12 Days of Christmas Treats

Holiday gatherings and great food go together, but let’s face it, the festivities also bring a dash of stress. Our fresh, handmade baked goods, sweet and savory, help you pull together great meals with confidence. Macrina has been a secret ingredient in transforming many families’ holiday gatherings into tasty, joyous occasions for over two decades. Knowing your guests will love the food goes a long way to letting you settle into the convivial glow of family, friends, and festive cheer.

1. Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf

One of our favorite breads for toast, this loaf is perfect for a holiday brunch. Made with locally grown and milled coarse whole-wheat flour from Fairhaven Mills, the hearty texture gets flavor and crunch from Turkish apricots, cranberries, walnuts and pecans. Mildly sour, the savory sweet bread has a hint of anise and cloves. It’s great toasted with butter, or on a festive platter spread with creamy cheeses such as Brie or ricotta.

2. Salmon Spread

Made in-house with premium smoked salmon, lemony cream cheese, briny capers, and fresh herbs, our Salmon Spread makes entertaining PNW-style easy. It’s versatile enough to use spread on toasted baguette slices on a holiday platter, as a brunch addition with our MadRy bagels, a key ingredient in a sandwich, or tossed with fresh pasta as a creamy and flavorful sauce.

3. Cookie Box

We’ve been making holiday cookie boxes since 1994. The cookies are an assortment of Leslie’s family favorites, make great gifts, and are perfect for cookie exchanges with family, neighbors and friends — or you may just want the cookies all for yourself! This year’s lineup includes our Crisp Gingerbread, Chocolate Crinkle, Mexican Wedding Balls, Cranberry Orange Biscotti, Pecan Rosemary Shortbread, and Rugelach.

4. Eggnog Cheesecake

The creamy filling is rich with eggnog, flavored with a touch of brandy, and finished with white chocolate ganache over a ginger molasses cookie crust. Beautifully garnished with seasonal fruit.

5. Mini Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake

These single-serving size layer cakes make an excellent dessert centerpiece. Arrange them artistically on a platter with holly leaves or pass them around at a holiday party. Bittersweet chocolate pot de crème is topped with a white chocolate peppermint mousse and covered in chocolate ganache.

6. Black Forest Cake

Our version of this classic German cake is both visually striking and delicious, featuring layers of fudgy chocolate cake soaked in cherry syrup and cherry brandy, layered with sweetened whipped cream, cherries, and ganache.

7. Gingerbread Spice Cup

Single-serving size cakes that will sweeten any holiday gathering. These light, ginger-spiced molasses cakes are baked in an individual paper tulip cup, topped with cream cheese frosting, and a candied ginger garnish.

8. Chocolate Pecan Babka

We make our Chocolate Pecan Babka just a few times a year. The loaf is rich like brioche bread, with an added swirl of chocolate glaze and roasted pecans. It’s delicious simply toasted with butter, but for a special brunch, use it as a base for French toast and serve it with your favorite breakfast sausage, raspberries and sweetened whipped cream!

9. Panettone

Our holidays wouldn’t be complete without this traditional Milanese Christmas bread. The festive toque-shaped yeast bread is lightly sweet, enriched with eggs and butter, and studded with raisins and candied orange and lemon peel. Grab a bottle of prosecco and some mascarpone and invite some friends over for a very Italian holiday celebration.

10. Winter Pear Crown

This savory crown makes a beautiful table centerpiece, or slice into wedges and top with Cambozola for a showy appetizer. Before hand-forming the bread into a crown, we dice the plumpest, Washington state Bartlett pears available and gently mix them into the dough with just enough black pepper to casually announce itself.

11. Gingerbread Decorating Kit

This fun activity is for kids (and kids at heart) of any age. It includes gingerbread figures, red and white sprinkles, three piping bags, and instructions for easy frosting. Use a few drops of food coloring to create colorful frosting options. If sprinkles aren’t enough for you, level up by cutting sartorial accessories like belts, bow ties, gloves and scarfs from candies like licorice and jellybeans. Unleash your creativity!

12. Italian Cream Cake

One of Leslie’s all-time favorites, this luscious, light yellow layer cake has raspberry jam and mascarpone that soak into the cake layers giving it a pudding-like texture. Kumquats add a burst of tangy citrus flavor.

Appetizers for Your Holiday Gatherings

Keeping a stash of Macrina’s flatbread and crostini on hand helps make holiday entertaining easy — with impressive results. This month, I’m showcasing two elegant appetizers that use our new holiday spreads, alongside two treasured standbys. In addition, I’m sharing my recipes for two great holiday appetizers: Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream and Chinese Meatballs with Peanut Sauce. Some of these dishes take longer to prepare than others, but all are relatively quick and present well. Holiday entertaining can be stressful, but these crowdpleasers will lighten your load and bring joy and satisfied smiles to your festivities.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Each appetizer serves 8.

Macrina’s Rye Crostini with Our New Kale & Roasted Artichoke Spread and Buttered Dungeness Crab
In a small sauté pan, melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add 2 oz of fresh crabmeat and cook just long enough to warm it through (less than a minute). Turn off the heat. Season the crab with ⅛ tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of Kale and Roasted Artichoke Spread onto each, then evenly top with the warm, buttery crab. Drizzle with any remaining warm butter from the pan. Garnish with finely chopped fresh chives or parsley.

Macrina’s Greek Olive Crostini with Softened Goat Cheese and Project Barnstorm Plum Conserve
Bring 4 oz of goat cheese to room temperature (about an hour). In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream and ⅛ tsp kosher salt. Use a whisk or fork to blend the mixture until you have a spreadable consistency. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of the mixture on the crostini and top with 1½ tsp of Plum Conserve.

Macrina’s Sardinian Flatbread with Holiday Smoked Salmon Spread* and Microgreens
Take two flatbread sheets and snap each of them into four pieces. With the curved side up, spread 2 tsp of the Smoked Salmon Spread on each piece. Top each with a pinch of microgreens and a dash of fresh lemon juice.
*Our Smoked Salmon Spread will be available in December. We recommend our Smoked Trout Spread for gatherings in November.

Macrina’s Cranberry Apricot Nut Crostini with Burrata, Coppa and Pomegranate Seeds
Cut the burrata ball in half. Then cut each half in 4 slices. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate and top each with a piece of coppa, a slice of burrata, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with finely chopped fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 Tbsp gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
⅛ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp chimichurri seasoning
½ cup pure olive oil, divided
8 shelled raw shrimp (16–20 size)
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup sour cream


Place the potato in a saucepan, covered with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the water and let cool.

Using the medium holes of a box grater, shred the cooked potato. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded potato, scallions, egg, gluten-free flour mix, 1 tsp salt and the pepper. Mix well.

Season the shrimp with the chimichurri seasoning and the remaining 1 tsp salt.

Pour ¼ cup oil into a large cast iron or non-stick sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add golf-ball-sized scoops of the potato latke batter. Flatten and fry until both sides are crisp and browned. Avoid overcrowding; you will likely need to sauté the latkes in two batches. Once cooked, set them aside to keep warm.

Clear away any stuck bits from the pan, then add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Just before the shrimp is finished, add the white wine and butter. Swirl the pan to create a simple sauce. (Note: if there is excess oil, pour it off before adding the wine.)

Top each latke with a shrimp, a spoonful of the pan sauce, and a dollop of sour cream. For a great presentation, garnish with chopped herbs.


Chinese Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

MEATBALLS
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp onion, finely diced
1½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp soy sauce
8 oz ground chicken meat
¼ cup scallions, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 egg

PEANUT SAUCE
½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
¾ tsp sriracha sauce


MEATBALLS
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and sauté for about 1 minute until they turn translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and allow it to cool.

In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and soy sauce. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.

To the cooled onion mixture, add the ground chicken, scallions, cilantro, and breadcrumb mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then, incorporate the egg to bind the ingredients together.

Form the mixture into quarter-sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

PEANUT SAUCE
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water or vinegar to your taste. The sauce will hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serve the warm meatballs on a pool of the peanut sauce, each skewered with a toothpick.

Let Her Eat Cake!

Macrina Bakery makes some of Seattle’s best cakes– order one now for your Mother’s Day celebration.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake is one of our favorite seasonal cakes available just in time for Mother’s Day! Old-fashioned devil’s food cake (the base of our famous Mom’s Cake) is layered with chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries, then finished with chocolate ganache and chocolate cake crumbs.

We’ve always made cakes at Macrina, but a few years ago we started offering a rotating slice of the day in cafés (only available Friday – Sunday). Customers were so thrilled, our talented pastry team had to ramp up production! See the dates below for some upcoming slices.

Drop by and pick up treats for Mother’s Day. We have complimentary Mother’s Day Cards to make your treat extra sweet! Whole cakes must be ordered by noon 2 days in advance.

Beyond the Chocolate Raspberry Cake, We have a number of impossibly delicious cakes!

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Our popular white chocolate cake is layered with lemon curd, whipped cream, fresh raspberries and raspberry preserves. Finished with white chocolate cream cheese icing.
Available until 5/11. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrot Cake
An old-fashioned favorite made with fresh carrots and toasted walnuts, filled and frosted with white chocolate cream cheese icing and sprinkled with orange zest between layers. Finished with toasted walnuts and candied carrot peel.
Slices available in cafés 4/29-5/1.

 

 

 

 

Tuxedo Cake
Bittersweet chocolate cake moistened with brandy syrup with alternating layers of ganache and white chocolate cream cheese filling. Frosted with white chocolate cream cheese icing and topped with white chocolate curls.
Slices available in cafés 5/13-5/15. 

 

 

 

 

Mom’s Cake is one of our most popular cakes. The rich, devil’s food cake is a child’s dream of the perfect cake—only designed for your grown-up taste buds. We layer the light and feathery cake with bittersweet chocolate buttercream and top it with big swirls of the velvety frosting.
Slices available in cafés 5/20-5/22.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Velvet Cake
Our version of red velvet cake has a dark red color to match the rich Valrhona chocolate flavor layered with cream cheese buttercream.
Slices available in cafés 6/3-6/5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whisper Cake
Our popular white chocolate cake is layered with lemon curd, whipped cream, fresh raspberries and raspberry preserves. Finished with white chocolate cream cheese icing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Butter Cake
Fresh lemon butter cake layered with lemon curd lightened with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and strawberry preserves. Frosted with lemon cream cheese icing and dusted on the sides with crumbled walnut biscotti.

 

 

 

Looking for Gluten-Free Options?

Our new Queen’s Cake is a rich, gluten-free* espresso-infused chocolate almond torte with a creamy center. Topped with ganache, chopped almonds, chocolate pearls and fresh berries. Contains rum. Available until 5/11.

 

Torta Gianduja
Gluten-free* rectangular torta with six alternating layers of chocolate espresso cake and chocolate hazelnut cake. Glazed with rich, bittersweet chocolate ganache and decorated with hazelnuts. Contains alcohol.

 

Bittersweet Chocolate Gateau
Velvety, gluten-free* chocolate cake swirled with raspberry preserves, glazed with bittersweet chocolate ganache and dusted with powdered sugar.

*Made with gluten-free ingredients but produced in a gluten-friendly environment.

Macrina for the Holidays 

De-stress your holiday gatherings by letting Macrina handle the baking. Whether it’s a holiday dinner or brunch, appetizers or desserts, we’ve got you covered. 

Great food and holidays go hand-in-hand. So does stress. You want fresh handmade baked goods, but don’t have time to do all the baking, cleaning, organizing, and decorating. For over twenty years, we’ve helped people gather around the table for fun, memorable meals. Whether it’s a holiday dinner, a festive brunch, appetizers, or desserts, we’ve got beautiful, great tasting items that will please your guests. We make it easy to serve a perfect meal and still have plenty of time to spend with family and friends.

Holiday Dinners 

Holiday Porcini Stuffing Mix, Roll Trays (Porcini Harvest, Buttermilk, Rustic Potato), Raisin Pumpernickel Loaf

Brunch 

Winter Pear Crown, Holiday Quiche, Holiday Brie, Cinnamon Roll Tray, Pecan Sticky Buns, Mini Squash Harvest Loaf, Pumpkin Muffin, Cranberry Apricot Nut Loaf, Panettone, Chocolate Pecan Babka

Appetizers 

Crostini, Holiday Brie, Smoked Trout Spread, Roasted Artichoke Spread, Fig and Olive Tapenade, Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Desserts 

Maple Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Pie, Brandied Orange Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Eggnog Cheesecake, Mini Gingerbread Spice Cup, Brown Sugar Shortbread, Chocolate Yule Log, Gingerbread Cookies, German Chocolate Cake, Mocha Almond Torte, Mini Chocolate Peppermint Mousse Cake

Order online for pick-up at one of our cafes! Orders must be placed by noon, two days in advance. Pickup available at the café of your choice.

Saying Thank You With Pie

Nancy LaVallee gives away about 100 pies every Thanksgiving 

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, on First Avenue in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood,  Nancy LaVallee stuffs her car with more pies than might seem prudent. She manages to pack in about 50 and a friend piles the rest in her car. They caravan slowly back to Nancy’s Mercer Island home to prepare some hot apple cider and await their guests. Fortunately, there’s never been a fender bender on the way home, which could be messy.

Nancy is a Mercer Island-based real estate agent for Windermere who sells homes all over the city. She started the great Thanksgiving pie giveaway eight years ago. The pies are for her neighbors and clients.

“It’s a big day for me,” says Nancy. “Clients from all over the greater Seattle area come to my home for the pie pickup,” says Nancy. “It’s so fun to see everyone, and to be able to thank them for their support. Everyone loves the pies, and it means they don’t have to bake as much, which helps since everyone is busy over the holidays.”

Before settling on Macrina as her pie baker of choice, Nancy went to eight different bakeries and sampled pies. Some years, she’s gotten pumpkin from one bakery, apple from another. But eventually she settled on Macrina. “Eight years ago, I started out with a small order, but it’s grown,” Nancy says. “Macrina can handle a hundred pies. Not everyone can handle that volume two days before Thanksgiving.”

Nancy is especially fond of Macrina’s Maple Apple Pie. “I call it the high pie apple pie,” says Nancy. “It’s meaty. It’s got a lot of apples. And it lasts. I get my pies early. It tastes great two days later, maybe even better. It’s a great tasting pie.”

Nancy enjoys the ritual of picking up the big order at our Sodo location. “A baker comes out to say hello and they help me load up, which is charming,” says Nancy. “It’s nice to be able to say thank you.”

In 2020, Nancy put a little note in with the pies saying she was collecting non-perishable food items for Leschi Elementary School families in need. “We had over 45 bags of food to donate last year,” says Nancy. “It was quite overwhelming.”

This year she’s doing it again.

We’re grateful!

 

 

To Make Great Banh Mi, Start with the Right Bread 

The Vietnamese Lunar New Year, or Tet, falls on February 12 this year. The day is a significant holiday at Macrina. Our head bakers, Phuong Hoang Bui and Thanh Huyen Dang, are Vietnamese, as are many of our bakers. Artisanal French and Italian traditions influence most of our bread, and the food in our cafes hews Mediterranean with a few American favorites thrown in, but an exception is our Bui Bun, made for banh mi, which was developed by Phuong with help from the bread team.

Banh Mi, the classic street-vendor Vietnamese sandwich, is one of the best comfort foods around. In Seattle, options abound, from traditional to hybrid. The one constant, in our favorites at least, is the right bread—fresh and airy, with the right mix of crackle, spring, and chew.

The baguette was introduced to Vietnam during French colonial rule in the early twentieth century. The earliest “banh mi” were straightforward, sometimes just a smear of butter and some ham or pâté, in the traditional Parisian fashion. But over time, both the bread and toppings evolved to become the unique, zesty Vietnamese sandwich that has claimed a spot in the global hall of culinary fame. Stacked with variations on satisfying fillings like cured and cooked pork, sliced ham, chicken liver pâté, green herbs, pickled vegetables, chili peppers, and spiced-up mayonnaise, the banh mi toppings are held together by a Vietnamese-style baguette or roll. The complex flavor of banh mi is a swirl of history, complementary and contrasting flavors, and a riot of textures—crunchy and tender—that make many other sandwiches seem boring in comparison.

For years, we served a bahn mi sandwich in the Macrina cafés on our Giuseppe Panini Baguette. We filled them with tofu, roast pork, chicken or flank steak, and classic banh mi toppings. It was good, but not quite right—we needed the right bread.

We turned to Phuong, who has been our head baker for over 20 years. Phuong started at Macrina as a dishwasher in early 1994, just after Macrina opened, and quickly proved himself to be a quick learner and skilled with bread in all its phases—dough, proofing, shaping, and baking.

“Phuong took the lead on developing an authentic banh mi bun, a product we’d later name after him,” says Leslie Mackie, Macrina’s founder. “He involved many of his fellow Vietnamese bakers at Macrina, bringing the whole bread production team together, including seeking out recipes from various cousins and parents, here and back in Vietnam. After months of testing, getting special pans, and testing it with our staff, customers, we launched our Bui Buns named after Phuong.”

The Bui Bun has a crisp crust and tender, airy crumb, just right for the perfect banh mi sandwich. Moreover, the bun, its creators, and the team-oriented approach symbolize one of our core values at Macrina: celebrating diversity.

To Phuong, Huyen, our fantastic crew, and everyone who celebrates the Lunar New Year, we wish you a year full of blessings and good fortune. Thank you for everything.

 

Macrina Gift Sets: Gift Ideas That Won’t Miss the Mark

You know that feeling when someone with the best intentions gives you a gift that you’ll never use? Even as you’re saying thank you, you know where you’ll put it—the shelf in the back of your closet with the other gifts waiting for your next white elephant gift exchange. As amusing as those are, you never want to see one a gift you’ve given be the subject of so much laughter.

With that in mind, we’ve designed two gift sets—one salty, one sweet—that you won’t miss the mark. In fact, we suspect they’ll be devoured before the new year!The Macrina Mug Gift Set features our new flower-design mug, ideal for coffee or tea, a pouch of our house-made Vanilla Sugar, and four of our Brown Sugar Shortbread Star Cookies.

The Macrina Artisan Appetizer Gift Set is an impromptu appetizer party in a box. It contains our Thin-cut Rye Crostini, a Mole Salami stick made by Coro, Apricot Conserves by Project Barnstorm, and Ritrovo’s Squashed Green Olives with Truffle. One of the crostini with a thin slice of salami and a dollop of the conserves is a salty-sweet combination that will send you to the moon. The tender green olives from Abruzzo, packed in olive oil with flecks of aromatic truffle, make the perfect salty chaser. All that’s missing is your favorite cocktail or glass of wine.The Macrina Mug Gift Set

• Macrina’s new flower-design coffee mug

• House-made Vanilla Sugar

• Four-Pack of Brown Sugar Shortbread Star Cookies

The Macrina Artisan Appetizer Gift Set

• Thin-cut Rye Crostini

• Coro Mole Salami Stick

• Project Barnstorm Apricot Conserves

• Squashed Green Olives with Truffle

Savory Bread Pudding with Cranberries, Sausage & Chèvre

Looking for a festive dish to serve at your holiday brunch? One of our favorites is this savory bread pudding. Its playful balance of sweet, tart and salty flavors make it a fun main dish. The bread soaks up the sweetened custard giving it a creamy texture. The tart cranberries, rich sausage, and salty goat cheese provide distinct flavor bursts. A blend of light and dark bread cubes provides a pleasant contrast of texture and taste—we’re partial to a mixture of our Organic Whole Wheat and Sour White or Casera loaves. Serve the bread pudding warm with a salad, some fruit, and maybe a selection of pastries for a memorable, fulfilling brunch.Ingredients:
Serves 5-6

2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp orange zest, freshly grated
1 Tbsp fresh sage, coarsely chopped
3 egg yolks
2 eggs
4 cups oven-dried white bread cubes (about ¾ loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups oven-dried dark bread cubes (about ¾ loaf) cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
6 oz pork sausage (about 4 links), fully cooked and cut into ¼-inch pieces
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
6 oz chèvre (goat cheese)Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Oil a 9-inch square baking pan.

To prepare the custard, combine the milk, half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, sage, egg yolks and eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended and set aside.

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and add the cranberries, cooked sausage and melted butter. Pour the custard mixture over the top and toss until evenly distributed, then let sit for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the custard. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan. Pour any excess custard mixture over the top, not quite filling the pan.

Crumble the chèvre over the bread cubes then wrap the baking pan tightly with aluminum foil. Poke 2 small vent holes in opposite corners of the foil. Place the pan in the center of a large roasting pan, at least 2 inches deep, and place the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven. Pour hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking pan. This water bath will help the bread pudding cook evenly. Bake for 1¼ hours, then carefully remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top and set the custard. Lift the pudding from the water bath and cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

Wrapped in plastic wrap, the bread pudding will last for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. (Wait for the pudding to cool completely before wrapping it.) To refresh the pudding, wrap it in foil and warm it in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

Flaky Pie Dough Four Ways

Our Flaky Pie Dough is the most frequently prepared recipe in our pastry department—and has been since the day we opened our doors in Belltown in 1993! The dough is perfect for so many kinds of baking, from savory quiche to double-crusted pies to classic tarts.Now, for the first time, we are selling our Flaky Pie Dough in our cafés. The dough is frozen in discs and sold in a two-pack. Each 12 oz. disc rolls out to make a ten-inch tart or a nine-inch pie shell. Or you can use the two discs together to create a double-crusted pie.

Your imagination is the limit for what you can make with our Flaky Pie Dough. To get you started, we’ve included three inspiring suggestions and one of our favorite new recipes with an accompanying video of Leslie showing you how to make it.

Stop by one of our cafés and grab a few of these. When inspiration strikes, you’ll appreciate the time-saving benefits of having these at the ready.Banana Nutella Hand Pies: With our pie dough, simple hand-pies are as easy to make as the filling inside. Start with the mouthwatering combination of bananas and Nutella (what could be easier?) and work your way up through your favorite sweet and savory combinations. Simply roll the dough out and cut 5-inch circles. Add your filling, fold the dough over, and crimp the edges. Bake at 400°F for 20–25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Savory Galette with Butternut squash, Roasted Pear and Gorgonzola: Shortly after opening, Leslie introduced savory free-form folded tarts or galettes, and they quickly became customer favorites. This galette is a seasonal adaptation of the one on page 203 of our first cookbook. With the pie dough already made, it’s easy to turn out an elegant lunch. Or cut the galette into small slices and serve it as an appetizer.Harvest Pie: This winter pie is one Leslie serves at her home alongside pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. It’s also one of our most requested recipes. Our Flaky Pie Crust forms the bottom crust and the top is an almond streusel. You’ll find the recipe in our first cookbook on page 249.

Macrinas Holiday Tart: With our frozen pie dough, this festive tart is a breeze to make. It’s both beautiful to look at and makes a refreshingly delicious end to a holiday meal. The tart cranberries find balance in the sweet filling and pecans add texture and flavor. Orange zest and a dash of brandy give it some zing. Find the video tutorial below!

Ingredients:
Makes one 10” tart

One 12 oz. disc of Macrina Pie Dough

1 cup chopped pecans, roasted

3 eggs

⅔ cups light brown sugar

⅔ cups corn syrup

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

2 tsp orange zest

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp brandy

1½ cups fresh cranberries

1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Directions:

Thaw 1 disc of Macrina pie dough for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. On a floured work surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle that’s about an eighth-inch thick.

Fold dough in half and lift on to a 10-inch fluted tart pan. Drop dough into pan and flatten at base of pan and edges. With the remaining overhang, fold into the pan to create an edge that stands a half-inch above the top of the pan. With your hand, smooth the crust edge to a consistent thickness. Chill for 30 minutes in freezer.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill it with baking weights or beans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the base appears dry. Remove the beans and let the shell cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Place the baked shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the pecans and cranberries to the tart shell and spread them so they’re evenly distributed.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, orange zest, salt and brandy together until well combined. Pour the mixture over the pecans and cranberries. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When done, the center of the tart will be set and golden brown.

Let cool for 30 minutes. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Challah Crowns for the Jewish High Holidays 

At Macrina, we make Challah every Friday, offering it in both plain and poppy seed. We braid three ropes of dough in the European Jewish tradition to represent unity. According to The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden, the three braids stand for truth, peace, and justice, and the poppy seeds represent manna that fell from heaven. We bake our challah loaves to a deep golden mahogany color and a firm crust. The soft, tight crumb pulls apart easily. The shiny, honey-sweetened bread is excellent toasted, turned into delicate french toast, or passed around the table with a meal.

For the Jewish High Holidays, we form our Challah into rounds—or crowns—to recall the cycle of the year, or as Roden characterizes them, “where there is no beginning and no end.” The honey in the crowns represents hopes for a sweet new year. We make our crowns in both plain and studded with raisins.

This year we will be offering our Challah Crowns from September 18–20 to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and September 27–28 to celebrate Yom Kippur. Whether they’re part of your religious tradition, or you just love great bread and the tradition of sharing it with others, stop by one of our cafés and get one of these beautiful, symbolic loaves.