box! Merry Christmas!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Denise,

      Hopefully Target still has some of the gift boxes. I actually thought I should’ve bought all they had at my store and saved for next year! :-)

      Happy Holidays!

      – Dori –

  9. Christine says:

    I totally agree with you! Gifts, anytime of year, should come from the heart. I’m actually waiting this very minute on a couple of rising doughs! Fresh loaves of bread are on the gift giving list for a family we know. They just moved here. :)
    Can’t wait to try your recipe!
    Christine

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Christine,

      Fresh loaves of bread make the best gifts ever. I absolutely LOVE fresh bread right out of the oven. I think I’ll be making some tomorrow now! :-)

      Happy Holidays!

      – Dori –

  10. Doris says:

    Hey Dori, Guess what I would more than anything right now. I would love to come over to your house and have some of that Lemon Pound Cake and Lemon Curd. I love all 5 Farmgirl’s posts. I feel like I know each one of you personally. I love you all and wish you a Christmas full of blessings.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Doris,

      Wouldn’t that just be SO MUCH FUN????

      We start to feel like we know our readers personally too.

      Hugs!

      – Dori –

  11. bonnie ellis says:

    That looks absolutely yummy! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays Dori.

  12. Marilyn says:

    That lemon cake looks delicious.
    Marilyn

  13. Vivian Monroe says:

    YUMMO is all I can say to Lemon anything as well. Thanks for sharing. I am going to try these but first hopefully in the next couple of days I will be making your moms Red Chili Enchilada recipe. Got my stuff together just waiting for the right moment to make. Merry Christmas and thanks again for sharing your wonderful recipes. Neta.

  14. Irene says:

    Hi Dori
    Homemade gifts mean so much more. I am going to try the mini cakes and look for the gift boxes. My son and daughter in law live in MN and we started a christmas tradition a few years ago along with our daughter in laws mom and grandma. We exchange recipes and this one is definitely one to give. Merry
    Christmas.

  15. Rebecca says:

    I can’t wait to try those recipes. They sound delicious. I love to give (and get) homemade gifts. I always think warm thoughts of the giver as I enjoy their gift and am grateful that they thought of me and for the precious time they spent making it.

  16. Betty Ayers says:

    Dori, I’ve gathered the ingredients and plan to make this for gifts in a few days. Unfortunately, it seems there has been a serious run on low-fat buttermilk around here – so do you think I’m ok with full fat? Many thanks!

  17. Ariel Ewing says:

    I’m about to make the lemon cake. But, mostly I wanted to mention your sweet mother. I “look” about like her. The well worn hands etc. I have those same “beautiful brown spots” from many years of gardening, freezing, canning and eating the produce. I’m 81 and still have a large garden on our farm here in central MN, lived on the same property for 62 years–4 children, 22 grand-children and 12 “greats” (two more on the way) later. :) I am also a 24/7 care-giver of my wonderful husband. My moto is “Together is the best place to be”. God bless you AND your mother. I might just make the Mexican food also!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Ohhhhh Ariel.

      This was the sweetest comment I’ve gotten in forever. It made me so happy. And I think that you and my mother “look” alike in more ways than the ones you listed. You may just be cut out of the same cloth!!!

      Thank you so much for writing to me.

      – Dori –

      P.S. Make that Mexican food!!! :-)

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