February 16, 2022

Pretty in Pink Confetti Cake


Doesn't this Pretty in Pink Confetti Cake just bring a smile to your face?  It just screams Festive! and Fun!, right?  I made this beauty for my friend's birthday using Cake By Courtney's white vanilla cake recipe and then adding rainbow sprinkles to the batter.  Note: I baked the cake layers using three 6-inch round pans and had enough batter leftover for six cupcakes.  For the frosting I used my favorite Swiss meringue buttercream recipe. 

February 11, 2022

Valentine's Day Italian Rainbow Cookies


Having grown up in Manhattan my friend Maria would rave about the delicious cookies and desserts she would get when she was a kid, but couldn't find in the Bay Area after having moved to California decades ago.  One of her favorites were rainbow cookies, also known as tricolor or seven-layer cookies that were sold at all the Italian bakeries.  I'd never paid much attention to rainbow cookies before because I was team black & white cookie (after watching that famous Seinfeld episode). Never one to pass on a delicious cookie I was open to giving them a try.
On a recent trip to NYC I made sure to get my hands on some rainbow cookies so that I could have a taste for myself.  Per Maria's recommendation I headed to Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffe, in the Lower East Side, who are famous for their rainbows.   While the cookies were delicious, at $22 a pound (cookies are sold by weight), I thought they were a bit on the expensive side.  When I got back to San Francisco I challenged myself to come up with a worthy replica.

I had made rainbow cookies once before, but because the results were less than stellar I never made them again.  Maria had success with this NY Times recipe and so I gave it a try.  With February 14th just around the corner I thought it was a great excuse to make Valentine's Day Italian Rainbow Cookies in pink tones.  
A word of caution though if you decide to make them: while the cookies taste really delicious, the process to make them is rather tedious and you end up with quite a lot of dirty dishes to contend with.  I don't see myself making rainbow cookies often, but I would definitely make them for holidays and special occasions.

February 1, 2022

Year of the Tiger Shortbread


Tết 2022 marks the Year of the Tiger, which is especially poignant for me because that is my animal sign.   People born in a year of the tiger are known to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, charming and well-liked by others.  However, sometimes they are likely to be impetuous, irritable and overindulgent. I'll leave it to those who know me well to decide if they recognize these characteristics in me.

To celebrate the Lunar New Year I made some these Tiger Shortbread which I'll hand out to family and friends.  The recipe I used is a clotted cream shortbread which I especially love because it does a fantastic job of keeping the intricate designs of your design intact.  I saved two tubs of Rodda's clotted cream that I got in London specifically for this purpose.  Fresh clotted cream is difficult to find in the States (which is why I bring it back from England) so you can just substitute butter in its place. The tiger cookie cutter I purchased from Amazon.  

Wishing you all a healthy, safe and prosperous Year of the Tiger!  

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới 2022!