Tarte Tatin

Photo of a Tarte Tatin on a tableUpside Down You’re Turning Me
Let’s be real, France has created and produced some of the best sweet stuff on this earth. From flakey pastries to smooth chocolate, you can find something crazy-delicious to soothe your current craving. If I had to choose one dessert that screams France though, it would be the Tarte Tatin.

Tarte Tatin is the O.G. of upside-down desserts. Apples and caramel are combined with puff pastry in a trifecta of perfectly matched classic flavors. Flip it over onto a platter, add a little vanilla ice cream on top and it becomes mind-blowing. Mastering the caramel can be tricky but once you have it down the results are the greatest reward for your hard work. Of course, even the “bad batches” are pretty good too…

Tarte Tatin Recipe
Yields 5 servings Read more…

Angel Biscuits

Photo of Angel Biscuits in a cast iron skilletSop It Up With A Biscuit
I am a lover of biscuits with any meal. A fried chicken feast is never complete without the biscuit. Not to mention they make great slider sandwiches. Especially the cheezy kind. Breakfast is my favorite time for biscuits, though.

I will admit I am not a huge fan of biscuits and gravy. It’s just too much. Although, on rare occasions, that ridiculous amount of fat and carbs will hit the spot. I would much rather consume my biscuit-flavored carbs slathered in butter with a generous drizzle of honey or a dollop of jam and a good cup of coffee. Heaven.

Crazy thing is how many options there are for biscuits. I ran across this one recently which looked interesting mainly because it has the look of monkey bread (Yum!). I will be giving it a go this weekend…outside on the patio to enjoy the sun before it goes away…again.

Angel Biscuits Recipe
Adapted from Southern Living Magazine
Yields about 2.5 dozen biscuits

These light fluffy Angel Biscuits are as if buttermilk biscuits and Parker House rolls had a child. They are great with any meal—especially breakfast! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a baking dish or sheet. Read more…

Amy’s Buttercream

Amy’s Buttercream Frosting in various colors on cupcakesIt’s Like Buttah
It is not uncommon for me to come home from a day of work to find my daughter in the kitchen whipping something up to take to school for a friend who is having a birthday the next day. Or, sometimes it’s because there was a conversation in class about baked goods and she has a bit of a reputation as a baker. Either way, more often than not I am out of the ingredients I thought I had.

Cupcakes are her go-to for occasions like these Though, it depends on who she is baking for. (One of her good friends is addicted to her macarons and lemon bars). Cupcakes are relatively easy to make. And, if you prefer to use cake mix from a box, there are ways to make it better. The one place you absolutely must not cheat is the buttercream frosting.

To me, cupcakes are basically just a vessel to deliver good frosting into my mouth. Would I prefer a very tasty devil’s food or Red Velvet? Sure. But frosting is key. I want it full-fat and full-flavor. And, for me that means good old-fashioned butter cream.

Full disclosure, I like more salt than most in my frosting because I like that rich butter flavor that salt can bring to the table. Therefore, I use salted butter in my frosting. And I am not afraid to add a pinch or two more if needed. You just need to taste it along the way to get it how you like it.

This is not the frosting to use if you are bringing cupcakes to a picnic. There is a lot of butter. Butter will melt. If you need something to hold up to decoration and weather, try one of these options. But, if you need a quick hit of cake and frosting, try my Amy’s Buttercream recipe below. It’s perfect for a late afternoon or evening craving…assuming someone didn’t use up all of your ingredients.

Amy’s Buttercream Recipe
Yields about 2-1/2 cups Read more…

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Photo of Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies in a white box on a dark backgroundChocolate Chip MVP
I don’t usually consider a chocolate chip cookie to be decadent. I do consider them awesome and worthy of binge eating—but not necessarily decadent. That was until my sister made some cookies for my Super Bowl party.

Since I was in charge of the main meal, I asked my sister to bring something sweet. She rolled up with some of the best cookies I have tasted in a long while. If you were fortunate to get a box of Sees candy for Valentine’s Day, you may have encountered the piece they call a Butterscotch Square. It is one of my all-time favorites. It is a mouth-wateringly-tasty morsel of brown sugar goodness covered in chocolate. And, it was the first thing I thought of when I bit into those chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies has no regular granulated sugar. It is all about the brown sugar. And, I am here for it. That is what makes them so gloriously rich and decadent. I am usually good for at least two but usually three chocolate chip cookies when given the chance but not these. I could only handle one.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t go back later and try again…

Full disclosure, the original recipe calls for using milk chocolate. We both agreed that while the milk chocolate was tasty, it didn’t provide enough chocolate oomph for our tastes. Therefore I am suggesting using bittersweet chocolate. Feel free to adjust the amount to your liking.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies Recipe
Adapted from All About Cookies by Christina Tosi
Yields 12 to 18 cookies Read more…