Bake up some delicious treats to show your Mom how much you love her this Mother’s Day. That’s the spirit that united Pauley Perrette, the actress who plays Abby Sciuto on CBS’s “NCIS” and her two best friends, Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky, when they decide to create a special place in honor of Pauley’s mother, Donna Bell, a lovely Southern gal with a big heart and a true love of Southern cooking.
There are so many mouthwatering and comforting desserts in their debut cookbook, from our sister company Simon & Schuster, Donna Bell’s Bakeshop: Recipes and Stories of Family, Friends, and Food, but we love these two classics: Donna Bell’s buttermilk biscuits and lemon bars, two items for which this bakery is deservedly famous. Pauley, Darren, and Matthew recommend slathering their classic buttermilk biscuits with strawberry jam. Celebrate warmth and happiness this Mother’s Day with these delicious recipes.
Makes 12 to 14 biscuits
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) cold
unsalted butter, cut into
very small pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Toss the cold butter pieces into the flour mixture and roughly mix with a spoon, making sure not to break up or soften the butter. Pour 1 cup of the buttermilk into the flour and butter mixture and gently stir with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
3. With an ice cream scooper, scoop heaping mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, gently pressing down with scooper while releasing the dough onto the sheet. Bake for 7 minutes.
4. Turn the oven temperature down to 325°F and bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 10 additional minutes. The melted butter in the pan will be absorbed by the biscuits as they cool. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes and serve hot.
Makes 12 bars
Nonstick cooking spray
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 /3 cup freshly squeezed lemon
juice (from 3 or 4 large lemons)
1 /3 cup all-purpose flour
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing enough foil to overlap the edges. Spray the foil with cooking spray. Press the shortbread dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and flour and whisk until smooth.
3. After baking for 10 minutes, remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour in the whisked custard very slowly, then spread to cover. Tent the pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil does not touch the top of the custard. Return the bars to the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil. If the lemon filling is still jiggly, return the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, for another 5 to 10 minutes, until firm.
4. Cool completely in the pan. Lift the pastry out of the pan with the foil handles, dust the bars completely with confectioners’ sugar, and cut into 12 bars. Serve warm or allow to cool completely.
Get an inside look at ‘Donna Bell’s Bake Shop’ with Pauley Perrette
Pauley Perrette, Darren Greenblatt, and Matthew Sandusky debut cookbook, Donna Bell’s Bake Shop: Recipes and Stories of Family, Friends, and Food is out now from Simon & Schuster and available wherever books are sold.