Easy Holiday Food Gifts

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

Chocolate Truffles for Holiday Food GiftsFood gifts are always welcome, but even more so during the holiday season.  Every year the holidays arrive faster and faster.  No matter how I try, there is no way to slow them down.  When I was a little girl, time could not go by fast enough.  Now that I am no longer a little girl, it goes all too fast.

Many of us, including me, have people on our gift list that we want to remember. There is no better way to let someone know you appreciate them or what they do than with food gifts you make.  So I drew together a list of quick to make and wonderful to receive gifts that are not cookies.  Don’t get me wrong, I love making and giving cookies, but they can be time-consuming if you work or are just busy. Continue reading

Raspberry Rhapsody Cake

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

Raspberry RhapsodyThis Raspberry Rhapsody had an interesting start. This is actually based on the Hungarian cake, Rigo Janci. I introduced it as that and I couldn’t get anyone to buy it. I finally tracked down the reason. It seems the chefs didn’t know how to pronounce it. Not wanting to look bad, they just skipped over it.

So, I just changed the name to Raspberry Rhapsody and it took off and became a good seller.

This Raspberry Rhapsody employs one of the moistest sponge cakes to be found. There is one little trick I found at the bakery that ensures this moisture. Immediately upon coming from the oven, the top of the layers are covered directly with foil until cool. This has the effect of steaming the sponge keeping it flexible and moist. Continue reading

Peppermint Ravioli Cookies

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

Peppermint Ravioli Cookies

I wait for the winter holidays for Ghirardelli to send out its peppermint squares again just to make these Peppermint Ravioli Cookies. This once a year treat is delicious on it’s own but incorporated into a cookie can’t be beat.

And if you’re looking for something different to add to that cookie exchange or tray, these Peppermint Ravioli Cookies could be just the thing.

After the holidays were done we snapped up all the half price or less peppermint squares we could find. I had a ball in January working with them. These Peppermint Ravioli Cookies are easy to make and would be a perfect gift for anyone during the holidays and what a treat for those of us loving this candy as I do. Continue reading

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Caramel Rum Sauce

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

Pumpkin Cheesecake TartThis Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Caramel Rum Sauce is ease personified in baking.

The simple Caramel Rum Sauce can be made weeks ahead and refrigerated.

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart has a graham cracker crust that is pressed in and filled with a cream cheese mixture alternated with a pumpkin mixture which are swirled together.

The baked tart can be frozen if made ahead.

That’s pretty much it – an epic short intro for me!  Oh, I couldn’t leave without telling you to  check out the Pumpkin Mousse Torte for another seasonal pumpkin dessert. Continue reading

Scones with Cranberry Strawberry Jam

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

Scone with Cranberry Strawberry JamAfter last week’s marathon recipe, Scones with Cranberry Strawberry Jam is a walk in the park. The scones are easily made and the jam requires no canning if kept in the refrigerator or freezer.  The combination of the cranberries and strawberries makes a sweet-tart topping for the scones, toast, biscuits, or pancakes and waffles. A jar of the jam makes a perfect hostess gift.

These scones are endlessly variable.   They are light, moist and very buttery tasting despite the fact they have only three tablespoons of butter. Of course, the liquid used is heavy cream.

The scones should be served close to baking for the best experience. But they are certainly good any time of the day, even the next day. Since they can be frozen, either baked or unbaked, warm scones can be had any time of the day. This is a wonderful breakfast with friends or part of a brunch.  They can be made larger or smaller as desired. Continue reading