Lemon Meringue Milkshake

Lemon Meringue Milkshake

Lemon. Ice Cream. Whipped Cream. Cookie crumbs. Pie. I don’t believe I need to say more. This recipe was born of a mission to create a backyard dessert to celebrate the beginning of spring. It needed to be fun, delicious, effortless, nostalgic and appeal to the entire family, from grandma to the finicky little ones. Ideally it would taste like pie. A really delicious and sunny lemon meringue pie.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cake

It’s my fault.  I realize this. My family is used to, and have come to expect an elaborate dessert for weekend dinners. This is a ritual that brings me immeasurable joy. Doing something I love for people I adore.  However, this weekend, I greeted the Saturday thoroughly exhausted from a seemingly endless work week and a looming To Do list thats appears to grow exponentially.  Needless to say, I would not have the luxury of an idle baking day today, nor time for a leisurely trip to the market.  Needing a showstopper dessert, with ingredients that I had on hand and requiring little time, I immediately thought of a classic dessert that elicits a chorus of oooohs and aaaaaahs, the Molten Lava Cake, with a peanut butter twist and sour cherry reduction!

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

I have been in desperate need of some sunshine. It’s the end of March. Spring time. And yet the temperature continues to hover in the “Baby, it’s cold outside” range. So I decided, if the weather doesn’t provide the sunshine, then it’s time to create my own in the kitchen with this bright and beautiful Meyer Lemon Ice Cream.

Chocolate Mint Leaves

Chocolate Mint Leaves

There seem to be two camps in baking: decorating and pastry. That is, those who focus more on the decorating aspect of baking and others whose interests lie on the pastry and dessert side of the craft.  I love both, and I’m thoroughly obsessed with every aspect of baking from pastry, desserts, candy, decorating and everything in between.

Éclairs, A love letter.

Éclairs, A love letter.

The moments I cherish most in life are those seemingly insignificant ones that catch your breath, and suddenly your achingly aware that your life is about to change. Forever. This is precisely what happened when I was introduced to my Beloved of over 11 years at a fundraising event. It went a little something like this:

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is a magical ingredient that is absolutely transformative and a culinary weapon that you can yield to create a number of luscious chocolate indulgences.

While perhaps simple in ingredients and technique, this concoction of chocolate and heavy cream is a base for delectable applications, a simple adjustment of the cream to chocolate ratio will produce chocolate sauce, glaze, truffles, tart filling and even airy and luscious whipped frosting.

Sweetie Pies and Pie Cookie Cuties

Sweetie Pies and Pie Cookie Cuties

Okay, remember that one time at 1 am when you were scouring Pinterest to find the perfect Valentine treat for your sweet and thought to yourself, that would be adorable! Well, not so adorable in the light of day after wasting a perfectly good pie crust and praying to the kitchen Gods that mason jars are indeed oven safe despite of any actual written confirmation of that on the packaging. While thankfully the jars didn’t explode into a million shards of glass under the scrutiny of a 400°F oven, the pie in a mason jar idea did not fair so well in the taste and execution department. Adorable? Yes. Tasty? Not so much.

I have been baking all of my life and rarely find myself in the midst of epic failures and this was certainly one of them, and I am so grateful for it. Quite often our inspirations germinate from mishaps. They are opportunities to learn and recreate. This Pinterest fail, along with a mild obsession of all things mason jars, bring us here today, to these adorable Sweetie Pies and Cookie Pie Cuties layered with perfect pie crust and a beautifully balanced sweet-tart berry filling! I made them for all of my loves at home and I hope you will make them for yours.

My Perfect Pie Crust

My Perfect Pie Crust

Flour. Butter. Sugar. Salt. Water. These are the basic ingredients that you need to make a perfect pie crust. While the ingredients may appear simple in nature, the magic happens in the ratio of the ingredients and the techniques used.

Pie was never my thing. I have been more a tart fiend, than a pie fanatic. But that has changed in recent years, especially since our family moved to Nashville, ya’ll! I have loved discovering just how pie is interwoven into the southern culture, much like those lovely lattice topped pies you see adorning a southern table. Never one to shy away from a baking adventure, I grabbed my apron and pastry cutter and set out to create my perfect crust. I think I have it here friends, and it works out beautifully in these Sweetie Pies and Cookie Pie Cuties.

Strawberry Lime Pâte de Fruit

Strawberry Lime Pâte de Fruit

There are two primary reasons I wanted to make this recipe for you dear readers: 1. Pâte de Fruit is THE most intense burst of mouthwatering fruit jelly you will ever have, and 2. I love saying the name “Pâte de Fruit!” As you may have already deduced, this is a French delicacy and the term is pronounced “pat de fwee.” Come on, say it with me, pat-de-fwee. It’s seriously fun to say and you’ll find that it will stick in your head much like the jelly will stick to your fingers!

Rosemary Lemon Financiers (Petite French Almond Cakes)

Rosemary Lemon Financiers (Petite French Almond Cakes)

Sweet. Savory. Seasonal. These are three of my favorite themes when it comes to pastry and these beguiling little almond cakes epitomize this trio in the most delectably charming way imaginable. This diminutive delight is a lightly sweetened buttery almond cake, scented with a hint of fresh rosemary, brightened by freshly grated lemon zest and crowned with a sun ripen blackberry picked at its peak.