Lemon Tart – An American Girl Recipe

lemon tart recipe

In Happy Birthday, Molly! we meet Molly’s friend Emily. Emily is an English girl who comes to live with Molly and her family in the US during the war. She moves in just before Molly’s birthday, so Molly tries to include her in the party planning. The girls plan a traditional English tea party, and everything seems to be going well until Emily suggests serving a lemon tart instead of a birthday cake. Molly just can’t imagine her birthday without a cake. I have to say, I’m on Molly’s side with this one.

Still, I thought a lemon tart sounded delightful for a non-birthday party. This tart is very rich, so much so that I could only really stomach a small sliver at a time, but it was still delicious, and it makes plenty to share! I used this recipe to make this tart, and I think it turned out well.

Lemon Tart - An American Girl Recipe

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the crust until it forms a crumbly dough.
  2. Press the dough into a tart pan or pie tin.
  3. Bake the crust at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
  4. Mix together the filling ingredients until smooth.
  5. Pour the filling into the baked crust.
  6. Bake the tart for an additional 20 minutes. Wrap the edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning on the edges (as you can see in the photos, I neglected to do that part 😉 )
  7. Allow the tart to cool, and dust it with powdered sugar before serving.

Samantha’s Pink Lemonade – An American Girl Recipe

Pink Lemonade Recipe - American Girl

In Happy Birthday, Samantha! Samantha throws a “grown-up” tea party in honor of her 10th birthday. They serve tea sandwiches, petit fours, peppermint ice cream, and pink lemonade.

When I re-read this book recently (for the first time since I was a child), I started wondering about pink lemonade and how it was made. I mean, I knew it wasn’t made from pink lemons, but I never considered pink lemonade being a thing back in the early 1900s. I always just thought the pink color came from artificial coloring. I’m sure that’s where the color comes from nowadays in premade pink lemonade mixes, but it wasn’t always that way. It turns out, pink lemonade is traditionally made with a splash of cranberry juice.

So, while this recipe is incredibly simple, I really wanted to share it with you in case anyone else out there would love to make their own pink lemonade!

Samantha's Pink Lemonade - An American Girl Recipe

Samantha’s Pink Lemonade – An American Girl Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • extra sugar, to taste

Directions

  1. In a small pot on the stove, melt the water and 1 cup of sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Allow the sugar mixture to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine the sugar water, lemon juice, and cranberry juice in a pitcher, and stir well.
  4. Chill the lemonade in the refrigerator, and add extra sugar if you think it needs it. If you use 100% cranberry juice, you will probably want more sugar. If you use a cranberry juice cocktail, you likely will not need more sugar.

I love the idea of pink lemonade as a tea alternative at a tea party. It’s still fun and fancy, and it’s perfect for serving with fancy tea-time treats.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

Cherry Pie – An American Girl Recipe

Cheery Pie - An American Girl Recipe

In Happy Birthday, Addy! Addy celebrates her spring-time birthday with cherry pie and homemade ice cream. While I (tragically) do not have an ice cream machine to make homemade ice cream to go with it, I knew I wanted to recreate Addy’s birthday cherry pie. I found this classic cherry pie recipe from Food Network and got to work. I halved the recipe to make a cute little doll-sized pie, but you can just double it again if you want to make a full-size pie, as this recipe is best when shared with friends and family, just like Addy did on her birthday.

Cherry Pie – An American Girl Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups tart cherries, pits removed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 small pie crusts
  • butter

Directions

  1. Place the cherries in a pan on the stove, and cook on low heat until the juices start to come out of the cherries.
  2. Add the sugar, cornstarch and almond extract to the cherries, and mix well.
  3. Cook the cherry mixture on the stove until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
  4. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a small baking dish.
  5. Pour the cherry mixture into the pie tin over the crust.
  6. Place the second pie crust over the cherry mixture. You can make a woven lattice design if you want, or you can just place the crust on top and cut a vent in the center.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown.

To make a full-size pie, double the recipe. Share this pie with loved ones to celebrate a special occasion, or just to enjoy the fruits of spring and summer. This old-fashioned recipe definitely stands the test of time!

Blueberry Muffins – An American Girl Recipe

Blueberry Muffins - An American Girl Recipe

As a child reading the American Girl books, Samantha wasn’t one of my favorites, but I still enjoyed reading the books about her. Her life seemed very fancy, living with her wealthy grandmother in the early 1900s. In Happy Birthday, Samantha! we read all about Samantha’s 10th birthday and how she feels soooo grown up now that she’s 10 years old. I remember that feeling.

When Samantha wakes up on her birthday, she finds that the cook, Mrs. Hawkins, has made her some special blueberry muffins for breakfast. I’m not entirely sure how authentic blueberry muffins are to the time period, but I’m just gonna go with it.

Blueberry muffins are my 2nd favorite type of muffin (chocolate chip being the first!). I like that I can convince myself that they are sort of healthy because they have fruit in them 😉 A girl can dream, right? I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • cinnamon sugar, optional

Directions

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  2. Add the vegetable oil, egg, and milk, and mix until just incorporated.
  3. Add the blueberries and stir.
  4. Distribute the batter into a muffin tin, and sprinkle the tops of the unbaked muffins with cinnamon sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake the muffins at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until the muffins turn a golden brown color.

These blueberry muffins had a great texture and a great flavor. Perfect for a birthday breakfast or an everyday treat.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

Josefina’s Bizcochitos Recipe – American Girl

Back in December, I posted a few recipes inspired by Kirsten, my favorite American Girl. I posted these recipes mostly just for fun and honestly didn’t expect many other people to enjoy or appreciate them, but boy was I wrong! I got a lot of great feedback on those recipes. Even now, almost 3 months later, those are some of my more popular posts on this site.

So, I am so excited to be doing another American Girl recipe today! This recipe is inspired by the book Happy Birthday, Josefina! Josefina is an American Girl growing up in New Mexico in the 1820s. At her 10th birthday celebration, they serve bizcochitos. I used this recipe to recreate this yummy treat.

Bizcochitos are a traditional New Mexican cookie with a very unique flavor. The combination of anise seed and cinnamon makes these cookies unlike anything you’ve ever tasted!

Josefina’s Bizcochitos Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise seed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. apple juice
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar

Directions

  1. Mix together the lard and 1/2 cup of sugar until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and anise seed and stir it well.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and apple juice and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and 3 Tbsp. of sugar.
  7. Cut out individual cookies, and dip them into the cinnamon sugar before placing them on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

The traditional shape of bizcochitos is the fleur de lis. Since I didn’t have a fleur de lis cookie cutter, I used a star, and I think that turned out beautifully, too.

With these lovely little cookies on hand, you’re ready for an authentic New Mexican celebration, just like Josefina’s birthday party!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Kirsten’s Christmas Supper Menu – American Girl

Kirsten’s Surprise is a story that takes place during Christmastime. While the book doesn’t feature an actual Christmas-day feast, it features several wintery yummies, so I decided to combine them all to create Kirsten’s Christmas supper menu.

Each of these foods appear at a different point in the story, and three of them are technically desserts. But that’s what Christmas is for, right?

Cozy up with this wintertime meal
Cozy up with this wintertime meal

Kirsten’s Christmas Supper Menu

The only item on this menu that I didn’t feature in its own blog post is the cinnamon candies, and that was for two reasons. First of all, candy making is a very involved process that requires several tools (like a candy thermometer) that I do not own. Second of all, I can’t eat hard candies anymore because of all the fillings in my teeth. And, wow, that makes me feel ancient. Anyway, even if you don’t want to make cinnamon candies, feel free to buy some from the store to add to this menu.

Check out the links for recipes for these menu items, and enjoy your simple wintertime meal!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through the links. Rest assured, this will not cost you any extra money.

Kirsten’s Potato Soup Recipe – American Girl

Kirsten’s Surprise is a winter tale, so it’s not surprising that the characters dine on potato soup. Pioneers only had access to a few fruits and vegetables during the winter, and potatoes were one of them. This potato soup recipe is simple, yet hearty and comforting. Perfect for a wintery weeknight dinner. The recipe is also very customizable. You can add a variety of seasonings and toppings to it.

I adapted this recipe from the American Girls Pastimes Kirsten’s Cook Book.

Warm up with a bowl of Kirsten's potato soup.
Warm up with a bowl of Kirsten’s potato soup.

Kirsten’s Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • toppings (bacon, cheese, scallions, etc.)

Directions

  1. Peel and dice the onion and potatoes and place them in a pot with the salt.
  2. Add enough broth to barely cover the vegetables.
  3. Simmer the vegetables for 20 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Turn off the burner and mash the potatoes in the pot. You can either use a potato masher or an immersion blender. You don’t have to make it perfectly smooth. I like chunks of potato mixed in.
  5. Turn the burner back on and add the milk, stirring to incorporate it.
  6. Once the soup starts simmering again, add the butter and pepper.
  7. Spoon the soup into bowls and add toppings, such as crumbled bacon, cheese, or scallions.

This potato soup recipe is amazing as-is, but sometimes I like to make it a bit more exciting by adding a few things to it. A bit of garlic powder adds a great flavor, and adding carrots and celery to the mix gives color and texture to the soup. Go ahead and make this recipe your own.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra.

Kirsten’s Christmas Bread Recipe – American Girl

In Kirsten’s Surprise, Kirsten and her mother spend an afternoon baking bread together, and it is a really sweet moment in the book. It is Christmas time, and the book refers to the bread as “Christmas bread.”

I wanted to recreate this Christmas bread recipe, but I didn’t have much information to go on, so I just Googled, “Swedish Christmas bread” since Kirsten and her family are Swedish immigrants. I got back several recipes for what is known as “Jule Kaga.” Different sources disagree on which country invented this recipe, but they all agree that it is Scandinavian in origin. I ended up adapting this Jule Kaga recipe from AllRecipes.com.

Kirsten's Christmas Bread
Celebrate the season with Kirsten’s Christmas Bread

Kirsten’s Christmas Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup candied fruit

Directions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water.
  2. Mix together the milk, butter, salt and sugar, and add it to the yeast/water mixture.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour, and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.
  5. Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  6. Add the candied fruit, and mix it well.
  7. Add the other 2 cups of flour, and knead the dough well until it is springy and smooth.
  8. Allow the dough to rise 2 more hours.
  9. Divide the dough in half, and form two round loaves.
  10. Allow the loaves to rise for an hour.
  11. Bake the bread at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

I used a candied fruit mixture intended for fruit cake, but I discovered I don’t really like citron. So, if I make this bread again in the future, I will either use all candied cherries, or I will leave out the fruit altogether. The base of this bread recipe is delicious, though. It’s got a hint of sweetness and spice to it, without being too overwhelming. Traditional jule kaga is made with cardamom, but that is an expensive spice that is often hard to find, which is why I substituted with other spices, but feel free to go authentic with this one.

Kirsten's Christmas Bread

In the book, Kirsten makes a small loaf of Christmas bread for her doll, so I knew I had to bake a small loaf of bread for my Kirsten doll, too. Merry Christmas, one and all!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Kirsten’s Pepparkakor Cookie Recipe – American Girl

Get ready to be blown away by this Pepparkakor cookie recipe. These Swedish cookies are like gingerbread’s crispier cousin. With flavors like cinnamon, ginger, and maple syrup all swirled together, these may become your go-to Christmas cookies.

Celebrate the holidays with these Swedish spice cookies
Celebrate the holidays with these Swedish spice cookies

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by 19th-century American pioneers. Frontierland was my favorite land at Disneyland, and Kirsten was my favorite American Girl. I loved all of the American Girl dolls and their accompanying books, but when I was 7 years old and asked Santa for an American Girl doll, I asked specifically for Kirsten, who was a Swedish-American pioneer. That doll was my very favorite possession from that time forward, and I still keep her in my home, hoping to pass her down to a hypothetical future daughter or granddaughter.

Kirsten's Pepparkakor Cookies
Kirsten’s Pepparkakor Cookies

Kirsten’s cookbook was one of the many Kirsten accessories I collected as a child, and it’s a cookbook I still have and use to this day. The Pepparkakor cookie recipe I’m sharing with you today is from this cookbook, and it is such a favorite recipe of my family’s that the book automatically opens to the right page after all these years of wear and tear. This book is falling apart at the seams, but that just shows you how delicious these recipes are.

Have you ever seen such a well-loved cookbook?
Have you ever seen such a well-loved cookbook?

Without further ado, here is the recipe, adapted from the American Girls Pastimes Kirsten’s Cook Book.

Kirsten’s Pepparkakor Cookie Recipe – American Girl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the egg, maple syrup, and water.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger, and beat together until just incorporated.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour.
  5. Divide the dough into two, and roll out each section one after the other.
  6. Roll the dough nice and thin, about 1/8 inch thick.
  7. Use cookie cutters to cut out individual cookies (I used Christmas cookie cutters to be festive!).
  8. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes.

The resulting cookies are to die for. Seriously, even if you’re not an American Girl fan, do yourself a favor and make these cookies.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!