Author Archives: hfletcher

Quick and Easy Two Step Banana Bread

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Banana Bread for Two Step Banana BreadI’ve often wondered if the first person to make banana bread actually started out to make it or if the bananas sat in a corner, got overly-ripe and something had to be done with them, which is usually what happens in my house. That doesn’t make it any less wonderful – just necessary.

This Two Step Banana Bread is great as a quick gift to someone on your list or to yourself.  it is sure to be well received and appreciated.  It’s also great to have tucked away in the freezer for those times you need to have a bit of something for drop in guests or as a morning treat for house guests.

Bananas are actually one fruit that is picked green and best allowed to ripen off the tree. Produce wholesalers often have “banana rooms” where the fruit is purchased really green and then ripened in these 70 degree rooms to a yellow color with green tips. Continue reading

Easy Holiday Food Gifts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2018. 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, 2018. 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, 2018. 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, 2018. 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