Crushing Croissants: A Croissant Recipe for Beginners

Croissants are French pastries made with yeasted dough layered with butter. This recipe is designed to help beginners practice creating the laminated dough without committing to a full recipe.   Croissants are humbling pastries. They’re flaky, buttery, delicate bread that can be made into sweet or savory snacks that you can find in any and…

Eye on the Prize: A Practice Maple-Walnut Pie

Maple-Walnut Pie is similar to the classic pecan pie but this recipe captures the flavor of maple syrup without the shocking sweetness of the holiday favorite. There’s something magical about a pie contest.  Some of the most humble, least competitive people get mixed up in the anxiety that only a serious challenge can incite.  It’s…

State Desserts: Carolina Killer Coconut Cupcakes

These coconut cupcakes are my take on the Ultimate Coconut Cake from Charleston’s Peninsula Grill. The original recipe is made up of 12 layers of cake between sheaths of custard; this recipe takes all of the same elements and shrinks them down to single servings.  South Carolina is full of surprises, not least of which…

The State Dessert That Never Was: Peach Galette

The peach galette is a free-form pie. It takes all the usual elements of a regular pie to create a rustic pastry that celebrates the Peach State’s finest asset.  I’ve been thinking about working my way through all of the state desserts — you know, with my own twist. I was going to  start with…

Making Memories: Maple Rhubarb Tarts

One of the things I love about food is that it has the power to take us to times and places that might otherwise be forgotten.  It’s an all-sensory experience. You see its shapes and shades, feel its textures, hear its crunch and sizzle, smell the warm aromas and, of course, taste its layers of…

Marathon Brownies

There aren’t many ways to elevate a brownie; it’s a nearly perfect confection as it is. It’s portable, easy to make and a little too easy on the palate. You can’t make it more delicious or more chocolatey… but you can make it healthier. I’ve experienced many iterations of the brownie and the healthy brownie…

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Here’s another great thing about living in California: Coworkers who have an overabundance of fruit from their Meyer lemon trees bring the excess to the office to get rid of them. And when work hands me Meyer lemons, I make Meyer lemon cake. BUT…  if you don’t know what a Meyer lemon is, you’re not…

A Taste of New Orleans: Muffaletta

We’re just a few weeks away from Mardi Gras and I had grand ambitions of making something to celebrate from La Cuisine Creole — it’s basically a New Orleans cook’s bible. It was first published in 1885 and it is amazing. It’s written earnestly with phrases and ideas that date itself… some need translation and…

Reinventing Rugelach

Rugelach (not to be mistaken for arugula — but they’re pronounced very similarly) is a pastry with a murky history, but it is known as a Jewish pastry and among the most popular pastries (if not the most popular) in American-Jewish communities in Israel. It’s also a New York City bakery staple (though Zabar’s allegedly…