Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Rosemary Pear Pie (And It’s Gluten-Free)

Poached pears worthy of your holiday table.

Poached pears worthy of your holiday table.

 

A friend of mine once rolled her eyes at her then-boyfriend for ordering poached pears for dessert at a restaurant.

In her mind, she couldn’t fathom why one would waste perfectly good dessert calories on simple, cooked pears, of all things.

I can see her point. After all, if you’re going to venture out to a white-tablecloth restaurant for dinner, you want to live it up. You want to eat with abandon, and finish it off with decadence. You want chocolate. You want butter. You want fluffs of cream, ganache and mousse — preferably in a take-your-breath-away form.

Pears don’t immediately muster that kind of response.

But transfer them to the finale of a comforting, home-cooked dinner, and I think even my friend would have a hard time passing them up.

Juicy, sweet, wine-y pears fanned out across a rustic tart that’s put out in the center of the table is just the type of dessert made for entertaining at home.

That’s what you’ll get with “Rosemary Pear Pie” from the new cookbook, “Home Baked” (Abrams), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Yvette Van Boven, a food stylist and recipe writer in Amsterdam.

Home Baked Book

The book is filled with more than 150 recipes for sweet and savory goodies such as “Poppy Seed Popovers,” “Verbena Cake with Fresh Fruit & Verbena Gin Syrup,” and “My Favorite Chili with A Thousand Beans, Chorizo, Chocolate, and Corn Bread.”

One glance at this pear pie in the book and I was enthralled. Who wouldn’t be with the pears arranged just so prettily atop a simple, smooth, custardy filling?

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Sugar and Spice, And Apricot-Ginger Cookies That Are Oh-So-Nice

Start your ovens, people. It's cookie time.

Start your ovens, people. It’s cookie time.

 

Say good-bye to turkey, and hello to cookies.

With Thanksgiving over, it’s now the serious start of cookie baking season.

What better treat to get you in the mood, too, than “Big Chewy Apricot and Ginger Cookies”?

Nothing says winter holidays quite like the fragrance of cinnamon, ginger and molasses wafting from the kitchen. And this cookie has ginger in spades. Three kinds: ground, fresh, and crystallized. It’s ideal for a ginger fanatic like myself.

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Honey Pie For the Holidays

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

 

Call this the antidote to pecan pie.

Or at the very least, a most worthy alternative.

“Olivia’s Honey Pie” is plenty sweet and nutty. But not as dense and heavy as pecan pie. It also the added bonus of tasting gloriously of buttery, caramelized honey.

The recipe is from the new “The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook” (Little, Brown and Company) by Chris Fischer, of which I received a review copy.

Spanning five acres on Martha’s Vineyard, Beetlebung Farm is run by Fischer, who took it over when his grandfather passed away.

BeetlebungCookbook

Fischer is both a farmer and a cook. And what a cook, indeed. He was a sous chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo in New York City, and previously had stints at Fergus Henderson’s St. John Bread & Wine, and at the River Cafe in London. Fischer hosted dinners cooked over an open-fire at the farm before becoming head chef at Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant.

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Prepare Yourself For Guittard’s Luscious Chocolate Banana Blondies

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!

 

What’s in a name? Well, would you believe these are blondies?

In my world, just by appearance alone, these are brownies.

But in the first cookbook by Burlingame’s bean-to-bar chocolatier Guittard, these are indeed blondies. “Chocolate Banana Blondies” to be exact.

No matter how you refer to them, you will be calling them ravishingly good after one bite.

“Guittard Chocolate Cookbook” (Chronicle Books) was written by Amy Guittard. We should all be so lucky as to have born into a chocolate dynasty. Her great-great-grandfather founded the Guittard Chocolate Company in 1868. It is America’s oldest continuously family-run chocolate company.

GuittardCookbook

You probably know its baking products from store shelves. If you’re a See’s Candies fan, you also know Guittard because it supplies the chocolate that goes into all those homespun bonbons.

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White Lily Introduces Its First New Flours In Over A Century

Individual cakes made with dessert wine, whole grapes, and a new red grapeseed flour blend.

Individual cakes made with dessert wine, whole grapes, and a new red grapeseed flour blend.

 

You probably know the name White Lily as the go-to flour Southerners swear by for the most tender biscuits.

Now that Southern institution has introduced its first new flours in 130 years.

Partnering with Shepherd’s Grain, a group of wheat growers in the Pacific Northwest, White Lily has created three new flours: Wheat and Red Grapeseed Flour Blend, Wheat and White Grape Seed Flour Blend, and All-Purpose Wheat.

The non-GMO wheat is grown sustainably. You can even plug in a code printed on each bag of flour into the Web site to find out information about the farmers who grew the wheat for your specific bag of flour. For instance, I tried a sample of the Wheat and Red Grapeseed Flour Blend, which was made with wheat grown by Cherry Creek Ranch in Washington, Spokane Hutterian Brethren Inc. in Washington, and RattleSnake Ranches in Idaho., all of whom have operated for generations.

Grapeseed flour is gluten-free, but of course not when it’s mixed with all-purpose flour, as is the case with these blends. But what’s great about the blends is that they have been formulated so that you can use them 1:1 in place of regular all-purpose flour in any recipe. Grapeseed flour also is purported to be high in antioxidants.

I was most eager to try out the Wheat and Red Grapeseed Flour Blend because of its subtle purple color.

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