Butter Rosettes

These are fragile and buttery and easy to pipe because the dough is rather firm. The dough is also fine for putting through a cookie press if you have one. These cookies don’t need to be finished off with anything before or after baking, but you can dust them lightly with cocoa powder, sprinkle them with sprinkles, or place a quarter of a candied cherry, an almond slice, or a chocolate chip (flat side up) in the center of each before baking.

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Lattice-Topped Apple Tart

This is so much more practical to prepare and serve than a standard apple pie baked in a sloping sided pie pan. It’s free-standing on a platter for serving and only needs to be cut into wedges, with none of the sometimes destructive digging underneath the bottom crust to extract wedges from the other type of pan. It’s also much more elegant looking than a plain apple pie.

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Pear and Walnut Tart

This was always one of the most popular items sold by my Total Heaven Baking Company in the early 1980s. Poaching the pears first is a little extra work, but you can do it up to five days in advance of assembling and baking the tart; just chill them in their poaching liquid. The variations possible with this tart are almost infinite—just change the fruit or the nuts in the filling.

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Viennese Raisin Coffee Cake

Vienna is the undisputed world capital of cake. There are layer cakes, mousse cakes, historical cakes (the Sachertorte of the Hotel Sacher has been a closely guarded secret recipe for over 200 years), and even plain cakes. I recently asked my friend Erika Lieben for her favorite. She wrote back a four-word response: Gehruerter Gugelhupf mit Rosinen (“beaten” coffee cake with raisins).

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