Buttermilk Sugar Cookies

This recipe makes a bunch, because I needed a bunch. These soft, delicately-flavored cookies were dessert last week at my Third Thursday Cafe. Buttermilk adds a little tang to the dough, which bakes up under a shower of cinnamon sugar. It’s a lovely smell to come home to. I divided the output as it came…

Lemon Cake

Once upon a time, a woman and her husband were invited to a Christmas party. The woman knew she’d see friends there who had done nice things for her recently, so, on the day of the party, she made three lemon cakes to take to them as gifts. She grated zest from many lemons, and…

Apple Tarts

I had riches in the refrigerator, extra puff pastry left over from dinner on New Year’s day. Too good to go to waste, this all-butter puff was made by Dufour Pastry Kitchens in New York, and my not-so-local fancy food store had stocked it for the holidays. I’ve read rave reviews about Dufour’s puff pastry…

Ring of Coconut Fudge Cake

Someone special had a birthday recently. Like every year, I asked him what kind of cake he’d like. Every year, he says he wants this one. This year, to my surprise, the onery cussĀ he said make anything chocolate, not specifying this cake. So of course I made this cake, like every year. Because it’s that…

Pumpkin Brownies

If you had a chance to shop for chrysanthemums with a chihuahua riding shotgun in a flower pot, wouldn’t you do it? I did. It’s fun. And if you could dig into a luscious pumpkin brownie crowned with orange-flavored cream cheese frosting, wouldn’t you do that? You should. It’s delicious. That’s not such a stretch…

Pumpkin Pie Follies at the Arkansas State Fair

Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met were my competitors at the First Lady’s Pie Contest at the Arkansas State Fair. They greeted me with smiles, they tried to help me, and then they trounced me. I can’t even trash-talk their pies, because contestants got small tastes of everyone’s entries after the governor’s wife…

We call these Seven Layers at my house…

…because we can’t count. There’s a layer of salted, buttery graham cracker crumbs (one); and a layer of coconut mixed with chocolate chips (two), all glued together with sweetened condensed milk that bakes to a chewy gold on the edges. The condensed milk melds with everything else so it can hardly be classified as another…