Entries from December 30th, 2011

A Chocolate Mint Tart to Round Out the Year

December 30th, 2011 · 26 Comments · Chocolate, Recipes, Tarts

Dark Chocolate and Peppermint Cream Tart on dessertfirstgirl.com

Hello dear readers,

In a couple of hours I’ll be boarding a plane to fly back to the US, so I’ll be ringing in the new year at home. It’s been a great two weeks in Vietnam and Hong Kong, filled with family and, as always, a surfeit of good food. Below is one of my favorite photos I took during my trip, on a bus ride rounding the Hong Kong harbor – one of the prettiest views in the world, in my quite-biased opinion:

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Holiday Greetings from Hong Kong

December 19th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Travel

HK skyline

Hello from Hong Kong! If it seems like I was just here…it’s kind of true. I usually make a trip here every other year, but family events mean that I’ll have made two trips here in 2011. I’m certainly not going to complain about twice the opportunities to eat egg custard tarts, xiao long bao, dim sum, and, well, just about everything else. The eating never really stops here.

I’m also making a short jaunt to Vietnam for the next few days, so the posting schedule will unfortunately be delayed. If you want to keep abreast of what I’m doing, I’ll be updating my Twitter and Instagram feeds when I can. And I’ll check in when I return to HK on Christmas, so hopefully they’ll still be a Christmas post on Dessert First this year!

Hope all of your holidays are going well and your kitchens are full of the scents of baking and the sounds of laughter!

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A Winning Blackberry Lemon Cupcake

December 12th, 2011 · 15 Comments · Cakes, Recipes, San Francisco, SF Events

blackberry cupcake

Photo courtesy of Driscoll’s

About a week ago I got to be part of an exciting event: Driscoll’s held a holiday cooking and food photography workshop in San Francisco and several local food bloggers, including yours truly, was invited to attend.

I had previously got to tour some of the farms that grow Driscoll’s berries, so another chance to sample their delicious product was most welcome.

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{Cookbook Review}: 2011 Holiday Baking Cookbooks

December 8th, 2011 · 7 Comments · Cookbooks, Reviews

It’s that time again for one of my favorite posts of the year – the baking cookbook roundup!

I’m guessing that everyone is in holiday shopping mode, so if you’re still looking for a gift for your favorite baker, or maybe for your own bookshelf, there’s a great selection of baking cookbooks looking for an eager home. Some of my favorites from this year are listed in the sidebars to the right of this post, but let’s take a look at some of the latest releases – there’s truly something for every taste. May you all never run out of bookshelf space!

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{Cookbook Review} Cookie Time: Linzer Cookies and A Slew of Cookie Cookbooks

December 5th, 2011 · 13 Comments · Cookbooks, Cookies, Recipes, Reviews

linzer cookies

Happy December! Thanks to all who entered the Teacake Bake Shop giveaway. The winner of the cookie sampler, chosen at random, is:

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Reader #10, Amy! Congratulations and hope you enjoy!

For everyone else, no need for sadness, as we are entering the prime cookie-baking season of the year. My fab friend Annelies just threw a cookie swap party over the weekend – keep an eye out for some truly tasty cookie recipes popping up on the blogs in the next few days. I have to admit I was a little unoriginal with my entry: I used one of my favorite linzer cookie recipes (making them always puts me in a holiday frame of mind), but I changed up the presentation with some little alphabet cookie cutters.

I’m going to be really nerdy and point out that we were asked to bring a dozen cookies to the party, and the phrase I chose worked out to a baker’s dozen. Sweet, yes? I also inadvertently provided some of the party entertainment by essentially bringing edible anagrams; obviously bloggers will be ardent wordsmiths, and I’ll let you figure out how we got from “Happy Holidays” to “Laos”.

For those of you looking for some more cookie inspiration, there are quite a few new cookie books out for the holidays. Let’s take a look (FYI, my full cookbook roundup will be following soon!)

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