Friday, November 22, 2013

Maple Pecan Praline Pie

I made this pie before I started shuttling buckets and buckets of pie filling back and forth to and from the refrigerator at work, and before I walked around the bakery in an overworked hysteria screaming, "I hate pie!"

This year at the bakery, we plan to make about 1200 pies. It's enough pies to give me an aversion to any pie holiday. But this pie is so good (so ridiculously good)--with its creamy maple filling and crunchy pecan praline topping--that it might just be the exception . . . 1201?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Walnut Cake with Apple Compote

I have realized over the past couple of years how much I like to look ahead, planning what will happen in the coming months, and trying to push what is meant for the future until now. So when there was one cool day in late August, I was bent on making something Fall-ish. I wanted something simple, yet comforting. I pulled out my favorite autumn spices and looked for some decent apples, so that I could pretend it was already my favorite season.

I've been dying to share this recipe with you, as I made it quite awhile ago, but have waited to post it until now. I want you to enjoy it in the dead of Fall . . . when the flavors and produce are at their best. I'm learning on how to be more present--how to enjoy life as it comes, so I'm going to help you to do that, too :)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gluten-Free Grape Tart

This season has been marked as a time of transitions.  Historically I have not been a fan of such seasons. But I am learning to embrace change, and be excited about new opportunities and experiences for those I love.

There is one transition, however, that I do not have to learn to love, but do so willingly: the change from Summer to Fall. And along with that comes wonderful new flavors and in-season produce.

It is grape season in New York, and grape pies are bound to be hitting the shelves about now. Here in Utah, I've asked around, and not a soul I talked to has ever had a grape pie. So, I'm doing my best to bring a bit of that wonderful fall flavor here, with this lovely sweet/tart grape tart recipe. Happy Autumn, everyone :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookie Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches

Photo by Becky Rosenthal

This, to me, has been the Summer of Peaches. So, when my dear friend, Becky, suggested we make ice cream sandwiches together, I was all, "Yes! Peach ice cream! Butterscotch cookies!" Becky has excellent taste and she was all for not only letting me come over to bake them with her, but even making the delicious peach ice cream ahead of time so that it would be ready when I got there (and assembled the sandwiches, and took the photos, and edited them, and sent them to me . . .).

Becky is super generous like that. If you don't know her (though so many of you Salt Lakers probably do), you should. She does events and shares her love of food and Salt Lake with as many people as she can.

And I'm lucky enough to get to bake delicious things with her--though not as often as I'd like, and not often enough to keep up with the many many wonderful recipes she and I scheme up together.

These cookie-ice cream sandwiches are some of our best work yet. The cookies are rich and caramel-y, which compliments the sweet-tartness of the peach ice cream so well. Seriously, they are so good. Go make them. Now.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Campfire S'mores Ice Cream

Since my generous mother bought me an ice cream maker a couple of months ago, the gentle whir of churning cream has been a great comfort to me. There's something soothing about it, a white noise of sorts. I am a big fan of white noise. And a big fan of very cold desserts in very (oh-my-gosh-it-is-so-) hot months. I have been making ice cream so often, it is hard to believe that this is my first ice cream post.

Remember my last post where I told you guys to save those buckwheat graham crackers? Well, I hope you ate them and made a new batch because my slacker pace of posting may have led to some staling. Either whip up a new batch or go to the store and buy some (there is no shame in this), because you'll want to experience all of this campfire s'mores flavor (there is marshmallow fluff and smoked salt in this stuff, people!) in a delicious ice cream. No fire needed.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Buckwheat Graham Crackers

I have never really been an "outdoor girl." I like a good walk, sure, but on a free afternoon you certainly won't find me out hiking, but instead curled up with a good book at home or drinking a latte inside the four walls of a cozy coffee shop. Despite this, I usually find myself out into the wilderness at least once a Summer, cook food over a fire, and don't shower for a couple of days . . . I'm talking about camping.

This year, however, I haven't made it up into the mountains or cooked anything at all over an open flame (stupid electric stove). This means I haven't been able to eat any s'mores. THAT is the biggest shame of all. So, in hopes that I can have a little taste of some Summer camping, I made the base ingredient: graham crackers.

They're pretty similar to these ones I made last Summer, except they're made with buckwheat, which has pretty similar flavor to wheat flour, except that it's not actually wheat and is completely gluten-free. Yay!

Eat them alone, make s'mores with them, dip them in chocolate, smear them with some peanut butter. If you can manage, hang onto a handful of them for an awesome recipe coming soon :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Chocolate Coconut French Macarons

I've long since had a fond affection for Almond Joy candy bars. I rank the almond-coconut-chocolate combination right up there with peanut butter and jelly. I generally don't let myself buy candy bars anymore because I will eat them all embarrassingly quickly. So, instead of the store-bought, who-knows-what-they're-filled-with candy bars, I decided to incorporate these lovely flavors into sweet, airy French macaron cookies that I could share . . . not hoard all for myself.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Guys . . . I did it: I made gluten-free cinnamon rolls that rival the wheat-filled ones we've been longing for as we press our noses against pastry cases and sigh because we must deprive ourselves. No longer, my friends. Indulge away.

Every few months or so I become so enraptured with a pastry that I have had trouble making gluten-free that I can hardly think of anything else. So I read, and I convert, and I seethe in anger and determination until I get it right. I mean, I have been given the gift of and passion for being able to make delicious gluten-free baked goods, I owe it to myself (and to you guys!) to try until I succeed!

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vanilla Almond Coconut Cake

I've had quite the hankering lately for coconut cake. As soon as I decided I was going to make one, they started popping up everywhere--on the covers of magazines, and on a few of my favorite food blogs (I particularly liked this one from Completely Delicious and this one from Willow Bird Baking). Feeling a bit discouraged, I decided to make one anyway. It was perfectly lovely, but nothing special and, therefore, not good enough. I waited.

I waited for inspiration for something that would stand out and, lucky for me, I woke up one morning with a fantastic idea: vanilla almond coconut cake (sometimes I dream in recipes). And let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.

With a nutty flavor and texture, flecks of real vanilla bean, a thick coconut pudding filling, and the best cream cheese frosting you will ever taste, this cake is a real winner. Maybe even better than the ones on the covers of those magazines ;)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nutella Chocolate Chip Pie

Nutella Chocolate Chip Pie-A rich, decadent pie that will bring you back to your childhood {A Full Life} #glutenfree

Last month, my home community had a "childhood favorites" potluck. The house was filled with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese with cut-up hot dogs, and Nutella.

Now, I never liked Nutella as a child. We were strictly a peanut butter family, but this "weird" brown spread showed up at friends' houses after school. I thought it was gross.

Thankfully, as I grew up, I came around to this delicious hazelnut chocolate spread. And, even though I didn't like it as a kid, I still deemed a Nutella dessert appropriate for the theme "childhood favorites." I am certain I was the anomaly.

So, here we have Nutella Chocolate Chip Pie. This cream cheese-based pie has a buttery chocolate chip cookie and hazelnut crust and is topped with fresh whipped cream. It's good. It's really good. And I'd like to think that even my 8-year-old self wouldn't have been able to resist it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Maple Banana Nut Muffins

Maple Banana Nut Muffins

I know that the last post I did was on both breakfast and my love of real maple syrup. But I am a creature of habit. I have an obsessive personality (I am obsessed with a good gluten-free breakfast pastry. I am obsessed with good maple syrup). And this is my blog. But, repetitive nature or not, this recipe is pretty kick-butt.

Packed with butter, maple syrup, pecans, and bananas, these muffins are wonderfully sweet and comforting. With warmer days fast approaching, I suggest you soak up the few rainy April days that remain with these comforting muffins and a good cup of coffee :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Buckwheat Pancakes (for real maple syrup lovers only)

A couple of months ago, I took a last minute trip home to New York. The weekend was full but we managed to find time on a dreary Sunday morning to go on a road-trip for pancakes . . . an hour-long road-trip.

Now, if you think it sounds absurd to drive an hour for some pancakes, you are not alone. This is what I thought as we drove through the smallest, most desolate towns you can imagine. But people don't drive an hour and wait hours more in line for just any pancakes with just any syrup.

We New Yorkers take our syrup seriously. Vermont gets all of the credit for real maple syrup, but, in my totally-biased opinion, New York maple syrup is even better. Since you can't get in in Utah, my wonderful mother regularly mails me bottles of it to adorn my homemade pancakes and waffles.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Praline Pecans

Praline Pecans

With these last little (unwelcome) bouts of winter-y weather in the beginning of Spring this year, I've been yearning for anything that reminds me of warmer weather. I grumpily took the dog for walks, stomping on freshly laid snow and cursing myself for getting a pedicure and pulling out my Summer footwear. And then I remembered! Hidden behind way too many jars of honey, and some jams that I had canned, was the final jar of summer peaches, canned at the peak of perfection!

I waffled for awhile, wondering if it was too far from peach season and if I'd be sad if I didn't have any next month by opening them now. But I had to. And, in spite of the cold weather, I drove to the store and bought some of my favorite vanilla bean ice cream--the perfect pairing to Summer peaches. But something else was needed (texturally) to add to this pairing, and thus I decided to make praline pecans.

Dangerously delicious eaten by the handful, these pecans are even better atop some vanilla bean ice cream and fruit. Enjoy :)

Praline Pecans

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies!

gluten-free sugar cookies!
 I did some math today. I figured out that in the two-and-a-half years that I've worked at the bakery, I've mixed, rolled, and cut-out an estimated 10,000 pounds of sugar cookie dough. And I've frosted even more than that. 10,000 POUNDS!! It is because of this absurdity that I spent those two-and-a-half years baking just about every pastry possible after work except sugar cookies.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Browned Butter Vanilla Bean Cake with Butterscotch Frosting

This cake is so good that I can't even talk about it.

OK, I'll talk about it so that you guys can feel the same way about it that I do.

You see that box of butterscotch chips in the picture below here? That box, full of 30 pounds of butterscotch chips, was given to me a few months back by my boss, who accidentally ordered much MUCH more than we needed at the bakery. In that time, I've been thinking of creative ways to use them. It takes a lot of brainstorming to use up 30 pounds of butterscotch chips. And, to be quite honest, nothing I've made has impressed me much . . . until now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

White Chocolate Raspberry Crepe Cake

White Chocolate Raspberry Crepe Cake

Happy Shrove Tuesday! Today is the day that people eat some of the things they will be giving up for the next 40 days that make up the lenten season. And a lot of people eat pancakes for dinner.

Crepes are the very thin cousin of pancakes and what could be a better way to celebrate the start of lenten season, than making them into a cake?

White Chocolate Raspberry Crepe Cake

This cake is super light and satisfying, composed of soft crepes between layers of sweet white chocolate mousse and raspberry jam. It is even better eaten the next day (really, eat it for breakfast), after the crepes have soaked up a bit of the mousse and the jam and the flavors are all wonderfully blended together.

In addition to it being a delightful end to Shrove Tuesday, this cake is also wonderful for Valentine's Day. It's a much lighter alternative to the rich and fudgy desserts that usually accompany the holiday (not that there's anything wrong with these), so it can be eaten for breakfast and dessert. What could be more lovely than that?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day

Flourless Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day: The day that separates the single people from the couples. On this day of division between those given flowers and the flower-less (I know, I know, so cynical), I bring you a dessert that unites another set of groups: those willing to go a completely different kind of flourless, and those who turn up their nose at the term "gluten-free."

Ah, the flourless chocolate cake: the dessert that Becky from The Vintage Mixer and I ordained as the quintessential dessert that everyone is not only willing to try, but eager to love.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shaker Citrus Cheesecake Tart

As memory serves me, it seemed that winters in Upstate New York involved day after day of grey skies. The last few winters have been spent in Salt Lake City, where grey skies were replaced with sunny ones, though muddled with the fog of our dreaded January inversion. In times when it's difficult to find some sunny clear skies, it is comforting to know that winter's seasonal fruits are bright and sunny themselves. So, here we have it: Shaker Citrus Cheesecake Tart.

In addition to being an answer to a need for some sunshine, this dessert was inspired by shaker lemon pie. It is a thin layer of creamy cheesecake, enveloped by a spicy-sweet gingersnap crust and sugared winter citrus slices. It is just what you need in these gloomy days :)

Shaker Citrus Cheesecake Tart
Makes one 9" round tart

for the topping:
1 orange, sliced as thin as you can get it
1 lemon, sliced in the same way
1/2 cup sugar

for the crust:
6 oz gluten-free gingersnap cookies, finely crushed
1/2 cup walnuts, ground
4 tablespoons butter, melted

for the filling:
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
citrus-syrup goodness (leftover from the soaking fruit . . . you'll see)

For the citrus, place lemon and orange slices in a  shallow container and sprinkle with 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours, turning the container over once.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

For the crust, stir together crushed cookies, nuts, and butter. Press crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" tart pan. Bake 8 minutes.

In a mixer with the paddle attachment or a food processor, cream the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla bean powder and heavy cream. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining in between each addition. Drain the sugar-y syrup from the container of citrus into the cheesecake batter, reserving the slices. Pour batter into crust.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 400 degrees F. Carefully arrange citrus slices on top of the cheesecake. Return to the oven and bake 15 minutes more, or until the center jiggles just a bit.

Cool cheesecake to room temperature, about two hours. Refrigerate at least one hour before consuming. Consume the WHOLE thing, even the slices-that's why you soaked them! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chunky Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There is something intensely comforting to me about oatmeal raisin cookies. On their own, I find raisins completely disgusting, but wrapped up in a buttery and chewy oatmeal cookie, they are completely delightful and remind me of warm and cozy days.

The end of 2012 came with some heavy-hearted news, across the country and in my own hometown and own community. It also came with some intensely cold weather that has turned me into more of an introvert than I could ever imagine I'd be. That being said, I've needed some comfort. And nothing says comfort to me like a soft and chewy cookie filled with raisins, walnuts, and coconut. Cookies can make things at least a little better. I believe that.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins

Things I love about very early mornings:
1. Coffee
2. Breakfast
3. Quiet

Things I hate about very early mornings:
1. Almost everything else.

Considering my list of things to love hours before the sun comes up is very short, I like to make sure I have the best of the best of all of these things. To be the best, breakfast should be both healthy and delicious. These quinoa muffins are both.

Packed with lots of protein from the quinoa and almond meal and antioxidants from the blueberries, these muffins are a fantastic way to start your day. And if you were wondering about the coffee, it's almost always the charmingly tasty Charming Beard Coffee

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins
makes 6 large or 12 standard muffins

1 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup frozen blueberries

For the topping:
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoons grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F for large muffin tins or 350 degrees F for standard muffin tins. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Stir together dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. Place eggs, vanilla, honey, oil, and applesauce into the well and stir together. Fold into the dry ingredients just until combined. Gently stir in blueberries. Divide batter between muffin tins. Make the topping:

Rinse quinoa in cold water. Stir together all ingredients and divide topping between muffins. Bake 30-35 minutes for large muffins or 20-25 minutes for standard ones.

About Me

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Salt Lake City, Utah
As a pastry chef by trade and by hobby, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease has not been easy. But through some experimental baking and a whole lot of faith, I'm living a full(er) life.