Last week an ice storm hit our little corner of the world with great force. We lost our electricity and much of our heat source, and without a safe way to leave the house, well - we were cold. I spent most of last week being mad at myself because the cold made me feel tired and cranky and kind of like a weakling. I tried to work despite the frigid environment (I had baked a cake the day before, and my camera batteries were charged), but would eventually find my way back to huddling with two pups in a wool blanket.

As soon as power was restored I turned on the oven. I needed comfort food and to use some of the things in my freezer that were quickly thawing. One of those was a box of Filo dough.

I have strong feelings for pie, and I have even stronger affections for Baklava (see here and here). Put the two together, and I'm a goner. Completely. This pie is absolutely bursting with nutty goodness. It's a hearty stick-to-your-ribs kind of dessert, yet it retains lightness thanks to gossamer layers of Filo. It's a short-cut to Baklava, but with a warm cinnamon note. I wasn't sure I could finish a whole piece by myself, but I did (!) and it certainly revived my wilting energies.

One ingredient you mustn't underestimate or leave out in this recipe is salt (fine grain sea salt, if possible).  I know. I can get preachy about salt in desserts at times, but here it accentuates the pecans, pistachios and black walnuts like nothing else can. It's transformative!

Before I close, I'd like to share some news that had me jumping up and down on my tippy-toes! Out of thousands of entries, Better Homes and Gardens has chosen this site as one of their Top 10 Baking Blogs. (Side note: I'm pretty sure when my Mom reads this she's going to die of happiness. She's a BHG reader from way back!). There's another round of voting for "Reader Favorite", and you can vote for your favorites by clicking the icon below. I was thrilled to find myself in the company of so many baking bloggers that I love and admire. Warm and fuzzies all around (take that ice storm!).


I'm having a raspberry moment. A little over a week ago I posted the most chocolaty-raspberried cake, ever. We ate every last smidgen, but that still didn't cure my craving. I decided to make a second and completely different kind of raspberry cake.

These fluffy yellow cake layers are marbled with rose water batter. There's just a whisper of rose fragrance added- it's nearly undetectable, but it enhances the raspberry elements of the cake like nothing else can. If you've ever stewed raspberries on the stove top, then maybe you've noticed their pretty floral aroma. The rose water just makes the berries taste more... raspberry!

The bright red filling is absolutely bursting with sweetness and berry flavor. It may be my new favorite cake filling (sorry lemon curd!). I used two tablespoons of the filling in the buttercream and it presented the most beautiful pink color. It also adds a berry note that ties the entire cake together.

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