Category Archives: Pastries

Peach Kuchen

My husband and I just returned from Topsail Island. One of our favorite places to go is Sugar Island Bakery. They have beautiful pastries and adorable local crafty gifts and jelwery.   

This bakery makes fresh goodies daily. One of the pastries that has intrigued me the last few years is a Kuchen. The baker had a blueberry kuchen in the shop showcase when we went on Friday. 

On our way home from Topsail we always stop at Mountain Man Orchard and pick up 2 bushels of freshly picked Virgina grown peaches. 

Funny story my husband and I found this gem of a farmer’s market, Mountain Man Orchard, when we got lost about 4 years ago. At the time he was not happy we got lost but now we cherish the moment. This pit stop is now an anticipated tradition to stop at the market our way home from the beach. The destination is actually halfway from Topsail to our home. 

Every year we buy more and more goodies. This year they even had muscadine grapes! A new found love! They also have my sisters favorite honey.


This recipe yields 8-10 servings


1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 

4 TB cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup fat free half and half

1 egg

1 3/4 cup sliced fresh peaches 

For the Custard Cream topping 

1/2 cup fat free half and half

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt

2 teaspoon whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

Necessary tools:

9″ Springform pan


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray, set aside. 
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cardamon in a mixing bowl and stir well with a whisk.
3. Cut the cold butter into the flour to incorporate to blend well until it becomes a sandlike texture. 

4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk fat free half and half and egg.  Pour the liquid mixture over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork just until it becomes wet. Spread the batter on the bottom of the pan greased springform pan.

5. Arrange the peach slices on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

6. While the bottom part of the dish bake, make the custard topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of half & half with flour and whisk together to remove flour particles. Add the rest of the half and half, sugar, Greek yogurt, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well to thoroughly mix.

7. Take the cake out of the oven and pour the custard mixture on top. Place the cake back in the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes.

8. When the cake edges are deep golden and starting to separate from the pan, the cake is done. Remove from oven.  Cool in the pan for 15 minutes on wire rack, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely.

Mini Brownies

Tomorrow is Administrative Professional’s Day and I wanted to honor our department’s secretary by baking her some brownies. One of her favorite sweets is chocolate. There is no better way to satisfy a sweet tooth for chocolate other than rich chocolate brownies.



1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp fine espresso powder

1 TB cornstarch

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 dutch processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup of chopped chocolate (I used leftover Easter Chocolate)

Yields: 12 mini brownies


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray with cooking spray an individual brownie pan ( I have the pampered chef product).
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix with whisk the applesauce, canola oil, vanilla, and espresso powder.  Add in the eggs, one at a time. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda,  salt, and cocoa powder. Make sure to whisk everything together
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to fold and incorporate the ingredients. Lastly add the chucks of chocolate & fold to incorporate. 
  5. Portion out the batter into the individual cups and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Bacon, Egg & Pepper Tart

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! As I always say! This one is quick and so simple. And will satisfy any savory tooth! 


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

3 oz of soft reduced fat (1/3)cream cheese

1 tsp pasta sprinkle or Italian seasoning

1 tsp chopper freeze dried chives 

1/2 tsp freeze dried chopped garlic 

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 small green pepper cut into strips

3 eggs

2 slices of bacon (precooked) cut in half lengthwise and then cut into thirds 

1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

2. Place rolled out puff pastry onto parchment paper. Roll up sides slightly and crimp the corners to prevent egg from running. Bake puff pastry for 14 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix cream cheese with pasta sprinkle, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread the cream mixture on the warm puff pastry. 

4. Strategically place the cut pepper randomly on the tart. Crack eggs and place ontop of the cheese in or around the corners. Add another egg if you want one in each corner. 

5. Now place bacon strips around the pepper strips and eggs. 

6. Sprinkle with chives and additional salt and pepper if you wish. 

7.Bake for 7-10 minutes or until egg is opaque. 


Rhubarb Buckwheat Popovers


Yesterday my husband and I went downtown to the strip district, bottom line my favorite place to bike and market shop in the warmer months. One of my favorite kitchen stores had a popover pan half off. Yahtzee only $10.99!  I was so excited, I’ve been wanting a popover pan for 2 years. Today, I had to make something with it! Savory or sweet decisions, decisions. I debated for a while but after pruning the brushes and doing yard work yesterday I noticed my rhubarb plants were starting to grow. They reminded me I have a few frozen bags of rhubarb in the freezer. 

Yields mini 10 popovers


1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup AP flour

1 cup skim milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp blood orange zest

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/2 Cup raw sugar plus 1 tsp

1 cup of fresh rhubarb or frozen (thawed and excess water removed) 

Pre directions

Preheat oven to 375. Cooking spray 10 of the 12 popover vessels. 

Place tsp of raw sugar with rhubarb and toss to coat and set aside.


1. Whisk skim milk, orange zest, vanilla, and eggs together to fully incorporate.

2. Add buckwheat, flour, salt, sugar. Whisk to fully incorporate. 


3. Place batter evenly amongst 10 popover vessels pre cooking sprayed with Pam or alternative. Top batter  with rhubarb 1 to 2 TB. Bake at 375 for 30 to 32 minutes. 

Remove from oven and enjoy! 

   Dust with powder sugar if you desire or homemade rhubarb jam.



Apple Streusel Crescent Bites

Apple  Streusel  Crescent BItes


These tasty little bites are not too sweet, in fact just right. I used my grandfathers apples leftover from his orchard last year ( I have been savoring them). I was cleaning out the refrigerator and noticed I was stock piling up on crescent rolls. Apparently I did not do inventory very well last time I went to the grocery store. This is a great way to use up some of the extra inventory. Plus I got to use my new pampered chef brownie pan again !!!



1 package of reduced fat crescent  rolls

3 medium apples cored, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cooking Spray (canola oil is my favorite)


Streusel Topping

1/8 cup of cinnamon sugar blend (a good ratio is 1/4 cup sugar to 1 TB cinnamon)

1/8 cup AP flour

1 TB unsalted Butter (diced)

This recipe yields 8 streusel bites


1. Preheat oven to 325 and spray with cooking spray either a mini preportioned brownie pan or stand size muffin pan.


2.  Take a medium sized nonstick saute pan and heat to medium low heat. Cooking spray the pan and add the diced apples and cinnamon.

Apples with cinnamon


Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes while the apples caramelize.

caramelized apples with cinnamon


3. In the meantime take the crescent roll package and lay out the dough on cutting board. Seam together two of the crescent each making 4 rectangles. Once 4 rectangles are formed cut into 8 squares. As pictured below.




4.  Take the squares and place them individually in the pan. Press the dough lightly down to form a vessel for the caramelized apples.




5. Add a TB and a half of the Caramelized apples into each vessel.


6. In a small bowl combine cinnamon sugar, flour and butter. Run the butter through your fingers with the sugar and flour to break into small particles.


7. Add one TB of cinnamon sugar mixture onto the apples.


8. Bake for 13 minutes on 350 degrees.


9. Let cool on wire rack in pan for 5 minutes.



Vegan Apple Crumble Tart

Vegan Apple Tart/


For the love of apples and the fall. This is a quick and easy tart you can put together in a pinch. I am trying to use my large bountiful supply of my grandfathers  homegrown apples. I have already made several baked goods, applesauce, apple butter, and not to mention eating one raw everyday. I needed a quick recipe for a work meeting. I always try and bake a goodie for our quarterly meetings. I have a strong belief “if you bake something delicious they will come”.  So far it seems to work!




1/2 Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Cup AP Flour

1 Cup of Quick Oats

1/4 Tsp of baking soda

1/2 Cup of Canola Oil

2/3 cup of brown sugar (not packed)

Apple Filling:

2 Cups of shredded Apples (at least two large apples shredded (not peeled that is where all the “good stuff” is))

2 TB of sugar

2 tsp of cinnamon (Vietnamese is my favorite )

1 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp mace

1 TB of apple cider



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place parchment paper inside of tart pan (or a 9 by 9 pan) and spray with cooking spray to coat the pan.

2. Place filling ingredients in microwave safe bowl and microwave in one minute intervals string after each minute (your house will smell amazing). Set aside.

3. Place all the dry ingredients for topping in a medium bowl mix with whisk until combine.

4. Take a heaping cup of the crumb mixture and press it into the bottom of the tart pan.

5. Once the bottom is pressed evenly add the apple topping on to the crust and spread evenly with spatula .

6. Once the filling is spread evenly sprinkle the remainder of the crumb topping on dish.

7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crumble topping is golden brown. Let completely cool on wire rack before cutting into.


Apple Crumble Tart/



Chocolate Zucchini Whole Wheat Muffins


My husband and I went to our local farmer’s market yesterday after our bike ride. We bought their homegrown zucchini in bulk. I love baking with zucchini. I made these this morning for my 19 month nephew. He loves his vegetables! Hopefully he will love these too!


1 cup of Shredded Zucchini (blotted well with paper towel to remove moisture)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup AP flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon vietnamese cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350 and line 12 standard cupcake liners.

1. Sift dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.


2. In a separate larger bowl mix wet ingredients (except the zucchini).


3. Now add wet mixture to dry mixture.


4. Once mixture is mixed well.


5. Now fold in zucchini.


6. Make sure zucchini is spread out evenly throughout batter.


7. Spray liners with cooking spray. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner.



Rhubarb Cardamon Whole Wheat Scones

Good Morning! What’s baking?

I just placed these scones in the oven.



2 cups Rhubarb chopped
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 Cup of AP flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1teaspoon of Cardamon ground
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of heavy cream
One stick of butter cup chopped (1/2 cup) Unsalted
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
1 TB of vanilla sugar & 2 TB of sugar
1/4 cup of sugar

1.5 TB of vanilla sugar
2.5 TB of sugar


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. In a small bowl take chopped rhubarb and coat well with 1 tb of vanilla sugar and 2 TB of sugar. Set a side.


3. In a separate bowl sift together both types of flour, salt, cardamon, 1/4 cup of sugar and baking powder.


4. Cut butter into the flour mixture.


You can use a pastry cutter for this but I prefer using my hands. Cut until butter is in pea sizes.


5. Add rhubarb and liquids.


6. Use a spatula to mix. And knead until dough form and everything is incorporated. Don’t over knead/mix.


Make sure no flour is left behind.


7. Separate dough evenly into a Pam Spray coved scone pan.


Looks like this


8. Now sprinkle with dusting sugar


9. Bake scones for 20 to 24 minutes on 425 or until golden brown.



Yields 16 to 20 scones depending on the size of your scone pan. As pictured the scones are 2.5 by 2.5 by 3 inches.


Special note: next time I make these I am going to try using fat free half and half to decrease the saturated fat content.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Whole Wheat Shortbread

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortbread



My grandpa gave me fresh rhubarb from his garden this past weekend.  I couldn’t wait to use it. I love baking with rhubarb!! I have made rhubarb muffins, rhubarb cupcakes, rhubarb bars, rhubarb pancakes but never have I made shortbread using rhubarb. We had a very special birthday in the office today so I researched for a new rhubarb recipe to try and when I came across this recipe for Rhubarb Shortbread I had to give it a whirl. This recipe was adapted from a recipe  on PBS’s website The original recipe called for a few different ingredients so I switched it up slightly since I didn’t have spelt flour , cane sugar, nor did I have red wine on hand.




1 Cup of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 Cup AP Flour

A pinch of salt

1 Teaspoon of baking soda

2 Teaspoon of ground cardamom

2 sticks of butter (unsalted and brought to room temperature)

1 Cup of Sugar

2 Egg Yolks

Baking dish needed: 10 inch tart pan



Rhubarb Compote:

2 Cups of Rhubarb Chopped

1/2 cup Strawberries chopped

1/3 Cup of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Water

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla


Directions for the Dough:


  1.  Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.


2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until fluffy.

3. Add the eggs yolks one at a time and sugar and mix well.
4. Add the dry ingredients ingredients and combine the two until a soft dough has formed.
5. Form the dough into two balls, make sure to form one larger than the other.
Wrap the dough in plastic cling wrap and place in  freezer for 30 to 45 minutes. them for a minimum of 30 minutes.
6. For the Compote: Place a 2 quart sauce pan on low heat, add water, sugar,  strawberries, rhubarb into the pan. Make sure to stir often. Add the sauce to come to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low continue to stir often.
7. Remove from heat after thickened and stir in the vanilla. Place the compote in a freezer safe bowl and sit on ice in the freezer for at least 30 to 45 minutes to cool completely.
8. Preheat oven to 350.  Once compote is cooled get the larger piece of dough out of the freezer and start to grate with larger holes on a grater directly into a Pam Sprayed 10 inch tart pan.
9. Pat down the dough into the pan lightly.
10. Spread the rhubarb compote over the first layer of dough evenly. MAKE sure to leave a least a half inch from the perimeter  to prevent leaking on the outside.
11. Now take out the second dough ball and grate over the top of the rhubarb compote.
12. Pat down the dough very lightly. You will still see some compote poking through but it is okay.
13. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 until the entire top is evenly golden brown.
14.  Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting into this delightful treat.

Flourless Brownies

Flourless Brownies


My sister is always asking me to try healthier recipes with using more secret healthier ingredients. So Jenna Lynn this one is for you….

1 can (15 oz drained and rinsed) Blackbeans
3/4 cup of egg substitute or 6 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon of pure vanilla (Mexican is worth it)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips (Dark or Semi Sweet) you pick your poison
1 teaspoon of Expresso Powder
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup Splenda for baking



1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line 8 x 8 Pyrex dish with parchment paper and spray with Pam Spray


3. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in food processor and pulse until smooth (there will still be some black bean shaves of skin)


4. Remove blade and stir in chocolate chips


5. Pour batter in baking dish


6. Bake for 30 minutes


Yields: 16 Brownies 2 ww plus points each