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…
Everyday is National Donut Day isn’t it? Well, I guess technically it is not, although it certainly feels like it or maybe it’s more that I make everyday National Donut Day. But today is in fact National Donut Day, so happy National Donut Day!
Whether you are in LA, NYC, ATX, PDX or any other wonderful city or town there is a donut out there calling your name. Answer the call – eat a donut today!
Los Angeles, CA
In a city filled with donut shops, there is no shortage of options for celebrating National Donut Day, but how about we get creative. What if I told you that to celebrate you could enjoy with a donut ice cream sammie? Two wonderful sweets together as one. Two please! Today Coolhaus and Donut Snob join forces to offer a limited number of donut ice cream sammies. A vanilla glazed donut with some coffee ice cream sounds like a match made in dessert heaven! <Available at the Coolhaus Culver City shop after 6pm while supplies last>
You can enjoy the same fun donut ice cream sammie offering from the Coolhaus ATX truck parked at 6th and Waller from 6pm-midnight! Enjoy a local farmers market fave Red Rabbit vanilla lavendar donuts paired with Coolhaus mango sorbet and Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!
OR you can always hunt down my Austin decadent donut fave Gourdoughs. Have a Funky Monkey for me will ya!
New York City, NY
You New Yorkers are blessed with having Doughnut Plant on your island. I’m jealous! If I lived in NY I’d likely have a doughnut a day. Do you? Break that Doughnut Plant routine just this once and celebrate National Donut Day with a different kind of donut. Head over to Tres Carnes to enjoy a double smoked churro donuts filled with crema de carmelo from Fanny Gerson (owner of LaNewyorkina). If that description didn’t make your mouth water, one look at these beauties will. I want one! Have one for me, pretty please.
I just returned from Portland. I ate A LOT… of donuts. They were so good, but Blue Star Donuts, well those are the best seriously! Bourbon Blueberry Basil was the standout donut for me. Imaginative flavors, freshly fried fluffy fat donuts. These donuts are magical. Portland go get one of these to celebrate!
Happy donut eating!
I recenty returned from 8 busy days in Austin for SXSW. The highlight of my trip was definitely Gourdoughs. Big. Fat. Donuts. The name says it all, if you’re in a diet these aren’t for you. Fried to order, hefty donuts with ooey gooey toppings. My idea of heaven.
You can enjoy Gourdoughs two ways – at their Public House which is more of a sit down casual restuarant or at their vintage airstream trailer. I opted for the later, it seemed fitting. The menu is impressive with more flavors options than I would have ever dreamed of. At $4.50 a pop and given their size, it is tough to narrow your choices down to just a donut or two. After thoughtful deliberation I settled on two donuts (and took two cinnamon sugar donuts togo to bring back to LA and they microwave up like a dream).
The Funky Monkey has grilled bananas, cream cheese icing and brown sugar. The donut is served hot out of the fryer so the exterior has a nice delicate crispiness and the inside is pillowy soft. The cream cheese icing melts into the warm donut as you cut into it. The grilled bananas are tender and the brown sugar brings the whole thing together. Eating these donuts is a loud affair. Take a bite and your eyes light up with joy and you can’t help by exclaim just how good these donuts are, at least that was my experience. That and a big scream when we pulled up to the trailer.
Son of a Peach is filled with peach pie filling and topped with cinnamon sugar and cake mix topping. At first I was perplexed by the cake mix topping, but it works. This is the donut version of a summer peach pie. Sweet, suple and satisfying.
Austin is an amazing city. Small enough that it is easy to navigate, lively enough that you will never get bored and packed with an inpired and delicious food scene. The purpose of my Austin trip was work. I recently got a new job! Yay! It’s still food related, but more sweets focused. You can find me working with Coolhaus (architecturally inspired ice cream sammies) so holler if you’re at a truck, find us in a market or stop by the LA shop! New job, new life direction, and new favorite donut. A lot of new and exciting changes for me, wish me luck!
In a city filled with such a large variety of amazing sweets it is hard to choose a favorite pastry. Often times what I think is my favorite at the time is really just dependant on my mood or craving that day. Do I feel like a glazed donut, a cake donut, a Peruvian donut, you get the picture. Well, I’ve found it! While Bouchon Bakeries kougin-amman ranks up there with the best sweets I’ve ever eaten, Short Cake’s new Belgian sugar pie is tops!
A delicate croissant shell snuggly cradles cream custard. The edges are dusted with turbinado sugar giving it a gentle crunch. This pastry is subtle, simple and sublime. It is something to savor and treasure. That sweet cream center tugs at my heart strings and fondly reminds me of fresh kaymak and bread in Istanbul (one of the best things I ate on my vacation there last year). This pastry is sweet, but not that sweet so it is perfect for those who “claim” to not like sweets and my fellow sweet fiends alike. Simplicity always wins and this pastry is simplicity at it’s finest.
Belgian sugar pies are only available at Short Cake Friday thru Sunday (that’s today!) so indulge yourself this weekend. You can thank me later.
6333 W. 3rd St. Stall #316
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Sunshine in the form of muffins, that is what these are. The inspiration for these comes from amazing sunshine corn cakes from Clementine. They are delicate, crumbly and have a bit of a crunch from the gritty corn. They have a sweet zesty touch from thick bits of orange throughout the muffin and a lovely thin slice of orange baked on top. Those are sunshine corn cakes.
Inspired by these delicious beauties I picked up some super sweet blood oranges from the farmers market this weekend. Blood orange plus corn meal and flour make a perfect muffin. My muffins use blood oranges rather than regular oranges. Let pulp, more juice and zest. They are bright, sweet and bring a little sunshine to your morning!
It has been beautiful and sunny lately here in LA, well minus those rainy days. And all this sunshine and warmth really had me wanting lemonade. In the summers I love making blueberry basil lemonade. Tart and sweet with a wonderfully herbacious nuance from the basil. Since it isn’t quite summer yet, I decided to hold off on the lemonade and instead make muffins. Can we talk about lemon muffins, specifically meyer lemon muffins or cakes or quick breads, I mean there is just something so wonderful about meyer lemon muffins. Are you with me? I love making these meyer lemon muffins and these too! But this new one with blueberries and basil really kicked it up a notch. Juicy and sweet from the blueberrys, and the basil softly wraps around the muffin. Lemony, tender and sweet, I’m just in love with these muffins!
Did you know yesterday was National Pie Day? I didn’t either honestly until I saw the twitterverse abuzz with pie. So naturally I had to go celebrate.
I enjoyed a slice of my favorite banana cream pie from Clementines. The crust is perfection. Slightly salty, crunchy yet crumbly and buttery. The filling is creamy, thick and topped with a generous heap of fresh whipped cream. Not a banana fan, well their key lime pie is equally as delicious.
If you need an excuse to enjoy pie, how about a belated National Pie Day celebration at the Fruit + Flour ‘Pie of the Month Club‘ event. I am a proud memeber of this pie of the month club and I can happily attest to the beauty of these pies. Each month’s flavors are so lovely, so tasty, so wonderful. This month you can enjoy as slice of lemon tart with rosemary infused crust. See you there?