In the back of my mind, Jocelyn Delk Adams, author and founder of GrandBaby Cakes blog, is family. I’ve never personally talked with or met her, but we’ve communicated via email or social media on several occasions. Her messages are as sweet as her blog, which is full of comfort, down home, Southern desserts with a few savory dishes between the cake recipes.
Make a pot of tea or coffee, light a candle, grab a comfortable seat, and plate a few cacao benne (pronounced benny) cookies. How was your year? Since the time I’ve learned 14 isn’t my favorite number, I’ve cautiously waited for the year of 2014. It’s a painfully honest number. And, when the clock turned 2014 in the midnight hour on January first, I said a silent prayer. God help us. And, as I’ve imaged, this year is a roller coaster of emotions. Russia. Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ebola in West Africa. Mike Brown and other victims of the police. Family members passing. By the time summer arrived, my stomach was jumping to the tune of “War” sung by The Temptations. Since the beginning of human relationships, I’m sure there’s a country or region involved in war somewhere around the globe. Perhaps, due to my sensitivity to 14, this year’s wars and conflicts deeply troubled me. It’s 2014 communicating, “War… What is it good for?… absolutely nothing…”
There’s nothing like a peppermint candy cane crushed into tiny pieces with its crisp flavor cutting through a decadent, dark and vanilla white chocolate brownie. The flavors sing, “Have a jolly Merry Christmas!” Read more
It’s the various spices that define holiday baking with cinnamon being the most common of them all. Next to beautifully adored butter cookies, simple snickerdoodles rolled in cinnamon and sugar are one of my favorite cookies because of its soft and chewy texture. In this recipe, coconut sugar replaces white sugar for a less sweetened and a hint of caramel flavor. While white-whole wheat flour is tossed with all-purpose white flour for a slightly healthier treat. The other change? Cardamon replaces cinnamon for a different sweet and spicy flavor. Along with cinnamon, it’s a spice redefining the holidays among adventurous bakers.
After returning to working a weekday schedule of 9 to 5, desserts with less prep work are appreciated in my schedule. Although pears and/or apples baked in buttery pie crusts are worth the extra effort and time, using puff pastry to make a tart turns out a quickie dessert.
This tart is topped with pear slices, warm spices, chopped almonds, and a maple syrup glaze with Tonewood Maple Flakes sprinkled on top. Of course, no dessert with baked pears is complete without a generous scoop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Sweet pies are great if there’s extra time in your schedule, but those with fewer hours can make these maple almond pear tarts with equal love. Read more