Monday, September 29, 2014

Macaron Monday: Prune Macarons with Chocolate Buttercream Filling

My first trip to Kalustyan's was a doosey. Embarrassed to admit I have been back living in NY for three years and never ventured uptown for the sole purpose to visiting this Aladdin's cave of gourmet treasures. 

Also embarassed to admit I only wandered in only because I had breakfast with a friend nearby, decided to walk home and spotted the place on my way downtown. Of course I immediately dashed in just to "look".

Powders for six new French macarons flavors and one large bottle of rose extract later, I emerged with a big smile on my face and vowed not to let another three years go by without returning.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wheat Germ Banana Bread with Almonds, Mulberries & Red Currants

It's National Breakfast month people and once again, one of my wacky French Macaron flavors have inspired a company to reach out to me. The peeps who represent Kretschmer Wheat Germ spotted my Wheat Germ French Macarons and contacted me about creating something with wheat germ for National Breakfast Month.

Wheat Germ French Macarons with Peanut Butter filling
I took a look at some of the lovely recipes they sent me and instead of gravitating toward the unusual, like usual, I decided to make Wheat Germ Banana BreadOf course I did groove it up a bit and added almond leaves, dried mulberries and red currants to the batter.

I loved how easy this recipe came together. No mixer required! If you have bits and pieces left over in your pantry, you can just throw them in. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup sugar. I was going to substitute brown sugar instead and then decided to leave out the sugar altogether. The result was great. The bread gets just enough sweetness from the mashed bananas and the toasted wheat germ deepens the flavor. If you like your banana bread sweeter, add 3/4 cup white or brown sugar to the dry ingredients.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Peppar Vodka Tomato Water Martini

Photo By: Jackie Gordon

Since I first heard the recipe idea for this drink, I could not get it out of my head. I even collected the Peppar vodka and celery salt in preparation I would one day dazzle my guests with this fabulous sounding cocktail.

Williams-Sonoma recently contacted me after spotting my Bloody Mary Inspired French Macarons on the interwebs. They were looking to highlight different versions of the traditional Bloody Mary cocktail using juiced tomatoes.

Bloody Mary French Macarons: Horseradish Shells with Tomato Tabasco Jam Filling

At first I hesitated because I do not have a juicer, later realizing my husband has one at our place in Pennsylvania. Duh. My first world problem of having three kitchens can make appliance ID and location confusing. However, my juicer denial brought me to the better idea. Chef Guttenbrunner's tomato water cocktail.

Bloody Mary French Macarons: Horseradish Shells with Tomato Tabasco Jam Filling

Monday, September 22, 2014

Macaron Monday: Butter Pecan French Macarons with Boysenberry Jam Filling

These were made from my latest order of powdered flavors. I love those flavor powder and what better fall flavor than butter pecan?

The jam was purchased at the Farmers Market in Milford PA

The label on the jam says "Amish Made" not "Amish Mad" btw. I've never met a mad Amish person.  Just clearing that up. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

German S Gebäck - Lemon Scented ButterCookies

For years I have seen these cookies at bakeries in Germany and scanned different recipes for them in my collection of vintage German cookbooks. I never had a bad thought about them until I was in the middle of making them for the first time.

Full confession. As I was forming the S shape out of the dough and laying them on the baking sheets, I had the terrible thought that perhaps these treats had their roots in some sort of cookie tribute to the SS.

Momentary freak out. 

So I googled and googled and it seems these are just traditional cookies. No Nazi connection whatsoever. 

Sometimes it's hard to be me. 

You can roll out these S shapes by hand or use a cookie press to do a spritz version. The dough is easy to make and has a lovely lemony flavor. For the recipe, hop on over to my German Food Page at

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Whole Wheat Candied Ginger Chocolate Chip Scones

As most of you know, I can never get enough of making scones. First, they are so easy to make and second they are a great way to use up leftover bits and pieces in the pantry like chips, nuts, and dried fruit.

I love making scones. That's why these are heart shaped. These were actually made for a brunch, not just to use up leftover ingredients. The guests loved them. What's not to like? The sweet sting of ginger and bittersweet chocolate wrapped in whole wheat goodness.

That's the third thing. Serving warm homemade scones will always make you look like a kitchen rock star. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Macaron Monday: Sassafras Macarons with Vanilla Bean Filling

I like sassafras because it tastes like root beer of which I have been a lifelong fan. I also like sassafras because it's so much fun to say. Try it. Sass-Ah-frass. 

I briefly flirted with changing my same to Sassafras Wiley. I want a name that has "sass" in it. 

For now I'll settle for these sassy French macarons. Rich, luscious vanilla bean buttercream evens the spicy sting of the macaron shell flavor. A perfect combination.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Apple Beggar Dessert (Apfelbettelmann)

This wonderful dessert is a German recipe that resembles the American recipe for Apple Brown Betty. Actually it's Apple Brown Betty on flavor steroids.

In addition to apples, this dessert contains dark rum soaked dried currants and sports the stronger flavor of pumpernickel bread crumbs over the plain white.

There are a few steps in prepping this dessert. However, once you have the crumbs and the apples prepared, it's a cinch to come together. Apple Beggar is best served warm right out of the baking dish. When topped with vanilla ice cream, well, what can I say but wow. An absolutely perfect fall dessert.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brown Sugar Rosemary Hazelnut Brittle

Since Labor Day I feel like I am not only in a race to use up the herbs in my garden, to use them to create interesting new treats.

This candy was inspired by the surprisingly delicious Chocolate Mixed-Herb Caramels I made last month. Shhh, don't tell anyone, but it looks like using herbs in homemade candy just might be my new addiction. 

Making brittle is nothing new, especially on this blog. However, I really like this special combination of flavors. The heavier flavor of the brown sugar wrapped around raw hazelnut chunks are set off by the herby pine-like flavor of chopped fresh rosemary. It's powerful. A little piece goes a long way.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Macaron Monday: Cardamom French Macarons with Maple Jelly Filling

A few months ago I was hostess gifted with a lovely jar of maple jelly straight from Canada. I resisted opening it to taste it and stored it in the section of my pantry reserved for potential French Macaron fillings.

This section of my cabinet is a treasure trove of little jars and packets of exotic and different flavored jams, jellies, syrups and nut butters.

I admit I was a bit stumped on what to fill these lovely cardamom shells. My first instinct was to go with that old frosting work horse vanilla buttercream to balance the spiciness of the shells.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Priest's Hats Cookies - Red Wine Butter Cookies with Red Currant Jam

Called Pfaffenhütte in German, these lovely tricornered butter cookies are made with red wine in the dough to give them extra flavor. 

They look similar to Hamentashen, the Jewish cookie popular at the Jewish holiday of Purim.What further sets them apart, aside from the red wine in the dough is the lovely red currant jam in the middle. Once you get how to fold the dough, the process goes fast.

Like most German cookies, these are not too sweet. Perfect for dessert, after a big meal or to pair with a good cup of coffee or tea. For the recipe hop on over to my German Food page. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

OXO's Good Cookies with Dorie Greenspan

Rarely when you attend a PR event does it feel like you are invited into someone's family gathering. Yet that's what it was like at last night at OXO's test kitchen. Together with the OXO staff and special guest Dorie Greenspanfood bloggers were invited to a special party to kick off this year's charitable initiative benefiting pediatric cancer. 

Upon arriving at OXO's incredible space, the food, the views and the drinks simultaneously demanded attention. 

OXO put out quite a spread. 

Nice wines were poured and gorgeous colors tempted attendees from the buffet table. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Macaron Monday: Coffee French Macarons with Blackberry Violet Jelly

Sneaking these in just under the Monday wire. Better late than never. I love these flavors.

The shells have a hint of coffee flavor. They are not too strong and the sweet blackberry violet jelly filling dresses the flavor up perfectly.

Photo by Jackie Gordon
This holiday weekend went by so quickly but it was filled with fun, friends and fantastic food. I had some seriously talented chefs manning our PA kitchen. I learned a few new things and ate many of wonderful dishes. Most and best of all there was a lot of laughter.