Restaurant-Style Desserts

Fool-Proof Raspberry Panna Cotta

Fool-Proof Raspberry Panna Cotta

I fell in love with Panna Cotta last summer when my husband and I stumbled upon one of the most fantastic little restaurants we have ever been to, in Skiathos, Greece. It has been in the back of my mind to learn how to re-create one like that ever since, but I think I have procrastinated the ‘challenge’ out of pure intimidation. I have watched Master Chef judge, Graham Elliot, and his contestants make them — some with great struggle, and some with such finesse, that I didn’t know which would be worse… not being able to make one as pretty and as perfect as Graham Elliot’s, or not being able to make one at all, like the contestants.

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Valentines Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Valentines Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

This valentines I thought I would learn how to decorate delicious sugar cookies with a more-professional-looking royal icing technique rather than the regular frosting I usually slather on my cookies in a hurry. Usually I can get my baking to either look good, OR taste good–but I can never quite manage the art of both, so this time I was determined. I usually don’t do a whole lot for valentines, because my little guy was born on it, and I am usually making birthday cakes, and putting up balloons and birthday decorations, but since we’re still a week away, not only do I have the time to learn how to decorate beautiful valentines cookies… but I am still in time to teach you how to do it too! (Beginner to beginner!) I used the LionHouse sugar cookie recipe to make sure they tasted amazing, and kept with a really simple pink and white lace theme, which couldn’t have been easier for my first ever attempt at piping with royal icing! So here are a couple of recipes and tips that might come in handy this valentines:
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Heavenly Sogno Di Choccolata

Heavenly Sogno Di Choccolata

Today my sister called me from Florida where she’s vacationing with her cute little family at Disney World. [I'm jealous!] We were wearing matching tops and as I panned my I-phone so she could see me on FaceTime, she asked: “how are you so skinny when you make and eat all these delicious things?!” She’s so awesome for saying that. I don’t claim to be skinny… but I have had a few people ask the same thing, so I will tell you! I give almost everything I bake away!! Tonight my sister in law came over for dinner, and I made sure she left with at least half of this, because it’s dangerous to have around here! This is probably one of my all time favorite desserts. It’s layered with brownies, chocolate mousse, whipped cream, more brownies, more chocolate mouse, more whipped cream- and chocolate sauce. It’s the Mary Poppins of desserts–practically perfect in every way!!