• Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting

    Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting

Gingerbread mini donuts with maple frosting

I love, love, love the idea of gingerbread with maple. If it’s mini, it’s wormed it’s way into my heart. To give you some context, these mini donuts are about half the diameter of a tennis ball. These smell divine and they’re different from the same-old, same-old holiday desserts. (Santa-hat cheesecake squares, anyone? Despite the novelty last year, I soon tired of seeing them all over Pinterest). Besides, I’d be thrilled to receive these as a hostess gift, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one! (If you like the waxed paper, it’s handmade from our design studio, Frost and Fete, on Etsy. Sooo, cute right?) You can find the recipe here but do keep reading for my caveats and substitutions. Substitutions: I just used regular white flour. I also used a donut maker rather than bake them in the oven. I’ve used the same Smart Planet mini donut […]

  • David Lebovitz’ Best Sweet and Spicy Party Mix Ever David Lebovitz’ Best Sweet and Spicy Party Mix Ever

    David Lebovitz’ Best Sweet and Spicy Party Mix Ever

David Lebovitz’ Best Sweet and Spicy Party Mix Ever

  This party mix saved my life this holiday season. Whether my husband forgot to tell me people were coming over, whether I needed a last minute hostess gift, whether I forgot to eat a meal and needed a quick snack, this sweet and spicy pretzel and nut mix was there to save the day. Really, though, you’ll want to save this all for yourself to nibble on over a chilled glass of wine as your coq au vin simmers away. (That’s the scenario in my dreams, anyway.) It was so quick to whip up, so delicious, that I have already made nearly two-and-a-half pounds of it in total.The first time I grabbed a handful, still slightly warm from the oven, I told myself this was the best thing I’d ever made. Maybe I’ve said that one or two or three times, but this is no regular nuts and bolts […]

  • Crisp maple shortbread cookies Crisp maple shortbread cookies

    Crisp maple shortbread cookies

Crisp maple shortbread cookies

  The recipe for these gems comes from the latest issue of Chatelaine but you can also find them here. Unlike other more traditional shortbread recipes, these were just buttery enough, just light enough that you can eat more than a couple without feeling like you are going to keel over from the sheer weight of the butter. And the maple glaze is the perfect touch to elevate a, let’s face it, often boring and overexposed cookie. Add this to your repertoire and you won’t be sorry.Best of all? This isn’t one of those recipes that produces a sorry output of a whole 20 cookies. I got dozens of cookies out of this batch and froze most of them for the holiday season. (I already took a few out to see how they freeze and after spending some time at room temperature, they are as good as new).Admittedly, these cookies […]

  • Bobby Flay’s pumpkin pie with cinnamon crunch and bourbon-maple whipped cream Bobby Flay’s pumpkin pie with cinnamon crunch and bourbon-maple whipped cream

    Bobby Flay’s pumpkin pie with cinnamon crunch and bourbon-maple whipped cream

Bobby Flay’s pumpkin pie with cinnamon crunch and bourbon-maple whipped cream

  I have to admit I was wary when making this pie from Bobby Flay’s new book “Throwdown!”, which features recipes from his cooking challenge show on Food Network. For one, whenever he is challenged on his baking skills, he is nervous because he knows baking is not his forte. Second, even he acknowledges taking the easy way out by making a graham cracker crust rather than making a pastry crust. Third, he admits the “Throwdown” show audience booed him for using pumpkin puree from a can. Well, he won the challenge. So when my co-worker and I agreed to bring pumpkin pie leftover from our Thanksgiving celebrations, and be judged by our peers in an informal “Throwdown” of our own,  I was feeling pretty unbeatable. After all, I’m the more domestic of the two of us – married with a kid and I bake all the time, while my competitor […]

  • Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes

    Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes

Mini pumpkin spice bundt cakes

  When the temperature drops, and the leaves crunch under my feet, I want nothing more than to warm my palate with the rich seasonal tastes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I took a several-week hiatus from blogging and baking after my son was born, but decided to get back in the kitchen and finally put my mini Bundt cake pans to use with a recipe for pumpkin spice cake. While my Kitchen-Aid mixer has been relegated to a top shelf I can’t barely reach – to make room for the baby bottles and bottle warmer – I haven’t lost my touch. This recipe for pumpkin spice cake with maple cream-cheese frosting is from a wonderful book called The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. The recipe is for a regular cake, but I adapted it for the mini Bundt cake pans, left out the frosting, and […]

  • Maple apple cinnamon cake Maple apple cinnamon cake

    Maple apple cinnamon cake

Maple apple cinnamon cake

Ever had guests coming over for coffee, but you have nothing on hand to serve? This happens to me a lot, particularly because I try not to buy sweets that I will be tempted to snack on. I have, in the past, made a run for the 24-hour grocery store that’s within walking distance. But usually that results in serving stale desserts that I normally wouldn’t be caught dead eating. Fortunately, I can whip up a quick coffee cake that is as indulgent as its aroma is pleasing to guests as they walk through the door. This recipe is one of those such coffee cakes. Bonus, you can safely tell your guests it’s a more nutritious recipe, thanks to Rose Reisman, who finds easy alternatives to fattening ingredients such as butter and sugar. Try maple syrup, applesauce, or even low-fat yogurt. You won’t even know the difference. This recipe is […]