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Honey Madeleines

March 27, 2013

Nearly twenty two years ago I got married, and as a gift I was given a copy of Patricia Wells’ book about the cuisine of Joël Robuchon. It was a heady book for a 23-year-old with Vermont commune roots. The book, and its recipes, stepped me directly into the intimidating world of French food. Patricia Wells […]

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Thumbnail image for 7 Layer Cake for Passover (Matzo Sponge Cake with Poppyseed Buttercream)

7 Layer Cake for Passover (Matzo Sponge Cake with Poppyseed Buttercream)

March 21, 2013

Next week is the beginning of Passover. I love this holiday for the ritual, the gathering of wonderful people and the challenge to come up with new desserts worthy of the day. This cake was inspired by a conversation I had with Deb Perelman about Dobos Tortes, which is a cake made up of many […]

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Thin Mint Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

March 12, 2013

‘Tis the season of Girl Scout cookies and there is none more famous and beloved than the thin mint, at least in my house. I love Girl Scout cookies, both for the memories of being a scout and for what they represent; empowering kids is always a good thing. Sadly, the days of my 13-year-old metabolism are […]

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The Ultimate Blueberry Muffins

March 4, 2013

I had a forehead thumping moment recently when a friend asked me for a blueberry muffin recipe. In all the years I’ve been doing this site, I’ve never posted the most basic of breakfast treats. How did I get away with this, especially when they are one of my favorites. For me the perfect blueberry […]

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Kitchen Basics – Homemade Crème Fraîche

February 25, 2013

Crème fraîche is the sophisticated French cousin of sour cream.  Its texture is smoother and the flavor more subtle, not quite so sour, but still a bit sharp. It is simple to make and requires only two ingredients, so it is no wonder it is a staple in most French kitchens and a must have for pastry […]

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Chocolate Fondue (No Special Pot Required)

February 11, 2013

In the 1970s I lived in Westport, Connecticut and my best friend’s aunt owned a fondue restaurant. It was the hot spot in town for people to go on dates and it all seemed terribly sophisticated and romantic to my 13 year old self. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed to have missed the era […]

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Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Rice Treats for Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2013

Need something quick and fun to make with your kids for Valentine’s Day? Really, the kids are just a foil for my own craving to make something silly and delicious. As you may remember, this is not the first crispy rice bar to appear on ZoeBakes, its a bit of a thing with me. I […]

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PB&J Cheesecake with Poured Ganache (how-to video).

January 30, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly is a staple in most children’s diets. In fact, I just read that Americans will consume billions, with a B, of them every year. I can believe it, since my kids picked it for lunch 9 out of 10 times, until very recently. I’ve gone through what must be 100s of […]

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Banana Bread (and Pear Bread) – One Recipe, Two Flavors.

January 23, 2013

The fact that Bosc pears taste like spicy, buttery perfume (I mean sweet, pure essence of pear, not old lady soap), may be second to their beauty. I admit I bought this bag of pears to decorate my kitchen. They’re so sleek and statuesque that most every still life painter from Van Gogh to Picasso […]

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Cranberry-Raspberry Upside Down Cake

December 11, 2012

The color of this cake alone is enough to bring me great joy these days. It is snowing here in MN, which is a blessing and a curse. Snow is a blessing, because it brings new life to the cold and allows my boys to go snowboarding and sledding in the evenings. It’s also a […]

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Chocolate Caramel Monkey Muffins

December 4, 2012

I think monkey bread was the first thing my younger brothers ever baked. They loved the gooey mess of making them as much as the caramel goodness of eating them. Truth told, when I leave the house for any amount of time, my husband makes them with my own boys. He waits until I leave, […]

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Dreams Do Come True…A Cookie Swap with Ina Garten!

November 27, 2012

(photo by Quentin Bacon) This summer I got an email that I thought was spam. It said something to the effect of…”Ladies’ Home Journal would like you to attend a private brunch and cookie swap with the Barefoot Contessa!” I sat on the email for about 30 seconds and then decided..what the hell, what if […]

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