Brioche Burger Buns


More hamburger buns but this time, using a brioche dough. Because butter is always better. Thanks to The Spruce Eats for this recipe.


For the Starter:

2/3 cup milk (lukewarm, about 85 F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (3 1/4 ounces)
3 tablespoons sugar

For the Dough:

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (14 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces, at room temperature)
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon cornmeal

For the Egg Wash:

1 large egg
1 tablespoon water


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add the 3/4 cup of flour and the 3 tablespoons of sugar. With the paddle attachment, mix the sponge until you have a smooth batter.

Remove the beater, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let stand for about 30 minutes or until you see bubbles over the surface of the dough.

With the dough hook, mix in the 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons of flour, the salt, and the 4 beaten eggs. Once the dough is formed, knead with the dough hook for about 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl down a few times.

Add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue kneading with the machine, scraping the bowl from time to time, for about 5 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and shiny.

Oil a large bowl with olive oil or vegetable oil.

Using a bowl scraper or spoon, scrape the dough into the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down; fold over a few times.

Cover with plastic wrap again and let rise for 45 minutes.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, shape into balls. Flour your palm and flatten the balls to make thick disks.

Arrange the rolls on the parchment-lined pan. Cover with a lightweight kitchen towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400 F.

Sprinkle the tops of the buns with a little cornmeal, then gently turn them over so the cornmeal dusting is on the bottom.

Combine one large egg with one tablespoon of water; whisk to blend well.

Brush the egg mixture gently over each roll. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if desired.

Bake for 7 minutes at 400 F.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer until golden brown.


Carmen’s Mexican Chocolate Caramels

Some people are so sweet that you feel the need to make them their own candy.  Carmen is one of those folks.


cups heavy cream
24 small dried red chiles seeds removed, broken into ½-inch pieces
10 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
3 teaspoons cinnamon
cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
2 teaspoons fleur de sel or other type of flaky sea salt


Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with two perpendicular pieces of parchment paper, so that there is overhang on all four sides. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, add the chile pieces, give it a quick stir, remove from heat, and cover. Allow the chiles to steep in the cream for at least 30 minutes. Remove the chile pieces with a slotted spoon and discard.
Return the strained cream to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, add both chocolates and the cinnamon. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring the sugar, syrup, water, and table salt to a boil in a 5 to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil, uncovered, without stirring but gently swirling the pot occasionally, until the sugar is a deep golden color, about 10 minutes.
Tilt the pot slightly and carefully pour the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture (it will bubble and steam quite a bit). Continue to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 255 degrees F.
Add the butter, stirring until it has completely melted, then immediately pour the caramel mixture into the lined baking pan (do not scrape any caramel clinging to the bottom or side of the pot, as these pieces will have crystallized). Let the caramel stand for 10 minutes, then sprinkle evenly with the fleur de sel. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours.

Using the parchment overhangs as handles, carefully lift the caramel onto a clean, dry cutting board. Spray a pizza cutter or large knife with non-stick cooking spray and slice the caramel into 1-inch squares. Wrap the candies individually and store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake


I came across this recipe from The Cafe Sucre Farine who got from King Arthur Flour. This could be your “Sure, stop by for cake and coffee” when you don’t have any cake and they are only an hour away.  Delicious.



¼ cup butter very soft
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour


3 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons half and half
teaspoon salt
¾ cup diced pecans


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″ round cake pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the butter and brown sugar and stir until smooth. Add the egg, beating again till smooth. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda and salt evenly over the top and still until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and/or the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.

During the last 10 minutes of baking time, prepare the topping. Stir the butter and the sugar together. Add the milk, pecans, and salt. The glaze will be thick, but pourable.

After the cake has baked for 30 minutes, pour the topping over the cake and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes (for a total baking time of 40 minutes). Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan.

Sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt, if desired and serve warm or at room temperature. Topping will firm up as the cake cools. Cake can be served in the pan or on a serving platter or cake stand. To serve on a platter, invert cake onto a dinner-size plate then invert again so that topping is up.

Linzer Cookies


For Father’s Day, I made my Dad one of his faves. I found this recipe at NY Times.


435 g flour
75 g almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
340 g unsalted butter
250 g sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raspberry jam
Powdered sugar for dusting


Whisk together flour, ground almonds or almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together on medium-high until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, and beat until everything is well combined, again stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary.

Add in dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed, just until incorporated.

Divide dough in 2 equal pieces, and wrap each piece in cling film, patting into a 1-inch-thick disk. Chill at least 2 hours, up to 5 days ahead.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper so it’s about 1/8 inch thick. (Because of the almonds, the dough may crack in places while you’re rolling it out. This is O.K., just patch it up with scraps.)

Using a round cookie cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Take half of these circles and cut out a 1-inch circle from the interior of the larger circles, creating a doughnut shape that will become the top of the cookie. If at any point the dough becomes too soft to cut and cleanly remove from parchment paper, slide it onto a cookie sheet and chill for a few minutes in the freezer or refrigerator. Gather any scraps of dough, combine them and roll them out, chilling as necessary. Transfer dough circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet spaced 1 inch apart and bake until the edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

To assemble the linzer cookies, spread about a teaspoon of raspberry jam onto the flat sides of the larger circles. Dust the tops of the cutout circles with powdered sugar and place on top of raspberry jam.


Chocolate Striped Swiss Roll


I worked with Jemma’s Polka Dot Swiss Roll Recipe to get this.


50 g unsalted butter, softened
50 g powdered sugar, sifted
2 eggs whites
30g  flour, sifted
20 g cocoa powder, sifted

Swiss Roll
3 large eggs, separated
80 g sugar (in 2x 40g batches)
45 g unsalted butter, melted
75 g plain flour, sifted
½ tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Jam
120ml whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

For the stripes, add butter and icing sugar to a small bowl and mix with hand mixer until well blended.  Add the egg whites and mix again until blended.  Sift in cocoa powder and flour and mix until blended.   Fill piping bag and pipe out any design you desire.  Place in refrigerator while make Swiss roll batter.

For Swiss Roll batter, separate eggs and using hand mixer mix egg whites and 40g of sugar until stiff peaks.  Then mix yolks and sugar until lighter in color and thicker. Mix in vanilla extract.  Fold egg whites into yolks in three stages.  Then fold in the melted and cooled butter and flour (do this in two batches starting and ending with flour).

Carefully spread Swiss Roll batter over the refrigerator pattern and bake for approximately 10 minutes when the center springs back.

Cut a border around the cake while hot and turn out cake onto a baking tray.  Flip cake back onto a tea towel and cover exposed end with parchment paper.  As you roll the warm cake, remove the bottom parchment (watch Jemma’s video above for exactly how to do this).  Then re-roll the tea towel around the cake until you are ready to fill.  This keeps the cake from cracking and moist.

Make whipped cream and then unroll cake.  Apply a layer of jam leaving a 1/2 inch border and then cover with whipped cream.  Don’t go too thick on either layer.  Re roll cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sugar Coated Buttermilk Pound Cake



3 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar + more for pan
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan with butter and then coat with sugar. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes. Do not open oven door until after one hour. When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Frost if desired.

Isabel’s Coconut Cake


Isabel wanted a Coconut Cake for her birthday.  Or did Maddie want one for Isabel’s birthday?  I doesn’t matter. A Coconut Cake was born. I worked with this recipe.


360g cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
400g  sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups well shaken canned coconut milk , at room temperature
2 large eggs , at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
1 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large egg whites , at room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp coconut extract
590g powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-inch round cake pans and line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper, butter parchment paper and set pans aside.

Sift cake flour into a large mixing bowl, then add baking powder and salt and whisk mixture. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together granulated sugar, butter and canola oil on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down bowl.

Add in egg yolks one at a time and mix until combined after each addition (reserve 2 egg whites), then mix in coconut and vanilla extracts. Scrape down bowl.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend just until combined. Add half of the coconut milk, mix just until combined. Mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by remaining coconut milk. Finish by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture.

In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip 6 egg whites with cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold 1/3 of the egg whites into cake batter at a time and fold just combined after each addition (don’t over-mix and deflate egg whites).

Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Spread batter into an even layer and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 19 – 22 minutes.
Allow to cool in cake pan 5 – 10 minutes then run a knife along edges of cakes and invert each onto a wire rack to cool. Cool completely the cut tops to even as needed.
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter with cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix in coconut extract. Add powdered sugar and whip on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
Chill as needed if frosting seems runny (slightly runny is fine, once you get it frosted the coconut will help it stay in place).
Frost top of one layer, add another layer and frost then top with last layer and frost top and sides. Place cake stand over a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle cake evenly with shredded coconut (pressing gently on sides to adhere).  I refrigerated it overnight but then left it out.

Japanese Cheesecake


I decided to make this for Pacific-Asian Heritage Month. I worked with this recipe.


10 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 large eggs, separated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
Powdered Sugar, for decorating


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment. Place a 3 1/2-inch-wide strip of parchment around the inside of the pan so that it comes up about 1 inch higher than the edge; set aside.

Heat the cream cheese, milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together the vanilla, egg yolks and lemon juice in a large bowl until smooth. Pour the cooled milk mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth and combined. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch until combined; set aside.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue beating on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes longer.

Gently fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture in 3 batches, making sure not to overmix (you want the whites to stay as fluffy as possible). As soon as the white streaks disappear from the batter, pour it into the prepared pan.

Place the cake pan inside of a larger pan and pour enough hot water into the larger pan so that it comes 1 inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 250 degrees F and continue baking until the cake is doubled in size, golden brown on top and around the edges and jiggly in the center but set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto your dominant hand (right onto your palm–this is the most gentle way to handle it), then invert it back onto a cake stand or plate so that the top is facing up. Sprinkle the entire top with confectioners’ sugar and serve while still warm.

Ina Garten’s Jam Thumbprints


The Barefoot Contessa always delivers a good recipe.


3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry jam (flavor optional)



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

Ginger Syrup Scones


I worked with this recipe.


250 g flour
50g granulated sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
113 grams very cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
3 tablespoons ginger syrup (optional)

Additional heavy cream for brushing over scones optional
Additional sugar for sprinkling over scones optional


Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Cut butter into Tablespoon-sized pieces and scatter over flour mixture, pulse until butter is cut up into the flour mixture and butter pieces are no longer visible. Combine the heavy cream and ginger syrup and pour heavy cream over flour mixture. Pulse until dough begins to clump together.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and (handling lightly, as you don’t want to over-work this dough) add any add-ins at this point, gently working them into the dough.  Fold the dough in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again, repeating this step 5 times and taking care to not overwork the dough.
Form the dough into a smooth disk about 1″ thick by 6″ round.  Cut the disk into 8 wedges, pressing the knife straight down with each cut. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet and place about 2″ apart. Brush lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake on 375F for 14-16 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Don’t over-bake your scones or they will be dry and tough. Allow scones to cool on baking sheet before serving and enjoying.