Pear-Cranberry Roll-Up Tart


This one got rave reviews from my tasters but I am not so sure I would make it again…

I feel like I should have known…especially when there is a section in the recipe called,

“A word on construction”…

It tells us we are bound to have tears and cracks and that they are easily patched, but come on.  This was not easy dough to work with/roll and I didn’t expect it since we have used this Galette Dough before on other recipes.  My roll was sticking and cracking all over the place…had to take out some of the filling to pull the dough back together to patch it up.  I was feeling like I was on a sinking boat…no kidding.  Every time I patched one place another popped up.  Ugh!  Anyway, did the best I could and hoped that once it was baked, it would look and taste alright. :)


It ended up ok and like I said, everyone thought it was delicious.  For me, I prefer the Danish Braid we made awhile back from BWJ.  Same idea but MUCH easier dough to work with…I have actually re-made that one many times it was such a hit.

Bottom line: yay for trying something new and everyone liking it, but not thinking I will make this one again.

Chocolate-Covered Toffee Breakups


Our recipe on this one starts out, “This Chocolate-Covered, Nut-Studded Toffee might be as close as you can get to a Heath Bar without being sued for some kind of trademark infringement”.  I told this to my husband and I could tell he was skeptical; after all he is a Heath Bar lover.  I was thinking to myself though, every single recipe we have made from our Baking Chez Moi Cookbook has been a homerun so I was betting on success.

I was encouraged that this toffee does not require that I am a pro candy maker, only that I have a candy thermometer. Check!

There are only a few steps to this recipe which is always a good thing!

  • Cook up the toffee, add the coarsely chopped almonds and spread on a buttered parchment paper lined pan.


  • Cool
  • Melt your chocolate.  I used dark chocolate since I thought that would pair well with the sea salt.
  • Pour half of your chocolate on one side of the toffee and spread.  Sprinkle with chopped almonds and flip.
  • Pour the remaining melted chocolate on the toffee and spread.  Sprinkle with chopped almonds and sea salt.
  • Chill for 30 minutes and then break apart.

We didn’t get to taste this the night I made it, so instead my husband took a few pieces with him to work the next morning.  I get a text…and I quote:

“That recipe is unbelievable.  Way better than a Heath Bar!  Definitely a keeper!”

Yes, that made my day! :)

Everyone that has tried these has LOVED them!…like…raved about them!  I have already been asked to make them again for the upcoming holidays.

Yay, for great recipes that are also easy!!

Apple Pielettes


Aren’t these the cutest things!?

Our recipe has an introduction that tells us these were created as a bring-along for a potluck…I see them as an easy bring-along for a picnic too. Super easy to transport and eat…no utensils or plates necessary.

This is one of those recipes that has a base but you are able to change it around…any combination of fruit for the filling would work and while this recipe uses a galette dough, you could easily use your favorite pie crust dough as well.

I changed up the filling from the recipe and omitted the raisins and apricots and just went with my tried and true apple pie filling..why mess with it right? :)  I was also happy I got the “accident to be wished for” as the recipe states as my juice bubbled over into a caramel coating of drips.  It also gives them a bit of character! :)


The one thing I did find a bit hard was the sizing of the dough.  I measured for what the recipe called for, but if I was to make these again, I would increase the size of both the tops and bottoms, that way you would have more room for filling.  As it was, the 3 inch bottoms didn’t seem really big and then the filling cooked down so some of them had gaps of air inside.  I would rather have packed in the apple filling with extra space and used up the full muffin tin.


All in all, I would say these were a hit…especially with those of my tasters who love pie crust since there is such a big crust to filling ratio here…for me…the odd one… I would prefer a french apple topping but that would defeat the purpose of a “pielette” haha!


Raspberry Swirls


I made these a few weeks ago and people are still talking about them!..yes, that good!

I made “Blackberry Swirls” since I had blackberry jam leftover from our Florentine Squares, but really you could use any flavor jam and it would be a success.  These are the best kind of recipes because you can use what you have on hand!

There are a few steps to these swirls:

  • baking the cake; easy
  • chill time
  • spreading the jam and rolling the cake; fussy and not so easy
  • chill time
  • cutting the roll into pieces; easy
  • dip in chocolate, roll in coconut and pistachios; easy

Really the only difficult part I found, even with so many steps, was the rolling part…and it just seemed like it shouldn’t be so hard.  The cake didn’t want to roll up in a nice spiral, but I forced it and then wrapped it very tightly in the parchment paper.  I think the tight wrapping did help but,  in the end it just didn’t matter too much because the chocolate hid all imperfections!  While I was making them I was thinking that I wouldn’t be making them again, but after seeing how pretty they eventually turn out…they are very showy…AND how great everyone said they were, I would have to change my opinion.  I wouldn’t be so worried during the rolling part and would just go with it…they turn out beautiful and so tasty in the end!

Tiger Cakes


I am not sure I understand why these are called Tiger Cakes…the recipe says it is because there are flecks of chocolate striping the cake but you only see them if you don’t opt to add the “dipped in ganache” step…who would want to skip that step??  Not me!

My daughter thinks  a better name, at least for my cakes, would be “Zebra Cakes”  since I took the “dipped in ganache” step a little farther and used some of my white melting chocolate left over from my chocolate strawberries this summer.  I have to agree. :)

This batter was a little different from any I can remember.  The main ingredients are almond four, egg whites, but you don’t whip them, and quite a lot of butter.  You bake them in a mini muffin tin so it makes 24 cakes.  The only thing I did not like about this recipe was how stubborn they were to remove from the pan.  I made sure to grease liberally after seeing some helpful hints and they were still not that easy to dislodge.  They came out in one piece but it gets old to have to work so hard at getting them released when there are 24 of them.

That problem aside, these were a fantastic surprise.  They don’t look like brownies, but they sure do taste like them; very chocolatey!  ALL of my tasters loved these….one said they were “DELICIOSO!!!!”  and my dad said he was needing to expand his top 10 to a top 25 category.  This “Baking Chez Moi” cookbook has been hit after hit.  I just love baking these new recipes but I have to say it is extra fun when everyone LOVES the result!!

Apple Kuchen


First things first…I was SO happy there has been a slight respite from the high heat and humidity we have been experiencing curtesy of some tropical storm down south of us.   For us Native Californians, we can’t handle this humidity and it is hard to get in the baking mood when you are literally melting!

My In-Laws were especially excited about this recipe…my husband too actually.  My Mother-in-Law immigrated from Austria when she was 18 years old, so this recipe brought back family memories of “kuchen”…which I am gathering, refers to a variety of German sweets. She said her mom must be dancing in heaven seeing me bake “kuchen”.  :)

I started this recipe one afternoon and served it the following day.  There is some waiting time for chilling the dough and then also the baking time, which was listed as 60-70 minutes but in reality took close to 2 hours to get the knife to pull out somewhat cleanly.

The dough was easy to work with and smelled heavenly with the added lemon zest. Next time I wouldn’t be worried at all about fitting it into the pan…it is very forgiving as you patch and smooth.  The one thing I did underestimate is how long it takes to core, peal, and slice up 3 lbs of apples!  That is a lot of apples!


Since I opted to leave out the rum soaked raisins, I went a little rogue and added some cinnamon to the apple mixture…I mean what is an apple dessert without a little cinnamon right??


The only real problem I had with this recipe is the custard firming up while baking.  If I made this again, I would definitely tent the top so the apples didn’t brown so much.  I didn’t need to add the butter and broil because mine got so brown in the baking process. I did sprinkle the sugar on top though, to add some sweetness.  When I pulled the tart out of the oven, I still was not happy with the knife being fully clean but figured close to two hours just has to be good enough and hopefully it would firm up in the fridge overnight, which it did!!  Next time I just wouldn’t worry about that at all…seemed to work itself out just fine with a little chilling time.


It is an impressive dessert when you present a mile high slice.  I heard an audible gasp of delight from one of my tasters and was so happy that the taste matched the appearance…because that isn’t always the case haha!

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies


I was surprised by these.

  • The dough wasn’t as fussy as I expected…quite easy actually.  I made the dough and let it chill overnight, baking the cookies the next morning.
  • I still had my blackberry jam that I used for the Florentine Squares so I went ahead and used that.
  • I used a mason jar as my cookie cutter.
  • The process of wetting the cookie and pressing the next layer on top went very smoothly.
  • Cooked up in the 17 minutes suggested.
  • Baked up 14 cookies out of the mix




Seriously, easy….and should I add…LOVED be everyone!  My dad’s text went so far as to say he has extended his top 5 category to the top 10 as this cookie needs to be added to the top list….quite an endorsement of the recipe wouldn’t you say?!

I did add the dusting of confectioners sugar as suggested because you know it just elevates anything you dust upon! :)