Cream Cheese Kissed Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

Chef, food stylist, and cookbook author (and part-time Hatfield resident) Virginia Willis is a recent convert to using vibrant local beets as the coloring agent for her Red Velvet cakes and cupcakes. They also contribute to the very moist crumb on these little sweets. Makes 36 to 40 mini cupcakes.

Read More

Claire’s Cream Cheese Brownies

In Virginia Willis’s new cookbook called Lighten Up, Y’all (Ten Speed Press, March 2015), she gives credit to French-trained pastry chef Claire Perez for helping her build the recipe for these dark, rich, knock-your-socks-off chocolate brownies. Willis likes to call these “grown woman” brownies, and advises to make them for yourself and your loved ones rather than the next PTA meeting. The secret ingredients are local applesauce and buttermilk.

Read More

Avocado Chocolate Pudding with Whipped Coconut Cream

Baker Laura Puchalski, owner of the 2nd Street Baking Co. in Turners Falls, developed this recipe to provide vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free eaters with a little chocolate love. Bakers can adapt the type of milk, sweetener, and flavoring to their dietary needs and tastes. She recommends using high-quality Fair Trade cocoa powder for the pudding, and suggests getting the can of coconut milk—as well as the bowl you’ll be whipping it up in—as cold as possible in order to get the best whipped coconut cream.

Read More