Her addiction is to sweets. And it's so serious that she limits consumption in her household to four nights a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. These are known as treat nights, and everybody (a husband and three kids) looks forward to them.
The lemon bars have her own touch--she adds crushed gingersnaps to the shortbread crust.
An equally addictive rival at her appearance were these Perfect Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, topped with flaky sea salt. "I've made about a billion chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime," she said. This is her favorite.
Is all of her cookbook so decadent? Not really. It's family friendly, with plenty of homey comfort foods, like pulled pork, tortilla soup, a pasta salad, meatloaf, tuna casserole and a spaghetti pie. "I'm a passionate home cook," she said.
You may have seen Daly cooking on the Today show--her husband is Carson Daly, Today's co-host and host of The Voice. When motherhood sidelined her for a spell, she began the food blog Siriously Delicious, and this led to the cookbook.
It's subtitled "100 Nutritious (and Not So Nutritious) Simple Recipes for the Real Home Cook." Instead of the usual recipe categories, it's divided into breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and, finally, what must be her favorite section, Sweet Treats. Here you'll find the lemon bars, the chocolate chip cookies and plenty of other goodies for your own treat nights.
2 3/4 cups plus 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 gingersnap cookies, crushed
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus 1 cup fresh juice (from about 10 lemons)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13x9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides.
Place 2 3/4 cups of the flour in a large bowl, and stir in the 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add the butter, cookie crumbs and salt and use your hands to incorporate the mixture into a crumbly but smooth dough.
Pat into an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Freeze for 15 minutes, then transfer to the oven, and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the granulated sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup flour until smooth. Pour the mixture over the hot crust; return to the oven, and bake until set but the mixture still moves together as a unit when lightly shaken, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Run a paring knife along the edges of the cooled baking dish to loosen the parchment, if needed. Using the parchment handles, lift the bars out of the baking dish. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.
Using sharp knife, cut the bars into 24 squares. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
Makes 24 bars.