A Specialty Pastry from Italy: Sfogliatelle

SfogliatelleWe wanted to share our experience making a specialty Italian pastry called Sfogliatelle.  We were inspired by a picture seen in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, and took to the kitchen to re-create this masterpiece. Continue reading “A Specialty Pastry from Italy: Sfogliatelle”

Panna Cotta – A Deceptively Simple Dessert for Valentine’s Day


My Valentine loves Panna Cotta with a drizzle of bright raspberry coulis and a dusting of quality cocoa powder – I make this all the time. “Such a lucky girl” you might say. “Yes, I agree” would be my immediate and confident response but this is only partially true. I have been playing up the complexity of the recipe for some time (she’s no fool, she just couldn’t care less about cooking). “The cream has to be warmed to a very precise temperature…. Infusing cream with quality vanilla beans is a process that requires painstaking observation…” But panna cotta is in fact extremely simple to make.

Continue reading “Panna Cotta – A Deceptively Simple Dessert for Valentine’s Day”

Peppermint Bark S’mores for Festive Holiday Entertaining!

Happy Holidays! Tis the season for office soirées, family celebrations, neighborhood gatherings… basically, parties galore. In our first December post, we feature a fun and simple twist on a summer favorite that will be a big hit at any holiday event you attend: Peppermint Bark S’mores! Really fun, really fast, and really eye-catching, these confections are filled with great peppermint flavor, synonymous with the Holiday Season.  Continue reading “Peppermint Bark S’mores for Festive Holiday Entertaining!”

Fall Baking: Thanksgiving Corn Cookies!

We wanted to share a cookie recipe that has captivated us at OurLocaltopia this season, and it is SO special because it uses a somewhat new twist on a very old ingredient. And it tastes, well, amazing!  Freeze-dried corn, available online and at an increasing number of retailers, is packed with that hearty corn flavor that has been a quintessential part of eating in the Americas since well before the first Thanksgiving! Continue reading “Fall Baking: Thanksgiving Corn Cookies!”

More Fall Baking: Cardamom Cake with Poached Pears Recipe and Gallery

Pears of many varieties are coming into season, and to highlight them we chose to make this perfect and casual recipe for a quick cake scented with cardamom.  This recipe offers some really great opportunities for the home chef! Continue reading “More Fall Baking: Cardamom Cake with Poached Pears Recipe and Gallery”