Monday, April 6, 2015

I AM still retired, but by popular demand, I am putting my PDF cookbooks back up for sale.

AMAZING PASSOVER DESSERTS - newly updated in 2014, and with your favorites from both former versions of this pdf and Passover Desserts (but easier and quicker to make)
You'll find cookies such as: Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pecan Softies, Pecan Sandies, Dairy and Pareve Macaroons, Almond Apricot petit Fours, Chewy Ganache Sandwiches etc., pastries such as: Apple Tangerine Crisp, Apple Rhubarb Pot Pie, Browned Butter Strawberry Tart, Pecan Caramel Tart, tortes such as: Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Raspberry Silk,Glazed Walnut, Lite Strawberry, Butter-sponge with Banana, Hazelnut Pear and Raspberry etc, cakes such as: Black Forest Cake, Chocolate Layer Cake, Hazelnut Custard Cake, Apricot Walnut Pave, Tiramisu, Seven Layer Cake etc, and cheesecakes, par eve ice cream, mousse, sauces and frostings.

Photos and drawings and explicit directions make this PDF perfect for beginners and experienced cooks alike.

To see the ingredient lists, instructions and photos from several of the recipes in this book, check out: MacaroonsSalted Caramel BrowniesTiramisuChocolate Cherry Cake,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Amazing Desserts on CD-rom now available

Amazing Desserts on cd-rom is a photographic guide to better baking. With over 450 photos and more than 110 recipes, this book will be your go-to cookbook for baking.  Learn the techniques to make you a successful baker each and every time and create desserts that look as great as they taste.  You'll find simple cookies, cakes, frostings and pastries, as well as complex recipes, such as wedding cakes.  Each recipe is complete - no flipping through a book to find a component of your dessert, and techniques are hyperlinked so you can go directly to a detailed description, photo or recipe that might offer some extra help.  The pdf format can be used on any computer, and you'll have a user's guide, just in case you are less familiar with the computer.  Happy Baking!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

IT'S OFFICIAL - I'M RETIRED!  My cookbooks and downloads are no longer available, but I'm leaving my other recipes on this free website ( is defunct).  

We've moved to a home where I can't seem to take good pictures with natural light, and I'm working in a cramped kitchen with my supplies upstairs.  It's now tennis, tennis, tennis for me!

Thank you to all of my loyal readers for following my blog all these years and for giving me your feedback and praise.  It's been fun being known for my baking skills and artistry.  

Happy Baking

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Apple Blackberry Galettes

If you're a regular visitor to my site, by now you've realized that I haven't published for a very long time.   We just moved to a downsized home AND I had double knee surgery.  It definitely has given me time to think about what I'd like to do.  And, I will probably RETIRE!!  I'm still baking and cooking plenty, but I don't seem to have the energy to photograph and document every step.  So until I do decide if I want to take down my site, I thought I would republish this lovely recipe that is great for the wintertime.  Enjoy.

I've made these pastries several times over the last month, trying different shapes, fillings, etc.  For pickups, turnovers work great, but for desserts that get plated, these galettes contain twice as much fruihen and are terrific when people are sitting, and forks are available.  Directions for the turnovers follow. I've used Pink Lady apples here, because you need an apple that won't give off too much liquid.  The apples stay firm and the sweetness nicely complements the blackberries (if unavailable, try Pinatas or Jazz apples).  If seedy blackberries aren't to your liking, try them with blueberries.  The pastry dough is also wonderful in this galette.  It seems like a puff pastry, yet it's simple to make and has a complexity to the taste that goes great with the simple taste of the berries.

Makes 16 3-1/2-inch galettes or turnovers

2-1/2  cups (11.4 ounces)  unbleached all-purpose flour, fluffed, scooped and leveled
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4 inch chunks
8 ounces cream cheese, cold
1/3 cup heavy cream, cold

4 cups Pink Lady Apples, (about 4) peeled and cored
1 medium lemon
9 ounces blackberries, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons coarse sugar

For the Pastry: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a processor, and process for 10 seconds to mix ingredients.   Add the butter, and the cream cheese by tablespoonfuls to the processor.  Pulse-process for 8-10 pulses until the fats are cut into lentil-sized pieces.  Add the cream, and process for 8-10 seconds until the dough starts to gather.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Smear bits of the dough down against the surface with the heel of the hand, to incorporate the fat into the dough (this is called Fraisage). Gather the dough together, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours and preferably overnight.  

For the Filling: Dice the apples into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces, place in a large bowl,  and sprinkle them with lemon juice.  Stir in the sugar and all but 3 tablespoons of blackberries.  Let the mixture macerate while you prepare the pastry.

Assembly and Baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the dough in half, wrap and return 1/2 to the refrigerator, and roll the remaining piece out on a lightly floured board, into a rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick (size isn't  all that important).  Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, and then roll the dough again to about 1/16-inch thick

Because you are going to cut the dough into large rounds, and because it is thin, the circles tend to change shape if you try and lift them from the board onto the parchment paper.  Therefore, I like to transfer the entire rolled dough sheet to the parchment lined cookie sheet, and cut out the final shapes right on the sheet.  Once the rounds are cut, the excess dough can be removed.  For a nice serving size, I use a 6-inch cutter (the top of my cookie-cutter box is the perfect size).  Once the edges get turned up, the finished pastry will be about 3-1/2 inches round.  

If you have more than about 1/4 cup of juices in the fruit bowl, drain the fruit, reserving the excess juice.  Stir the cornstarch into the fruit.

Doing 1 pastry at a time, spoon a heaping teaspoonful of filling into the center of a round, leaving about 1-inch all around with no filling on it.  Fold the  inch of dough up, all around the perimeter of the pastry.  The dough will naturally make pleats.  

When all the edges are up, press lightly downward on the pastry top to seal together the pleats and to make it so that when the pastry  bakes it won't open up too much.  

Brush the edges with a little cream, and sprinkle generously with the coarse sugar.  

Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator while you prepare the second sheet of pastry (if you don't have a refrigerator large enough to accommodate a cookie sheet, this step can be skipped.  The pastries won't be quite as crisp, but no one will complain!). Chill the pastries for about 10 minutes, or until the dough has just firmed up.  Spoon about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of juice (not the reserved juice, but the juice with the cornstarch in it) into the center of each pastry, and set them into the oven.  Bake for about 20-27 minutes, until well browned and bubbly.   

Repeat with the second sheet of pastries.

While the pastries are cooking, you can either make a little glaze or extra fruit to add to the pastries.  Cut the remaining blackberries in half, and either stir in a little of the excess juice,  or some of the juice that has some cornstarch mixed into it.  If it has the starch, it should be heated for 10-15 seconds, or until the raw starch taste is gone and the mixture has thickened lightly.  This extra fruit can either be brushed over the hot fruit (not on the pastry) or a little bit can be spooned on to add texture and moisture to the baked pastries.  

To make turnovers, you need to cut all of the blackberries in half,  and let the fruit macerate with the sugar for at least 20 minutes.  Add the starch just before shaping, as with the galettes.  Roll the dough into a rectangle ( the dough should be a bit thicker - maybe a scant 1/8-inch). You want to cut the rectangles to be about 4x4, so roll the dough to a size that is workable for you, rolling it slightly larger than you need it in case it shrinks when you cut it.

Because your really can't have any juice in these, I like to sprinkle the rectangles with powdered sugar to compensate for the sugar that is left in the juice you can't really use.  After they are sprinkled, cradle 1 rectangle in your hand and spoon a heaping teaspoonful of drained filling into the center (use a slotted spoon because the fruit will continue to ooze juice as it sits).

Bring two opposite pointy sides and seal together, and then seal along the whole edge.

Now you need to make sure that the edge is well sealed.  I pinch it tightly closed and then roll the edge slightly upward, as if you were making a pie crust edge.  Hopefully this will prefent the turnover from splitting open when it bakes.  Set the turnover on a parchment lined sheet.  Cut a slit in the top of each turnover.  Brush the turnovers with either cream, or an egg yolk whisked with 1/2 teaspoon of water, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes until nicely browned.