World Dessert Champ Laurie Figone Shares Holiday Recipe

MADE IN PETALUMA: Savory Holiday Apple Tarts are sure to be a big hit at your next holiday gathering

Laurie Figone looking out over her familys ranch just outside of Petaluma
Laurie Figone looking out over her family’s ranch just outside of Petaluma, Photo By Ashley Collingwood

If you wish to learn more about Laurie check out our previous posts:

Also a great gift idea for Christmas this year is her NEW cookbook: Cooking with Laurie Figone

Click here to order her new recipe bookCooking With Laurie Figone Cookbook

Here is a great appetizer you can impress your guests with this year over the holidays.

Savory Holiday Apple TartsSavory Holiday Apple Tarts

Simple savory crunchy bites are sure to be a hit at your next gathering! Crisp bits of pesto coated apples paired with a creamy, smokey cheddar cheese filling.

Servings: 30
Cook Time: 3 Minutes
  • 3 TBSP pesto
  • 2 cups petite diced apples
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 oz. smoked cheddar cheese (Laurie prefers Spring Hill Jersey brand)
  • 1 TBSP butter, room temperature 
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • 30 mini Phyllo pastry shells, prebaked
  1. In a small mixing bowl mix together diced apples and fresh pesto until apples are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  2. In a small mixing bowl; beat cream cheese until smooth. Add shredded cheddar, butter, lemon juice and smoked paprika and beat for 1 minute. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  3. Remove shells from the freezer. Preheat oven to 350′. When oven is heated; place shells on a baking sheet and fill each one with 1 tsp. of the cheese mixture. Bake for three minutes; or until warmed through and puffed. Remove from oven and spoon 1 TBSP. of the pesto apples on top of each tart.
  4. Serve.

VIDEO: Our Favorite #Petaluma Chef Cooking Ribs For KTVU Channel 2

Man those ribs look good!  Got to try it. Petaluma’s Laurie Figone cooks ribs for news anchor Gasia Mikaelian who holds up a bottle of Petaluma Hills beer while the camera man tries to grab the beer from her.  The World Food Dessert champ continues to show Gasia how to make a red white and blue dessert with a scoop of Petaluma’s Haverton Hill Creamery sheep milk ice cream.

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Here are other related stories about Laurie Figone World Dessert Champion:

World Food Champs Chow Down in #Petaluma

A Table Set For World Food Champions Positively PetalumaThis week the World Dessert Champion, Petaluma’s very own Laurie Figone, hosted a dinner for her friends and family, other World Food Champs, and the CEO of World Food Championships, Mike McCloud.

Pictured with Laurie is Kelli Fairchild-Cochran World Sandwich Champion and The Bacon Babe with husband and Sous Chef
Pictured with Laurie is Kelli Fairchild-Cochran World Sandwich Champion and The Bacon Babe with husband and Sous Chef

The night was a celebration of friendship and food, as well as a reunion for the some of World Food Champs. On the menu for the night were two of Laurie’s recipes, PETE’S Grilled Corn Potato Salad and Crowd Pleasing Slaw, Figone’s husband’s prawn risotto, and a whole roasted pig, donated by Pete Langley.

Pete Langley Prepares The Pig, Photo By Ashley Collingwood
Pete Langley Prepares The Pig, Photo By Ashley Collingwood

After toasts were given and plates were cleared of food, the guests gathered to see a sneak preview of the reality TV show Pete Stringfellow filmed of Figone and her cousin, Dawn Bettinelli in Las Vegas during the 2014 World Food Championships (WFC). The show features Figone as head chef, with Bettinelli as her sous-chef, and takes viewers behind the scenes of the WFC to see the chaos and humor of cooking competitions.A Dinner Fit for Food Champions Positively Petaluma

Sneak Peak of Laurie Figones New Cookbook Positively PetalumaGuests also had the chance to see a prototype of Figone’s upcoming cookbook, Cooking with Laurie Figone. The cookbook will feature around 30 of Figone’s recipes as well as gorgeous photos of her food and a special interactive element. For those with smart phones, each individual recipe will contain images that can be used to bring up short videos of Figone giving tips for that particular recipe, making it easier to follow along.


Interview: Local Girl Makes Good Food! #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone is the World Dessert Champ

Last year Laurie Figone, born and raised on a ranch just outside of Petaluma, was declared the 2014 World Dessert Champion. In the last five years Figone has made a name for herself in the cooking world, where she shows her Petaluma pride by using local products. Figone has also been on the NBC TODAY Show and on TNT with Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington. For more information on that see our previous posts about Laurie  VIDEO UPDATE: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone gets her shot on the big screen on TNT’s “On The Menu” and  VIDEO: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone Appears on Good Day Sacramento.

Laurie Figone grew up on her family's ranch and always enjoys coming back
Laurie Figone grew up on her familys ranch and always enjoys coming back

Growing up on a ranch and having large weekly family dinners with at least 30 people gave Figone a passion for cooking and food. Figone speaks fondly about these dinners saying, “My grandmother loved doing all the cooking … I, growing up, wanted to be down at the barn feeding calves but my mother kept me in the house. I hated it at the time but now I have to say I thank her because … I’ve just won another World Championship with my cooking and I never imagined any of this, truthfully.”

Taste of Home 2010 is the first cookbook in which one of Laurie Figones recipe’s was published
Taste of Home 2010 is the first cookbook in which one of Laurie Figones recipe’s was published

Figone’s professional cooking started five years ago when a neighbor helped her realize her talent. Figone was baking focaccia bread for one of her neighbors to take to work and soon her neighbor’s coworkers were requesting and buying Figone’s focaccia. Figone then secretly submitted her focaccia recipe to Taste of Homes recipe contest and won. It was her first published recipe and the start of her cooking career.

The next step for Figone was participating in her first live cooking competition at the Gilroy Garlic Festival where she, again, won. From there things took off and she went on the NBC TODAY Show for their burger battle and to the Annual Bob’s Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle where she won and was sent to Scotland for the Annual World Porridge Making On The Menu Hosts Ty Pennington and Emeril LagasseChampionship. In the last year Figone was on TNT’s reality show On the Menu with Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington.


VIDEO: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone Appears On Good Day Sacramento

Our very own Dessert World Champ Laurie Figone appeared on Good Day Sacramento sharing secrets on how to make her Mojito Marvel Money Bars that give all the flavors of a Mojito in a creamy dessert.

The video will appear below and may take some machines a few seconds to populate.

Also check out her website that has a ‘Recipes’ tab where she shares many of her great recipes. Click here to see her dessert recipes.  She will be releasing her cookbook in the near future.

For more on Laurie Figone see our previous post VIDEO UPDATE: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone gets her shot on the big screen on TNT’s “On The Menu”.

VIDEO UPDATE: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone gets her shot on the big screen on TNT’s “On The Menu”

                            Photo Courtesy of TNT

Update 10/12/2014:  YouTube video Cooking With Laurie Figone at the 2014 Sonoma County Fair on September 1, 2014; In the first six and a half minutes of this video Laurie tells the story how she came to be on television and the amazing story on how she chose the music for her show and met country western talent Pete Stringfellow, with records like Pole Dance and titles such as It Ain’t Nothin.


This self-proclaimed “cook-a-holic” is a native of Novato and currently resides in Petaluma. Joe Wolfcale of the Novato Advance interviews Laurie Figone a 55-year-old mother of two whose first show “On The Menu” (a cooking show featuring Ty Pennington and chef Emeril Lagasse) will air for the first time Friday, Oct. 17 beginning at 8 p.m. on TNT and will feature the cuisine of California Pizza Kitchen.

Growing up on the Leveroni Brothers Dairy ranch in rural Novato, she studied agriculture at Petaluma High School. She is a proponent of using locally sourced ingredients from Sonoma and Marin County. In the interview she says “There are some delicious things being grown around these parts,” She also goes on to say “My dream is to one day have a sponsor for my show,” Figone said. “Everyone loves Sonoma and Marin, and they all want to know what’s being produced there.”

Click here for the entire interview.