Posts in Sweet Things
Yummy Chewy & Flat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hands down this is the best chocolate chip cookie: impressive size, crispy edges and a chewy, gooey center—a trip down memory lane for many who crave their mama's baking. Make sure there is milk in the refrigerator when these babies come out of the oven.

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Almond Jello with Syrupy Cherries

Far from the jiggly, neon colored jello of the 1970's, this cloud colored gelatin dessert shows up on Chinese restaurant Dim Sum carts across America. For those less adventurous ethnic food eaters, this dessert provides the perfect mellow jumping off poin....for those experienced global eaters, hide the spoons--this fruity jello has a way of disappearing without a trace.

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Pastéis de Nata

What do early 19th century Portuguese Monks do when they need to earn a steady income? They learn to bake and sell pastries. And none is so famous as the Pastéis de Nata egg pastry that may be found at nearly every bakery and coffee shop in Lisbon. Crispy on the outside, sweet and creamy on the inside,  the pastel de nata is a local treasure. Hot out of the oven they are at their best.

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Icelandic Chocolate Cake

The recipe is simple and like all good food, the quality of the ingredients determines the outcome of the finished cake. Do splurge on the chocolate and the Irish butter. Shhh--only the baker needs to know that this is a melt-in-the-mouth, six ingredient, ten minute to mix cake. 

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Blueberry Cassis Galette

A specialty of Burgundy, France, crème de cassis is a blackcurrant liqueur made from crushed woodland blackcurrants that are mixed with sugar and left to infuse in a neutral tasting spirit such as vodka. Natural companions, think of blueberries and cassis as the melody and harmony in this not too tart, just sweet enough galette.

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Veronica's Thyme Peanut Chocolate Bark

Taking inspiration from her organic kitchen garden in the verdant Portuguese countryside, Veronica sprinkles organic bittersweet chocolate bark with lemon thyme and hand harvested sea salt. An after dinner treat featuring a delicate texture and gentle saltiness, this is a decadent, grown-up and nostalgic sweet thing.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Hazelnut Crisps

It was only a matter of time before a kitchen goddess figured out how to tame the mouth puckering sourness of rhubarb's celery like stalks. When cooked with strawberries and a bit of sugar, rhubarb is a soul satisfying ruby red spring dessert. Crisps are the rustic, no nonsense cousin of the pie--they take less time to bake and the streusel topping lacks the fussiness of rolling and pinching a perfect crust. Enjoy this vibrant pairing only in spring when strawberries and rhubarb are at there peak.

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Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sour Cherries

These are grown up cookies. Rich and not too sweet, the bittersweet chocolate pairs beautifully with a sparkling summer cava. Sour dried cherries from Michigan, the cherry capital of the world, add a variation in texture and an edgy punch to this chocolate connoisseur's dream cookie. Take the whole cookie up a notch and use to make ice cream sandwiches--it hardly gets better when Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream is smooshed between two of these decadent cookie slabs.  

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Purple Sticky Rice with Toasted Coconut & Mango

A simple satisfying breakfast, or a delightful dessert, the combination of Chinese purple rice, silky coconut cream and sweet, juicy rich mango flesh delivers an easy to prepare Asian inspired dish. So expensive was the chewy, nutty black rice centuries ago, it was reserved for the Emperor and earned the moniker "forbidden rice". Black rice turns a gorgeous aubergine color when cooked and stains the coconut milk violet. The flavors and textures of the mix of fruits and rice are at once sophisticated and pleasantly comforting. 

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Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Heart shaped, juicy and sweet when ripe, strawberries are nature's candy. Nearly everyone enjoys this darling of late spring. When paired with one of the garden's tartest companions, strawberry and rhubarb morph into a rosy twosome.

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Emily's Blackberry Sorbet

One of the most wonderful ways to preserve and intensify the flavor of one of nature's most perishable fruits is to make a limited ingredient sorbet. Refreshing with the perfect sweet tart balance and twice as many blackberries as most sorbet recipes, Emily's blackberry sorbet elegantly preserves the fruit in icy dessert form.  

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Easter Madeleines

An "exquisite pleasure" made famous by the cookie lover and 20th century novelist Marcel Proust, madeleines may just be the perfect tea-dipping, spongey shell shaped miniature pound cakes to find a permanent place in a baker's repertoire. Light as a feather and delicate, this is more of a buttery mini sponge cake than a cookie. The classic scallop shaped cups of a madeleine pan are essential and the baking pan is easy to find online or in specialty cookware shops. The chocolate and floral embellishments in this recipe contribute to a lovely Easter spring themed tablescape.

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Rustic Pear Tart

Pears are gorgeous out of hand eating fruit. If you just can't wait until the fruit is ripe, however, slightly hard pears are perfect for tarts. A bit of sugar and butter is all you need to coax them to perfection. The crispy crunch of the crust paired with the smooth velvet texture of the baked pears is divine. 

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Pumpkin Spice Tart with Maple Whipped Cream

Chemists and anthropologic scientists study the American obsession with pumpkin spice. It turns out that there is a complex physiological and emotional response to certain smells and tastes that takes both branches of science to fully comprehend. First, the science behind aroma explains the important relationship between food and taste. Second, nostalgia and the association of pumpkin pie with America's beloved Thanksgiving traditions help clarify the emotional response to the complex sweet savory combination of roasted squash, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

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Angel Cake with Meringue Frosting

Versatile and simple to make, this light and airy cake is delicious with or without the frosting, drizzled with chocolate, or served with macerated strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream. It looks rustic right from the pan and elegant dressed with seasonal flowers. 

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