It’s people like Chef Lisa Brisch that makes me a better recipe writer, cooking instructor and just a better cook, period. Lisa is one of the instructors that I work with at Sweet Basil Gourmetware and Cooking School in Scottsdale. Right before Easter this year, I happened to be setting up for my class when hers was finishing up. She had prepared something I had never heard of; a Carrot Soufflé. The minute I tasted it, I immediately decided to add it to my Easter Brunch line up. Let me tell you the ending to this story. I could’ve easily dropped all of my other entrees and sides and just made 8 casseroles of Carrot Soufflé because my family literally drew straws to see who would take home the leftovers. Unfortunately, there were none. They practically fought over who would get the last morsel of this unbelievable side. Even if you think you’re not crazy for carrots, this dish goes beyond flavors you can imagine, and it’s as light and billowy as it gets. So, Lisa, I hope you don’t mind, but I want the world to taste this delicious treasure, because recipes like this are just too good to enjoy once a year for an Easter buffet. Just a word of warning. Have plenty of copies of the recipe handy. Your dinner guests won’t even finish the first bite without asking for it. Check out some of Lisa’s classes at www.sweetbasilgourmet.com.
Festive Italian Easter Bread Rings
Planning an Easter egg hunt tomorrow? How about hiding those decorated ovals someplace you’d least expect to find them? That is, unless you’re familiar with the traditional Italian Easter bread called Pastelli di Pasqua (Bread of Easter). Brightly colored hard-boiled eggs are embedded into the braids of this slightly sweet dough, making it one of the more festive Easter heirloom recipes. Not only is the bread fun to look at, but also Pastelli di Pasqua is absolutely delicious when eaten plain or sliced and toasted with a little butter! Greece has it’s own version of the braided loaf called Tsoureki (pronounced too-reki). Both the Greek and Italian varieties are similar in flavor and texture to Jewish Challah bread. Normally, this recipe for Pastelli di Pasqua makes one large braided loaf or round. But in the spirit of Easter time fun, I’ve divided the dough into six braided rings, each one displaying a single colorful egg in the center. This is a great recipe to do with or for the kids in your life. It’s perhaps a new way to play Easter egg “hide and seek” with a recipe that’s centuries old.
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
What if you captured all of the delicious decadence of a chocolate brownie and transferred it to a cookie? A cookie that is so chewy, chocolaty and crinkly that it will win the hearts of crispy cookie lovers and soft baked cookie lovers alike? Well, head to the kitchen, because here it is! I discovered this delicious recipe for Chocolate Brownie Cookies in one of my go-to magazines, Cook’s Country, a spin-off publication of Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen. I love these cookies right out of the oven, but now I know to make an extra batch to freeze. Because, you know, you will have one of those nights when you must satisfy your chocolate craving and lucky you! You’ll have just what you need in an airtight container in the freezer! Enough said. Trust me on this. You’re going to get lots and lots of brownie points when you share!
Dulce de Leche Cupcakes
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!
It’s a scrumptious sight to behold! This week I’m sharing with you a Christmas cake bedecked on the outside and hiding a swirl of surprise color inside! It looks like you’ve slaved over it for hours, but really, all you need to make it happen is one box of cake mix, some white icing, food coloring and sprinkles! This is what I call a gorgeous plate of holiday happiness, and it couldn’t be easier to create! Treat your family and friends to this wonderful bit of holiday cheer with a nice spot of tea or a luscious cup of cappuccino!
Watch my How to video for The Christmas Cake here!
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!