Tag Archives: almonds

White Wine Amaretto Peach Sauce

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

White Wine Amaretto Peach SauceI recently made this White Wine Amaretto Peach Sauce for the restaurant to serve over peach ice cream. As I was peeling the peaches, I thought of all the ways this could be used for a quick summer dessert.

If you have been following the weather across the states (I realize most people don’t particularly care about the weather elsewhere but I have children in other states and like to see if they are as bad off as we are), you will know that St. Louis is experiencing a brief respite from the very hot temperatures. As a result, I have been indulging myself by going back in the kitchen for short sprints.

I’m not sure when I started making this, but it was a while back. The wine and amaretto give the White Wine Amaretto Peach Sauce a depth of flavor that sugared peaches can’t match. I have used both Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio white wines with excellent results. Continue reading

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Chocolate Crunch ParfaitThese Strawberry Chocolate Crunch Parfaits are a simple, no heat dessert that is perfect for the hot summer months. Creamy and crunchy with fresh strawberries and chocolate, these parfaits can even be made the day ahead.

The glass in the picture originally belonged to Mike’s grandmother. I love the delicacy of the flute and the green stem. It seemed like they were waiting for these parfaits.

The chocolate crunch can be made using any nut you wish. I chose almonds, but have used hazelnuts in the past.  To avoid the oven, I put them in a dry skillet over medium heat.  It is best to watch them, turning them often so they don’t burn.  You will notice I said “best to watch….. .” Since I don’t always follow my own advice I have sometimes burned them using this method so I didn’t wander too far away this time. Continue reading

Honey Diamonds – A cookie? A small cake?

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Honey DiamondsHoney Diamonds were among my mothers unusual Christmas cookies.  I have no idea why we didn’t have them more often.  But Mom had a great collection of cookies served only at Christmas.  I have never seen most of them anywhere.  I noticed in years passed while blogging that for some reason, I have never shared Holiday recipes ahead of time.  I plan to rectify that this year as you will see them throughout the next few months.

A rare cookie with no shortening, these soft pillows of spiced chocolate are actually more little cakes packed with flavor that only get better when they sit. Its quick preparation is a boon to busy bakers and as a bonus they make the house smell wonderful while baking. Continue reading

Almond Raspberry Triangles

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Almond Raspberry TrianglesAlmond Raspberry Triangles were one of the most popular petit fours in our petit four box.  Whether they are cut full size into squares or smaller triangles, this really easy to make bar is an unusual combination of flavors.  My son referred to it as a “sleeper”.  It is not the fanciest bar or petit four but certainly one of the best.

The base of these Almond Raspberry Triangles is shortbread that is pressed into the pan and topped with raspberry.  The crowning glory is a mixture of almonds, eggs. Amaretto, vanilla, almond extracts and butter that are quickly processed together and poured over the baked base. Continue reading

How to Make Almond Paste – Or Not!

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Almond PasteLast week I posted a recipe using almond paste. One of my regular readers asked me if I had a recipe to make almond paste since it is so expensive. At the time I remembered seeing such recipes so I hopped on the internet and found quite a few.

Most of them featured blanched almonds, powdered sugar and egg whites as the binder.
Armed with a pound of almonds, plenty of powdered sugar and egg whites, off I went.

The first hint of a problem was getting the almonds fine enough. Processor blades dull after a while and I don’t know if they can be sharpened.  I generally just replace mine.  However, since my processor is on it’s last leg, I haven’t and the blade is not as sharp as i would like it.  So I restorted to placing them in a blender with the powdered sugar and it did a great job after a lot of scraping and blending. After the nuts were finely ground, I transferred the mixture to the processor and added the egg white. It balled up into a gorgeous mass and when shaped into a log it looked spectacular.

I went to bed that night happy with my conquest. Almond Paste – DONE!!! When I woke up the next morning I had a nagging feeling of needing to test my perfect product. Continue reading