Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

A Slice of Cool

If this doesn't help beat the heat, nothing will.
If this doesn’t help beat the heat, nothing will.

The heat is on.

Is it ever.

I may not have the ability to turn the master switch to “off” to quash this heatwave. But I can definitely cool things down deliciously with “Frozen Yoghurt-Honey Parfait with Flash-Roasted Blueberries.”

Creamy, tangy, and — yes — frosty, it’s like ice cream without the need for an ice cream maker.

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Fruitful” (Kyle Books), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Sarah Johnson, an American-born pastry chef who trained at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and now splits her time at two United Kingdom restaurants, Spring and Heckfield Place. Hence, the UK spelling of “yoghurt” in this recipe before you think that a typo.

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Jamming on Jamaretti Cookies

A play on the classic thumbprint cookie.
A play on the classic thumbprint cookie.

As a kid, life sure seemed to move at a languid pace. Summer vacation seemed never-ending. Our favorite holidays seemed to take forever to come around.

Not so as an adult.

Life now seems to whoosh by at Millennium Falcon hyper speed, making us ever grateful for all the shortcuts and time-saving tips we can get.

Enter “Jamaretti” cookies from Martha Stewart.

You know those classic jam-filled thumbprint cookies you made as a kid, rolling balls of dough one by one, then pressing your thumb into each one before spooning jam into every single crevice? Yeah, those ones.

Well, this recipe streamlines that process by making these cookies more like biscotti.

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Shortbread Cookies With A Novel Ingredient

These buttery shortbread cookies have candy cap mushrooms in the dough.
These buttery shortbread cookies have candy cap mushrooms in the dough.

I’ll be the first to say that my foraging experiences have been few and far between.

There was the time on an elementary school field trip hike, when our teacher had us nibbling sour grass growing in a canyon.

There was the white-water rafting trip on the American River in my 30s, when our guide steered our raft to an outcrop of wild blackberry shrubs and we reached out to hungrily pick our fill.

And there was the recent visit to the sprawling Inn at Newport Ranch in Fort Bragg, where my guide picked peppery wild ginger leaves for me to try.

So, admittedly, I am no expert.

But my friend and colleague Maria Finn definitely is. And she’s written a new cookbook, “Forage. Gather. Feast.” (Sasquatch Book) that will open your eyes to the bounty that can be foraged all around you.

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Spoil Yourself — Or Someone Else — With Cherry Almond Bundt Cake

Chopped fresh cherries hide inside this Bundt cake.
Chopped fresh cherries hide inside this Bundt cake.

As a kid at this time of year, I fondly remember pulling open the fridge door to snatch a big handful of fresh cherries waiting and ready in a colander in all their crunchy, ice-cold sweetness.

Whether because my family lacked a pitter in our tiny kitchen or didn’t yet know about the drinking straw or paper clip method to pop out the pits, I never baked with them back then. I just happily ate them out of hand, picking up each one by the stem to plop into my mouth with gusto.

As a proud pitter owner now, though, I revel in staining my fingers fuchsia as I methodically dislodge one pit after the other until amassing enough to bake in something special.

Something exactly like this moist, rich tasting “Cherry Almond Bundt.”

This cake, full of 1 1/2 heaping cups of — ahem — pitted and chopped cherries, is from the new cookbook, “Around Our Table” (Hardie Grant), of which I received a review copy.

Version 1.0.0

It was written by James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author Sara Forte, who lives with her husband and two kids in Southern California.

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Super Fast and Easy Shortbread — With A Twist

These shortbread aren't like others.
These shortbread aren’t like others.

One-pan shortbread are by nature one of the fastest and simplest of cookies to bake.

This one is even quicker since there’s no need to wait for butter to soften beforehand. Nor the need for an electric mixer to cream the butter into submission. That’s because there’s no butter in this dough whatsoever, only olive oil that makes it extra lush tasting.

There’s also a flavor curve ball to it. Sure, you’ve had shortbread sprinkled with a touch of sea salt. But how about crowned with freshly ground black pepper, too?

“Salt and Pepper Olive Oil Shortbread” is a little sweet and a little savory. Plus, a whole lot delicious.

It’s from “Snacking Bakes” (Clarkson Potter, 2023), of which I received a review copy.

It’s the newest cookbook by Brooklyn-based Yossy Arefi, creator of the acclaimed blog, Apt. 2B Baking Co.

It’s sure to appeal to those who love to bake, but don’t enjoy overly complicated recipes. Instead, most of the recipes in this book can be made in less than one hour, and using one bowl.

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