Cookie of the Month: Taking lemon bars to tart level

Lemon bars bring up good memories…they were among the first treats I ever prepared and took to share with others. I was a freshman in high school, in Latin class (yes, Latin…do they teach it anymore?), and since we were (surprisingly) a small group, we often got permission to bring […]

Bread of the Month: Tossing strawberries into muffins

One would assume my April making of Strawberry Banana Muffins came out of a seasonal bent. Strawberries, though found year-round, are often on the docket of spring-to-summer baking projects, coming into prominence as early as April in California. But, to be honest, my muffins came almost completely from a need […]

Bread of the Month: Hopping away with cuteness

For me, the whole “back-of-the-bunny” (aka “bunny butt”) concept came early, at the kitchen table in marathon Easter egg coloring sessions the day before the big bunny arrived. We had our cups and bowls full of Paas egg dye and crayons to create the wax designs on some of the […]

Cookie of the Month: Fulfilling Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen, another cookie with Jewish heritage, also falls into the “cookie pastry” category. I would dare say that these little tri-cornered pockets, filled with preserves or homemade fillings, almost seem of their own type of “cookie tart” and could find their place rightfully in that role on any teatime table. […]

Cookie of the Month: Cheering for cherry rugelach

Rugelach — little bites of buttery, cream cheese dough rolled up with fillings (jam, fruits, chocolate and nuts) into crescent-like swirls and baked to a golden brown — fall somewhere between a cookie and a pastry. I was excited to run across the term “pastry cookie” recently in my rugelach […]

Bread of the Month: Crowning cinnamon rolls

My mother’s basic yeast roll recipe, I knew, had the potential for versatility. From it, she herself made lofty loaves, giant fluffy dinner rolls, gooey cinnamon rolls and those irregularly shaped little planks — cut with a sharp knife from a huge bowlful of raised dough and deep-fried — that […]

Bread of the Month: Winning with banana bread

I give credit to the pandemic for a few good things One of them is a new appreciation of my sourdough starter, Petrie (yes, with an “e”). He has exceeded my expectations, as I have put him to the test, not just with basic bread recipes, but an unexpected array […]

Cookie of the Month: Seeking peace, via chocolate

In a year like the last, in a month like the last, what is (still)  really needed is some kind of peace. Something to settle us, even momentarily, into a state of calm and content, lifting our worries and maybe even providing a bit of hopeful bliss. Enter Dorie Greenspan’s […]

Scone of the Month: Ending the year on a sourdough note

I , like many others who have been baking our way through the pandemic, have turned to my sourdough starter more than ever. Dear Petrie (yes, with an “e”), my beloved fellow of the fridge, offspring of “Spike” (my friend Elaine’s starter), has served me well for several years and […]

Rounding up a variety plate of fudge

My late Grandma Mae was the first and one of the only people I knew who made fudge from scratch. She was more known and revered for her peanut brittle (see my blog post of December 2010), but along with her famed peanut confection,  laid out in dishes every year […]