Peppermint Bark Cookies

Peppermint Bark Cookies

I’ll keep this one short as I know everyone is in the last-week-before-Christmas craze.

At this point in December, you might find yourself with a box of peppermint bark laying around. Maybe you have already eaten it and maybe it won’t go eaten for another few days.

When I find myself with Halloween and/or holiday candy, I usually can’t help but put it in some sort of baked good. When applicable, of course! Nothing of the gummy variety will ever find itself in any baked good of mine.

Read More

Pecan-Topped Toffee

Pecan-Topped Toffee

I was positive that I had already posted a recipe for this toffee but it turns out I had imagined the whole thing!

I was so certain because this is my absolute favorite sweet treat to make during the holidays. After getting over an initial fear of boiling hot sugar and butter to the hard crack stage, it is actually very, very simple and very, very rewarding.

I have very fond memories of making this toffee around Christmas with Popo over every school break for as long as I can remember. The process was always the same and the taste of it always takes me back to those happy childhood moments. As a result, I have become a toffee snob and will always hold this recipe in the highest regard even though it is literally four simple ingredients.

Read More

Classic Peach Pie

Classic Peach Pie

The last few weeks of August are here but even with the beautiful weather in the 80s we're having this week, I know summer will most likely be around until October for the Sacramento Valley.

Even though I love peaches, I've surprisingly found both white and yellow nectarines to be the tastier stone fruit this summer. They have been the perfect balance of tart and sweet with a juicy, smooth texture rather than hard or mealy. This has made them exceptionally good for everyday snacking and sometimes even simply just as dessert (shocking, I know). The peaches on the other hand, I have reserved for baking purposes rather than eating them raw. Even when their texture is not fantastic for regular eating, they have been amazing in galettes, scones, a pandowdy and this pie. 

Read More

Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer—It's here to stay until at least October by Sacramento Valley standards.

I am slowly accepting that the 80ºF we got on 4th of July was a miracle and that the 90º-112ºF is here to stay for the next few months. With my black car's AC not working, it's been extra fun, I mean extra training. Today, I went to Costco and was very, very concerned that the butter I got was going to melt by the time I got home (I forgot my freezer bag) but thankfully it survived. I also barely survived and basked in the glory of my apartment's AC before finding energy to get food. One day I'll look back on this and either think I was crazy for not getting my car fixed sooner or pat myself on the back for enduring the Valley heat in a black car with no AC. Thankfully my commute to and from work is only 15 minutes and I have become more experienced in figuring out how the rising sun will affect shadows over the course of a day. It's good photography practice. 

Read More

Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

As I suspected, if you Google "upside down", one of two things shows up.

It is either Jack Johnson's song Upside Down or (and most obviously to me) anything and everything Stranger Things. Although I watched Stranger Things 2 months ago, I'm currently watching Beyond Stranger Things and it is the greatest. I love behind the scenes anything. As someone who is creating constantly, it's interesting to see how others go about their creative methods. What are their stories, their processes, their ups and their downs? 

So, here, I'll walk you through what goes on in my kitchen and how I decide to make the things I make even if they turn out to be a complete and utter mistake like these bars. 

Read More

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

"Cla-foo-tee"

Except I'm terrible at accents. But, if you want to watch a cool video about accents with Kate Winslet and Saorise Ronan, I found this fascinating because I feel the exact opposite of them where I would rather play myself than play the part of being someone else. 

So I will happily just be me in the kitchen but maybe that is the whole point?? Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. Or start at 20:16.

In the meantime, I received some cherries from my hapkido instructor, Master Rick, so I decided to take a stab at something I have always heard of but have never actually tasted before or made and having no clue if the end result is authentically correct. I will say this looks pretty damn ugly on the top and on the inside but it tastes really good. I found it to be a cross between a Dutch Baby Pancake or German Apple Pancake but with a custardy filling and of course packed with cherries. 

Read More

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Per the start of this blog, I made Kristen her special requested birthday dessert. 

Last year it was this cake and the year before (and first blog post!) it was this cake

But this year, instead of a full-blown layered cake, I went with cupcakes instead. I liked the idea of being able to assemble these so that they were fresh and when you wanted to eat them. With the custard inside, Boston Cream Pie is one of those things that is best eaten the day you make it and if your party is on the small side, cupcakes are a lifesaver. 

Each part can also be made ahead of time and individually assembled so that these are ready to eat right when you want them. 

Read More

Nutella Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Nutella Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

And the treats continue...

Last year I expressed how my New Year's Resolutions never revolve around eating healthier because I will always balance out my vegetables with a side of dessert. And that mindset continues with the intention to try out some new things (I'm thinking Kouign-Amann), perfecting something I've tried before (like babka) and continue to bake old favorites.  

But, we will see because more often than not I make things on a whim depending what my kitchen has to offer or which recipe grabs me. 

Read More