It’s a Latin American favorite that the western world has embraced as its own. Dulce de Leche, a thick and sugary caramel-like sauce made by slowly heating sweet milk, has found its way into just about every dessert and beverage we love. Here is a rich and delicious cupcake made with homemade Dulce de Leche that’s incorporated in the batter as well as the frosting. Enjoy!
What makes this the most wonderful time of the year? Well, besides, glad tidings, family and the holiday spirit, it’s gotta be Christmas Cookies! Here are two of my favorites!
Watch my How To Video for Christmas Cookies here!
Let’s see. My obsession with collecting heritage recipes and cookbooks began in earnest in 2000, when I opened my first restaurant and featured my own family’s dishes. Since that time, I have cooked from and collected hundreds of cookbooks, ranging from family heirloom recipe collections and church fundraising cookbooks to publications produced by food manufacturers hoping to give the home cook suggestions on how to use their products. Some cookbooks go into unbelievable detail about a family’s genealogy or a church or civic organization’s fundraising activities. Then, there are the books that say nothing on the cover and nothing on the inside pages. They are simply hand-written and bound recipes. It was one of these non-descript cookbooks in which found this scrumptious recipe for Brown Sugar Nut Bars. The cookbook simply said “VAVS Volunteer Cookbook.” (I’m assuming VAVS is the acronym for Veterans Administration Volunteer Services, or Veteran’s Affairs Voluntary Services.) In any case I have no one to thank for pages and pages of delightful recipes like this one. The Brown Sugar Nut Bars have a light and delicate shortbread base, and you can use any nut you like, although this recipe suggests slivered almonds. It’s a terrific treat to make ahead and freeze, and it can easily be transported to a party or pot luck without worrying about it falling apart. If you’ve got some leftover walnuts, pecans or almonds, just mix them together and blend them in the bath of butter, brown sugar and pure vanilla. The sweet and salty result is the perfect paring for the shortbread base below!
There are two things I absolutely love–a great recipe and great neighbors.
When the two come together, life is pretty awesome! It happened this week when my sweet neighbor, Deborah Alyea saw me pull up to the driveway, and scurried over with a beautiful baking dish of bountiful goodness right out of the oven. “I wanted you to have it while it’s still piping hot and bubbling!” Deborah has just baked the most amazing Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler and I was the lucky recipient. I’m not sure I should admit this, but I texted her a picture of her baking dish just several hours later. It was scraped clean except for maybe one more serving. Yes, it was that good. I’m not sure who came up with the combination of strawberries and rhubarb, but thank you, whoever you are! Rhubarb season is incredibly short and right now is the peak of it, so I’m so happy to pass along this delicious dish to you right now, while you can still find those long red stalks. The filling is wonderful with either a pie crust topping or cobbler, and I was ecstatic that Deborah chose the latter. I love that rich crumble topping with the sweet fruit below. So, if you love Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler, this is the recipe to try! And if you have a neighbor as wonderful as Deborah Alyea, maybe make an extra and make someone’s Day!
Watch my How to Video for Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler here!
I received the cutest cookie bouquet this week, and it got me thinking about making a few of my own arrangements for Valentine’s Day. So what makes the perfect cookie for decorating? How about the icing? How can we make our own decorated cookies look like the pro’s? Well, it takes the right cookie dough recipe, the perfect royal icing and a few tips to get you off and running. After Valentine’s Day, this recipe will be great for Easter, Christmas or just because! For a step by step tutorial, I’ve included the link to my video!
Watch my How to Video for Decorated Cookies here!