Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Biscuit Berry Nests — Two Treats In One

Holes get punched into a big round of biscuit dough, then filled with fresh berries, before being baked.
Holes get punched into a big round of biscuit dough, then filled with fresh berries, before being baked.

If you adore fruit baked into your biscuits or even biscuits slathered with fruity jam, then you will go bonkers for “Biscuit Berry Nests.”

Because a jumble of fresh berries is baked into an actual hole punched into each biscuit. Not only that, but those “holes” are also baked, creating regular biscuits, too.

It’s like donuts plus donut holes — but in biscuit form.

This fun little recipe is from “Hot Little Suppers” (Harper Horizon, 2021), of which I received a review copy.

It was written by Carrie Morey, founder of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, a South Carolina business based on her mom’s from-scratch biscuits that has now grown to encompass eateries, a food truck, and mail-order items.

Of course, you’ll find biscuit recipes galore inside, including “Cinnamon Biscuits” and “Whipping Cream Biscuits,” plus accompaniments such as “Savory Thyme Butter,” along with clever ways to use up leftover biscuits (does that ever happen?) in dishes such as “Toasted Maple Biscuit Casserole.” Since one can’t live on biscuits alone, there are also entree recipes such as “Lemony Crab Pasta” and “Salty Sticky Sweet Pot Roast.”

The "holes'' get baked, too, to create individual biscuits.
The “holes” get baked, too, to create individual biscuits.

When I saw the photo of these clever biscuit nests in the book, I knew I had to make them. They didn’t disappoint, though, I did have to tweak the recipe in a number of areas.

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Raspberry Amaretti Cookies With A Fun Surprise Center

Freeze-dried and fresh raspberries make these amaretti extra special.
Freeze-dried and fresh raspberries make these amaretti extra special.

Like the best Easter confections that tempt at this time of year, these cookies are adorable, colorful, and sport a surprise filling sure to delight.

What’s more, “Raspberry Amaretti Cookies” are also gluten-free.

Made with almond meal, egg whites, and sugar, its dough gets fruity tang and a smidge of pink from pulverized freeze-dried raspberries mixed in. And at the center of each cookie hides a single fresh raspberry that you don’t see until you take a bite.

This fun recipe is from “Nadiya Bakes” (Clarkson Potter, 2020), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Nadiya Hussain, the season 6 winner of “The Great British Baking Show.” The cookbook is a companion to her BBC and Netflix series of the same name.

The U.K.-based baker emphatically calls baking her true first love. This book includes both sweet and savory treats. Her recipes take influence from both her Bangladeshi heritage and her British upbringing in creations such as “Matcha and Kiwi Hurricane Roll,” “Scotch Creme Eggs,” “Rainbow Veg Pakora Picnic Pie,” and “Cherry Chelsea Buns.”

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Not Black or White — But Both

Playful black-and-white sable cookies with a French touch.
Playful black-and-white sable cookies with a French touch.

In a world where opposites increasingly butt heads in conflict, these live in complete harmony.

Two doughs of completely different colors combine to create something far more impressive together.

These are not New York black-and-white cookies, but French ones.

“Parisian Black-and-White Cookies” draw your gaze immediately. They deliver that classic snappy, sandy texture and buttery taste that never go out of fashion.

This fanciful cookie recipe is from “World Food Paris” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy, by James Oseland, award-winning cookbook author and former editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine, with writer Jenna Leigh Evans.

This book picks you up and sets you down in the heart of Paris, with its evocative photos of lush city parks, bistro life, stately chateaux, and proud cooks and bakers displaying their delectable handiwork.

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The Cake That Hides A Dramatic Surprise

Put some green in your life in a different way this St. Patrick's Day.
Put some green in your life in a different way this St. Patrick’s Day.

There are cakes, which when cut, tumble out a hidden torrent of rainbow sprinkles or M&Ms.

This cake also boasts a surprise center, but a far more sophisticated one.

Cut into it with a fork, and a gush of melty, brilliant-green, matcha-chocolate will flow out instead.

This genius recipe for “Matcha Chocolate Lava Cakes” is from “The Honeysuckle Cookbook” (Rodale, 2020) by Dzung Lewis, a former Bay Area financial analyst who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for cooking with her YouTube channel “Honeysuckle.”

There are several techniques to create the molten center of lava cakes. This one relies on freezing matcha ganache — melted white chocolate mixed with matcha and a little oil — in an ice cube tray until solid. The frozen cube then gets set into the cake batter, so that during baking, the frozen ganache slowly liquifies within the set cake.

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A Cake That Will Make Your Mouth “Open Sesame”

Luscious tahini goes into both the batter and buttercream in this delectable one-pan cake.
Luscious tahini goes into both the batter and buttercream in this delectable one-pan cake.

One-pan cakes are simple and satisfying.

But sometimes — just sometimes — they can leap-frog over plain basic into the realm of attention-grabbing exceptional.

“Tahini Sheet Cake” is such a creation.

Like any sheet cake, it’s all of one layer baked easy-peasy in a rectangular pan that gets slathered with sweet frosting to finish.

But what sets this one apart is the tahini in both the batter and the fluffy buttercream that gives this cake the marvelously distinctive, sweetly nutty taste of sesame.

Gotta love the ease of a sheet cake.
Gotta love the ease of a sheet cake.

The recipe is from Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day” (Clarkson Potter, 2020) by Eden Grinshpan, a Cooking Channel star and host of “Top Chef Canada,” whose Israeli heritage plays into the Middle Eastern-inflected recipes showcased.

Although you probably know tahini as an essential ingredient in hummus, it also does wonders for baked goods. It combines here with butter, grapeseed oil, whole milk, and sour cream for a batter that results in a moist, rich tasting cake.

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