Coconut Macaroon Brownies

Coconut Macaroon Brownies \ Zoë Bakes photo by Zoë François

These coconut macaroon brownies are a delicious collision of two of my absolute favorite treats. They are the brilliant marriage of chewy coconut macaroons and the fudgiest brownies you will ever eat and we have Jake Cohen’s new book, Jew-ish, to thank. I grew up eating coconut macaroons at Jewish holidays and they were typically out of a box, that felt like it had surpassed its “Best By” date some decades earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved them, but they had very little in the way of flavor or texture, they were just sweet and as a hippie kid, that was enough. As I got older, they failed to excite me and I learned just how easy and delightful a homemade macaroon was. At about the same time, I started making Ina Garten’s outrageous brownie recipe and I realized, in a profound way, just how much I needed chocolate in my life. But, those two recipes never found themselves stacked together in a pan and baked as one. That is what Jake did and it is a stroke of genius.

He has other classic recipes in his book, Jew-ish, updated and, like these coconut macaroon brownies, they are made so much better than my childhood memories, which is nothing short of a revelation. It’s a book full of new traditions. Read More

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze | Zoë Bakes  

Everyone should have a great sugar cookie dough (or two) in their kitchen arsenal. The perfect sugar cookie bakes up crisp, sweet and able to handle a bit of icing without getting soggy. I’ve baked dozens over the years and Sarah Kieffer’s Olive Oil Sugar Cookie is one of my favorites, along with her Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe, both you can find in her best selling 100 Cookies book. It’s also where you’ll find her famous Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies and the amazing Peanut Butter Marshmallow Swirl Brownies (amazing!!!)! This is a must have book. You can watch my son, Henri and I make these Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze from Sarah’s book on his YouTube Channel “Baking with my Mother!”

100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer Read More

Preview My New Magnolia Network Show

Behind the Scenes of Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network

At a super young age I discovered baking brings me joy and feeds my soul. What I’ve learned from a career in professional kitchens is that I love teaching other people how to bake even more! Now I get to do both, on TV. Joanna and Chip Gaines have given me a series on their new Magnolia Network where I can bake, teach and be inspired by some phenomenally talented bakers (and chefs, farmers, bee keepers and more …) in my Minnesota community.

Watch the first episode on discovery+ (Now Available)

This is a dream come true and now you can watch the first full episode of Zoë Bakes streaming on discovery+. I’ll be making a lattice pie with strawberries and rhubarb (quintessentially MN and lovingly planted by my dad), plus a simple fruit “fool” inspired by a trip to visit one of my favorite local pastry chefs (find the recipes below!). You’ll get a glimpse into my baking series (and my kitchen), where I break down all the secrets of pastry and share my tips and techniques. It’s all crazy delicious and easy, so I hope you’ll tune in and bake along with me!

Behind the Scenes of Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network

Behind the Scenes of Zoe Bakes on Magnolia Network

Thank you to Joanna, Chip, Andrew Zimmern, Intuitive Content, Patrick Weiland, Patrick McMahill, Madeleine Hill and the rest of the many, many talented folks (there are dozens) who helped me make this dream come true. I also want to thank my family and friends who dove into this journey with me and made the show feel like home! It takes a village and you’re a spectacular one!

Watch the first episode on discovery+. Come bake with me! xo

Recipes in Episode 1 of Zoë Bakes

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie | ZoeBakes by Zoe Francois
Get My Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe
Strawberry Fool with Lemon Curd and Strawberry Coulis | ZoeBakes by Zoe Francois
Get My Strawberry Fool Recipe

Valentine’s Day Desserts

Cinnamon Rolls Baked in a Heart-Shaped Pan | ZoeBakes by Zoë François

If you ask me, Valentine’s Day is best celebrated from morning to night with desserts. You can surprise your sweetheart, friends or family with sweet treats throughout the day, and share in whatever brings you joy on what can be a silly holiday. From breakfast sweets to decadent and beautiful cakes I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Valentine’s Day dessert recipes.

Read More

How to Make Cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

If you start typing “is cheesecake” into Google, the first suggestion is “is cheesecake a pie?” You’ll get mixed results, including adamant ones from the likes of Alton Brown proclaiming cheesecake is a pie. Others say it’s a tart. And some stand by it being a cake. No matter where you fall on this debate, I think we can all agree that cheesecake is delicious. It works for any occasion, and you can make varieties to please every palate.

Before we dive in to all my tips on how to make cheesecake, make sure to check out my cheesecake Craftsy class if you want in-depth instructions on how to make beautiful cheesecakes.

Baking with My Mother Cheesecake Video: You can also watch my son, Henri, and me bake cheesecake in an episode of “Baking with My Mother” on Youtube! We make this Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake (recipe at the bottom of this post), but leave out the swirls and add a berry sauce, so we can customize the cheesecake to our own preference. He went with Strawberries and I stuck with blueberries. Read More

Irish Scones with Kumquat Marmalade

Irish Scones Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I fell mad in love with Ireland and have had the good fortune to visit a couple of times. My first stop after the long flight was to a farm, where I had my first Irish scone with marmalade. The love affair with the country and its scones was set in that moment. Like biscuits or pie dough here in America, there seems to be a scone recipe for every household in Ireland. The one constant is the quality of the butter and dairy used to make them. This is such a simple recipe and the butter makes all the difference, so go with a good one. I used Kerrygold, because I met the farmers and cows while in Ireland and know its incredible. You can use any “European” style butter, because it has a higher fat content than most American brands. The other thing I associate with Irish scones is the shape, round. I like a tall scone, so I press the dough into a thick mass before cutting out the shape. The bigger the scone, the more surface there is to spread it with marmalade. Every table in Ireland served scones with a jar of marmalade, which pretty much satisfies all my needs. I LOVE marmalade! It is the perfect balance of sweet and bitter. It is bright in color and flavor and goes with scones or ice cream or just a spoon. I made this kumquat “marmalade” by just cooking down fresh kumquats with sugar, that’s it. No pectin to deal with just gentle cooking. Because I am not thickening the juices, this is a bit runnier than a traditional marmalade. Works brilliantly for me.

Watch me make the marmalade on my Instagram stories!

Irish Scones with Kumquat Marmalade Recipe | ZoeBakes | Photo by Zoë François Read More