Where did the year go?! We all say that this time of year, don’t we? But it’s one of those cliched questions that is so true. It was a fun and exciting year, and I can’t believe it’s over. I shared recipes and met wonderful people on Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network, launched the ZoëBakes Shop, and connected and shared recipes with you (I love seeing what you make!) on Instagram and through my Substack newsletter.
It’s been an absolute joy, and I can’t wait to continue sharing these and so much more with you in the new year. Until then, enjoy my most popular recipes from 2022. And Happy New Year!
Once you make your own homemade vanilla extract you will be ruined to the store-bought stuff! It's so easy to make, but you do need to have patience. The longer it sits, the better it gets. You'll need to wait at least 5 weeks to crack into the bottle. I use 18 vanilla beans for a 750ml bottle of vodka.
Pot de crème, which is essentially as decadent as creme brûlée, without the crack of caramel resting on top. The texture is like silk and the taste is lightly sweet, with just a slight bitter edge from the burnt sugar in the butterscotch. Check the recipe notes for a pumpkin version!
This Apple Almond Galette is just an apple pie without the plate or a top crust. So, it’s even easier to make than pie and, I think, just as beautiful in a fruit forward, rustic way. The pie crust recipe makes two galettes, but you can always freeze one disk for later. I have also made this tart in a tart pan using my tart dough or even sugar cookie dough (great way to use up scraps).
This gorgeous cake is just as suited for a holiday table as it is for a Tuesday-morning coffee cake. It is super simple to get the dreamy texture of this cake, because the batter is made in a food processor, so the almond paste is blended smoothly. It yields a cake that is dense and tender at the same time. Try the variation with kirschwasser-soaked dried cherries or cranberries in place of the grapes.
These chocolate chip cookies are the result of what I learned making countless batches for decades. I also explain what the ingredients do to a cookie and how baking can change them. You can tweak your cookies to be just how you like them using my cookie guide towards the bottom of the post.
I think a pavlova is the perfect holiday dessert. It is beautiful enough to be a centerpiece on your table, so light that it can follow a big holiday meal and its flavors can change with your every whim.
This peanut butter pie recipe is oh-so delicious. With a graham cracker crust, a smooth peanut butter filling made with cream cheese, a layer of chocolate ganache, and a whipped cream and candied peanut topping, this dessert is deluxe and irresistible. Be sure to chill this pie for two hours or overnight before serving.
Aran Goyoaga's new book Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple includes this amazing recipe for meringue cake with roasted apples. I made it as written, except I did mine with pears. Aran has graciously allowed me to share her recipe with you.
The homemade chocolate wafers in this icebox cake make a big difference. They are intensely chocolate and less sweet, which gives the cake so much more personality. When you slice into the icebox cake you reveal the beautiful stripes of caramel and chocolate. You can simply spread the top with the caramel whipped cream, or pipe a fancier design.
I know pumpkin can be a divisive flavor, even inside families. Grandma may love it. Uncle Bob may hate it. But pumpkin is sure to end up on most Thanksgiving tables. I love these bars as a pumpkin compromise because they are a great way to ease into the Thanksgiving essential, and give a loving gesture to those who adore pumpkin.