Entries in Bake (7)


Espresso Biscuits

I like a little sweet in the morning. Usually I am on my best behavior and stick to oatmeal or cereal to start my day right - but sometimes I go the other way. A cup of coffee and something sweet and a little sinful to pair with it. A kick-start to my morning. 

Instant espresso is one of my pantry secret weapons. I love adding it to a variety of chocolate baked goods. It deepens the cocoa flavor in such a lovely way. Often I add a tablespoon or two into the liquid ingredients in a recipe. Sometimes I add it to the dry ingredients for cookies. 

The other ingredient in this recipe to call out is the Dutch Process Cocoa. Unlike regular baking cocoa, Dutch Process Cocoa is made from cacao beans that have been washed with a potassium solution, to neutralize their acidity and mellow out the cocoa flavor. When recipes call for Dutch Process Cocoa you want to not swap it our for natural cocoa as it can change the outcome of your recipe. 

These Espresso Biscuits are perfect with a cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream. I also love to wrap some up and take them to a friend. They have a really full cocoa taste and are dry in a really good way - that must be all the butter balancing them. 

Espresso Biscuits

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup Dutch cocoa

1 1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 teasponn vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment

In a small bowl sift together the flour, instant espresso and cocoa 

In a larger bowl blend the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy with an electric mixer - about 3-4 minutes

Gradually mix in the flour mixture to the butter mixture - making sure to scrape downt he sides of the bowl

Roll 2 tablespoons of dough at a time between your hands to form a ball

Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart

Use tines of a dinner fork to press the dough down into the biscuit shape

Bake until firm to the touch - 10-12 minutes

Transfer to a wire rack to cool 

Will store for 3 days in airtight container


Fresh Apricot Galette

My dad preferred pie over cake for desserts and occasions like birthdays. This is something I knew from a very young age and I am sure my mom told me this on many occasion. Kids usually expect cake so "why pie?". My mom knew from early on in her and my dads relationship that he liked pie. I don't think my grandmother could have made it any clearer when she gifted my mom with the "Farm Journal's Complete Pie Book" 1969ish. The inscription is priceless "Hope you have a lot of fun. Really read this book - and read the index thoroughly". Clearly the message was "my son likes pie - so you better make a good one".

Some of my fondest memories are in the kitchen with my family. One stands out more than most and although the details are a little fuzzy the facts remain the same. I remember watching from the sidelines as my parents made pies. I think it was for thanksgiving and I am pretty sure there was pumpkin involved. None the less - sitting back and enjoying that memory makes me feel happy inside. 

While some people love throwing together a batch of cupcakes, I love throwing together a pie, or a pie like dessert. For me crust is what my hands love to make and no freezer is complete without a crumble topping awaiting its fruit! Fruit pies are my favorite. That sweet ripe fruit baked until it is soft, wrapped in buttery crust. Fresh fruit doesn't stand a chance in our home and these apricots were no exception. 

I was excited to see the beginning of stone fruits in the local markets. How could I say no to splitting a case of local, organic apricots with one of my customers. Sweet fragrant dumplings of love these were! I have jam on my mind but it seems like a sin to not use some in a dessert. I decided to go rustic and make a galette. A galette is a rustic free form tart. Consider her the low maintenance sister to a pie. No fluted edges here. Just a crust folded up around fruit. Yum!

Pate Brisee

This recipe will make 2 crusts. You need one for this recipe. You can freeze the other for up to 2 months. I say make another galette!!  

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of cold butter cut up into small pieces
  • ice water - 1/4 cup or so

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor - pulse to combine. Add butter, pulse for about 10 1 second pulses until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers.)

With machine running, slowly pour  1/4 cup ice water through feed tube. When dough comes together press a small amount together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. We do not want wet or sticky dough. Do not process more than 30 seconds.


Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Gather together then divide in half. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into disks. Wrap with plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. 

Apricot Galette

  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee
  • 1 1/2 pounds apricots - about 10
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup + sugar
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Pre heat over to 425 degrees

Half and pit your apricots. Slice each half into 3 sections. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice/zest, sugar, cornstarch and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat. Taste your apricots and see if they need a little more sugar. 

Roll out your Pate Brisee using a little flour to a 13' circle. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Place apricot mixture in the middle of the pastry leaving a 2 inch edge of pastry all the way around. Start folding up the crust over the apricots creasing as necessary to keep in the juices. 

Brush the outer pastry edges with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Place in over for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20 - 25 minutes until pastry is golden and apricots are bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream or my favorite at room temperature with a cup of coffee for breakfast! 

Is it bad I had some for dessert and then breakfast the next morning?


summer summer summer

I have been away so long. Summer has arrived and has been keeping me so busy. Here are some quick hi-lights to get us up to date - then I promise to be here more often.

Our local pizza place started serving brunch a few weeks ago - we went - it was not bad. unfortunately they stopped this weekend as they were not getting the traffic they needed. But I thought I would show the pictures anyway and if you are a Pizza lover like I am you need to try All Purpose Pizza here on Jackson St. Everything is made from scratch and their sourdough crust makes me oh so happy!!


A couple of our best friends had their commitment ceremony and I baked all the deserts for their reception. This included some amazing lemon bars. I had never made lemon bars from scratch so this was a fun endeavor. I hand squeezed all the lemons and added plenty of zest. The first batch could have cooked a few minutes more - but was set enough to be cut. Overall they turned out great and were the first thing to go. 

I also made an amazing three layer coconut cake - this was my trial run on an amazing cake I am planning on serving at our wedding reception. I don't have any finished pictures of it - but I had a major issue with the cake itself and had to re-bake the morning of the event. Here are a couple pictures of my disaster - first time anything like this has happened to me. It all turned out great - but I was worried for a moment.

And on that note - I say good day to you all!!


sparkly thank you tags

My friend June is having her 40th birthday and to celebrate is having a few friends over for snacks and drinks. I love June a lot - she is an amazing woman. And 40 is a big deal so I wanted to do something a little special and decided to put together a little thank you gift for the ladies coming over.

I decided to do a lemon sugar cookie and wrap them in a little bag with ribbon and a pretty tag - I love tags and anytime I am selling or giving goods I ask Mr. Ramon to print me some tags. With spring/summer finally trying to come to Seattle I thought that a nice robins egg blue would be so pretty.

These are the tags we printed -

Now I know that Martha Stewart does a real good job marketing her products - and making a pretty penny off them - but sometimes I get sucked in. And this glitter was the perfect color. Of course this "glitter glue" is just glue - but I needed some anyway since mine has all dried up.

I punched a hole for the ribbon to go through then made a little border of glue and then added the glitter to it - once it dried I blew off the excess.

Here they are all drying.

I filled my bags with cookies and tied the ribbon on and added the tag - and voila!!


Sparrow Bakery - Bend, Oregon

Mr. Ramon and I took a long weekend to go to Bend, Oregon. This is where I grew up through the age of 14 before moving to Southern California. My mom and her husband moved back to Bend two years ago. They have 3/4 of an acre in unincorporated Bend - fully fenced the pups could run safely in their own personal dog park.

I love visiting Bend - so much of it is the same from my childhood and so much is new and bigger. It has a small town feel and nature is so close at hand. Mr. Ramon spent the weekend golfing, fishing and eating. I spent time with mom antiquing, completing decorating projects and eating.

I wanted to find a great bakery while I was there and share it with all of you. Sparrow is a hidden gem in Bend. The cafe is only part of the picture - Micah the owners passion lies with bread - and about a year ago he opened Bread LaVoy on 3rd street in an old donut shop that I remember fondly as a child. His bread is mostly wholesaled - but at the 3rd street location you can pick up a fresh loaf.

The four of us had a great lunch at Sparrow.  I loved the building immediately with its old brick and charming decor.

I had heard about their hand folded croissants - and had to try them. I am not a huge croissant fan as they seem airy and flakey and a bit boring. These were amazing - heavy and loaded with butter - perfectly crisp and browned on the outside with a moist and chewy center with layer and layers of dough.

My mom and her husband had the soup de jour which was cream of mushroom. They shared the croissant.

Mr Ramon had the Sparrow version of a Monte Cristo sandwich and I had the tuna melt - both yummy!



Here are some other goodies from their case - they all look amazing.



If you find yourself visiting or driving through Bend - stop by Sparrow - you won't be sorry!!