National Donut Day!

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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

DonutDay

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>

Austin, TX

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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

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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.

Portland, OR

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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!

Gourdoughs | Austin, TX

Gourdoughs Donuts

Big Fat Donuts

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.

Gourdoughs Donuts

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).

Funky Monkey Donut - Gourdoughs Austin, TX

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 - Gourdoughs Austin, TX

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!

Belgian Sugar Pies | The Best Pastry in Los Angeles

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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!

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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.

SHORT CAKE

6333 W. 3rd St. Stall #316
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Muffin Mondays | Blood Orange Corn Muffins

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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!

recipe below…

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Muffin Mondays | Meyer Lemon Blueberry Basil Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Basil Muffins

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!

recipe below

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National Pie Day!

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.

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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.

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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?

Mulled Apple Cider Muffins | Muffin Mondays

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Happy Monday! Are you ready to tackle the week? I know I would rather stay in my warm bed than face the cold, but the thought of warm apple cider is enough to get me out of bed. And warm apple cider paired with hot out of the oven mulled apple cider muffins, yes please! Wait mulled means I’m boozing first thing in the morning, a little won’t hurt right. May just be the little boost I need to face the cold day.

They mufins can be as boozy as you like. I tried them brushed with bourbon for a more mulled taste and without the extra bourbon, both were wonderful especially when enjoyed warm. The apples are juicy and soft and wonderfully seasoned with cloves and all-spice. The muffin is crumbly and only faintly sweet. Warm winter spices wrap around the muffin. The cinnamon is most prominent and delicately rounded out by the nutmeg and cardmom. If you love warm mulled apple cider you will love these!

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Bouchon Bakery | The Sweeter Side of Beverly Hills

To start off the new year I went on a sweets crawl of Beverly Hills with my friends Krista Simmons and Nick Wilson. It was epic sweetness overload and the highlight of it was Bouchon Bakery. I could have spent the entire day in that sweet little spot devouring everything they had to offer. From canele’s to chocolate bouchons to bread pudding and even pretzels there was nothing here that I didn’t fall head over heals in love with!

The “queen” of Bouchon Bakery’s pastries truly is the kougin-amann (prounounced queen ah-mahn). The kougin-amann hails from Brittany, France. It is folds of lamenated dough (think croissant meets palmier) sprinkled with butter and sugar with a caramelized sugar bottom. Bouchon’s kougin-amann is doughy and delicate with a sugar coated bottom like a creme brule. It is a disc of caramelized sugar that shatters with each bite, sticky and addictive. This pastry is absolutely heavenly- rich, decadent sugary perfection.

 

You can also enjoy this kougin-amann in bread pudding form. Yes even more butter and sugar, warm and gooey and luscious. Ask for it warmed if you are enjoying it at the bakery or heat it up at home.

 

Another favorite was the seasonal almond croissant. It was floral, zesty gorgeouness. Perfectly flaky, tender and packed with winter citrus. I can’t wait to try their summer version!

Read more about our sweet crawl through Beverly Hills here.

 

 

Muffin Mondays | Gingerbread Muffins

I love gingerbread. The warm smell. The sticky molasses. The spicy ginger. To me gingerbread screams winter time. It makes me want to snuggle up at home with a hot cup of tea. And bite of gingerbread reminds me of childhood in the winter. I remember eagerly devouring gingerbread while shivering from the cold. And I love how powdered sugar dusted over the gingerbread looks like snow. For me nothing signals holiday time more than gingerbread. So thing morning we’re baking gingerbread muffins. They are fragrant, fluffy perfection. The fresh ginger bits sprinkled throughout give it a little kick and really brings out the molasses. Go bake some muffins and fill your home with warmth and beautiful gingerbread aromas.

Gingerbread Muffins

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

pinch ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup light molasses

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup firmly packed minced fresh ginger

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the lower third of oven. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper, then spray the paper. Dust the entire pan with flour and shake out the excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together molasses, eggs, oil, and buttermilk.

Dissolve baking soda in the cup of boiling water. Fold the baking soda and molasses mixtures into dry ingredients until combined. (Do not overmix.) Fold in the minced ginger.

Scrape batter into the prepared baking pan; bake until cake is set around edges and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Sweet Gifts That Deliver | A Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that gift giving time of year again, have you completed all of your holiday shopping yet? If you need a few fun ideas that don’t even require you to step into a mall or battle for parking, then I’ve got you covered.

Here is my gift guide for the sweet lover in your life (and they all deliver!):

Compartes Chocolates

Gourmet chocolatier Jonathan Grahm crafts beautiful confections from truffles to chocolate bars. My favorite of his chocolate delights are the ‘love nut’ – hand roasted nuts (you choose your favorite nut) caramelized with Tahitian vanilla, sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt, coated in a blend of chocolates and topped with raw cacao powder. They are a mouthful of goodness and make for one sweet present!

Donut Snob

There is bound to be a donut lover in your life (maybe it is yourself) so why not gift them a dozen donuts. LA based Donut Snob delivers specialty donuts, flavors like the Oinker (maple bacon) and Raspberry Lemon Lulu (stuffed with raspberry coulis and lemon zest).  These donuts are pillowy soft and incredible. Who wouldn’t love a box of gourmet donuts delivered to their door?

Le Bon Garcon

Le Bon Garcon is hands down my favorite caramels ever. Justin Chao, the mastermind behind Le Bon Garcon, delicately crafts the butteriest luscious caramels.  These caramels are so good it is hard to choose a favorite. I love the nutty crunch of the macadamia caramels, but I also love the tropical burst from the mango-passion fruit or sometimes I’m in the mood for the simple and classic salted caramel. But the newest holiday flavor – Bon Hiver (persimmon, guava and lime) tastes like a holiday pie. It is slightly spiced, fragrant and just wonderful. Give the gift of caramels this holiday season!

Crème Caramel LA

Crème Caramel LA offers velvety rich crème caramels in assorted flavors along with the most swoon-worthy bread pudding in town. Best part is that you can find that at local farmers markets AND they deliver. A box of crème caramels and bread pudding, I think that would make just about anyone burst with joy.

Coolhaus

How about receiving ice cream monthly. Sounds good right! I think it does. Coolhaus now offers a pint or sammie of the month club. You can pick up in the store or have a new surpise pint or custome four pack of ice cream sammies delivered to your door monthly. It’s like a wine club, but way cooler and sweeter. Anyone want to buy me a membership ;)? Coolhaus also now overs Haus-made products like chocolate nutella spread, marshmallows and bacon salt. Yum!

Poketo

Want something not food related for your sweetie? Then these Poketo tea towels are for you. Featuring hand-printed design in candy pink and cocoa brown, it is adorned with cute images of cakes, pies and ice cream. They are perfect for displaying with your freshly baked muffins or to just hang up in the kitchen. Non-edible sweetness!

Happy shopping. I hope you are able to find the perfect sweetness for your loved ones!

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