February 23, 2013


I kid you not, I've been waiting a year to make these hamantaschen, the traditional cookie served during the Jewish holiday of Purim.   Don't laugh but it was actually Costco that introduced me to these delicious treats.  Gotta love the weekend samples! 

Given my inexperience with the triangular shaped cookies I turned to the internet for help.  There were a few recipes online but none that really caught my eye so I ended up improvising by using a simple shortbread recipe and Solo apricot cake and pastry filling.  My interpretation of hamantaschen may not be as authentic as your Bubbe's but for now I think they're pretty darn good!

Happy Purim!

February 18, 2013

Orange Chiffon Cake

After much success with the coffee version I have to say I'm on a bit of a chiffon cake kick.  I just can't seem to get enough of this delicious, light and fluffy cake.  So when I was visiting my parents this weekend and saw the gleaming, ripe oranges hanging from their backyard tree I instantly knew what the next chiffon flavor should be.

The only tweak I made to the Cook's Illustrated recipe was adding a tablespoon of orange zest to the glaze.  It was my humble attempt to replicate the icing that came with Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls, one of my favorite breakfast treats when I was a kid. 

February 8, 2013

Coeur à la Crème

Looking for an alternative to the typical chocolate Valentine dessert?  Something light and refreshing with lots of flavor, not to mention French...oh la la?  Then you must try coeur à la crème, literally "heart of cream."  

What is it?  A traditional French dessert that is akin to a crustless no-bake cheesecake, but a whole lot easier to make.  All you do is whip cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla  until light and fluffy.  The mixture is then spooned in to lined heart-shaped molds and refrigerated.  After a few hours the cheese is unwrapped on to a plate and served with berries.  C'est tout!  Couldn't be simpler or more delicious!

February 2, 2013

Coffee Chiffon Cake

A very Happy Happy Birthday to one of my best friends, Gracie, who is celebrating her birthday today! 

As is my tradition I made her a birthday cake to celebrate the special day, normally red velvet or chocolate.  Imagine my surprise this year when she requested something new - a coffee cake - and not the breakfast variety I initially thought, but a cake that was coffee flavored.  Hmmmm...now there's one I haven't really made before.

I knew I wanted to make something that wasn't too heavy or sweet.  Maybe this was the perfect occasion to attempt a chiffon cake.  I don't have much experience making them and have been hankering to try Cook's Illustrated's version for a while now.  

Those unfamiliar with this type of foam cake will find that it's very much like a combination of angel food cake and butter cake.  The secret to the light and airy texture is the use of vegetable oil and lots of eggs (yolks and whipped whites.)  To finish off the cake I frosted it with coffee swiss meringue buttercream.

Based on the yummy crumbs I sampled I predict Gracie will be very happy with this year's cake.
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