Entries in dessert (6)


Valentines Brownie Hearts

I had quite a few orders for baked sweets come in for Valentines Day. One client lets me decide which type of goodies to bring and I decided to bring them an assorted box of cookies, cupcakes and these adorable frosted brownie hearts. Perfect for the sweetie in your life!! 

The great thing about these is you can use any brownie recipe - even a box variety if you are short on time and ingredients. You want to bake your brownies in a 9x9 pan so they are thinner and you get more hearts. Choose a cookie cutter that is the size you like for your brownie cut outs. I used hearts since its Valentines Day but you could use any shape for any occasion. 

I lined my brownie pan with parchment so when the brownies were fully cooled you could pull them out in ine sheet and easily cut them with the cookie cutter. I save all the leftover brownie pieces for someone in the house to snack on! 

These are fun the way they are but an easy frosting and some toppings make them really special. I made up a quick "buttercream" in a pretty rose color and frosted all of them. Some I added sparkles to and the others I rolled in toasted coconut. Yum!

The possibilities are endless. Pretty much any sprinkle or topping canbe used. Have fun. This is a great thing to do with your children. 

Easy Buttercream Fosting

4 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients into the bowl of your mixer. Blend all ingredients until smooth. 

Should be a nice smooth texture. 

Add food coloring if desired


Ginger Carrot Cake Cookies

While every blog this month is filled with salads and juice cleanses I thought I would tempt you with a vegetable filled cookie.  
While a giant cake topped with mounds of cream cheese frosting is a delight - cakes in general can be hard to manage for some gatherings. I wanted carrot cake that was portable. After several recipe attempts I landed on one filled with spicy ginger and plump golden raisins. These are great as soon as they are made or they can be be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. I think they are delicious chilled. 
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, ginger and lemon zest until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat until combined. Cover and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed, finely grated, peeled carrots
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, Ginger, sugars, and egg yolk.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, and salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined.
Mix in oats, carrots, and currants.

Drop tablespoons of dough - 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets and flatten.
Bake until edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Turn half the cookies over, bottom side up; dollop each with about 1 teaspoon chilled cream-cheese filling. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to spread filling to edges. 
Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for 1 day. 

Apple Cake Crisp

Fall is magical - the weather gets cooler and a crisp feeling is in the air. You begin to bundle up and walk in the neighborhood to watch green turn to gold to orange and red and then fall from the trees. This is a time of change and wonderment. I love fall. Along with the beautiful nature I love the flavors that accompany fall - squash, apples, pears, sweet potatoes and nuts. These ingredients are at the best and are begging to be roasted, baked and turned into soup and hearty casseroles. 

Apples are what we celebrate here in the PNW come fall. I know just how to turn their tart flesh into a carmelly, spicey masterpeice. I love pie and crisps so I tried something new and ended up with this apple dessert that is not quite a cake, not quite a pie and not quite a crisp. But it is marvelous. 

Apple Cake Crisp


  • 4 pounds Granny Smith Apples - peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Place apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Place mixture into a colander and set over a bowl to catch juices from mixture. Let drain 30 minutes. 


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks cold butter cut into small pieces

Mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and work into flour with hands or a pastry cutter until the butter is no larger than peas and is incorporated into the flour mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Press 2/3 of the flour mixture into the bottom and half up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Fill the crust with the apple mixture. Scatter the remaining crust mixture over the top of the apples. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes then loosen edge of pan with a knife to remove spring form ring. 


Raspberry Jam Bars

I love bar cookies. They are the simple no fuss cousins of regular cookies. Mix, dump in pan and bake. So easy. I was so excited to find myself with 2 flats of raspberries last week. I almost never indulge in reaspberries - the short growng season makes them a little too pricey for my budget. But this year our longer than usual sunny streak meant that I got a great deal on these little gems. 

I knew that jam would be in my near future. I followed the same reciped I used for my Strawberry Jam just substituting these berries. It turned out so great - sweet and the color of rubies. I had some left that would not quite fill a jar so I decided to make a batch of Jam Bars. You can use any jam on hand - I love them with apricot also. 

These are really easy to prepare and have a great butttery crust that pairs well with the sweet jam center. These are sure to disappear quickly. 

Raspberry Jam Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped finely
  • 12 tablespoons butter cool room temperature cut into pieces
  • 1 cup raspberry jam

Adjust the oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 pan with foil allowing edges to hang over for easy removal. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix flour through nuts on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. With machine on low, add the butter and mix until fully combined - about 2 minutes. 

Press 2/3 of the crust into the bottom of the pan with your hand until even. Bake for about 20 minutes until crust is brown. Take out of the oven and spread the jam over the warm crust with the back of a spoon. Take remainder of crust and sprinkle it over the jam. Place back in oven and bake for about 30 minutes and golden brown. 

Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan. Cut 1/4 inch of edge off on each side for a neater presentation. Then cut into squares. 


Wedding Cookie Buffet

A couple months ago I was honored to plan, decorate and coordinate a special couples big day. Seemingly endless paper decorations, hand stamped tags and a beautiful cookie buffet were some of the visual highlights. The wonderful photgrapher that day was Victoria Carlson. Her photos are so intimate and warm. They blow me away. She offered to send me some photos of the work I did at the event and I am happy to share them with you.