Sweet Maria’s Chocolate Almond Cookies

Sweet Maria’s Chocolate Almond Cookies caught our eye. They are a basically an Italian macaroon made with cocoa powder dipped in sliced almonds before baking.  (They remind us of our Double Chocolate Almond Macaroons and our Jam-Filled Almond Cloud Cookies.)

What a happy surprise to hear the Baker, Maria Sanchez, describe what she looks for in quality almond paste.  And the she recommends American Almond.  Thank you Chef.

You can see the recipe and watch Pastry Chef Maria Sanchez make her Chocolate Almond Cookies in this video.


Glazed Poppyseed Braid Babka

Babka is back, so reports Bon Appetit Magazine.  In an article  called Babka Is the New Bagel: The Jewish Dessert Hits the Big Time, the magazine reports on all sorts of ways to make and eat this delightful pastry with eastern European roots.  While we work on some new ways with babka for an upcoming newsletter, consider this delectable recipe for a Glazed Poppyseed Braid.  The tender dough has a generous amount of butter that complements the filling.

Twisted Poppy Braid
Glazed Poppyseed Braid
Spreading the dough wiht the poppy seed filling.
Spreading the dough with the poppy seed filling.
Twisted Poppy Braid, cut after rolling
Cutting the rolled dough after filling it with Poppyseed Filling.
Braided dough ready to go into the pan.
The twisted dough is ready to go into the pan.
Braided Poppy Loaf Glazed and read to be cut.
Braided Poppy Loaf Glazed and read to be cut.

Pie Day or Pi Day? We’ll try both.

Apple Almond Cream Cheese Hand Pies
Apple Almond Cream Cheese Hand Pies

National Pie Day falls on January 23, 2016. So we’re firing up our ovens to make pies this month and again in March.

This favorite recipe for apple almond cream cheese hand pies is easy to make. Hand pies or turnovers rarely get soggy if you bake them long enough so that the dough develops a nice brown color. The layer of Love’n Bake® Almond Schmear® adds an aromatic note but also acts as a moisture barrier, which helps keep the pies crisp and flaky. A knob of cream cheese is a tasty surprise. It balances the sweetness of the apples and filing while adding a rich note.

This all purpose dough has great keeping properties. If you use it to make these pies, they will keep for a few days when stored loosely covered at room temperature. That is, if you don’t eat them all hot from the oven.


Apple Almond Cream Cheese Pie recipe

Epiphany and Galette des Rois

Two flaky disks of almond cream filled pastry mark Epiphany, the Christian holiday celebrated this week with the delectable Galette des Rois.  We’re love this crisp pastry and think the tradition deserves to be carried on for much longer.  You can read a little more here about it:

Galette des Rois

Pastry Chef Angelo LaMendola does a delicious version called Pithiviers, which you can see being made here:

Pithivier [WITH VIDEO]