Monday, May 9, 2011

Le Petit Lapin May Farmers' Markets

Le Petit Lapin Patisserie is a fill-in vendor this May at the Stowe, VT and Waitsfield, VT Farmers' Markets.  So if you're in the area the next two weekends, be sure to visit Le Petit Lapin at these markets!

May 15th and 22nd : Stowe Farmers' Market 
    Rt. 108, Mountain Rd. across from the Stoweflake Resort in Stowe, VT, 10:30 am to 3:00 pm

May 21st : Waitsfield Farmers' Market
    Mad River Green in Waitsfield VT, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

The little rabbit will be baking up brioche, scones, french macarons, fruit tarts and more!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers and Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Sometimes, just sometimes, the little rabbit cooks rather than bakes.  I always opt for a giant slice of chocolate cake over anything salty or fried, but sometimes it's important to rouse the salty taste buds from dormancy to ensure they haven't been overrun by their sweeter counterparts.

I was drawn to the bright green, yellow, orange and red peppers in the market last week, which inspired me to cook bell peppers stuffed with rice, beef, thyme and basil, as well as a roasted red pepper dressing with fresh thyme.

These peppers are steamed before stuffing and baking, which creates a soft, sweet pepper that simply melts in your mouth.  The smooth, creamy meat and rice filling is contrasted nicely with a crunchy topping of bread crumbs and cheese.  Paired with a salad draped in roasted red pepper dressing, you have a healthy and flavorful meal, a well-matched competitor for that slice of chocolate cake.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Momofuku Milk Bar's Compost Cookie in honor of Vermont's Mud Season

Ah, spring showers.  I know they're necessary to propel daffodils and tulips into lofty bloom and drive earthworms from their subterranean homes into clear sight for peckish robins, but after a sunny weekend spent outdoors, the return of rain is constricting and dreary.  Luckily, I have a solution.

Views of clouds and mud out the kitchen window can instantly be gratified by filling your house with warm scents of vanilla, butter and chocolate.  And as you burn your tongue on the first bite of cookie fresh from the baking tray, who cares if it's a monsoon out there.  Everything you need to brighten the day is arriving straight from your oven.

Having just read the article in this weeks New York Times celebrating the career and James Beard award nomination of Christina Tosi of Milk Bar, I was inspired to finally try one of Milk Bar's cookie recipes.  While the blueberries and cream was at the top of my list, I opted for the compost cookie as it utilized my leftover Easter chocolate.  I also wanted to honor Vermont's ever so glamorous mud season with an equally glamorous sounding cookie, the compost cookie.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Orange Fairy Cakes

I think we've all gone a little royal wedding crazy, both sides of the pond.

Slightly more dignified than the pez dispensors is the official Royal Wedding website, which showcases the wedding ceremony guest list and seating chart, musicians and choirs performing, the wedding procession route, the charitable gift fund set up by William and Kate and about anything else that might spark your interest.

Luckily, the site includes information on the royal wedding cake.  This enormous task has been placed on the shoulders of Fiona Cairns, British cake designer and cookbook author.  Even though I'm tiring of the constant coverage on trivial matters pertaining to the wedding, I'm still rising early tomorrow morning to view the ceremony live as well as bake some treats to celebrate the day.  And I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for a sneak-peak of Cairns' cake.

I decided to bake fairy cakes, the British version of cupcakes.  The cake is similar to that of American cupcakes, but fairy cakes are iced with royal icing instead of buttercream.  I found inspiration from Fiona Cairns cookbook, Bake and Decorate, although I have a feeling these little cakes aren't anything near as grand as the cakes she's preparing for tomorrow.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mini Orange Chiffon Cakes and Iced Butter Cookies

Le Petit Lapin has a favorite holiday.  Can you guess what it is?

It's not just because Easter is centered around an infamous bunny and his/her (I'm not sure about the Easter bunny's gender) chocolate eggs.  It has a lot more to do with the  coinciding transformations from brown to bright green and bare to speckled with delicate buds in the world around. Easter heralds the arrival of robins hunting for worms, bright yellow daffodils and cute open toed sandals. 

There's no heavy meal laden with gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing, nor is there the stress of purchasing gifts for family and friends.  Just stock up on cadbury cream eggs and peeps, and you're all set.

To celebrate Easter, the little rabbit is keeping it simple this year with iced butter cookies and mini orange chiffon cakes.  Nothing rich and heavy,  just some light desserts to welcome the arrival of the robins, daffodils and all things Spring.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Currant Scones

Ever since I moved to Vermont, I've been driving a lot more than I used to.  It's not day-to-day driving that's increased, but the longer car journeys to visit family and friends at home.  I've been bouncing back and forth for the various holidays and birthdays that seem to be stockpiled between November and April.

I enjoy going home, but I'm not fond of long car rides.  I decided that I needed a little treat during these treks, which led to the birth of scone and cappuccino car rides.  At the beginning of each trip, I treat myself to a warm, tall jolt of caffeine to keep me awake and a scone because I love them and need something to go with the cappuccino.

I usually start sipping the coffee before I've even made it from the coffee shop to the car, but I always stash the scone for later.  After a few hours when all my music starts to sound the same and the scenery becomes dull and drab, I reach for the scone and break off a corner.  The first bite is always a crescendo of excitement for a much needed diversion.

Unfortunately, not all scones are created equal.  In fact, some scones are downright dry and flavorless or heavy and overly iced.  So you can imagine the wave of disappointment I experience when the scone I've been saving stinks.

A scone should be delicate and moist on the inside, speckled with sweet currants or other fruits and nuts, lightly sprinkled with sugar and baked to a light golden brown. It's even better served with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd. 

After too many dud scones, I've tweaked my scone and cappuccino tradition.  I bake a large batch of scones, then thaw one for each car ride, guaranteeing a delicious scone each time.  I'm tempted to bring a tub of clotted cream and jam, although I'm sure my steering wheel will end up slicked with grease and my pants spotted with jam.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday French Macarons

It started with a request for French Macarons.  I baked my trademark flavor, a cinnamon shell filled with honey buttercream.

Under normal circumstances, this would have been enough.  But these weren't normal circumstances.  These were macarons to take the place of a birthday cake for someone very special.  So I whipped up some matcha and rose macarons.

Still not enough. Along came lavender, lemon and orange flower blossom macarons.

When you're celebrating the birthday of someone who puts the needs and desires of everyone else before her own, one flavor isn't enough.  Even six flavors isn't enough to say thank you for all you do each day, but at least it's a start.

And in case you're wondering who the birthday girl is, it's the artist who drew the beautiful logo for Le Petit Lapin.

It's my mom's birthday!


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