Sweets | Old School Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares, fletcher + fork

Are you looking for an incredibly simple, crowd pleasing dessert for Easter Sunday? Operating under the theory that just about everyone loves lemon, I often make these for big gatherings. Having just returned from Key Largo last night and scrambling to get ready for tomorrow’s holiday brunch, I plan to serve these, my grandmother’s lemon squares. Continue reading “Sweets | Old School Lemon Squares”

Care Package | Dorie Greenspan’s Lucky Charm Brownies

fullsizeoutput_5b1Have you ever loved an experience so much that you mourn the ending long before said experience is over? A few weekends ago, our daughter Hannah flew home from boarding school for a long weekend. Not to celebrate a birthday or a holiday, but to just be home. We spent our time as most mothers and teenage daughters do, in much the same way we did but took for granted before she went away to school. We went out to lunch, we shopped a bit, we went to the movies. But we also stayed up late talking and watching tv, spending long stretches in our pjs lazing about and enjoying the nearness of one another.   Continue reading “Care Package | Dorie Greenspan’s Lucky Charm Brownies”

Sweets | Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits

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When I was growing up, my mother cooked almost every night. Going out was reserved for special occasions and the rare evenings when she was too exhausted to think about putting food on the table. On those nights when we sensed a crack in her resolve, my sister and I would lobby for KFC, where I loved not only the crispy, salty fried chicken but also the whipped cream laden dessert parfaits. Kath always picked the one with chocolate pudding and I, the one that riffed on strawberry shortcake with those unnaturally red, gelatinous strawberries and too sweet vanilla cake. While you couldn’t pay me to come near one of those peel-the-foil-off-the-plastic-container confections now (or KFC for that matter), I still get a child-like thrill when excavating my way through parfait layers with a long spoon.  Continue reading “Sweets | Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits”

Celebrate | Coconut & Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Dessert heaven. Tender vanilla cake mingles with sweet tart lemon curd and an irresistible cream cheese frosting to become the ultimate indulge-worthy dessert. You will have frosting left over and this is a very good thing – refrigerate and use sandwiched between graham crackers or wafer cookies, or dollop onto raspberry laced weekend pancakes. Continue reading “Celebrate | Coconut & Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting”

Summer Sweet | Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars

Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars

The first time I tested this recipe, I tried using only fresh blackberries and they were good yet frustratingly a bit too sour. Terrific with ice cream, of course, but not perfect on their own. Enter blackberry jam. The combination of fresh, tart berries with sweet jam nestled into the buttery dough allowed the bars to stand deliciously alone. Continue reading “Summer Sweet | Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars”

Sweets | Pear Lillet Compote (+ three cocktails)

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Have you tried Lillet Blanc, the French wine-based apertif? It is a main component of the Vesper Martini (3 ounces gin, 1 ounce vodka, 1/2 ounce Lillet with a twist of lemon) made famous in 1953’s Casino Royale where it was shaken, not stirred, of course. Less boozy, my go-to spring cocktail is well-chilled Lillet Blanc stirred with a splash of French Curaçao and an orange twist. You could also simply pour it over ice or make a delightful champagne cocktail, with two parts Champagne to one part Lillet. Here, however, it serves as a spiced and citrusy poaching liquid for vanilla bean-flecked pears. I created this as a light, make-ahead dessert to be served over vanilla ice cream, but you could also spoon it onto a thick slice of pound cake.

Continue reading “Sweets | Pear Lillet Compote (+ three cocktails)”

Sweet Treat | Strawberry Vanilla Rice Krispie Hearts

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When the ice cream man rolled through our childhood neighborhood sending us scrambling for money, the only thing I’d give up my hard earned allowance for was a Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar. I created these Strawberry Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats in homage to the childhood favorite just in time for Valentine’s Day. They are perfectly delicious without the white chocolate drizzle, but holidays call for gilding the lily a bit, don’t you think? Continue reading “Sweet Treat | Strawberry Vanilla Rice Krispie Hearts”