{Baked: Rum & Raisin Roundies from SWEET Seasonal Desserts}

After left sitting by my bedside table for the past couple weeks, I finally baked something out of my newest addition to my cookbook collection – SWEET Seasonal Desserts by Rebekah Pearse, pastry chef/owner of the now closed Nectar Desserts.

For those of you not familiar, Nectar Desserts was my favourite place go-to spot to satisfy my sweet tooth in Calgary before it closed its doors last summer. While the prices were a tad high (eg. around $7 for a individual-sized tart), I was willing to spend a little extra for their unique and creative desserts.

The book is filled with a collection of Rebekah’s favourite desserts from all four seasons, including a chapter on holiday desserts and base recipes. Each section includes photos and tips, tricks and techniques for recreating her recipes. Aesthetically, the book is simply designed and quite minimalist, perhaps one of the most plain-looking cookbooks I own. 

I was very pleased to see some of my favourites including the passionfruit and mango tart and those buttery and crisp lemon lavender shortbread I adored.

Another highlight of the book is the emphasis on using high quality natural ingredients and seasonal produce.

I’ve also added another appliance to my wish list after purchasing this book – an ice cream makerEach chapter includes a selection of her famous house made ice creams and sorbets. I remember having to hide these pints in the back of the freezer before the boy consumed half the container in ONE sitting.

If I had one complaint about the book it would be that some of the recipes can be quite time-consuming and require you to prepare a few of the base recipes ahead of time in order to get the finished result (eg. the white chocolate mousse – a common filling for a few of the tarts asks for 1/4 cup of vanilla bean custard which you need to prepare beforehand).

*Update – Rebekah let me know that you can sub in good quality vanilla ice cream for the custard portion of the recipe, woo hoo!*

Ok..enough talking..onto the recipe..

With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought it was fitting to bake up a batch of Rum & Raisin Roundies.

Soft dome-shaped cookies that are somewhere between a scone and a cookie, with flavours that remind me of hot cross buns.

It starts with soaking your raisins in some rum overnight in a bowl, so that they plump up and absorb all those aromatic flavours.

Here are the rest of the ingredients you’ll need..

*Note: I did not have whole milk like the original recipe called for, so I subbed in almond milk and they still turned out great :)*

Cream your butter, sugar and salt in your mixer with your paddle attachment (or by hand) till its nice and fluffy. Then add in your eggs, vanilla extract, milk, a few tsps of rum and limoncello (I didn’t have any – so I added the zest of two small lemons). Mix on low till combined.

In another bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt) and sift this into your wet mixture. Fold in the drained raisins and a couple of tbsps of candied lemon zest.

With a couple of spoons or your hands, scoop up the dough (about 2 tbsp worth) into balls and place them on a cookie sheet, flattened slightly and bake at 350F till golden. 

*Note: I noticed there was no baking time in the recipe, so I guessed and 12 minutes turned out to be perfect).*

Cool them on a rack for 10 minutes and lightly dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar.

I tell ya, my house smelled AH-MAZING while these were in the oven. Both buttery and lemony..so divine.

These cookies turned out great! They baked up soft, with a nice delicate crumb, golden on the bottom and just the right amount of sweetness. These would be perfect stacked atop your favourite cake pedestal served alongside mini tea sandwiches, a bowl of bright and seasonal greens and fresh fruit for your weekend brunch.

They’d also be a great addition for a get together while watching William and Kate getting married later this month 🙂 There’s something about these that remind me of a lovely afternoon tea.

For this recipe and more, check out her book on amazon here.

Hopefully her next book will include this cake…yes…I STILL get cravings for this one..*drool*

4 Responses to “{Baked: Rum & Raisin Roundies from SWEET Seasonal Desserts}”
  1. These sound delicious! I love rum raisin desserts. The lemon essence sounds unique and really tasty.

  2. Rebekah says:

    Hey Jen!
    Great to read your review! I love your substitution of almond milk in this recipe, I’m sure it was delicious! As for the recipe sizes, I think if you take a second look, you’ll see that all the tart recipes are for eight tarts 🙂 Also, I suggest in the book that if you don’t want to take the time to make custard sauce just for a batch of mousse, you can melt down some good quality vanilla ice cream and use that! (We would do it at Nectar all the time)

    • Ah…fantastic idea on subbing in the ice cream for custard, I’ll definitely try that, thanks for the tip.

      Oh haha, my bad, I think I was just looking at your base recipe for the tart dough, which was for 16.

      Thanks for your comments and I can’t wait to try more recipes in your book 🙂

  3. Rebekah says:

    Hmm, on second glance, it seems I kept that ice cream = custard sauce tip for the second edition! Oh well, hopefully your blog will spread the word!

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