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TIP OF THE DAY: The Easiest Fruit Tart Recipe

Yesterday, August 11th, was National Raspberry Tart Day. It follows on the heels of National Raspberry Cake Day (July 31st), National Raspberry Pie Day (August 1st) and National Raspberries & Cream Day (August 7th).

We celebrated with a homemade raspberry tart. It took fewer than 20 minutes. Thanks go to our dear friend Carol, who taught us the too-good-to-be-so-easy recipe below, many years ago.

All you need is a shortbread crust, raspberries and a jar of apple jelly. The jelly is melted into a light coat of glaze, which not only adds shine but keeps the fruit from drying out

Prep time is 15 minutes to make and bake the crust, plus cooling time and 5 more minutes fill the crust with fruit and brush the fruit with melted jelly.

It’s one of our go-to desserts, whenever we need something quick and impressive.

There’s actually an even faster way to celebrate: Make tartlets (individual tarts). Buy pre-made tart shells and fill them with fruit curd, jam or preserves (the difference).

It’s hard to find buttery shells ready-made. Our favorite is Clearbrook Farms bite-size mini tartlet shells. If you buy a brand that you think isn’t great for dessert, you can fill the shells with chicken salad or other savory food, from scrambled eggs to Seafood Newburg.

But just get out the butter and make your own shell. Show off the fresh fruits as they deserve.

You can make this recipe with soft fruit, such as berries and ripe stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, plums, etc.).

Other fruits, like apples and pears, need to be baked to become soft enough for pastries.

You can mix different fruits together in whatever artistic combinations you like.

  • If you don’t already have a tart pan, buy a good one. Cheaper ones can be flimsy and rust-prone. The pan will serve you for the rest of your life, for tarts, quiches, and as an extra pie pan in a pinch.
  • Buy a large pan: 10 to 12 inches.
  • If you don’t have or want a tart pan, you can use a pie pan, but it won’t have the classic shape: straight sides and a perfect fluted crust.


  • 2 pints (4 cups) berries or equivalent sliced stone fruit, plus extra*
  • 1 jar apple jelly
    For The Crust

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

  • Filling base: almond cream (frangipanerecipe) or pastry cream (crème pâtissiére) recipe
  • Cream cheese filling (†recipe below)
  • Garnish: chopped pistachios, crème fraîche or mascarpone
    Easy Raspberry Tart

    Raspberry Curd Tart

    Fruit Curd Tartlet

    Apple Jelly

    [1] An easy raspberry tart from Lottie And Doof. A tart pan has a removable bottom to show off the fluted edges of the crust. [2] Another easy way: make tartlets (individual portions) with fruit curd. You can buy both the shells and the curd, but here’s the recipe from from-scratch [3] This tartlet from Ostyeria Morini in New York City is served à la mode. [4] Versatile apple jelly makes a delicious fruit glaze (photo courtesy Smucker’s).

    * Because different diameter pans require different amounts of fruit, buy an extra pint or pound “just in case.” You can serve it to guests who avoid baked desserts, or enjoy it yourself tomorrow.

    †Combine 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


    Raspberry Jam Tartlet

    Mini Tartlets Lemon Curd

    [1] You can fill tartlets or mini tartlets with jam (photo courtesy King Arthur Flour). [2] Mini tartlets filled with lemon curd (photo courtesy Aida Mollenkamp).



    1. WASH the berries and pat dry gently with paper towels; use fresh paper towels to further drain; set aside. If using stone fruit, slice, skin on, and place in a bowl.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Combine the crust ingredients and press the dough into a tart pan. Bake it for 12-15 minutes, until light golden brown (not beige). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. When it reaches room temperature…

    3. FILL the crust. If using an optional base (cream cheese, pastry cream, etc.), use a spatula to fill the bottom of the crust. Then set the fruit in concentric circles or other attractive pattern.

    4. MAKE the glaze. Melt the apple jelly and use a pastry brush to brush it over the fruit.

  • Tart. A tart is a multi-portion dessert, made in a fluted pan with a removable bottom. As with a pie, it is sliced into individual portions. The crust is thicker than a pie and the tart can stand on its own outside of the pan. Typical tart pan sizes are 8, 9, 10 or 11 inches in diameter.
  • Tartlet. A tartlet is an individual-size tart, typically 4 to 4.75 inches in diameter. The bottom may or may not be removable.
  • Mini Tartlet. A mini-tartlet is a bite-size tartlet, approximately 1.75 inches in diameter, made in mini tartlet pans. The bottom is not removable but it’s easy to lift out the pastry.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Cookie Dough For Dessert

    Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

    Cookie Dough

    Davidson's Pasteurized Safe Eggs

    Davidson's Safe Eggs Carton

    [1] One of our favorite treats. No need to turn on the oven: We’ll have it raw (photo courtesy Geraldine | Wikipedia). [2] For dessert or snacking: a few spoons of raw cookie dough (photo courtesy [3] Buy pasteurized eggs, or pasteurize your own at home (instructions below?). [4] A carton of pasteurized Davidson’s Safe Eggs (photos 3 and 4 courtesy Davidson’s).


    Eating raw cookie dough is no doubt as old as baking cookies. It’s different than, but equally as delicious, as the baked cookies.

    We know: Every time we make a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, we end up with just 2/3 of the yield, the rest of the raw dough nibbled away during prep.

    Sometimes we mix up a batch just for the dough. You can wrap individual portions of dough and freeze them for future snacking.

    In fact, make a few different flavors at your leisure, shape them into individual balls and freeze them, and you’ll have an “instant” chocolate cookie dough dessert. You can wrap individual balls, or place them in ice cube trays.

    Edoughble, a company that sells raw, ready-to-eat cookie dough (second photo), makes a selection of flavors: birthday cake, chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, oatmeal chip, peanut butter banana chip, red velvet, s’mores, snickerdoodle and seasonal flavors (it’s orange creamsicle this summer).

    Pick three or four flavors and start mixing dough!

    You can serve it on spoons, as in the photo; in a sundae dish with fresh fruit; with a side of graham crackers; or as a mini banana split.


    Chocolate chip cookie dough was created by accident by Ruth Wakefield, an inn owner on Cape Cod, in 1937. It took almost 50 years for it to become a favorite ingredient in ice cream.
    The first record of cookie dough ice cream credits Fabulous Phil’s Gourmet Ice Cream in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, a small local business that existed from 1982 to 1983. The flavor was invented by owner Philip S. Kampe, using homemade cookie dough, in 1984.

    Phil’s flavor was followed by one from the far-better-known Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington, Vermont, which got the idea from a customer suggestion (perhaps a customer of Fabulous Phil’s?). B&J bought cookie dough from a distributor, working with the company to make a dough with the right consistency for a mix-in (known in the trade as an inclusion).

    After the deadliest* Salmonella outbreak in history in 1985 traced to a dairy in the Midwest, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly discouraged consumption of it in everything from Caesar Salad to Steak Tartare and other popular recipes†. Many companies reformulated recipes to eliminate raw eggs or the use pasteurized raw eggs, in which the bacteria have been eliminated.

    First, a disclaimer: If you have a health condition or general concern*, consult with your physician before eating anything raw.

    The easy way is to make safer cookie dough is to buy commercially pasteurized eggs.

    Look for Davidson’s Safe Eggs, pasteurized raw eggs. You can tell they’re pasteurized from the red “P” stamped onto each egg. If your grocer does not carry them, ask the manager to bring them in. Learn more at

    Pasteurized eggs undergo an all-natural pasteurization process that kills harmful bacteria without altering the consistency or texture of the eggs.

    They look and act just like raw eggs, while eliminating the risk of salmonella. Unlike processed liquid eggs, they deliver the fresh flavor delivered by raw eggs.

    So you can enjoy the brownie batter, cookie dough and other raw egg foods† with the gusto they deserve.

    Home pasteurization doesn’t provide the 100% guarantee that commercially pasteurized eggs do, but it will significantly reduce any risk. (Also note that, as with many products, other ingredients can be contaminated including flour and nuts.)


    1. HEAT a pot of water over medium heat to 145°F. Monitor the temperature with a probe thermometer.

    2. PLACE fresh, room-temperature eggs in the pot; the water must completely cover the eggs. Lower the heat and maintain the 145°F temperature. Do not let the temperature reach 160°F or you’ll start to cook the eggs.

    3. REMOVE the eggs after 3-1/2 minutes, or 5 minutes for extra-large and jumbo eggs. Then use or refrigerate. They’ll stay even fresher because the bacteria have been killed off.
    *Salmonella generates more illnesses than fatalities, but can be fatal for risk groups, such as young children, the elderly and infirm. Here’s more from Web M.D.

    †Brownie/bar and cake batter, Caesar salad, cookie dough, cold/frozen soufflés, chiffons, French custard ice cream, eggnog, egg smoothies, egg white cocktails, homemade mayonnaise, mousse, steak tartare and others.



    RECIPE: Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe?

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Violet Bakery Cookbook

    [1] The best cookies use jumbo chunks of top-quality chocolate (photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco). [2] Here’s the cookbook
    (photo courtesy Ten Speed Press).


    May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day…and so is August 4th.

    It may be that one is simply Chocolate Chip Day, and the other Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Emails for clarification have not been answered.

    But who would complain about a second Chocolate Chip Cookie Day?

    In subjective areas (as opposed to who crossed the finish line first), “the best” is in the eye of the beholder…or more accurately, on the palate.

    You know what you like. If you’re still searching for CCC* perfection, consider this recipe. The only challenge: finding room in the freezer for the cookie sheet!


    Ingredients For 16 Large Cookies

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips†
  • Parchment paper
  • __________________
    *Chocolate Chip Cookie!

    †We use Callebaut or Trader Joe’s chocolate chunks.

    1. LINE a small baking sheet or pan—one that will fit inside your freezer—with parchment paper.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined but not too creamy. You are not aiming for light and fluffy; that would make the cookies too cakey. Add the vanilla and the egg yolks and mix well.

    3. COMBINE the flour, salt and baking soda in another bowl and whisk together well. Add to the butter and egg mixture along with the chocolate; mix until combined.

    4. SCOOP individual portions of cookie dough onto the lined baking sheet or pan; or use spoons to pat each portion into a little ball. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour, or up to a month. You can bake them right away, but the cookies will be slightly flatter and less even. When ready to bake…

    5. PREHEAT the oven to 355°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the cookies evenly on the pan, leaving enough space between each one so they have room to expand during baking: They will almost double in size! Rest the frozen dough on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes before placing in the oven.

    6. BAKE for 18 minutes, until the center of each cookie is slightly soft and under-baked, but the edges are crispy and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before serving. These cookies will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

    TIP: If your cookies aren’t as crisp the nest day, place them on a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet and warm them in the oven. The heat will drive out the extra moisture, making them crisp again.

    While the chocolate chip cookie was born in the U.S.A., this recipe comes from London’s popular Violet Bakery. Alice Waters calls it “a little corner of Northern California in east London.”

    Get your copy at



    FOOD FUN: Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie Recipe

    Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

    Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

    [1] The skillet cookie made by Michelle of [2] Lindsay of adds a layer of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt to her recipe.


    August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day—and just this week, we found this fun chocolate chip cookie recipe in Cook It in Cast Iron: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does It All, by Cook’s Country.

    Beyond eggs, steak, cornbread and other popular skillet dishes, you can make skillet apple pie, cinnamon swirl bread, even pizza.

    But today, it’s all about the cookie. The recipe was baked in a 12″ diameter skillet, if yours is 10 inches, you’ll get a taller cookie (increase the baking time another 5 to 10 minutes).

    You can make it your own, with a mix of dark, milk and white chocolate chips; next time we might toss in some dried cherries. We substituted pecans for the hazelnuts.

    Ingredients For A 12-Inch Cookie

  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1-3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: 3/4 cup (4 ounces) whole raw hazelnuts

    1. ADJUST an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt 9 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

    Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until butter is dark golden brown, has a nutty aroma, and the bubbling has subsided some, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons until completely melted.


    2. WHISK the dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt into the melted butter until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg and the egg yolk until smooth, about 3 seconds.

    Let the mixture sit for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times, until the mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.

    3. WHISK the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips and optional nuts, making sure no flour pockets remain.

    4. WIPE the skillet clean with paper towels. Transfer the cookie dough to the empty, cleaned skillet and press it into an even layer with a spatula.

    Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake until cookie is golden brown and edges are set, about 20 minutes.

    5. USE potholders to transfer the skillet to a wire rack; let cookie cool for 30 minutes. Slice the cookie into wedges or diagonals and serve.


    Cook It In Cast Iron Cookbook

    what you can cook in a cast iron skillet (photo courtesy Cook’s Country). You can purchase the book online.


    It was an accident. Here’s the scoop.



    RECIPE: Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie

    Raspberry Pie

    Raspberry Tart


    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/raspberry chocolate cream pie driscolls 230

    Fresh Raspberries In Box

    [1] Raspberry pie with a flower crust from Driscoll’s. Chocolate cream pie topped with raspberry cream (photo courtesy Driscoll’s). [2] A raspberry tart from with a coconut crust. Here’s the recipe. [3] A Linzertort is a shortbread crust filled with raspberry preserves (photo courtesy [4] Chocolate cream pie with a raspberry cream top (recipe below, photo courtesy Driscoll’s). [5] This is the right month to find well-priced raspberries (photo courtesy MorgueFile).


    August 1st is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, completing a sweet trifecta that also includes National Cheesecake Day (July 30th) and National Raspberry Cake Day (July 31st).

    For a previous year’s Raspberry Cream Pie celebration, we published a classic French raspberry tart (see Pie Vs. Tart, below): a shortbread crust filled with creme patisserie and topped with raspberries. Here’s the recipe.

  • Those who have a bargain source of fresh raspberries can make a raspberry pie or a raspberry-apple pie.
  • It’s easy to make a raspberry ice cream pie with a pre-bought crust (try a chocolate cookie crust), raspberry ice cream (if you can find it) or vanilla ice cream, softened and blended with fresh raspberries and/or raspberry preserves.
  • Make Linzertorte, an Austrian favorite that requires only that you make the crust and add raspberry preserves (here’s a recipe).
  • How about a Raspberry Mousse Pie?
  • Or, make a deconstructed raspberry pie: Layer crushed graham cracker or shortbread cookie crumbs, ice cream or whipped cream, and fresh raspberries. Use a parfait glass, sundae dish or other dish (we used our glass coffee mugs).

    This recipe one-ups a simple raspberry cream pie: It’s a chocolate cream pie topped with raspberry cream (fourth photo).

    Prep time is 25 minutes plus chilling.

    Ingredients For The Crust

  • 1-1/4 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    For The Filling

  • 4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    For The Raspberry Purée

  • 1 package (6 ounces or 1-1/3 cups) raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
    For The Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. MAKE the crust. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and stir in the butter until evenly blended. Press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool.

    2. MAKE the filling. Whisk together 1/2 cup milk and the cornstarch. Set aside.

    3. BRING the remaining 1-1/2 cups milk, sugar, cocoa and salt just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir the cornstarch mixture then add to the milk mixture in saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once mixture is at a boil and quite thick, cook 1 additional minute. Remove from the heat.

    4. MELT the chocolate and stir it into the melted chocolate and vanilla.

    5. SPOON the filling into the cooled crust. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming (personally, we like the skin!). Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

    6. MAKE the raspberry purée. Purée 1/2 package of raspberries in the food processor fitted with metal blade (the other half is used for garnish). Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the seeds. Stir the sugar into the purée until dissolved.

    7. BEAT the heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks just form. Stir in the vanilla. Spread the whipped cream topping on chilled pie. With a small spoon (an espresso spoon is great) drop small amounts of raspberry purée onto the whipped cream. Use a toothpick or sharp knife to swirl the purée into the whipped cream (see the 4th photo). Garnish with the remaining raspberries.


    What’s the difference between cream and creme? Just the spelling.

    Creme is an Americanization of the French word for cream, crème (pronounced KREHM), most likely adopted to make a dish sound more special.

    But why mispronounce another language’s word for cream? Unless it’s a French recipe, such as Coeur à la Crème or Crème Brûlée, stick to cream.

    We made a raspberry cream tart instead of a pie? What’s the difference between a pie and a tart? It’s interesting enough that we created an article about it. Check it out!

    For a quick visual, compare the first two photos at the top of the page.



    RECIPE: No-Bake Raspberry-White Chocolate Cheesecake

    Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

    Raspberries Growing

    [1] Raspberry-White Chocolate Cheesecake. [2] A half-pint of raspberries (photos courtesy Driscoll’s). [3] Raspberries growing on the bush (photo courtesy


    July 31st is National Raspberry Cake day. Time to get out the cake pans and make a selection. With these recipes, the choices are tough!

    You can make:

  • Chocolate-Raspberry Bundt Cake
  • Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake
  • Greek Yogurt-Coconut Milk Cake With Raspberries
  • Hazelnut Raspberry Cream Cake
  • Raspberry Ombre Cake
  • Raspberry Heart Cake
  • Raspberry Ice Cream Cake
  • White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (recipe below)
  • White Layer Cake With Raspberry Cheesecake Middle Layer
    And the easiest options of all: pound cake topped with:

  • Raspberry ice cream or sorbet
  • Vanilla ice cream and raspberries
  • Whipped cream and raspberries

    These recipe is from Driscoll’s, which supplied most of the recipes above to show off their delectable raspberries.

    It uses an almond flour crust, which is wonderful and happens to be gluten-free. However, if you don’t want nut flour, use your favorite cheesecake crust.

    Prep time is 40 minutes plus 6 or more hours chilling time.

    Ingredients For 16 Serving)

    For The Filling

  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll’s raspberries
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chips or white chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 package unflavored gelatin
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • For The Crust

  • 13/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    For The Garnish

  • 1 bar white chocolate, shaved

  • 9″ springform pan

    1. MAKE the crust: Combine the almond flour, sugar, cocoa, and melted butter in a bowl until evenly blended. Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and refrigerate.

    2. PLACE the chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepot of simmering water to melt chocolate. Stir constantly and be careful not to let any water or steam get into the chocolate. Set aside and let cool as you complete the next steps.

    3. COMBINE the cold water and gelatin in a small saucepan and heat over low, stirring just until gelatin is dissolved.

    4. BEAT the cream cheese, sugar and dissolved gelatin in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium, until evenly blended.

    5. CHECK the temperature of both the cream cheese mixture and melted chocolate. They should be the same temperature to continue. Then, mix a few tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into the melted white chocolate until it looks shiny and smooth. Gradually add the white chocolate chocolate mixture to the remaining cream cheese mixture, mixing until blended. Divide the mixture evenly into 2 bowls.

    6. BEAT the heavy cream in a separate bowl, to stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into one of the bowls of the cream cheese mixture.

    7. PURÉE 1 package of raspberries in a blender or food processor. Strain (sieve) and discard the seeds; you should have about 1/2 cup purée. Stir the purée into the second bowl of cream cheese mixture, until evenly blended.

    8. POUR the whipped cream mixture into the cake pan and spread evenly. Spoon the raspberry mixture on top of the whipped cream mixture and gently spread evenly. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

    9. UNMOLD: Briefly wrap a warm, wet kitchen towel around the pan for a short while before opening the latch. This prevents the cake from sticking to the sides. A hairdryer also works.

    10. USE a vegetable peeler to make white chocolate curls from chocolate bar. Place on top of the cheesecake with the remaining raspberries.



    RECIPE: Blueberry Cheesecake Bars For National Cheesecake Day

    Whip up cheesecake bars for National Cheesecake Day, July 30th.

    These were developed for the U.S. High bush Blueberry Council by Emily Hobbs of Ozark, Missouri. There are many more great blueberry recipes on the website.

    A layer of crunchy crust, followed by fluffy whipped cheesecake topped with toasted almonds and blueberries? Say no more – I’m yours! These Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are so good you’ll be licking your fingers for every last bit. Because you cut them into squares, Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are great to pack for a picnic, dinner at a friend’s, or a family road trip.


    Ingredients For 24 Bars

  • ½ cup plus 6 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (1½ packages), softened
  • 2½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars Recipe

    Highbush Blueberries

    [1] A stack of cheesecake bars. [2] Fresh-picked blueberries (photox courtesy U.S Highbush Blueberry Council).


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease a 13-by 9-inch baking pan.

    2. SOFTEN ½ cup of the butter and combine it with ½ cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy. Add 2 cups of flour, the baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat until crumbly.

    3. TRANSFER the crumbs to the baking pan and pat to make an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes until the surface is dry but not browned. Meanwhile, in the same mixer bowl…

    4. BEAT the cream cheese, the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, and almond extract until fluffy. Beat in the eggs until combined. When the crust has baked…

    5. SPREAD spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the top and bake 20 minutes until the cheesecake has set.

    6. STIR together the brown sugar, remaining ¾ cup flour, cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter into ½-inch pieces and add to the brown sugar mixture. Work the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until uniform crumbs have formed. Stir in the almonds.

    When the cheesecake layer has baked…

    7. SPRINKLE the blueberries and crumb mixture over it and bake 20 minutes until the crumbs have browned. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate at least 2 hours until the cheesecake is firm, before cutting into 24 bars.

  • Highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) grow on tall bushes; some cultivars reach a height of 6 to 8 feet. The berries are larger and more abundant than lowbush blueberries, although their flavor may be somewhat less intense and sweet.
  • Lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium), also referred to as wild blueberries, grow in Maine and the colder regions of eastern North America. The shrubs grow no taller than two feet and may be smaller, depending on soil and climate, and produce small, exceptionally sweet bluish-black berries. If you want to plant a bush or two, these are hardy plants that do well in all soils, even poor, rocky types, providing the drainage is good.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Throw A National S’mores Day Party

    Classic S'mores

    Fancy S'mores

    S'mores Pie Recipe

    [1] Classic S’mores (photo courtesy Dandies vegan marshmallows [they’re great]. [2] Gourmet S’mores made with a Petit Écolier chocolate-topped biscuit and a chocolate chocolate chip marshmallow (photo courtesy Plush Puffs gourmet marshmallows). [3] No-Bake S’mores Pie (photo courtesy Brown Eyed Baker; here’s the recipe).

    National S’mores Day, August 10th. We all know the recipe for s’mores, but just in case:

    To make these sandwich cookies, you need one or two marshmallows, two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate bar to fit the grahams for each. The marshmallow is toasted and placed on top of the chocolate and the bottom graham, followed by the top graham. The heat of the toasted marshmallow melts the chocolate into a gooey delight. Don’t forget the napkins.

    We’ve got lots of favorite s’mores recipes (the list is below), but this year we’re having a S’mores party with a twist.


    • Chocolate mints (e.g. Andes Mints)
    • Flavored chocolate bars (e.g. Lindt’s Crunchy Caramel with Sea Salt Bar; chile, coconut, orange, raspberry, toffee, etc.)
    • M&M’s
    • Nutella
    • Peanut butter cups
    • White chocolate


    • Brownies or blondies (slice the squares in half)
    • Chocolate chocolate chip cookies With White Chips (or butterscotch chips, PB chips, etc.)
    • Chocolate chip cookies
    • Chocolate chocolate chunk cookies
    • Gourmet graham crackers (or homemade)
    • Pavlovas (meringue cups)
    • Peanut butter cookies or other favorite



    • Bananas, blackberries, blood oranges, strawberries, raspberries or other fresh fruit
    • Bacon
    • Cherry cheesecake spread (mix cream cheese with cherry preserves)
    • Dulce de leche
    • Nuts
    • Toasted coconut


    THE HISTORY OF GRAHAM CRACKERS, MARSHMALLOWS & CHOCOLATE BARSWe don’t know who invented S’mores, but the Girl Scouts certainly popularized them: The first published recipe is in their 1927 handbook.

    S’mores around the campfire has been a happy tradition: a stick, a fire, two toasted marshmallows, a square of chocolate and two graham crackers get you a delicious chocolate marshmallow sandwich. The combined flavors of toasted marshmallow, melty chocolate and crunchy grahams is oh-so-much tastier than the individual ingredients (or, to quote Aristotle, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts).

    The name of the sandwich cookie comes from its addictive quality: You have no choice but to ask for “some more.”

    But you don’t need a campfire, or even all of the classic ingredients, to celebrate with S’mores, as you’ll see below. Don’t have a heat source to melt marshmallows? Use Fluff or other marshmallow cream.




    Check out these 25 different S’mores combinations.

    S'mores With Homemade Graham Crackers

    Ice Cream S'mores

    [1] S’mores with artisan graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate (photo courtesy Burdick Chocolate). [2] Ice cream sandwich S’mores with S’mores ice cream—chocolate ice cream with pieces of marshmallows and graham crackers (photo courtesy



    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Summer Crisp Or Cobbler

    Peach Crisp

    Blueberry Crisp

    Mixed Fruit Cobbler

    [1] A yummy peach crisp (photo courtesy [2] Individual blueberry crisps (photo courtesy Dole). [3] An apricot-blackberry cobbler (photo courtesy Good Eggs).


    While some people love pie crusts, were’re on there opposite end of the spectrum. We’re there for the filling.

    We’d rather have a bowl of custard or chocolate pudding than a custard or chocolate pudding pie. We’d rather have an apple crisp than an apple pie.

    We prefer the crisp, crumbly topping (the crisp is called a crumble in the U.K.) to the soggy bottom crust and dry top crust of the traditional shortcrust pie.

    And we prefer the ease of sprinkling on the topping rather than rolling crusts.

    Another easy option is a cobbler (third photo, recipe below): It’s the same baked fruit as a crisp but with a topping of crisp biscuits, the “cobblestones” which gave the cobbler its name. They don’t absorb moisture like pie crusts, and refrigerated biscuit dough makes the topping easy.

    Use the abundance of berries and stone fruits: apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and the cross-bred apriums, plumcots and pluots (olives are also a stone fruit).

    You can use a single berry and stone fruit, or mix them up. We subscribe to the mix-up option; for example, peaches and plums, blueberries and raspberries. It’s more interesting.

    Use sugar sparingly in order to enjoy the natural fruit sweetness.


  • 1 pound of stone fruits, pitted and quartered (you can leave pitted cherries whole)
  • 1 pint of berries, rinsed well and patted dry
  • Cane sugar to taste, depending on the sweetness of the fruit
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup flour 1 teaspoon
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar (or less depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
  • Pinch of salt
    For The Topping

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • Optional Garnish

  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

    1. PREHEAT the oven heat to 375°F. Butter a 13×9-inch baking dish or 6 to 8 individual ramekins and set aside.

    2. MAKE the topping. Add the ingredients to a large bowl and use your fingers to combine, pinching the butter into the dry mix until it forms balls the size of a pea.

    3. COMBINE the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss well to combine and transfer to the prepared baking dish or ramekins. Top with the crumb topping.

    4. BAKE for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbly around the edges. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired and serve.

    Instead of the topping, use a tube of refrigerator biscuits. Gauge how many you need for your baking dish, and slice them in half horizontally if you prefer a thinner “cobblestone.”

    1. COOK the fruit per above. Then, raise the heat to 400°F and add the biscuits.

    2. BAKE at 400°F 12 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbly.

    3. RESERVE any leftover biscuits for individual berry shortcakes: fresh berries and whipped cream on a split biscuit.

  • Apple Crisp Recipe
  • Peach Cobbler Recipe
  • Betty, Cobbler, Crisp, Crumble, Grunt & More: The Differences
  • The Difference Between Pies & Tarts


    TIP OF THE DAY: Red, White & Blue Cupcakes For Patriotic Occasions


    These red, white and blue cupcakes are an eye- and palate-pleaser for any patriotic occasion.

    And they’re easy to make, with just the added step of dividing cake mix into three bowls and coloring two of them. We chose a frosting of stabilized whipped cream, stiffened with gelatin (it won’t collapse) and topped the cupcakes with red, white and blue decorations.


    Ingredients For The Cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix (or your own white cake recipe)
  • Red and blue gel food coloring (see notes in the last section)
  • Icing
  • Decorative sprinkles or stars
    Ingredients For 4 Cups Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • Cupcake pan
  • Cupcake liners

    1. PREPARE a cupcake pan with paper liners. Place the cream in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to whipping (it will whip better).

    2. PREPARE the cake batter and divide it into three bowls. Use blue and red gel food coloring in two of the bowls (see notes about gel-paste below.)

    3. ADD one tablespoon blue batter to the each cupcake liner and spread evenly (we used a plastic teaspoon). Follow with a tablespoon of white batter, and a red layer on top of that, taking care not to mix the colors as you spread them.

    4. BAKE per cake recipe instructions and cool. While the cupcakes cool…

    5. MAKE the stabilized whipped cream frosting. Place the cold water in a small pan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it thicken; then place the pan over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool, but do not allow it to set.

    6. WHIP the cream with the powdered sugar, until slightly thick. While slowly beating, add the gelatin to whipping cream. Whip at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes.

    7. DECORATE and serve.


    Red, White & Blue Cupcakes

    July 4th Cupcakes

    American Flag Cupcakes

    [1] Red, white and blue layered cupcake (photo Elegant Affairs Caterers | Facebook). [2] Even easier options: red fruit atop white frosting (photo and [3] cupcake “flag” (photo Sprinkles Cupcakes).


  • White layer cake, filled with raspberry and blueberry preserves.
  • White-frosted stack cake with red and blue berry topping.
  • Lemon loaf layer cake with white filling and red and blueberry topping.

    The typical food colors available in supermarkets are water-based liquids that work well for most purposes. In many recipes, you use so little of it that the teaspoon or so of water isn’t going to impact the outcome of the recipe.

    But if you are looking for intense color—such as in red velvet cake—you need to use a lot of liquid to get the vibrant color. Too much liquid will alter the consistency of cake, candies, donuts and deep-colored frostings.

  • Soft gel food coloring (sometimes called liquid gel, not to be confused with the conventional liquid food color) delivers a deep, rich color without thinning the batter or frosting.
  • Gel paste food coloring is very concentrated and provides even deeper, more vivid colors than soft gel. It should be used in very small quantities.
  • Powdered food coloring is another very concentrated option that is often used to decorate cookies.
    You can often find gel food colors in craft stores, as well as in baking supplies stores and online, where you can buy red only or the four basic food colors. Wilton sells a set of eight gel colors, as well as neon and pastel sets. Don’t substitute one for another, unless you have time to test the results.

  • If exact color is important, mix the color in daylight so you can see the true hue.
  • Start with less color and adjust as you go.
  • Note that the longer the icing sits, the stronger the color will be. Proceed accordingly.


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