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Baking From My Home To Yours: Recipe Discussion, Links, and Picks and Pans

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December 2006 Cookbook of the Month. Use this thread to discuss which recipes you are planning to try from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. Get tips from other hounds or list other online resources here (recipe links included).

Feel free to post short reviews of recipes you may have already tried in this thread, but full length recipes should be posted in the appropriate chapter thread.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. I've already been baking from this cookbook and have to say that with one exception I've been very pleased with the results.

    One thing that I've found interesting is that the texture on everything I've made has been very tender, the cakes moist and the crumb delicate, even with the corn muffins - which, btw, are fabulous.

    These are recipes that you'd make for family and friends or to take to work for a coffe break. They are not fancy, showpiece desserts. I have found the recipes well written, extremely easy to follow, with good instructions on how to make the product. I know my oven bakes fast so I shorten most baking times by at least 5 minutes to prevent overbaking.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Which recipe did you not like, DiningDiva?

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        The Salt & Pepper Cocoa Cookies. I did a long post about what I didn't like on the Cookie thread for this cookbook.

    2. I'm currently making the cinammon chocolate cake squares and the brown sugar bundt cake. I'm using internet links for the recipes.

      Can someone who has access to the book tell me the appropriate category these belong in so I can post in the appropriate place? I suspect that the cinammon cake will be under cakes and the brown sugar cake will be under breakfast? or maybe under cakes. That one looks like a breakfast food to me because it has no chocolate and it has fruit (pears).

      Thanks.

      2 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug

        Both recipes are in the Cakes of All Kinds chapter.

        1. re: JoanN

          Thanks.

      2. Here all all the links to recipes that I found on this board as well as the net. There may be some repeats.

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/331997

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/345549

        http://iliketocook.blogspot.com/2006/...

        1 Reply
        1. re: beetlebug

          This thread has links to dozens of recipes from the book posted on the net: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/345549

        2. So far I made Great Grains muffins and butterscotch pudding. I have earmarked lots of recipes that I want to try - so many sound so delicious. There are nice photos too. I love that she provides storage instructions, plus lots of possible variations for many of the recipes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Anya L

            I just made the pumpkin muffins too.

          2. I've made the peanut butter criss crosses and the applesauce bars (sans raisins!) and will report on those as soon as my brother e-mails me the pictures! Both winners!

            1. I **finally** got this from my library yesterday after getting on the wait list about a month ago. The book is bigger than I imagined it to be. At first glance, I can't say that I'm incredibly motivated by it. Nothing is really grabbing me...the styling, the photos, the recipes and ingredients, the writing...just no spark yet. On my drool-o-meter, it registers about a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (highest). The Martha Stewart book, OTOH, registered about a 9 at first glance. The recipes in the Martha book seem better suited to my taste. Of course, the proof is in the "pudding", so to speak...

              I hate to be all negative about the look of Dorie's book, but I find the photos to be unappetizing...either too light or too dark, items look too blonde or heavy, not the "warm glow" that entices me. Like some have mentioned, I don't care for many of the combinations of flavors or textures. Dorie seems to like baked goods that are "chunky" or multi-flavored/layered whereas I generally like very simple flavors and smooth textures for sweets.

              I don't see myself baking much from this, but after all this waiting, I feel compelled to try something before I have to return it in 2 wks. for the next patron. Below is a list of what I'm considering and any thoughts are much appreciated. I still look forward to following along on the threads since it looks like many people are baking away!

              corniest corn muffins
              cream scones
              classic brownies
              tall and creamy cheesecake
              hidden berry cream cheese torte
              caramel pots de creme
              marshmallows

              5 Replies
              1. re: Carb Lover

                Carblover--I've read lots of loving comments on the corniest corn muffins. The others, I can't speak to either because I haven't tried them or I don't recall a post on them.

                And, I agree with you, much to my surprise the MS book seems far better suited to my tastes too.

                1. re: Carb Lover

                  The caramel pots de creme caught my attention too; I loved the chocolate one I made for the bebe shower! I like the Martha cookbook better, but I'm still glad to have another solid baking cookbook in my collection.

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    I am drooling over the hidden berry cream cheese torte and am thinking of making for the office potluck on Friday. The only problem with that is that everyone is expecting me to bring pumpkin cheesecake.

                    I was going to try classic brownies but ended up making bittersweet instead because I was out of unsweetened chocolate. I would love to know how they turn out. They seemed like they would be "just right" - not too rich, but still having enough chocolate flavor.

                    1. re: Carb Lover

                      The corn muffins are good if you cut WAY back on the sugar.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        I was surprised by the Corniest Corn Muffins. I am a southern girl who prefers her cornbread with light sugar. 2 tablespoons tops. However, I did not find the muffins oversweetened. I think in the context of muffins, it is more acceptable to have them a little sweeter and moist. I also served them with spicy red beans and rice and hot sauce, so a little sweetness was nice.

                        So try them and decided for yourself...

                    2. I made the French Yogurt Cake which, despite its off-putting name, was quite nice. Although I'm not a huge yogurt fan, I was intrigued to try a cake that the author described as the only cake the French make at home. The first time I made it, I forgot to preheat the oven (busy making and eating blini and caviar w/ a friend, oh, and drinking lots of vodka). Well, I just turned the oven on at the moment the cake went into the oven and kept an eye on it. It did not release from the pan properly but it was fabulous -- and probably tastier than the second time I made it, in a properly preheated oven!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Susan Hope

                        Thanks for that review, Susan. I've been toying with the idea of making that one!

                      2. somebody posted this on another thread about this (the cake thread?), but I think the index on this book is pretty blah. It's a definite detraction (as somebody who often can only remember some portion of a title or a specific ingredient).

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: Smokey

                          Plz describe what's wrong with the index to those of us who don't have the book and are relying on the internet or Chowprovided recipes. Thnx.

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            She addressed the index in the egullet thread- she doesn't do the indices on her books and said the only cookbook author she's ever known to do her own was Julia, and not even for all of them. She let the publisher (or whomever) know about the complaints of it. Regarding what's wrong with it, it's difficult to find a recipe- for instance, if you want something with cranberries in it, and you look up cranberries, there's no subheading for cranberries (this is just a for instance, there may be one in this particular instance). In other words, you have to know the exact title of the recipe instead of it just has bananas in it or whatever. I, too, look up recipes by what I'm in the mood for, so it can be irritating!

                            1. re: Katie Nell

                              I really don't think the index is that bad--and I used to hire freelance cookbook indexers and review their work so I'm a bit compulsive about them. Someone had complained that the World Peace cookies are only to be found under "Cookies, chocolate," not under "World peace cookies," and that's true. Someone else complained there was no listing for "quince," but I don't offhand recall having seen any recipes that call for quince so I'm not sure that's a legitimate complaint.

                              As for listing ingredients, the main headings seem to be fairly extensive, from almonds, apples, applesauce, apricots down through peanuts, pears, pecans, pumpkin, walnuts, and white chocolate.

                              1. re: JoanN

                                I honestly haven't researched it that much, but I know that was a complaint from a lot of people. I know there was something I was looking for that I had a hard time finding, but I don't remember what it was now.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  I'm the one who posted the quince complaint. If the index were better, you'd be able to find the recipes with quince, as well!

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I think you must be confusing another book with Dorie's, pikawicca. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but I've been through the book several times now and the only references I've seen to quince are for quince jelly as an alternative to current or apple for glazing a tart, nothing using the fruit as a main or even secondary ingredient.

                                    1. re: JoanN

                                      I don't remember seeing any quince recipe either. I haven't used the index much so can't speak to that, but I will say that the little side bars embedded on the side or bottom of the recipes don't grab me as much as in other books. I guess I wish there was a little more discussion on technique, baking science, and info on how to modify recipes successfully.

                                      1. re: Carb Lover

                                        If you're interested in baking science, you might want to take a look at The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle by Kate Zuckerman. I was just given the book as a gift and haven't spent a lot of time with it yet, but throughout the book are "Technique Tips" and "Beyond the Basics." The latter, especially, are very informative: exactly why, for instance, temperature control is crucial when baking custards or just why it is that recipes so often call for room temperature eggs. Good stuff.

                                        1. re: Carb Lover

                                          See, I kind of like the side bars, but I do like to play around when I'm baking, so it's fun for me to read those. (I still agree with you regarding too much "chunkiness" in general!)

                                          1. re: Katie Nell

                                            Thanks for the recs, Katie. I think one problem w/ the side bars for me is that they're very small so sometimes I don't really notice them. I def. like to play around too!

                                          2. re: Carb Lover

                                            I tend to agree with you about preferring a bit more technique, baking science or something. I dislike the silly little entries she has at the beginning of each recipe, and would prefer something more specific to the recipe itself. More of a, "This makes a cookie that's chewy on the outside and crunchy on the inside," type thing, as opposed to, "My dear neighbor, Alan, got this recipe from his close friend's mother, so I'll always call this Marta's apple pie."

                                          3. re: JoanN

                                            I'll take another look, since I've recently acquired three baking books, and have been using all of them.

                                  2. re: Smokey

                                    That was me complaining and I'll do it here too!
                                    Let's say you want to look up the Swedish visiting cake. It's not in the index! Same for ingredients -- not there!

                                    1. re: NYchowcook

                                      So, what is it under then?

                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                        It's under pound cake, as if you intuitively know it's a pound cake.

                                        1. re: Kiyah

                                          Actually, it's listed under "almonds," not under "pound cake." But it certainly should be listed, as with World Peace Cookies, under its title.

                                  3. I'm sure most people have noticed, but for those of you that don't have the book, it is spotlighted on Leite's right now... http://www.leitesculinaria.com/index.... Rugelach, Kugelhopf, and Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding are the three recipes that are available.

                                    1. My daughter just made the marshmallows -- vanilla and chocolate. They are delicious! She accidentally left out the corn syrup, but the marshmallows were great anyway. Tomorrow we're going to make some WITH the corn syrup, to see what the difference is.

                                      1. I grabbed this from the library last week because I have to wait for Around My French Table so I decided to try some baking magic with these recipes. I've made World Peace cookies already, a few years back (discovered via chow) and this morning I tried the Coffee Break Muffins. Mmmm! What a fabulous concept -- to accompany a cup of coffee, a muffin that actually CONTAINS COFFEE! and espresso powder! I brought these to work, still warm, and my coworkers cooed with delight. I demanded rigorous honesty and the only suggestion was adding some kind of crunchy topping. I will post a more detailed review of the muffins on the appropriate thread.

                                        Next I want to try a few cookie recipes. Maybe midnight crackles first.