Holiday Ice Cream Needs Side of Cookies, Peppermint Bark Cookies from 'Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook by Courtney Cowan

Holiday ice cream needs  a side of cookies

PEPPERMINT BARK COOKIES from Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook by Courtney Cowan (September 2020/ Rizzoli)

When developing Milk Jar’s seasonal flavor for December, I knew it had to be my favorite holiday confection in cookie form. The way the cool peppermint dough hugs the gooey chocolate while the candy cane bits melt into a chewy surprise is like waking up on Christmas morning to a blanket of snow outside. Magical. If you can’t purchase crushed candy cane, you can crush mini candy canes using a food processor.

Makes 18 to 20 three-inch cookies

Peppermint bak cookies


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
11 tablespoons (or 2/3 cup)
unsalted butter, cold and cubed
11 tablespoons (or 2/3 cup) vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, cold
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons pure peppermint extract
¾ cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup (6 ounces) white chocolate chips
¾ cup (6 ounces) crushed candy cane


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, shortening,
sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract and beat on medium low speed until mixed with just small chunks of butter remaining, approximately 30 seconds. Every time you mix ingredients, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to be sure all ingredients are included in the mix—every bit matters! Add half of the dry ingredient mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated and no flour is visible, about 30 seconds. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and all butter chunks are gone, approximately 20 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is not sticky to the touch, about 20 seconds. Be careful not to overmix—that’s how you get flat cookies. Stir in the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and candy cane.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough 1/3 cup at a time and firmly roll into round balls approximately 1½ inches in diameter. Place 6 cookies on each prepared baking sheet, spacing them out well. Bake on the middle and lower racks of the oven until the tops are a light golden brown and you notice hairline cracks forming on the sides, 12 to 14 minutes, spinning each pan 180 degrees and swapping their positions halfway through.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer them to a wire rack or parchment paper on the counter to cool completely. Let the baking sheets cool before repeating with the remaining cookies.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to a month.

* NOTE: If you’re living a life free from gluten, this is an easy recipe to make gluten free! Simply substitute the all-purpose flour with 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of gluten-free baking flour (I prefer Cup4Cup brand) and reduce the chocolate chips to 1¾ cups. One trick to get the gluten-free version to bake perfectly is to mix the dough about 20 seconds longer when you add in the last of the flour mixture

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook' by Courtney Cowan, September 2020/ Rizzoli / Photo © Ashley Maxwell)

One for Ginger Spice, Gingerbread Cow Barn Holiday Cheer from Jude's Ice Cream Desserts Cookbook

In these pandemic times, we are fishing for recipes we might have failed to add to our sharing is caring slate in the past year or so.

Here's 0ne for Ginger Spice, Gingerbread Cowbarn for some holiday cheer, our second helping from Jude's Ice Cream &  Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger (Kyle Books, June 2019).

From Jude's Ice Cream barn in Twyford, Hampshire (UK)

Gingerbread Cowbarn Recipe
A gingerbread house –or indeed, a barn –is a labour of love, so don’t embark on this one unless you really have the time to do it justice. We’ve based this on our family’s Hampshire dairy barn where Jude’s first began, and we now make one every Christmas with the little ones. Along the way, we’ve learned new traditions are just as important as old ones.
300g (10½oz) golden syrup or clear honey
400g (14oz) soft light brown sugar
400g (14oz) unsalted butter
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1kg (2lb 4oz) plain flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
Royal icing
250g (9oz) icing sugar
1 medium egg white, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon lemon juice
You will need
Firm paper or card to cut out templates on pages170–171
2 x wooden poles/twigs, roughly 12cm (4½in)
and marzipan to secure the poles
Toy animals and trees, to decorate
Put the golden syrup, sugar, butter and lemon zest into a very large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly until the mixture reaches boiling point and then, working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat and beat in the bicarbonate of soda briefly until combined. Set the saucepan aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Sift the flour, spices and salt together, then fold them into the melted mixture in batches, using a wooden spoon. Mix in the eggs until just combined, but be cautious not to overwork the mixture or the biscuits will spread during baking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but resist adding more flour. Scrape the sticky dough out of the saucepan onto a clean, oiled surface and knead together until just smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Make your versions of the templates using firm paper or card. Cut a large sheet of greaseproof paper and roll out the gingerbread on it to a thickness of 8mm (⅜in). Using the templates as a guide, cut out house pieces from the gingerbread, but leave on the paper for ease. Transfer the gingerbread pieces, still on the paper, to a couple of baking trays and put in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up completely.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas mark 3. Bake the gingerbread in batches for 12–15 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the beaten egg white and lemon juice. Whisk, on low speed (to avoid incorporating too much air into the icing), for 2–3 minutes, until the consistency is smooth, stiff but not too wet. If the icing seems too dry and crumbly, add a little water. If it looks slightly runny, add a little extra icing sugar. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, ready for piping.
To assemble the gingerbread barn, pipe icing down both sides of a gable end. Attach a side wall at right angles and hold together for a few moments while the icing hardens, then use cans or jars to support the walls while they set. Continue to stick the gingerbread together by attaching another wall and the back gable so you have the walls for the barn. Leave to set for 1 hour before you add the roof.
Decorate the side walls of the house by piping royal icing to make windows and the front door surround before you add the roof (the overhang can make this tricky). Lay the roof pieces flat and, with a steady hand, pipe on roof tiles. Secure the wooden poles each in a ball of marzipan to take the weight of the large, overhanging roof. Pipe the remaining icing along the tops of the four walls and gently lower the roof pieces into place.
Leave the barn to set for a further 2 hours. Decorate with toy barn animals and trees. Serve.
P.S:  If you want to build this barn, email us a request and we will send you the templates
(* Recipe and Photo from Jude's Ice Cream &  Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger- Kyle Books, June 2019- Reproduced with permission of the publisher- All rights reserved)

Lips like Sugar on 'World Kissing Day', Cherries and Cake, Clafoutis from The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School

Lips like sugar on 'World Kissing Day', Cherries in the Cake with 'Clafoutis' recipe from The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books-April 2017)


Makes one 8-inch round

A cross between a Dutch baby (what a great name!) and a custard, clafoutis is a traditional French countryside dessert made by pouring a nutty batter over whole cherries and then baking it. A purist would argue that using anything other than whole cherries—pit in—is heresy and does not qualify as a proper clafoutis, but rather a flaugnarde. Given that you may not enjoy dodging cherry pits as you eat, ease trumps heritage in this recipe and the cherries are pitted.

 Propriety aside, this is a dessert you can bake while you’re enjoying the main meal. Once you get the batter down, use it to make a flaugnarde with berries, stone fruits, apple slices, or chocolate chips.

1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened

1 cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted

3 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup almond meal

Haven's Kitchen_Clafoutis_359

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch ovenproof skillet or pie dish and place it on a baking sheet.

  1. Layer the cherries evenly in the bottom of the skillet. Set aside.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs by hand. Add the milk and vanilla seeds, and continue whisking to combine.
  1. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the sugar and add the rest to the milk mixture. Then gently whisk in the flour and almond meal and stir until smooth. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  1. Pour the batter over the fruit and sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon sugar on top.
  1. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown, set, and puffy, rotating the pan after 10 minutes to ensure even browning. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center: it should come out clean.
  1. Let the clafoutis rest for 10 minutes on a wire rack before slicing. The center will fall slightly as it cools.

(“Excerpted from The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne -Artisan Books-. Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos.")

No Tiles Needed for this Mosaic, Mosaico Greek Cake from 'Cooking with Loula'

As a bonus while cake is in the oven, you can read 10 Do's and Don'ts of Athens by the author of 'Cooking with Loula'.

No Tiles Needed for this Mosaic, Mosaico Greek Cake from Cooking with Loula  Greek Recipes from My Family to Yours by Alexandra Stratou (Artisan Books-May 3, 2016).


Serves • 8 to 10 

Time • Under 3 hours

I have loved this dessert ever since I was young. I remember sneaking slices off the roll we had wrapped up in the freezer throughout the day. It is something that can either be served as an easy dessert for guests, or made and kept in the freezer to satisfy a sweet craving at any time of the day.

1 cup (2 sticks / 225 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

41/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

14 ounces (400 grams) butter cookies, such as petit beurre or animal crackers, broken up into small pieces

Tip: Make sure to put the batter in the freezer immediately once it is ready, as it contains raw egg. Once all your guests are served, wrap any leftovers with parchment paper and put them back in the freezer.

Tip: If you have left the mosaico in the freezer for much more than 2 hours, make sure you take it out of the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving.


  1. Beat together the butter and sugar. While beating, add the eggs one at a time, followed by the cocoa and vanilla.
  1. Add the cookie pieces and mix with a spoon until all the pieces seem to be surrounded evenly by chocolate—you may think the chocolate is not enough but trust me, it is!
  1. Spoon into a cake pan or 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-centimeter) loaf pan that’s been lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture down into the pan to compact it and make it even, then fold the excess parchment paper over the top to cover the chocolate mixture completely.
  1. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. To serve, take out of the pan and slice into thick pieces. Arrange on a cutting board or on a fancy plate.

(* Excerpted from Cooking with Loula  by Alexandra Stratou -Artisan Books-Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Ioanna Roufopoulou)

Marocha Papaya Cocktail and or Tortas de Carnitas, Cinco de Mayo 2016

Night is still young for Cinco de Mayo 2016

Toast it with Marocha Papaya Cocktail  from Hartwood 'Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatan' (Artisan Books, Fall 2015) by Eric Werner and Mya Henry.

Marocha cocktail

The party girl drink!

Keep your stomach and your appetite in check with Torta de Carnitas recipe by Roberto Santibanez from  Bread, 'Over 60 Breads, Rolls and Cakes Plus Delicious Recipes Using Them' (Kyle Books, October 2012) by Nick Malgieri...

Tortas de carnitas

Boldly seasoned on Telera roll!

Very Berry Breakfast, or Brunch, Raspberry Quinoa Pancakes from 'The Quinoa Cookbook'

Very berry breakfast or brunch with this recipe from The Quinoa [Keen-Wah] CookBook (Harper Wave, July 2015) by Maria del Mar Sacasa...


Yields 10 (5- to 6-INCH/12.5- to 15-Centimeter) Pancakes

These pancakes are lighter than those in your standard stack: slender and slightly crisp on the outside, light and lacy with assertive raspberry flavor. The raspberries are blended into the milk before being added to the batter----a solution to having pockmarks of berry flavor only here and there. You’ll want a mile-high pile.

1 cup (4 ounces/120 grams) quinoa flour

¼ cup (1¾ ounces/50 grams) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (6 ounces/180 milliliters) milk

8 tablespoons (4 ounces/120 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the skillet

2 large eggs

1 cup (5 ounces/150 grams) fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup (3 ounces/90 grams) Basic Quinoa (pages 12–13)

Suggested toppings:

Salted butter, at room temperature

Maple syrup or honey

Greek yogurt


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a blender, purée the milk, butter, eggs, raspberries, and vanilla until the raspberries are broken down.
  3. Whisk the raspberry mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the quinoa. Heat a medium nonstick skillet or a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease it with butter. Use a ¼ cup measure to scoop the batter onto the skillet. Cook until the batter begins to bubble and the edges of the pancakes look opaque and set, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook until steam begins to escape through the pores in the pancakes, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Top with butter and honey or a dollop of Greek yogurt and syrup or honey.

Note: If making these or Pumpkin-Spice Pancakes (p. 40) in multiple batches, keep finished pancakes warm in an oven heated to 200°F/95°C.

(* Reproduced with permission from 'The Quinoa [Keen-Wah] CookBook' by Maria del Mar Sacasa - Published by Harper Wave, July 2015- All rights reserved- Photography by Zach deSart

Hear Ball Drop at Ms Marmite Lover 'Swedish Super Club' on New Year's Eve, If in London

Hear Ball Drop at Ms Marmite Lover 'Swedish Super Club' on New Year's Eve if you happen to be in London

Lingonberry cheesecake

A few seats are still available

TIckets are £50 a head. Book Here, Bring Your Own Champagne BYOC


If you are nowhere near London, get a taste of Sweden with Lingonberry Cheesecake Recipe (pictured above) from Traditional Swedish Cooking (Skyhorse Publishing, October 22, 2011) by Caroline Hofberg.

( Photo of Lingonberry Cheesecake recipe from Traditional Swedish Cooking by Caroline Hofberg- Skyhorse Publishing, October 22, 2011- reproduced by permission of the publisher, all rights reserved)

80's Dessert Delicious Straight from the Pan, Tarte Fine Au Chocolat from 'The Book of Chocolate'

80's for dessert with 'Tarte Fine au Chocolat from The Book of Chocolate (Flammarion, 2004)...

Tarte fine au chocolat

This chocolate pie with an ultra-thin crust is a French specialty that first became popular during the 1980s. The crust is a classic pâte brisée, and the thinner it is the better. The recipe calls for removing the lightly cooked crust from the pan before filling, but this is a very delicate operation and the pie will be just as delicious served from the pan.


For 6 servings

For the pâte brisée:

1 cup (200g) all purpose-flour

½ cup (100g) sweet butter, softened

2 egg yolks

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons cold water

For the chocolate filling:

9 oz. (250g) bittersweet chocolate

⅔ cup (150g) light cream

½ vanilla bean

2 egg yolks

2 ½ tablespoons (30g) sweet butter, softened


To make the pâte brisée:

Sift the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Place the cold water, the egg yolks, and the butter in small pieces, into the well and knead gently until the dough becomes workable. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, using the palm of the hand, push the dough away from you to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 390⁰F (200⁰C).

Unwrap the chilled dough and roll it out to a thickness of ⅛ inch (3mm) on a floured work surface. Place the dough into a buttered pie or tart pan and pat it well into place. Prick the bottom with a fork. Line the pan with foil or wax paper, fill with dry beans to weight it down, and bake until the crust starts to color, about 10 minutes. Remove the lining and the beans and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the crust turns a light golden brown; the crust should be lightly cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool. Carefully remove the crust, which will be very fragile, from the pan and place it on a rack.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large, heat-resistant mixing bowl.

Heat the cream with the vanilla bean, to split lengthwise. When the cream begins to boil, remove the vanilla bean and pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir well, until the chocolate melts and the mixture is well blended and smooth. Add the egg yolks and the softened butter and mix well.

Pour the still-warm filling into the lightly cooked pie crust and cool completely before serving.

More than a cookbook, 'The Book of Chocolate' covers everything from Cacao Plantations to History of Chocolate and Great Names of Chocolate and concludes with The Taste of Chocolate chapter where this recipe can be found.

Any chocolate lover will want The Book of Chocolate on their coffee table...and it retails around $18...

(* Reproduced with permission from  The Book of Chocolate' Flammarion, 2004...Revised and updated edition - October 2015...Originally published in France as 'Le Livre du Chocolat' in 1995)

Loire and Wood Fired Fouee or Classic Gateau Basque, both from Luke Nguyen's France Cookbook

Loire and Wood Fired Fouee with Goat Cheese

Wood fired fouee

Or classic Gateau Basque...

Gateau Basque

Both from Luke Nguyen's France (Hardie Grant, October 2015). 

( *  Reproduced with permission from Luke Nguyen's France by Luke Nguyen -published by Hardie Grant- October 2015....Photography by Alan Benson and Suzanna Boyd)

Pretend You Are Spending Christmas on Amalfi Coast with Positanese Pizza from 'Artisan Pizza'

Pretend you are spending Christmas on Amalfi coast with with Positanese Pizza from Artisan Pizza, To Make Perfectly at Home (Kyle Books, November 2015) by Giuseppe Mascoli and Bridget Hugo.

Positanese baked

This raw salsa is a classic from Positano on the Amalfi coast. You need very good tomatoes for this, so make sure that you

find some that are super-sweet and fruity. We also call this pizza “a la Eduardo,” a reference to Eduardo di Filippo, the

famous Italian actor, playwright, author, and poet, who passed this recipe on to us many years ago.

Ingredients, per pizza

1 dough ball (see page 16),

left to rise for

11⁄2 to 2 hours

flour, for dusting

For the salsa (makes enough for 4 pizzas)

2 medium tomatoes

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, crushed

1⁄2 tablespoon mashed onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 basil leaves

a pinch of dried oregano

a pinch of marjoram

a few sprigs of fresh

parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped


freshly ground black


Parmesan, grated

Positanese Pizza

Make the salsa: Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from the stove. Place the tomatoes in the water and leave for about 3 minutes until their skins start to wrinkle. Peel and seed the tomatoes and finely chop.

Place the tomatoes in a sieve, add the salt, and leave to drain over a bowl for about 20 minutes. Discard the juice and transfer the drained tomatoes to a large bowl with the garlic.

Add all the remaining salsa ingredients and stir to combine.

Marinate for at least 2 hours (it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, although if you do this, bring it up to room temperature before use).

Place a rack on the highest shelf of the oven and turn the broiler to its highest setting. When hot, place a greased 10-inch cast-iron pan on the stove, set to medium heat.

Divide the salsa into two bowls and set one aside, reserving it for later (in total, ensure you have enough for about 4 tablespoons per pizza).

Sprinkle a little flour over your hands and on the work surface and open the dough ball by flattening and stretching the dough with your fingers, or by rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Pick the pizza base up and gently stretch it a little more over your fists without tearing it. Drop this onto the hot pan, and allow it to start rising. As soon as the dough firms up, spread a quarter of the tomato salsa over the base with the back of a metal spoon.

Cook the pizza on top of the stove for about 3 minutes, then transfer the pan to the broiler for another 3 to 4 minutes. Once ready, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved salsa (at room temperature) and finish with Parmesan, either grated or shaved, with extra basil if you like. Serve whole or in slices.

(* Recipe excerpted with permission from Artisan Pizza, To Make Perfectly at Home -Kyle Books, November 2015- by Giuseppe Mascoli and Bridget Hugo,  Photography by Philip Webb)