Sep 22, 2016


What the chocolate chip cookie is to America, Amaretti are to Italy - a classic cookie. The Lombardy region of Saronno in Italy is the place of origin for this staple cookie. "Amaro" refers to "bitter" as in almonds. The bitter almond was the type of nut first used in the making of this cookie, circa 1925.  It is still so in most of Italy, although in America, as in other countries, the bitter almond is banned due to its poisonous nature when raw. In America the sweet almond is used instead.

If you love almonds, notably marzipan, then you will adore amaretti. Should I also mention the French Macaron? (Did you know it is originally an Italian invention?). Its shell is primarily made of ground almonds - a similarity between these two confections.

The amaretti's crackled and sugar-dusted exterior are its signature feature. What causes the crackled texture? It is in the science of the ratio of egg whites to almond/sugar mixture. A fine coating of castor sugar (that's fine sugar in the US) followed by confectioner's sugar before baking is key to the final texture of the cookie.

Finding amaretti in the US can be a little difficult. You can find the crispy-type amaretti more easily than the softer version. I prefer the softer-textured type, as it is reminiscent of marzipan.

This cookie is also gluten-free, but it in no way compromises taste and texture. This is a divine cookie!

See my website for details and pricing:

Don't miss this Italian treat!


Jul 26, 2016

So what is a Victoria Sponge anyway? When I am finished explaining it, you will be wanting one, I promise. In the US we sometimes call it a pound cake. In the UK it is referred to as a sponge cake. When one thinks of pound cake, what comes to mind is a firm and well-aerated structure of a cake. It is dense, buttery and lightly sweet. It is one of the first non-yeasted cakes (that is...without leavening). Air, instead, is incorporated into the egg mixture and this results in a light and airy cake. Sandwich it with preferably a raspberry preserve (I'll take mine seedless please!) and a pure vanilla buttercream. Dust the top with confectioner's sugar and you have a delicious treat! Anyone for afternoon tea?

So what is its history? It's quite a famous one. Queen Victoria's lady-in-waiting, Anna, Duchess of Bedford, was the creator of teatime. The noontime meals back in those days were quite skimpy and by late afternoon she was having her wait staff sneak biscuits and breads into her chambers.  So she decided to invite her friends over at 5pm for an afternoon meal. The menu consisted of small cakes, sandwiches, sweets and tea. Sounds a lot like High Tea in England today, doesn't it?
Before long Queen Victoria adopted this ritual herself. By 1855 'tea parties' were in style, with ladies in formal dress meeting in late afternoon, by invitation, no less! When Prince Albert died in 1861, the queen retreated to Osborn House and the cakes were then naturally named after her, as this was her favorite sweet.
The cake itself can be made as an 8" or 9" round, sandwiched together with preserves of choice and a vanilla buttercream.  I bake them in miniature form. One or two (or three!) bites for each cake...and you'll be wanting more. They are light, airy, sweet, fruity and creamy all at once. You will be wishing you were in England, enjoying these during an afternoon tea. But until then, come and try them right here at Delices Europeennes, LLC.
Once you taste them, you'll need a reason to have your friends over for tea.....or coffee...and of course, some lovely treats!

Jun 23, 2015


That is German for "spritz" as in "cookie". I think most of us are familar with this cookie from childhood. The recipe consists of basic ingredients, including staples such as flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. You can change the flavor by adding various extracts such as vanilla, orange, almond, etc.

The term "spritzgeback" actually means "to squirt". I remember trying a cookie press when I was in my 20's. It was a great tool when you wanted to mass-produce cookies during the holidays. I liked the uniformity of the cookies, but it lacked character and a challenge. So I decided to combine my love of baking cookies with my favorite kitchen tool: the pastry bag. I use pastry bags almost every day in my kitchen - from piping French Macarons ( in my sleep!) to filling some of my sandwiched cookies. Once you get a feel for piping, you tend to develop a rhythm, and uniformity in your cookies becomes apparent after much practice.

Although the spritz cookie is considered German in origin, it originates from the region of Alsace - which is bordered by Germany, Switzerland and France. German and French influences can be found here, as well as both languages being spoken, but where French dominates. The spritz cookie dates back to the 16th century, Medieval Period.

The texture of the spritz cookie is slightly crisp, buttery and mildly sweet. It pairs well with fillings when sandwiched together. So how do I combine the German recipe with a French influence? That's where the pastry bag comes in. I decided to make the dough, keep it room temperature (so it piped easily), and use a star tip nozzle in my pastry bag. A few swirly turns later on parchment paper, and the lovely "German Rosette" was created.


I offer 3 rosette cookie flavors: raspberry (medium pink), rose water (light pink), and vanilla bean. Fillings can be either almond or vanilla bean, both of which meld well with any of the cookie flavors. Sandwiched together, they make a lovely presentation.

I hope you like them as much as I do!


Apr 13, 2015


The "sable"  (pronounced saab-luh')has its origins in Caen in the Normandy province of France.  Its name means "sand" due to its crumbly and sandy texture. The truly French version of this cookie is eaten alone and not sandwiched together with ganache or other fillings - not that it would be such a bad idea!

Some say this delicate cookie is reminiscent of the American icebox cookie. I tend to disagree for one reason - "decadent flavor". The sable may look quite humble, but the flavors are divine and after one cookie, your sweet tooth feels quite satisfied.

I tend to dress mine up a bit with a slightly ruffled edge and a dusting of coarse sanding sugar on top. Traditionally the dough is rolled into logs and frozen and then slightly defrosted, sliced and baked. The result is a somewhat round cookie, but I prefer to roll the dough and give each cookie a nice ruffled edge with a cookie cutter. The result: a much more elegant and precise cookie.

I think this type of cookie is deserving of two traditional flavors - French Vanilla and Chocolate Orange Espresso. I can't say that I love one more than the other. The one I choose on any given day is really based on mood. 

The French Vanilla has a browned butter flavor with a sweet crunch. The Chocolate Orange Espresso is quite decadent as well - just in a different way. The chocolate and orange are quite pronounced and the espresso gives it the rich darkness that I was looking for in such a cookie. Even if you are not a coffee-drinker, you will most likely think the richness you taste is the chocolate itself.

Whichever you choose, they are both quite indulgent in taste and flavor and easily disguise themselves in their humble display. The French are decidely ingenious in their creation of pastries and cookies - from quite elegant and complex to quite simplistic. But the taste is always perfection!


Jan 27, 2015


Are you familiar with the Langues-de-Chat, or what Americans call "Cat's Tongues"? If you are not, you will surely want to be. This is a long, thin French cookie that is light, crisp and slightly sweet. As its name states, it is the shape of a cat's tongue. It belongs to the category "Petit fours secs" or "dry petit fours", as opposed to the smaller versions of pastries involving butter creams or pastry creams.

 The langues-de-chat dates back to the 17th century where refined white sugar was just coming onto the baking scene. It was a staple among the wealthy class of Northern Europe. You would see this French cookie served with fine liqueurs or sparkling wines and would be a lovely addition to a dessert table. 

What makes this cookie unique is its versatility. It is not meant to be gobbled up like a chocolate chip cookie, but rather it acts as an accompaniment to such desserts as mousse, ice cream or just a simple cup of tea or coffee. It is more of a "nibble" than a full fledged dessert.

The ingredients are household staples, but the trick is in the execution of this piped beauty. It is a matter of practice and patience to get the shapes to be consistent. And to mix it up a little bit, you can change the flavor of the cookie - swap vanilla for either lemon zest, orange zest, cardamom, or even nutmeg. 

Want to try this authentic French cookie? I hand-dip each one in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkle them with chopped green pistachios. And if you have a nut allergy, no worries. I can substitute various colors of nonpareils or sprinkles.

Trust me.....sit with you cup of tea/coffee, close your eyes and taste this lovely French treat. You'll swear you're in a French cafe with nothing else to do but enjoy a moment away from the busyness of your day.

Bon Apetit!

Jul 31, 2014


I would consider myself a lover of all things "French", but I have to say that I am a fan of many things "English" as well. My husband and I have been hooked from the beginning with a series called "Downton Abbey". This coming January 2015 will be season 5 and we are anxiously anticipating its start.

I mention this BBC series because watching it made me think of cookies (naturally!), as lovely afternoon tea was being served on some episodes and it got me to thinking about what is authentically English when it comes to baking. Well, of course, that would be "tea cookies' right?

This fall I will be introducing and adding to my menu offerings three (3) very special English Tea Cookies: Earl Grey, Chai Spice, and Chamomile Lemon. Each cookie has natural tea leaves sprinkled throughout the dough, giving it a subtle but recognizable hint of the cookie flavor, without being cloying. 

The Earl Grey has a light bergamot (orange) flavor, Chamomile Lemon has a light lemon flavor, and the Chai Spice has a variety of spices including cinnamon, allspice, clove, and cardamom. The cookies have a nice "snap" to them when biting into them, but not much chewing is necessary, as the cookie will melt in your mouth.

Sold by the dozen, you may mix and match flavors as you please. These are great with your cup of tea (or coffee for that matter!) and make a nice afternoon snack or hostess gift.

Enjoy trying all the flavors!


Mar 18, 2014


Are you familiar with the French Macaron? Most Americans think we are saying "macaroon" which is an American treat made of coconut and usually dipped in chocolate. Although very tasty, this is "not" the Parisian......oh so very French.......Macaron.

This confection boasts mounds of fresh almond meal as its main ingredient in its crispy shell and chewy interior....and did I say filled with a luscious buttercream?  This confection is so customizable, it will have your head spinning. Planning a wedding or special event? Provide a swatch of color and the shell can be made to match. From crazy Parisian colors to pretty spring pastels, the shell colors and shades are endless. And the buttercream? There are endless color and flavor combinations as well.

I had the pleasure of having my business being featured in a segment of the March Issue of Lehigh Valley Style Magazine. I want to thank Lisa Gotto, Editor-in-Chief, for our time spent talking about her trip to France and how she loves the French Macaron, as well as offering to make my business a part of the "Life in the Valley" section of their lovely  magazine. I also want to thank Editorial Intern, Alyssa D'Ippolito, Marketing Assistant, Kelli Hertzog, and Advertising Executive, Kellie Bartholomew for our emails, phone conversations and helping to bring this to fruition. Many thanks to the entire staff that I did not have the pleasure of meeting.

The French Macaron has actually been around for several hundred France that is. Did you know that the Italians are actually credited with the very first macaron? This was before the French decided to sandwich the shells together with luscious fillings. Well, we can give them both credit for the birth of this lovely and one-of-a-kind confection. Did I mention the difficulty level in producing this cookie? I won't even go there....many months were spent perfecting the making of them. So many variables in your kitchen from mixing, to oven temperature to humidity levels in the house - they must all work synergistically to produce that lovely "pied" or "foot" or "ruffle" at the base of the shell.

You will most likely taste many lovely desserts, pastries and treats throughout your life, but there is something quite special about the French Macaron. It embodies so many qualities of crispiness, chewiness, sweetness, eye candy color appeal and just plain "cuteness", that I don't think we will ever see or produce something quite so special in the culinary world ever again.

Sweetly Yours,