Tasha Nicole has been dreaming up desserts for twenty-five years


tasha nicoles desertBy Mary Ellen

The front door was ajar. As I stepped closer, I was bathed in the buttery aroma of baking desserts. Mike was spreading soft pink frosting around a tall, round cake. She looked up and asked, “Do you want a just-out-of the oven chocolate chip cookie?”

If ever you are lucky enough to have Michaleen Richardson (Mike), owner of desserts by Tasha Nicole, ask you if you want one of her treats, the most appropriate and smart thing is to enthusiastically answer, “Yes, please!” That’s what I did.

We caught up over creamy lattes. Tasha Nicole has been dreaming up desserts for twenty-five years, and it is no surprise: some things change and some remain the same. For example, Tasha Nicole has stuck to using high quality ingredients in order to provide consistent and remarkable treats. Long time customer favorites include the Whidbey Island Loganberry Cheesecake and the espresso truffle torte. Yes, you can still enjoy one (or more) of the lemon bars.

But new offerings make their way into the display cases. “We work hard on being creative and different,” Mike tells me. She wakes up in the night with ideas for new taste sensations and writes them down before she goes back to sleep.


tasha nicole cupcakesWhat’s new these days? You can have Kool Kakes – cupcakes with an ice cream center. These cupcakes are available in all their regular cake flavors, but now you can also order mini-cupcakes or mini-cakes (allegedly for two, but that depends on your piece size!). Another new treat is a salty and sweet combination of peanuts, pretzels, and ganache over a graham cracker crust. It’s so new it doesn’t yet have a name, but you could get a piece, eat and analyze it and then submit your own idea for the perfect name. It’s a challenging job, but someone has to do it. For the sugar sensitive, Tasha Nicole makes sugar-free cheesecakes on a stick; for the gluten sensitive – flourless tortes.

I make deliberate food choices because I like to be healthy. When I indulge in dessert or a sweet treat, I want fireworks to go off, goose bumps or at least a palate and soul that are delighted. The good news for me is that I have numerous possibilities awaiting me behind the glass counter at Tasha Nicole. I can even order online for my next party. I know we are still wanting to bask in the fading glow of summer, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up. It is not too soon to order, because they have a limited number of orders that can be filled. You don’t want to miss out on these scrumptious delicacies.

If you are interested in making your kitchen smell bakery perfect by trying your hand at a dessert that is good any time of year, here is a recipe for a rich pecan tart. Eat Well – Be Well.


Tasha Nicole’s Pecan tart:


Tart shell:

one-quarter cup whole blanched almonds
one-quarter cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

one-quarter teaspoon salt

one-half cup unsalted butter

1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon cold water and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, mixed



one-third cup heavy whipping cream

one-half cup firmly packed brown sugar mixed with one-half tablespoon cornstarch

one-quarter cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

one-quarter cup butter

4 large egg yolks

2 cups chopped pecans


Tart shells:

In food processor, pulse almonds and powdered sugar until almonds are finely ground. Add flour and salt. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles peas. While machine is running add the yolk mixture through feed tube; process until dough forms a ball. Press dough into a 9” round tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for fifteen minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tart on baking sheet and bake for at least 15 minutes until golden brown.



In saucepan, bring cream brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a boil. In a bowl whisk egg yolks. Slowly whisk hot cream mixture into yolks; stir in vanilla. Spread pecans onto the tart shell; pour on the filling, bake at least 15 minutes until center is set. Cool the tart and the remove side. Serve with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce.


Salted caramel sauce:

1 cup sugar

One-half cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

One-quarter teaspoon sea salt

In a large, heavy pan cook sugar over medium heat, until sugar is completely dissolved and syrup is a light amber color. Between 7 and 8 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and gradually whisk in the cream, Whisk until smooth, add butter and salt until butter melts. Cool until warm.



Desserts by Tasha Nicole

2822 Capitol Blvd.




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