Individual Fruit Pavlovas

Individual Fruit Pavlovas

A delicious light and refreshing dessert for a hot summer evening – Individual Pavlovas. Easy to make, vanilla meringue shell bases are filled with sweet whipped cream and topped with seasonal fresh raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries.

4 large egg whites, room temperature
Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, plus more
2 cups of strawberries sliced in half, raspberries, or blackberries

Preheat oven to 250˚F . Trace six 3” circles on each of 2 sheets of parchment paper. Transfer each sheet of paper to a baking sheet, tracing-side down.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium-high speed until soft, glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat meringue on high until stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle in cornstarch and vanilla,  gently fold to combine.

Add to a large piping bag fitted with a tip. Pipe the meringue in the center of each of the circles, making a shell shape. Place the baking sheets in oven and bake until firm and dry to the touch but not browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off oven and let meringues cool for 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Top each meringue with a dollop of whipped cream and a spoonful of berries. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.

Summer Plum & Almond Cake

Summer Plum & Almond Cake

Served slightly warm, this sweet treat is a yummy way to celebrate summer fruit – delicious Plum & Almond Cake with an almond flour cake batter topped with raspberry brandy sautéed plum halves.

2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
3 tablespoons brandy
6 medium plums, sliced in half and pits removed
¾ cup flour, plus more for the pan
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
¾ cup sugar, plus more for topping
⅓ cup slivered almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon almond

Cook the raspberry jam and brandy in 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat until reduced to a thick syrup. Place plums cut-side down in syrup. Return skillet to medium heat and cook until plums are softened and a thick syrup is again formed. Remove from the heat and cool the plums in the pan.

Heat the oven to 350˚F. Using butter, grease then flour 9-inch springform pan. Line with parchment and grease and flour the parchment. In a food processor, process the sugar and almonds until the nuts are finely ground. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse sand, about ten 1-second pulses. Add eggs and almond extract and then process until smooth, about 5 seconds, scraping bowl once if needed. The batter should be very thick.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and using a spatula, spread the batter evenly to the pan edges and smooth surface. Toss the plums to coat with the syrup, then arrange the plum halves, skin-side down, evenly over surface of batter, pressing into the top of the batter. Sprinkle the surface of the batter with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Place in the oven and bake until cake is golden brown and wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack until just warm. Remove the springform ring and serve.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone has their favorite, so to celebrate Chocolate Chip Cookie Day we are baking up a batch of ours. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the center, and loaded with dark chocolate chips, we think these are the best around.

12 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces granulated sugar
8 ounces light brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Whisk together in a bowl the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the butter and sugar into a stand mixer’s work bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla extract.

Slow the mixer to “stir” and add the egg mixture into the butter and sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the flour, salt and baking soda mixture, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula

On “stir” add the chocolate chips; mix until combined. Cover and chill the dough overnight. Heat the oven to 375˚F. Scoop the dough into 2- tablespoons size balls onto parchment paper-line half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for five minutes them move to cooling racks to cool completely. Makes 24

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Time for this classic dessert on Crème Brûlée Day. One of our favorite dessert to make and eat – delicious baked chocolate custard topped with that amazing crackling burned sugar crust. Perfect for popping open with a spoon and digging in.

1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 ounces chopped dark chocolate
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
Extra vanilla sugar for the topping

Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Place six ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Heat an electric or stovetop kettle full of water to hot.

Add the cream and milk to a large saucepan, bring to just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate; stir to melt completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla sugar together until well blended. While you continue to whisk, slowly drizzle in about ½ cup of the hot chocolate milk and cream mixture; whisk until well combined. Continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the remainder of the mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture evenly into the 6 ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brûlée is just set, but still a little movement in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Tightly cover each baked custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is preferred, and up until to two days. Chilling the custards thoroughly so the sugar is successfully caramelized.

Sprinkle the top of each custard evenly with 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar. Brown the caramel using a kitchen torch or the broiler in the oven. If broiling, watch carefully, so the topping doesn’t burn.

Serve immediately.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The delicious sweet and sour flavors of summer in a super easy recipe made with seasonal fresh strawberries, a quick rhubarb pulp, pecans, and crispy butter cookies. Then baked to bubbly perfection and served topped with whipped cream.

1 pound fresh rhubarb chopped into ½” pieces
½ cup sugar
4 cups ripe fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1½ cups coarsely chopped crispy butter cookies, homemade or premium store-purchased, we like Pepperidge Farm Chessmen
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Whipped Cream, for serving (optional)

To make rhubarb pulp, cook the fresh, chopped rhubarb in the sugar with ¼ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat until very soft. Crush to a pulp and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer or until thickened. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the strawberries with warm rhubarb pulp. Rest for one hour on the counter at room temperature.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter four 12-ounce ramekins. Add ½ cup cookie crumbs and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the strawberry rhubarb mixture. Mix well and add evenly into the ramekins. In another bowl, toss the remaining 1 cup cookie crumbs with the chopped pecans, melted butter, and brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over the berries. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake until the berries are bubbling out of the ramekins, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes to serve warm or serve at room temperature.

Serve topped with freshly whipped cream.

Strawberry Jam Streusel Cookie Bars

Strawberry Jam Streusel Cookie Bars

It’s strawberry season and these cookie bars are as delicious as they are festive! Our simple, sweet base is topped with strawberry jam then a crunchy streusel topping that browns lightly in the oven. 

½ cup butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature
zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup flour
1 cup strawberry jam, homemade or high quality

For the streusel topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly butter and flour an 8 x8” pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, and mix thoroughly until smooth batter forms. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture in three amounts to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Then top with the strawberry jam, spreading evenly over the batter.

Make the streusel:
In the bowl, use your hands to combine the butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla until your crumbs have a coarse and clumpy texture – about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using your hands sprinkle the streusel evenly on top of the jam.

Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set and the streusel is lightly brown. Allow cooling on a wire rack.