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pies + tarts

Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart

Thursday, April 29, 2021
Raspberry Puff Pastry Tart

I’m a big fan of this puff pastry tart; it’s flaky crust and creamy center hit all the right notes. The raspberries add a burst of freshness, and are the perfect partner to the pastry cream topping. It’s a wonderful balance of flavors and textures, and would be delightful for Mother’s Day or Brunch.  You can make my homemade rough puff pastry, or use store-bought, whichever you prefer!…

baking cookies

Holiday Cookie Round-Up

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Pan-banging Sugar Cookies

Each year at Christmas I like to put together a cookie box for family, friends, and neighbors. The content changes somewhat over the years; some cookies come and go, others are staples that stick around. I’ve put together a list of favorite holiday cookies that I’ve featured here on my site. Many of these recipes come from both my cookbooks: 100 Cookies and The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. …

baking cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Brown Sugar Cookies

I will never say no to a simple sugar cookie, but adding brown sugar makes for an interesting twist on classic white sugar cookies. A teaspoon of molasses increases the dark brown sugar flavor without making it taste like holiday fare (but, to be sure, these are a great addition to your holiday cookie tray).  A few tips for making Brown Sugar Cookies: Don’t skip the egg yolk!…

baking cookies

Shortbread with Chocolate

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Shortbread with Chocolate

This crisp, buttery cookie is easy to make, and goes with everything. Dunked in coffee, coated in confectioners’ sugar glaze, or standing alone, shortbread is downright delicious. I found a slight drizzle of chocolate just might make this cookie absolutely perfect, and I took pleasure in treating the pan of cookies like an abstract painting.  Shortbread with Chocolate From The Vanilla Bean Baking Book PRINT RECIPE Notes: I…

baking cookies

Fig and Orange Sables

Friday, November 27, 2020
Fig + Orange Sables

This Thanksgiving was unusual, to be sure. Our family made the decision to spend it with just our immediate household, and while my two kids understand the necessity of social distancing, it still brought a lot of heartache. We made a short house call to our family: dropping off pies on doorstops: pumpkin, chocolate mousse, and apple. “I have always loved a window, especially an open one,” Wendell…

baking pies + tarts

Black-bottom Chocolate Mousse Pie

Friday, November 20, 2020
Black-bottom Chocolate Mousse Pie

Since Thanksgiving is almost upon us and pie season is here, I decided to make my favorite dessert for the holiday: Chocolate Mousse Pie. This is a mash-up of recipes from my 100 Cookies book: the pie crust from French Silk Pie Bars [#63], the chocolate ganache from the Banana Crunch Blondies [#37], and the chocolate mousse filling from the Mud Pie Bars [#64]. This pie is also inspired…

baking cake

Powdered Donut Cake

Monday, November 2, 2020
Powdered Sugar Donut Cake

I am highly enjoying Yossy Arefi’s new cookbook, Snacking Cakes, a lovely collection of simple, every day cakes. I’ve tried several recipes from the book now: Vanilla Buttermilk Cake, Minty Chocolate Malt Cake, and Cherry Coconut Almond Cake, and all of them were delicious. But my favorite so far is this Powdered Donut Cake, described as: “Heavy on the butter and nutmeg, this cake has all the flavors…