aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Category: desserts

Making Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolat

Making Mendl's Courtesan au Chocolate

Get the recipe and watch how Mendl’s Courtesan au Chocolate from The Grand Budapest Hotel is made here.


blood orange and coconut marshmallows


These marshmallows were pretty and delicious. The recipe I used is from the December issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and can be found here on their website. Next I want to try these rose water marshmallows created by Mimi Thorisson of Manger, my most favorite food blog ever!

It’s amazing to me how easy it was to make marshmallows. It sounds so complicated, but really it’s as simple as making a sugar syrup and mixing it with gelatin. Here are some pictures of how mine turned out:







My coconut layer didn’t turn out quite as fluffy as the orange one. I think this was because I let the sugar syrup go over the temperature it was supposed to be at.


They look oh-so-pretty rolled in powdered sugar and placed in a glass dish!



AP Cookies


These cookies were passed down from my Grandma to my Mom. I loved helping Mom make them as a girl, especially decorating them with colored sugar! The past two years I’ve gotten to make them with my Grandma who told me about the Pennsylvania Dutch cookie making tradition. Her and my Grandpap moved to Pennsylvania when they were young, where they picked up lots of yummy Christmas cookie recipes!




Makes: a lot! You can halve or quarter this recipe if you like.

1 lb butter (4 sticks or 2 cups)
4 eggs
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 lb powdered sugar (~7 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
8 cups flour

Combine all ingredients, adding the flour in last. Divide dough into 4 sections, wrap each ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough to about 1/8″ for nice crispy cookies. (This is how we like it, with a cup of tea or coffee.) You may have to let dough sit out at room temperature several minutes if it is too hard to roll out. Cut out desired shapes and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake for 6-11 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of your cookies, so keep an eye on them! Let cool a little on the cookie sheet to harden before removing to a cooling rack or wax paper.



strawberry basil sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet

After having a divine strawberry basil sorbet at Milk & Honey in Chattanooga, I decided to try and make it myself.


Makes: 1400 ml, (~1 1/2 qt)

4 cups sliced strawberries (or 1 1/2 lbs or 2 pints whole)
1 cup sugar, heaping
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Sprinkle sugar over strawberries and stir lightly, then cover and let rest one hour. This draws out the juices from the strawberries. When the hour is up puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place in fridge and wait until chilled completely (several hours) before churning in your ice cream maker. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into containers and freeze in your freezer by stirring every 20-30 minutes until hard.



valentine’s day donuts


“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz

Happy Valentine’s day everyone! I think today is a good day to splurge a little, and having donuts for breakfast is the perfect way to do it. These are actually called sufganiyot (soof-gone-YOT), a ball-shaped, jelly-filled donut that is popular in Israel. The dough can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator to fry up in the morning.



Recipe modified from Bon Appetit magazine

Makes: about 16

2 1/4 tsp. yeast, or 1 envelope
2 Tbsp. warm water
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. + 1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
2 Tbsp. water (original recipe called for orange juice)
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature

Frying + Assembly
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup jam
1 recipe chocolate cream (below)
1 recipe glaze (below)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Put Yeast, 1 Tbsp. flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and 2 Tbsp. warm water into a large mixing bowl and combine. Let sit 5 min. or until foamy. Whisk egg yolks, milk, water, salt, vanilla, 2 cups of the flour, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar into the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon about 2 minutes.

Add the butter 1 Tbsp. at a time, stirring between each addition to incorporate butter into dough. Gradually add the rest of the flour a little at a time until dough is no longer sticky, but still soft and shiny.

Turn dough onto a floured counter and knead 5 min. until it no longer sticks to your hands or work surface. Wash the mixing bowl and coat with a layer of butter. Place dough into buttered bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm, still area of the kitchen for 1 hour or until doubled in size. (If your house is cold, put your dough into a slightly warmed oven to rise.)

Roll the dough out on a floured counter till 3/4″ thick. Using a floured round cutter, cut donuts, twisting cutter at the end (this helps the dough puff up more during frying). Re-roll the scraps and repeat. Place donuts on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a towel, and let rise 40-50 minutes.

While waiting for the second rise it is a good time to prepare your filling (recipe below). Pour vegetable oil into a heavy saucepan until about 4″ deep. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels to put the cooked donuts. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. and fry each donut for 1 minute on each side or until golden.

Cool slightly, then fill and dust with powdered sugar or glaze them. To fill use a pipping bag, fill bag with either jam or pastry cream, then insert piping tip into top of donut and fill. I made some only glazed (for Jordan), some with chocolate filling dusted with powdered sugar (for me), and some with strawberry jam dusted with powdered sugar (not pictured).


1 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)

Pour milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium until steaming. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add milk slowly, whisking the whole time. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, whisking constantly over medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted and the cream is smooth. If there are any lumps in your pastry cream, you can press it through a sieve. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream, then refrigerate until set.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. water

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Dip one side of sufganiyot into glaze. Then fill with jam or pastry cream if desired.



rustic apple tart

rustic apple tart

I had some apples that my mom gave me from a local orchard, what better to do with them than to make a rustic apple tart?



1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar and stevia blend
1/4 cup canola oil
3-4 Tbsp. milk

2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
4 tsp flour
1 Tbsp. sugar and stevia blend
1 Tbsp. butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. For the crust combine the flour, salt, and sugar blend. Add canola oil and 3 Tbsp. of the milk all at once and stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry add a fourth Tbsp. of milk a little at a time. Form the dough into a ball and roll out into a 9-10 inch circle between two pieces of wax paper. Transfer dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

To make the tart, combine the sliced apples and flour in a bowl and toss to coat. Then arrange apples on the tart leaving about a 1 -1 1/2 inch border for the crust. Fold the dough up around the apples and press into place. Sprinkle tart with the sugar, butter pieces, and cinnamon. You can brush the edges of the tart with a little milk so it will brown, then place in the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes and enjoy a warm slice! Serves 6.