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Black Fruitcake

Over the last several years, people suggested that I write a book of fruit desserts. I point out, helpfully, that I already have, but every year a few books of fruit desserts come out, mostly relating to pies or crisps and cobblers. So it was interesting to see one devoted solely to cakes, called (appropriately) Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker. But no need…

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Cranberry Chutney

Have you ever gone away for a few weeks and found out that you’d left the freezer door ajar? Well, I did. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. Before traveling, since I’m anti-gaspillage (against food waste), I jammed whatever I could into my already-stuffed freezer, including a half-eaten tomato tart, which I thought would be nice to have ready-and-waiting upon my arrival home,…

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Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie Bars

I love cookies. If there is a selection of cookies on a dessert menu, I always will order it. I’ve been to cookie shops from Beirut to Bushwick, nibbling my way through chewy chocolate chip cookies, macarons, buttery sablés, and snappy ginger cookies, whenever I can. Even Parisians get in on the act by dubbing chocolate chip cookies, les cookies, perhaps because they are the classic…

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Cheese Ball

The French concept of terroir, a confluence of elements – soil, atmosphere, weather, and other factors – that gives something a certain taste or flavor to foods and wine, is often spoken of as an elusive concept outside of France. But it does exist in the United States, as well as other countries. We just don’t have a word for it. The French, being so…

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I have a mixed history with granola bars. The only ones I’ve ever made that were absolute perfection was when I had some peanut butter frosting leftover from a cupcake recipe that I was playing around with. I mixed in some other ingredients into a bowl of leftover frosting on the counter, perhaps more peanut butter, some nuts, a handful of oats, etc, until it looked like…

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Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Figs

People often ask me what Parisians do for Thanksgiving. And while many French holidays are celebrated in America, Thanksgiving is one that doesn’t cross the Atlantic. I’ve done a Thanksgiving dinner for friends and it takes quite a bit of time to find and assemble all the ingredients. And although a few stores that cater to American expats stock everything, it’s more fun to make…

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Food Gifts to Bring French People from America

Even though globalization has made things pretty available everywhere, and things like Speculoos spread and Fleur de sel can now be found in America, it hasn’t always worked quite the same the other way around. Some American things haven’t made it across the Atlantic and people often think that Americans subsist on junk food because at the stores that cater to expats, and in the…

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How to Make Chocolate Bars

When I took pastry courses a number of years ago here in France and in Belgium, I tended to want to focus on the chocolate classes because – well…gosh darn it, I love it so much. We’ve become the best of friends over the years and I am never far from my bin of chocolate that I buy in bulk. (Although at some point, someone…

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

We seem to be going though an age of competitions and it’s interesting for me to see so much fascination with being a chef, and people acting out on television what goes on (or they perceive goes on) in restaurant kitchens. I spent most of my life behind the stoves and let me tell you, it’s often not pretty and I would not want anyone…

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