Raspberry Chocolate Almond Squares




1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup raspberry jam


3 eggs

8 oz. almond paste

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup sliced, toasted almonds and then ground

1 tsp. pure almond extract


1 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon espresso

1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds and then ground


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients except the jam in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until well combined. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Partially bake just until lightly browned, then spread with the jam.


In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all the batter ingredients and process until smooth. Pour over the top of the jam topped base. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before adding topping.


Melt the chocolate, add the butter, sugar, cream and espresso. Whisk until smooth. Spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle the ground almonds over the top and slightly press into topping. Cut into squares.

Fruit Tacos welcome in Spring and Summer.

Fruit Tacos

Taco Shells:

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

3 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp orange blossom water

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1/2 cup flour, sifted

2 tablespoons butter, melted


Assorted in season soft fruit

Sweetened whipped cream

Mint for garnish

sweetened fruit puree, strained for the sauce


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix the almond flour and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 1 egg.

Separate the remaining 2 eggs and add the yolks to the almond flour mixture. Beat until pale yellow and thick. Stir in vanilla and orange blossom water.

Whisk the egg white to stiff. Gradually add the superfine sugar beating whites until stiff and glossy. Fold in a third of the meringue into the almond flour mixture, then fold in half of the flour. Repeat again with a third and the rest of the flour; then remaining meringue. Pour melted butter around the outside edge and fold in.

Drop about 3 tablespoons of batter for each taco shell on the lined baking sheets. Only have 3 taco shells well spaced per sheet. The recipe makes 6 shells.Even out the batter with the back of a spoon but don’t spread out. The batter will spread while baking.

Place in preheated oven and bake for about 6 minutes or until the shells are set and pale golden.

Remove from oven . Using a thin flat wide spatula, loosen the shell and gently fold in half to form a taco shell. Allow to cool in slightly in your hand and place on wire rack. You must work quickly while shells are still warm enough to form.

Once shells are cool, spread fruit preserves if desired and pipe whipped cream inside top with berries. Serve with fruit puree sauce.

Very Berry Mini Cheesecake Bites are great used for sweet appetizers and can easliy be turned into savory as well.

Very Berry Mini Cheesecake Bites

1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg , room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. lemon zest

1/4 cup sugar

seedless raspberry jam

Mixed Fresh berries, black berries, blueberries, raspberries

12 vanilla wafer cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly butter a 12 hole mini cheese cake pan. Place a vanilla wafer in each slot; set aside.

In a stand mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and zest; blend until well combined. Evenly divide into each of the 12 indention’s.  Using a 1/4 tsp. measure, spoon raspberry jam on top of each cake. Place a whole blueberry on top of the jam. Using a spoon , push the jam and berry into the center of each cake. Smooth the tops. Place in oven and bake for about 14 minutes or until set. The tops will fall as they cool. Remove from pans after they have cooled for about 20 minutes. Place on rack to continue to completely cool. Using a thin knife , slide it under the each cake to remove the metal disc. Dollop a small amount of jam on top of each cake and decorate with the mixed berries.

For savory bites, substitute crackers for vanilla wafers, sauteed vegetables for garnish and chutney replacing the fruit jam in this recipe. Use fresh herbs to brighten it up.