It’s Strawberry season y’all! And what a season it’s been. Producing some of the most luscious, ripe, succulent, and juicy, sun-kissed strawberries I have ever had. So I knew whatever recipe I created, it needed to preserve, enhance and balance that fresh picked natural sweet perfection. Then, passing by this sea of farm to our kitchen strawberries, my husband casually throws out, “those would be great on top of a cheesecake!”
This recipe of deep, dark, slightly spicy chocolate crisps, served with a ruby, locally picked, sun-ripened strawberry and tangy-sweet lime salsa has been such a fun and creative journey; one that was inspired by our stunning, vibrant and resilient neighbors in Mexico on this Cinco de Mayo (which by the way, is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day)!
Don’t get me wrong, I adore a fabulous French pastry as much as the next dessert obsessed baker, but sometimes you just gotta’ go old school!
So, you know that classic candy bar with the soft, sweet, yielding coconut center that is enrobed in a bittersweet coat of perfectly paired dark chocolate? Well, this is an easy-peasy cookie version of that candy that’s put together in minutes, and dare I say, tastes even better than the gas station staple.
Ugh, not another chocolate chip cookies recipe! I know that’s what you’re thinking and I don’t begrudge you for a moment. That is precisely the reason I thought so long and hard before posting this recipe. No doubt, your Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is impeccable, and far be it for me to suggest otherwise, BUT, if you ‘re in the market for a crispy, caramelized, chocolaty cookie and want to venture out a bit, this is a great one to try!
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 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.
I believe in the power of love and the joy of giving, and it is a creed that I strive to instill in my little ones. For the last five years around the holidays, my kids and I have forged a tradition that we hold dear. We build a gingerbread house each weekend in December and choose various charities to donate them to. The rule in our house is that they can have treats to enjoy while building the house, but once it’s done, it’s donated to a worthy cause. The particular one in this recipe was made with the utmost love and donated to a local domestic violence shelter which houses the most brave women and children you will ever meet.
A beautiful holiday season to all, and may peace, love and the aroma of delectable goodies baking fill your homes all the year through.
Meringue cookies are one of my children’s favorites. They are light as air with a satisfying crunch and delicate flavor. They are also perfect for kids with food allergies, like my sweet boy, as they are gluten free, nut free and dairy free. I’ve made these meringue bones and ghosts for the last few years at Halloween and they are a favorite among family and friends, which is why I wanted to share them with you all.
This is a fragrant, luscious, creamy custard-base ice cream made with the most expensive spice in world, saffron. And yes, it tastes just that rich. Short of crossing an ocean or two or hopping a plane to the second best alternative, Persian prolific Los Angeles, it is virtually impossible to get this delectable rose water anointed and saffron speckled Persian ice cream worth the caloric splurge. Until now, that is.
I love anything pistachio. I mean anything. Pistachio cake. Pistachio cookies. Pistachio ice cream. Pistachio candy. Pistachio custard. This adoration was most likely born out of the traditional Middle Eastern desserts I grew up savoring, especially those in mesmerizing bakeries lining the bazaars in my late father’s home town of Nazareth. Even though I was a small child, I can still smell the intoxicating aromas of pistachio filled baklava and sweets wafting through the spicy bazaar air.