Friday, January 8, 2010

I baked soo many cookies for Christmas this year for my co-workers, but these were the ones I made just for me and my family. They are iced anise cookies..I found the recipe on and I just love it! Anise flavor isn't for everyone, but my family is Italian, so we've developed a taste for it :). The anise flavor was very strong (which I loved) but I may use less next time. The cookies are soo soft and flavorful..they were even delicious two weeks after I baked them (we stored them in cookie tins). I think I may try them with lemon or almond extract next time.
Here's the recipe! Hope you try them and enjoy them as much as I did!

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon anise extract
2 3/4 cups flour (12.5 oz)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup spowdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons milk plus extra if needed
1 1/4 teaspoon anise extract
Multi-Colored Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.

Beat the sugar, melted butter, eggs, milk and anise extract together using low speed of a hand-held mixer.

Thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the batter and stir just until blended.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, shaping a little to form nice roundes, 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets and bake on center rack for 10 to 14 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are light golden. Cool on wire racks.

Make icing. Mix the sugar and melted butter together until the sugar is moist. Add the milk and beat well until smooth. Beat in the anise extract. It should be thick but pourable. Place a piece of paper towel under your cooling rack so that the glaze can drip through, then spoon it gently over the cookies.
Sprinkle with candy sprinkles.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Parisien Pastry Tour Part III

I just had to share with you these photos from our trip to Paris last May (2009). For me, one of the highlights of traveling to any foreign country is trying the local cuisine, and in Paris, my favorite part is the pastries! The escargot and crepes are fantastic too, but looking in the windows of the Patisseries and Boulangeries is just magical for me. I live in a suburb of Philadelphia, and we don't have bakeries like this anywhere. However if you travel to New York you can visist Francois Payard's store, which I have heard is amazing. Anyway...on the left are a few pastries that we had while in Paris.. the top picture is of a tarte exotique (it has an apricot glaze made with apricot jam and Grand Marnier) and a mille feuille (translating to a thousand layers). The next two are from the Boulangerie Paul which was only half a block from our apartment..very dangerous for my diet but convenient none the less. The first is an eclaire au cafe.. (coffee flavored) and the bottom is a crossaint au chocolat. I was dying to try these before I left to see the difference between the American version and the French. I found that the French was much flakier and lighter..absolutely delicious and worth every calorie!

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding Pie

Wow, it has been a long time since my last entry! I'm sorry if anyone has been waiting to hear from me ! The recipe I'd like to share with you today is from Paula Deen. It's called "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding Pie" and believe me it is delicious. The first time I had this dessert was Thanksgiving last year. My Aunt, who is a fantastic cook/baker made it and the whole family loved it! I recently made this for my boyfriend's sister's babyshower and I received lots of requests for the recipe. I thought it was perfect for a babyshower because it the chessmen cookies remind me of baby blocks. I made a couple of changes to Paula's recipe (see below for details).


  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk (I use whole milk)
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding (I use plain vanilla)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream


Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top. (I like to put some pudding mixture on top of cookies first to help soften the cookies and to keep bananas from turning brown, then the bananas, then the majority of the pudding mixture.)

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.

Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.

Gently fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.

Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.

Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies (all facing in the same direction).

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

**Note: This is definitely best made the day ahead, or else it is difficult to eat the cookies, they need to soften.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cherry Crumb Cake

Today I made a cherry crumb cakes using Martha Stewart's recipe. It was fantastic!! I had a bunch of extra fresh cherries that I wanted to use and this was the perfect recipe. My boyfriend has been away volunteering at an antique car show in Ohio..I think he's going to love this when he returns home tomorrow! Here's the recipe--- it was great to be able to bake and take pictures during the day..I think they turned out much better than previous ones.


  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dish
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dish
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups (1 pound) fresh cherries, pitted, or frozen dark sweet cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Make the cakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Dot top with cherries, and sprinkle with crumb topping.
  4. Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting into individual cakes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Martha's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have to apologize- This picture would have been better if it were sunny out..but I only have time to bake at night during the week. These are oatmeal raisin cookies from Martha Stewart.. They are sooo good! Truly the best homemade oatmeal cookies I have tasted. I made them for my co-workers....and they just loved them, and I think you will too! Here's the recipe~

Makes about 5 dozen


  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (soo good for you, it's high in folic acid--make sure you store open containers of wheat germ in the freezer- if not, it will go rancid because of its unsaturated fat content)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins- I also added dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture; mix until just combined. Mix in raisins.
  2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
  3. Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks using a spatula; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parisien Pastry Tour Part II

These pastries from Gosselin patisserie/boulangerie were my favorites!! The shop is located on Boulevard Saint-Germain. ...JJ had the one on the left. It's called "Rivera." We thought it was just so beautiful that we didn't care what it would taste like--we had to have it! I had the raspberry macaroon on the was unbelievable! Worth every calorie! The unpasteurized whole milk was amazing too! So different from regular milk..I so wish that we could get pastries like these here..maybe I'll just have to go to le cordon bleu or move to Paris, work at a patisserie and learn the french techniques and open my own patisserie here! Ahh..only in my dreams...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Parisien Pastry Tour

It's no secret that I adore all things french. French cuisine, language, style, and way of life are all perfection to me. In my two visits to Paris, I made it my priority to seek out, taste, and of course photograph the best of french pastry. Here is what I found.

Before I traveled to Paris for the second time, I searched the Internet for the best patisseries in Paris. One that received great accolades was Gerard Mulot located in the 6th arrondissement on Rue de Seine. Coincidentally, the apartment we rented was on the same street! Naturally, I dragged JJ there the first chance I got. I was in awe at the assortment of pastries they had. It took me a good 15 minutes to decide what I wanted to get! Actually, I didn't decide- JJ had to for me because I couldn't make up my mind. He reassured me that we would go back again..even though we didn't...Oh well, there will always be another trip. I had the one on the right. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it, but it was a pear with caramel on top of a caramel ganache. It was devine!! JJ had the left one which was called a tarte citron.