‘The Cake Therapist’ is a new novel about a Midwestern pastry chef with a knack for healing

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Judith Fertig is an award winning cookbook author. This month she adds another layer to her life. She has just published a book called, The Cake Therapist. It is the story of a talented pastry chef with a very special gift who opens a bakery in her hometown, with mesmerizing results.

The novel is about baking but also it's about life and happens to be centered in the Midwest. The main character's life is falling apart. So, she goes back to her roots to open a bakery and discovers her own backyard.

The Cake Therapist combines Fertig's expertise in baking with her passion for storytelling, resulting in a tale that shows just where food and healing intersect.

Fertig`s food and lifestyle writing has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Bon Appetit, Saveur and The New York Times.

You can meet Judith Fertig Monday at the St. Charles City-County Library at 7pm for a book signing and discussion. The library is located off Highway K in O'Fallon Missouri.

More information: www.judithfertig.com

Judith Fertig's sugar cookie recipe from her latest cookbook, "Bake Happy"

Makes about 36 cookies

Soft Sugar Cookie Dough:

23/4 cups (335 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (121 g) sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
Orange Glaze:
1 cup (120 g) confectioners` sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice
Sweet Orange Mint Gremolata:
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh orange mint or mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup (50 g) natural granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
For the cookies, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the sour cream, butter, and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and cardamom. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients, a third at a time, until you have a smooth, soft dough. Pinch off a 1 tablespoon-sized ball of dough, roll gently in your hands and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Place each disc 11/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until just firm to the touch and slightly golden at the edges. Let cool in the pans.

For the Orange Glaze, whisk the confectioners` sugar, orange zest and juice together until smooth. Turn each cookie upside down and dip the top in the glaze. Turn upright and place on the baking sheet again to dry. For the Gremolata, muddle the orange mint , citrus zests, and sugar with a muddler or with the handle of wooden spoon in a medium bowl until the sugar is suffused with color and aroma. Sprinkle the gremolata on the glazed cookies and leave until the glaze has set, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

L`École Culinaire shows us how to sharpen our wine tasting and pairing skills.

Wine Tasting - Beginner: Friday June 12, 6pm-7pm, $30 per person
Learn what wines are best for summer sipping. In this class you’ll enjoy a relaxing evening tasting various wines while learning about grape growing regions, unique wine profiles and proper tasting procedures. Includes wine, instruction and wine-paired hors d’oeuvres. This class is suited for students over 21.
To sign up for the Wine Tasting class or other classes, viewers should go to www.lecole.edu or call 1-866-205-2521. All classes take place at L’Ecole Culinaire St. Louis at 9811 South Forty Drive, St. Louis, MO 63124.