Category Archives: Desserts

Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate and Dried Cherries

Thursday, 12 April 2018

This recipe is my dear neighbor Lisa Zimble’s favorite. She likes it so much that she has declared a ‘cookie war’ to challenge this recipe as the best cookie recipe ever. I’m totally not a fan of white chocolate. But I have to say that I like this recipe and the white chocolate chips are not offensive. However. . .. Lisa, I can’t say that I think it’s the best cookie recipe ever. I still think that the chocolate chunk shortbread from last week reigns. . .. I’m counting on David Paris to concur but we shall see. Anyone else got one? Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate and Dried Cherries (- Melissa Clark NYT) Preheat oven to 350° Ingredients: 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate 60-70%...

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Sourcream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Today is the other Alex’s birthday. She’s out celebrating with friends and when Alex (my Alex) went down to join up with them, I had him take some cupcakes that I made for her. The recipe for the cupcakes is as old to me as Alex is (my Alex). . .. This is how I came to love these cupcakes oh so long ago. . .. Just before Alex was born my sister and her then boyfriend opened up a little restaurant on 4th Street in Santa Monica just South of Wilshire. It was called Positively 4th Street. The food was delicious and since this was at a time in my life when my metabolism was a little faster, I was able to eat a whole bunch and still be thin. The place had the most perfect cupcakes and I could walk there from my apartment on...

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The Gourmandise School Best Cookies Ever

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Sue is my sometimes cooking buddy. We’ve had some adventures together that’s for sure. This past month we took a cooking class at the Gourmandise School of sweets and savories in Santa Monica. It’s a really sweet cooking school. The classes are fun and the recipes are good and you don’t have to clean up after yourself. Makes me happy. The class that we took together was an all day seminar on cooking with whole grains. I was particularly interested because I’m a little tired of organic unbleached white flour and I find myself looking for recipes that call for other types of flours – grainier substances like cornmeal, buckwheat, like that. It was a good conference and I learned a lot. Sue and I ended up sharing...

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Peach Polenta Cake

Monday, 19 June 2017

I found this cake in an email that I received from the Gourmandise School. The Gourmandise school is a sweet little cooking school at the top of the new Mall in Santa Monica. I’ve taken a few classes there and I always enjoy myself. This recipe grabbed me. It’s the perfect summer dessert recipe and it’s a very special cake. Stone-fruit – peaches, olive oil, polenta and almond flour. It’s a beautiful, dense cake with a wonderful depth of flavor and texture. The addition of honey that sinks to the bottom makes it all so delicious and decadent. It’s really one of my very favorite cakes (although the family favorite remains the orange, olive-oil, cornmeal cake that I wrote about on April 30, 2014. I highly recommend...

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Cherry Hand Pies

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

My Dad loves pies. I have vivid memories of going to Dupars in the Valley with my Dad when I was a little kid and ordering pie with him. He has hysterical stories that he tells about his interactions with the Dupar’s waitresses who I remember would wear uniforms with aprons. My dad is a charmer and I’m sure the old gals all loved him. I grew up thinking that my father’s favorite pies were banana cream pie and chocolate cream pie. Although it’s true that he loves those, his deepest pie dream is Cherry pie. I did not learn this until two months ago. Since then I have been working to perfect my crust and pie making ability. My Father is now 88-years old – not bad for a guy who has been smoking Marlborogh cigarettes for...

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Classic Pumpkin Pie

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

My grandmother used to make a delicious pumpkin chiffon pie. I started making it when I started making Thanksgiving but it was never quite as good my grandma's pie.  Also, it is a pie that takes a long time to make and gelatin is involved which, as a vegetarian is kind of a no-no as gelatin comes from critters.  I have tried several pumpkin pie recipes over the years looking for a good one that does not involve gelatin and that’s a bit easier than my Grandma’s.  Until now, I have had little success with the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. I am now a self-proclaimed pumpkin pie wizard.  Here's my secret - do not use fresh pumpkin.  In the past, I would buy a sugar pumpkin and roast it and mash it, and use it for the pie but the thing...

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Chocolate Pecan Pie

Sunday, 11 December 2016

My younger brother Phillip asked for a chocolate pecan pie one Thanksgiving. I can never say ‘no’ to him. I spent the first few years combining recipes for pecan pie and chocolate bourbon pie and like that. I finally found a Martha Stewart chocolate pecan tart that was pretty good but every year I looked and looked for something else. This year, I found it. It’s really good. I highly recommend it. Chocolate Pecan Pie (- from the New York Times) For the Crust Ingredients: 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (150 grams) ¼ tsp fine sea salt 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, high fat is the best (like a European style) chilled and cubed 2 to 4 Tbsp ice water, as needed Directions for the Crust: In a food...

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Apple Pie

Monday, 05 December 2016

It is Thanksgiving 2016. Even in this insane year there is much to be thankful for. Keeping it simple, let’s be thankful that Ellen discovered this Crunch-top Apple Pie who knows how many years ago. She usually insists on making it. Then she insists on serving it, and sometimes she even insists on deciding which guest gets to eat it (Susan…. remember that Thanksgiving?). This year we had a talk and she agreed that I could give it a go on my own. Here’s a photo of the Sunset cookbook with the recipe (on short-term loan to me), my gorgeous new rolling pin (works like a dream), and the PIE (not as pretty as Ellen Neiman’s but then it only took me 40 minutes start to finish and dollars to donuts it tastes the same as...

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Lace’s Crisp Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sunday, 25 September 2016

These cookies need no introduction other than they are the best cookies EVER. Smittenkitchen described them as “scandalous” and it’s true. My friend Lace adapted the recipe and it is now flour-free. Light, crispy, chocolaty, so good. Lace’s Crisp Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from recipe for crisp salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies) Preheat oven to 350° Ingredients: 1 cup oat flour ¾ tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp table salt 14 Tablespoons ( 1 ¾ cups) unsalted butter, slightly softened 1 cup sugar ¼ cup packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 ½ cups old fashion rolled oats 6 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate hand...

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Gwyneth’s Mother’s Cookies

Monday, 22 August 2016

I was at my friend Pam’s house for dinner last week and I started looking through her cook book collection. The books were all really clean - pristine clean in fact. I immediately felt self-conscious and incompetent because mine are always full of flour and sugar and oil splatters and greasy fingerprints and crumbs. I am just a mess of a cook and a cookbook wrecker. While I was looking through the pretty, clean cookbooks I noticed a few cook books by Gwyneth Paltrow which I thought was ridiculous and I expressed shock and disgust that she Pam, the amazing, smart, erudite Pam, would own a cook book by a movie star. Really Pam? I just thought: 'how dumb is that.' I mean Gwyneth Paltrow is an actress for goodness sakes - she is not a...

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