There is nothing sweeter or more romantic (in my opinion), than a simple and sweet heart shaped treat for your loved one on Valentine’s day. It’s a great chance to let the one you love, your sibling, your mother or your friend know they are loved. And all of these work as great last minute gifts!
Here are my Top 5 Sweets For Your Sweet –
Village Bakery & Cafe
Whenever a holiday rolls around you can be certain that the Village Bakery & Café in Atwater Village will have the most festive and cute sweets. Their Valentine’s Day decorate cookies are to die for. If I were a kid again, these would be the kind of Valentine’s Day cards I would hand out. Village Bakery I will be yours!
See’s candies are a tried and true treat. I remember those black and white boxes from childhood and always sifting through to find my favorite almond square. Take the classic approach and gift your loved one a heart shaped box of See’s candies. Or how about one of their super cute heart shaped truffle boxes? The strawberry truffles, inspired by love and made with care have my heart skipping a beat.
Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
Got a donut lover in your life? These adorable heart shaped, pink frosted, heart sprinkled donuts are a sweet surprise. My heart goes pitter patter for fried dough goodness.
Ok, not quite a heart but there is a heart on this cute little lobster so we think that counts! I mean Lobstergrams!? This sweet treat from Playa Provisions pastry chef Kristin Feuer is cuteness overload. For $20, you get a “Lobstergram” – four absolutely adorable lobster sugar cookies and a cute lobster gift tag in a box (yeah, that lobster is holding a valentine!). Gone in two bites, grab a few and spread the love.
Just one delicious bite and I fell in love with Pop Bar popsicles. The chocolate dipped pistachio was my favorite. While I would love nothing more than to have a pack of popsicles shipped to my door, their hot chocolate sticks can tide me over until my next visit. You can ship a 3/6/12 pack to your darlings doorstep and they are in for a hot chocolate delight. It is a chocolate lovers dream.
To view more of these awesome Valentine’s sweets check out these Instagram accounts:
In the spirit of reminiscing over the year that has just passed in the blink of an eye, here are my favorite sweet moments of 2014!
1. The number one spot had to be held for this Nestle Tollhouse + Buzzfeed baking video. It was not only a blast to film, but those double chocolate baked donuts – the greatest excuse to eat cake for breakfast!
2. Working on a Sweet Guide to LA on Conde Nast Traveler. As a native Angeleno, I take great pride in my city and it was fun to share a few of my favorite places for desserts. And I am a big CN Traveler fan too!
3. Getting invited to Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont for a few days and then getting to show Dorie (Ben & Jerry’s story teller) around LA a few months later. What ice cream lover doesn’t dream of visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory and headquarters and then meeting Ben & Jerry in real life. It was an amazing moment in time and I’m so so thankful to have gotten to check that off the bucket list this year!
4. Going on a hunt for the best churros in LA. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!
5. Using new ingredients to create this yummy banana jam pudding pie with the Fare Trade. I don’t love myself in this video and wish that I would have smiled more because I really did have fun, but the end results were worth it!
It may be cooling down a bit out there, but anytime is a good time for ice cream in Los Angeles. You have definitely seen beautiful large Frenchmacarons sandwiched around ice cream and you have probably wondersed where to get them. Well look no further, I’ve got the five places to enjoy them in Los Angeles. Check it out here on LAist –
These ice cream sandwiches are so good that Food & Wine regrammed my pic!
I recently shared my top five favorite churros in Los Angeles with LAist.com. Sugar coated fried dough is a thing of beauty. You can read more about my picks here…
I searched the city for my favorite pairings of espresso and ice cream. After countless caffeinated cups, I narrowed down my finds to my 5 top spots. If you too are a fan of this sweet pick me up you can read more about the best affogatos in Los Angeles here www.Sprudge.com.
Today is National Cotton Candy Day! While you used to have to wait for a carnival or fair to enjoy these treats, you can now find creative cotton candy confections around Los Angeles. In celebration of these big bright puffs of sweet spun sugar, here are three of my favorites:
Bon Puf offers cotton candy catering, yes it is a thing! They offer organic and all natural cotton candy with fun flavors like mango chile, chai tea or salted caramel. A childhood classic elevated.
Culina at the Four Season puts an Italian spin on cotton candy in the form of an affogato. You morning coffee never looked so good. Vanilla bean gelato waits patiently underneath a large white cotton candy cloud. Espresso is then poured over top slowly dissolving the spun sugar into your coffee. That is an affogato I can stand behind!
Taking it up a notch is the Marie Antoinette’s Head cotton candy concoction at Barton G. Adding a theatrical twist to fine dining, Pastry Chef Luis Vasquez artfully crafts yards of pink cotton candy in the shape of an over the top two-foot edible cotton candy wig. It is a sight to see!
It seems like Valentine’s Day presents are usually centered around something sweet. Of this I approve. Nothing says I love you like dessert (at least in my sweets loving opinion). Here are some sweet ideas for that sweet someone in your life.
A romantic dinner is to be expected, but how about surprising your boo with a pre-Valentine’s day dessert tasting. YES! The talented pastry chef, Roxanna Jullapat of Cook’s County has a dessert tasting menu that will say I love you in four different sweet bites. The Chocolate Fonduette with a splash of Turkish coffee and Arabesque dipping treats is calling my name.
Heart Shaped Affection
If heart shaped Valentine’s Day sweets are your jam, this just might be the sweetest one. Sweet Rose Creamery is offering heart shaped Raspberry Semifreddo Valrohona desserts this week #icecreamlove
You remember those black and white boxes from your childhood. Picking out your favorite chocolate bite. Mine was always the almond square with that layer of sticky sweet caramel on top. And scotch mallows don’t event get me started. Take the classic approach and gift your loved one a box of See’s candies.
When I need inspiration for the perfectly planned, exquisitely executed sweet or diy project for a special occasion I always turn to one of my favorite bloggers Freutcake. For Valentine’s Day she takes puts a vintage spin on sweets with a mini jell-o mold. It is cherry cream jello, raspberry jellos and whipped cream and they are beautiful. Who wouldn’t want a big spoonful? I know my guy will! Check out the recipe here.
I know some of the lucky few get to take their honey on a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day. I can’t say that I have ever had the time, but if I did boy Los Cabos would be calling my name. I’ve been fantasizing about this getaway because it is so close to LA it can easily be a long weekend. If I was here for Valentine’s Day I would love to enjoy the romantic package at the Westin Resort Los Cabos – view of the Sea of Cortez, sipping on rose martinis and enjoying a beautiful dinner. I’ll just dream away!
1. Compartes Love Nuts make me nuts! There are no words to describe just how absolutely amazingly delicious and addicting they are. A thin toffee coating covers your favorite nutty delight and is rolled in cocoa. It is pure bliss.
2. Pretzel rods dipped in chocolate, who wouldn’t love these? But beyond the sweet simplicity of pretzels dipped in chocolate, Fatty Sundays offers amazing flavor combos that will make your sweet heart go pitter-patter. My favorites are Toasted Coconut and Spicy Almond, but I’m dying to try Pumpkin Spice and Banana Cream.
3. Not all jams are made equal, I’ll tell you that. The jams from m. greenwood are just exceptional. Delicate, subtle and sweet. Pear ginger is one of my favorites, but you can opt for a standby classic like Strawberry and be equally satisfied. Not in the mood for jam, how about the sweet gift of Apple Butter. A little sweet something for everyone!
4. Bottega Louie macarons are almost too beautiful to eat. Everything about these petite precious sweets is perfect from their production to their packaging. A box of these will let anyone know just how sweet and special they are!
5. Z Confections‘ generously coated kettle corn with the perfect sweet crunch, that’s what you get from Z Confections. While I can’t get enough of their Salted Caramel corn, the Coconut Curry and Rosemary can easily steal your heart. Perfect for the adventurous sweets lover in your life.
special thanks to @amccullaugh for the awesome sweet guide graphic! ❤
It’s that time of year when everybody is talking about pumpkin. Seeing as Thanksgiving is only a few days away, I imagine we all have pie on the brain. Pumpkin pie. Or is it just me? While I do love pumpkin pie, I think pumpkin pie milkshakes are even better! Are you with me? Creamy and delicious ice cream, pumpkin, spices blended together in a cool and satisfying shake – now this is Fall LA style. Shake it up a bit, get your pumpkin pie fix in a glass. Here are some of the best Pumpkin Pie milkshakes in LA:
The Counter changes up the formula a bit. They use vanilla bean ice cream and blend in pumpkin puree and spices. The vanilla and pumpkin are perfectly balanced and the freshly grated nutmeg topping takes this shake to the next level. Simple, sweet and satisfying. Save room for one of these after your burger!
The Oinkster knows how to make a great shake. While I’m usually a die hard Ube Shake girl, it is hard to resist their Pumpkin Pie shake. They use Fosselman’s pumpkin ice cream and blend in crust. The result is a thick shake with real character. Spicy, sweet with big chunks of graham cracker crust. Yum!
All the wonderful qualities of pie in cold ice cream form. Sweet Rose Creamery makes a light and not too sweet pumpkin ice cream. They use all organic ingredients and Strauss dairy and the quality shows through in the ice cream. This pumpkin pie shake topped with freshly whipped cream is decadent perfection. You will not want to share so make sure everyone orders their own.
2901 Ocean Park Blvd #102
Santa Monica, CA 90405
2005 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
Sweet Rose Creamery
225 26th Street #51
Santa Monica, Ca 90402
Pie. It’s on my mind. As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change color, my mind turns to pie. Pie and the holidays just go together. Warm smells of spices, buttery flaky crusts – it evokes comfort and cozines. So let’s talk pie. Apple pie to be more specific. This is the BEST apple pie there is, are you ready for it?
I recently had the pleasure of attending an incredible Pie Making Class at the New School of Cooking in Los Angeles. Teaching the class were Sherry Yard and Evan Kleinman. I mean pause and think about just how awesome that is and how amazing pie made by their hands would be. I did and I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this class. The pie – it was life changing. While you may not bake quite as well as Sherry Yard, you can certainly give her recipe a go. Here it is (below) and if you need some pointers the New School of Cooking offers fun classes for all levels. They’re gearing up for the next session of their 6-month advanced professional culinary and pastry programs kicking off January 6th (hmm sounds like a good Christmas present eh!).
Sherry Yard’s Quintessential Apple Pie
- 4 lbs. Braeburn Apples, peeled, quartered and cored
- 2 Tbsp Calvados
- the zest of one lemon, chopped fine
- 4 Tbsp Lemon juice
- ½ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt, Maldon
- ¾ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- 1 recipe 3-2-1 Pie Crust, well chilled
- Egg Wash: 1 egg plus 1 yolk, beaten
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- Cut the apple quarters in thirds crosswise. Combine in a bowl with the Calvados, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Roll out half the cold dough and drape it over a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Let the dough hang over the rim by about ½ inch. Don’t pull or stretch the dough. Doing so will make the crust uneven.
- Fill the pie shell, mounding with the apple mixture.
- Brush only the edge of the bottom pie crust, along the rim, with the egg wash. Water works well here, too. This step will help the top crust adhere firmly to the bottom crust.
- Roll out the remaining dough. Top apples with this second round of dough. Trim the edges so that they hang over the rim by 1 inch.
- Gently tuck edge of top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the two together with your fingers.
- Brush entire top crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut air slits.
- Place the pie on a sheet pan and place in oven. Bake 10 minutes at 425, then turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour to 1¼ hours, until crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.
Sherry Yard’s Master 3-2-1 Flaky Pie Dough
- 8 oz Unsalted Butter
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ cup Ice Water, plus extra if needed, up to ⅔ cup
- ½ tsp White Wine Vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
- Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and place it in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, sift together the flour and sugar.
- Fit with paddle attachment. Add butter and salt. On low speed, mix for about 2 minutes. Stop mixing and by hand pinch flat any large pieces of butter that remain.
- Combine the ice water and vinegar in a small bowl.
- Turn the mixer on low and add the liquid all at once. Pulse mixing just until the dough comes together, about 15 seconds.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- After properly chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness.
Sherry: Always, always…ALWAYS pre-bake your pie crust for a custard filled pie, like pumpkin for example. I use a clean daisy-shaped coffee filter sprayed with oil out of an aerosol can to line the shell. Then another one on top, also sprayed lightly with oil. Then I put the beans or pie weights in the filter. Bake the shell at 375-400 degrees till it’s almost done. The pie weights lift out easily with both filters. Then pour in your custard and finish baking at a lower temperature. 300 degrees.
Evan and Sherry: We agree that a slice of pie has the perfect filling to crust ratio. Miniature pies often have just too much crust. In this case, bigger really is better! We both love Pyrex to bake our pies in.
Sherry: People like to crimp the edges of their pie, but I like to cut mine with scissors. That straight edge shows off all the hard work you did to create a beautifully layered, flaky masterpiece.
This mini master class in perfect pie making drew to a close and I’d completely forgotten that I needed to go home. Fortunately I did not get pulled over for driving under the influence of too much pie! Evan and Sherry were delightful. Their blend of craftsmanship, technique, wisdom, encouragement and fun (the lol kind) was as balanced as any one of their delicious creations. Remember to go to KCRW.com/goodfood and enter your pie in this year’s cookoff. Evan’s final tip…make sure the bottom crust of the pie is cooked! The End.
— p.s. if you didn’t hear I got a little piece of the pie (so to speak too) and I was featured on Good Morning America talking about instagram and food…