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 cakes

Devil’s Food Cake with Ultra-Rich Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache

Thursday, March 18, 2021
Devil's Food Cake with Ultra Rich Buttercream

I am so excited to be sharing this Devil’s Food Cake with Ultra-Rich Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache from Zoë François’ new book, Zoë Bakes Cake. I have known Zoë for many years now, after spending the last decade working with her and Jeff Hertzberg over on Bread in 5, and also working with her on this current book (I took the how-to book photos, see below). A few…

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

All-Butter Pie Crust

Sunday, March 10, 2019
All-Butter Pie Dough

A little sugar, plenty of butter, and a bit of folding make for a tender, flaky dough that bakes beautifully and can be used with your favorite fruit fillings. I recommend using a preheated baking sheet and a glass pie plate for making sure the bottom crust is fully cooked and golden brown; see individual recipes for directions on baking. …