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Perfectly Golden - Adaptable recipes for sweet and simple treats recipes!

Angela Garbacz is the founder of Goldenrod Pastries and author of Perfectly Golden cookbook. The women-run pastry shop, located on a picturesque corner in Lincoln, Nebraska, emphasizes inclusivity by developing recipes and baking for people who are dietary-sensitive. She has built an extensive program of American-style pastries, ranging from cookies and cakes, to an elaborate morning bun program!

Here are two of our favorite recipes that I’ll share with you.

Strawberry Pretzel Pie

Yield One 9-inch pie

What’s not to love? A sweet and salty pretzel base, fresh strawberries barely held together with their own juices, and a whipped coconut cream topping. This is something I remember eating during the peak of hot Nebraska summers. I always tried to scrape more than my fair share of the salty pretzels on the bottom.

This was a very popular dish in the 1990s in Nebraska—a really popular potluck and summer holiday menu item. It was always called a “salad” though, which I thought was a little odd, so I made it into a pie. But, if we’re calling this a salad, I’d like to see more salads just like this!


Pretzel Crust

Nonstick spray for pan

6 cups (400 g) pretzels, dairy- or gluten-free if necessary

3 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons (75 ml)

melted coconut oil

Strawberry Filling

4 cups (476 g) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 cup (240 ml) water

3/4 cup (150 g)

granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch

Red gel food coloring as desired topping

1 recipe Whipped Coconut Cream (page 230)

Make the crust: Grease a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Crush the pretzels with the bottom of a pot or with a rolling pin until they are a mixture of pretzel powder and pretzel pieces. Transfer the pretzels to a bowl, add the sugar and coconut oil, and mix together to combine. Press into the bottom of the prepared pie pan and transfer to your refrigerator. Let the crust chill and set while you make the filling.

Make the filling: Crush 1 cup (120 g) of the strawberries and cook in a small saucepan with the water for about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and let the juice cool for about 20 minutes. Combine the sugar and starch in a small bowl and whisk into the strained berry juice. Transfer back to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring as desired. Place 1½ cups (178 g) of the remaining strawberries in the bottom of your chilled piecrust, then pour half of the sauce over the berries. Repeat those layers with the last 1½ cups (178 g) of strawberries and the remaining sauce. Chill for at least 5 hours before serving. Top with Whipped Coconut Cream and serve.

Whipped Coconut Cream

This recipe marked a big change in how I perceived eating dairy-free. It gave me hope that I would find the same joy in nondairy treats that I had found in my past life of butter- and cream-filled treats. This whipped coconut cream is everything I wanted whipped heavy cream to be: it is super rich and luscious, sweet on its own without adding any sugar, and the perfect accompaniment to so many of my favorite desserts in this book.


2 cups whipped coconut cream


Two 15-ounce (425 g) cans full-fat coconut milk

2 teaspoons

pure vanilla extract

Refrigerate the cans of coconut milk for at least 24 hours. Freezing doesn’t work, so just be patient, plan ahead a little, and use the refrigerator.

After they have been refrigerated, open the cans and carefully scoop out the top layer of cold, solidified coconut milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Reserve the remaining milk for another use. Add the vanilla extract and mix on medium-high speed until most of the lumps of coconut fat have broken up and soft-peaks have formed, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate or use immediately.

Mixed Berry Preserves

Yield 3 cups preserves

Use fresh berries in the summer or when they’re available to you, and use frozen berries when it’s more convenient.


5 cups (500 g) mixed berries (I like a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

3/4 cup (150 g)

granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh

lemon juice

5 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch

Combine the berries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce is cooked together and bubbly, stirring often. Whisk together the salt, starch, and lemon juice in a small bowl, then add to the hot fruit sauce. Whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.


@goldenrodpastries, @melissasproduce, #PerfectlyGoldenBook, @angelagarbacz_


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