Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

Light and Bright Dot’s Lemon Sponge Pie

This lemon pie is just what your taste buds need after a big heavy holiday meal.
This lemon pie is just what your taste buds need after a big heavy holiday meal.

Anyone who knows me knows that I turn up my nose at pumpkin pie.

Yes, that may be sacrilege at this time of year.

But before you think me a pie snob, it’s just that pumpkin filling is too one-note for me. Instead, I prefer a pie with a little more spunk and personality.

Something exactly along the lines of “Dot’s Lemon Sponge Pie.”

This lovely pie with its light and bright character is just what you want to reset the palate after all that heavy turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

The recipe is from “Pie is Messy” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by pie doyenne Rebecca Grasley, with an assist from food writer Willy Blackmore.

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Sponsored Post: Baked Frangipane Apples with Pazazz

The holiday season was made for these beautiful baked apples with a center of nutty frangipane.
The holiday season was made for these beautiful baked apples with a center of nutty frangipane.

I’m the type of person who bakes when I’m happy.

Or sad.

Or stressed.

Or curious about a particular recipe.

Or simply want to spoil myself or others with something joyfully indulgent.

And at this time of year, when I bake with samples of fresh Pazazz apples, I get especially giddy because they are a natural mood booster.

Yes, apples are loaded with antioxidants that fuel neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger the release of dopamine that elevates the feelings of pleasure, contentment, and motivation.

This mighty fruit also helps lower cholesterol, decreases the risk of diabetes, aids in weight loss, promotes good digestion, and boasts anti-inflammatory properties.

Now's the time to get your hand on some Pazazz apples.
Now’s the time to get your hand on some Pazazz apples.

Of course, they are mighty delicious, too. Ruby red with yellow-green striations, Pazazz are super snappy and full of sweet, tangy, quenching juice.

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Cozy Up To Fall’s Triple Pumpkin Muffins

Need another pumpkin recipe at this time of year? Of course, you do!
Need another pumpkin recipe at this time of year? Of course, you do!

A tisket, a tasket.

A teaspoon, a tablespoon.

I’ll be the first to admit that I goofed when I baked these “Triple Pumpkin Crumb Muffins” from Bon Appetit magazine. But luckily, it wasn’t anything as egregious as mistaking salt for sugar or cornstarch for white flour.

Nope, it was misreading “tsp” for “TBL” when it came to adding pumpkin pie spice to the streusel topping. But you know what? I have to say that tripling the amount actually worked out deliciously.

Yes, your streusel will come out darker brown if you use 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of 1 teaspoon, but your muffins will be imbued with even more autumnal warmth and fragrance if you do.

So, a blunder? Or a genius move?

I, of course, affirm it was the latter.

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The Delight of Cherry Spumoni

Cherry spumoni -- a celebration of almonds, chocolate, and glace cherries.
Cherry spumoni — a celebration of almonds, chocolate, and glace cherries.

It’s been ages since I last dined at an old-school Italian restaurant, the kind that sets down a brimming relish platter almost before you’ve ordered, and ends the meal sweetly with a frosty goblet of spumoni.

Thought to have originated in Naples, this fanciful creamy dessert can’t help but feel festively nostalgic with its cherry, pistachio, and chocolate or vanilla ice creams all mingling together in one scoop, often with crunchy nuts, bits of dark chocolate, and chewy candied fruit. Talk about an entire party busting out in one spoonful.

So, when I received some samples recently of red candied cherries, otherwise known as glace cherries, from Paradise Fruit Co., I couldn’t help but grow wistful for that classic treat, especially as the holidays approach.

Paradise Fruit Co. candied red cherries.
Paradise Fruit Co. candied red cherries.

Rather than going to all the trouble of making three different flavors of ice cream, I zeroed in on this New York Times recipe for “Cherry Spumoni.”

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Get Your Cookie Fix With Ras El Hanout Snickerdoodles

Not your usual snickerdoodles.
Not your usual snickerdoodles.

When it comes to cookies, my husband is decidedly “Basic Boy.”

Meaning, he likes his chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snickerdoodle. And doesn’t like to veer to far from them.

So, “Ras El Hanout Snickerdoodles” satisfied both of our appetites. His for the classic. And mine for something a little more adventurous.

This wonderfully chewy and warmly spiced cookie recipe is from “Love Is A Pink Cake” (W.W. Norton & Co.), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Claire Ptak, a Californian who moved to London to open her Violet Bakery. Of course, you may also know her as a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Or you may recognize her as the baker commissioned in 2018 to make the wedding cake for none other than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

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