Labor Day Desserts

If Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, then it’s a good time to make some of your favorite summer recipes. The weather is still warm, so you may not be ready for fall favorites yet, and it’s a great time to use up some berries before freezing them for the fall and winter. Or to make one more ice cream treat before the weather gets too cold. Whatever you’re going for, these are some great Labor Day desserts to wrap up your summer and get ready for fall.

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Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

When my best friend delivered the most perfect raspberries, she just hand picked, along with homemade raspberry preserves to my front porch and the mail woman brought me Edd Kimber’s newest book, One Tin Bakes, that’s kismet. I opened the book to the page with the Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars and that evening my family was devouring them. That’s the hidden secret of bars, they’re rustic in their beauty, but magnificent in flavor. and super simple to make. After eating way too many of them, my family declared they are just a little TOO GOOD! Seriously folks, this will become a favorite recipe. One you’ll bring to every school function, picnic, family gathering and the treat you snuggle on the couch with while binge watching the GBBO. There are so many simple and delicious looking recipes in Edd’s book, I’ll be baking from it a lot. 

I shared some of the bars with Jen (the raspberry picker) and her family. They confirmed that these bars a bit dangerous to have around. I like living on the edge, so I’ll be making them again and again and again! Read More

4th of July Baked Alaska

4th of July Baked Alaska

It’s 90°F in the shade and I just can’t bring myself to fire up the oven today. So, the only reasonable thing to do is make a 4th of July Baked Alaska with homemade ice cream and top it with flaming meringue. If you don’t want to make your own ice cream, then just get your favorite store bought brand and layer them up in a loaf pan. I used strawberry, coconut and blueberry ice creams to create the red, white and blue stripes. Okay, they’re pink, cream and purple, but the intention was right and I say close enough.

4th of July Baked Alaska

You can go as crazy or quiet with your meringue, but lighting it on fire with kirschwasser (cherry flavored booze) shouldn’t really be optional. If you don’t want the booze, just use your blow torch and you’ll have the same effect without the alcohol. 

Happy 4th of July! Read More

Top Nine ZoeBakes Desserts 2019

Poached Pear Tart | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François

Instagram has spoken and these are the Top Nine ZoeBakes Desserts 2019, as determined by your 1 million likes. Thank you so much for following and I look forward to baking with you in 2020! 

These are in no particular order of popularity. Find the list and recipes below: Read More

Sticky Coconut Maple Bars

Sticky Coconut Maple Bars | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

My Granny Neal made a version of these Sticky Coconut Maple Bars every Christmas and I wrote a love letter to them and shared the recipe over at The Kitchn – Granny’s Christmas Bars! They’re really perfect for any occasion, but when I was a little kid they were a special treat reserved for Christmas morning. Enjoy! 

Sticky Coconut Maple Bars | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François 

Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Purple Sweet Potato Pie | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with a mound of an Italian meringue inspired by Esther Williams (anyone younger than me will have to google her). I was gifted a box of super fun produce by my friend Chadwick Boyd and in the selection from Frieda’s were a pair of bright purple sweet potato. I knew immediately that they would be pie. With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, how could my mind go anywhere else with such a fun bounty. The real surprise came with the topping. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows has been a regular on many Thanksgiving tables, so it seemed natural to pile on meringue and toast it like a marshmallow (a pile of whipped cream would be super tasty too). What I hadn’t planned on was the color. I had reserved the bright purple cooking water after boiling the potatoes, because it was just too pretty to throw away. I typically use a Swiss meringue on a pie, but the Italian version requires making a syrup of sugar and water, which meant I could use my potato water (BOOM, that’s how I’d tint my meringue purple). I had visions of a lavender colored cloud sitting on top of the pie, but when I added the boiling purple syrup to the spinning egg whites it turned bright, bright, bright blue. I’m not entirely sure why, but some chemical reaction in that bowl changed my vision for this pie. I was faced with a bowl of super soft, BLUE meringue and I went for it. I piled it on and then used a star tip to create the swimming cap of a topping (did you look up Esther Williams yet?)

Purple Sweet Potato Pie | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

You can see the potatoes and meringue come together in my instagram video. Recipe below:

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