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What are you baking these days? Part VII [old]

(Note: There's a newer "What are you baking these days?" thread started. If you have a question or comment about something below, please go ahead and post it. But if you want to add a new thing you're baking to the list, please find the newest thread from this list: http://www.chow.com/search?query=&amp... -- The Chowhound Team )

And here we go with the seventh chapter of our shared baking endeavor - presumably even more baking will get done since the weather is turning just that bit cooler, at least in these environs. So - what's got your ovens stoked?

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  1. I was going to bake muffins yesterday, but I forgot I had chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge!

    So I baked that instead. I'll get around to some muffins when the cookies are gone.

    Which may not be as far away as I thought. I just walked into the kitchen to check on getting something together for dinner and discovered that the cookies are half-gone already.

    Apparently the chilluns done been snackin'. LOL!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ZenSojourner

      "Apparently the chilluns done been snackin'."

      Every time I see that line it makes me smile. You obviously love the chilluns !

      1. re: souschef

        Right now the chilluns are my son and his roommate. My son is obviously too dignified to compliment my cooking (though it's been surprised out of him a few times lately, particularly when I made him some tofu stir fry), but his roommate has no such reservations. She's more than happy to encourage me! LOL!

        They polished them off a couple of days ago. Today I made French Onion Soup (or am making anyway) and I'll be making banana muffins to use up the ripe bananas in the kitchen.

        I think peanut butter cookies will be next, when the muffins are all gone.

    2. i never got around to baking for the birthday at work last week because she went on vacation. before she left i asked her what she loves, and she said chocolate, and anything lemon. so tomorrow it's the dark chocolate ganache tart with fig compote, and lemon bars with a gluten-free almond & coconut flour crust. i'm toying with the idea of trying a vegan filling instead of the standard egg custard - i picked up some fresh agar powder just in case...

      7 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I'd be interested to hear how that works out, if you decide to go with the agar. I love agar-set things.

          1. re: buttertart

            wanted to let you know how it went...i used the filling recipe from Veganomicon as a starting point (with my own crust), and made a couple of minor changes to it - a combination of coconut palm sugar & raw cane sugar instead of granulated sugar; and i added about 50% more lemon zest than it called for. here's the original recipe:

            i really wasn't crazy about the results - the lemon flavor was too muted even with the extra zest, and the texture pretty much screams GELATIN. i think i can probably fix that by adding more almond milk for a creamier, more custard-like feel, but this first attempt definitely wasn't a success.

            at least my crust was good!

            i accidentally mixed up too much agar solution so i stashed it in the fridge in a glass jar, and i think tomorrow i'm going to play around with it and use some matcha powder to make green tea kanten.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I love those agar jellies. How about matcha mitsumame?
              It does seem difficult to get really lemony lemon flavor in things.

              1. re: buttertart

                do you mean anmitsu? i was trying to avoid having to pick up another ingredient - the adzuki bean paste ;) i may do it anyway though!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Mitsumame (I love saying the word). Garnish includes sweetened adzuki beans - brainwave - would be good with bits of candied chestnut, I should think.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    gotcha - i was under the impression that mitsumame was just another name for agar/kanten jelly. i was planning to enjoy/serve it with some incarnation of fruit anyway, so there you go! but i'll be using fresh fruit to make the garnish. no canned fruit cocktail for me ;)

        1. Hi, new poster on this thread but a keen baker. Don't do as much as I'd like as I'm also a keen eater of the results and don't have much willpower.

          Last night I made the chocolate fudge cake from Ottolenghi. What a fabulous dessert! It's different from other flourless chocolate cakes I've made, as one third of the batter is held back then added part the way through the baking which results in a creamier mousse topping on the cake. I managed to not read the instructions properly and added the last third of batter onto the hot cake, rather than letting it completely cool down and it was still fantastic. Next time I'll do it properly and I'm sure it will be even more delicious. Great flavor, wonderful texture, has gone to the top of my chocolate cakes list.

          11 Replies
          1. re: JaneEYB

            I was just looking at this recipe tonight, sounds great. I will have to try it! Is the taste actually fudgy or is it that grown up dark chocolate flavour?

            1. re: kookiegoddess

              I would say it's definitely a grown up chocolate flavor. You use a mix of 52% cocoa chocolate (the majority) and 70% which gives a deep chocolate flavor. The cake is dense rather than fudgy. I'd be interested to know what you think when you make it.

            2. re: JaneEYB

              Is there a link to the recipe? I've started a gluten-free diet so anything without flour is right up my alley. ;>

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  OMG! That looks beyond decadent! Thanks so much for the link.

                  I love the flavor of muscovado sugar but I've found it hard to find in the last year.

                  1. re: rainey

                    That blog posting in the link doesn't replicate the recipe as it is in the book. If you want to make it exactly as Ottolenghi suggests then the chocolate should be a mix of 265g 52% cocoa solids dark chocolate and 95g 70%. When I made the cake I was in Vermont and our local stores there didn't have those types so I compromised and made it with 60% Ghirardelli chocolate chips. It was still delicious so I'm not saying it won't work the way she has blogged, just that using all 70% will result in a different cake than Ottolenghi developed.

                    1. re: JaneEYB

                      Thanks. I've corrected my recipe database for that and the correct Celsius to Farenheit temperature.

                      1. re: rainey

                        I have baked my entire life with ovens with dial temperature settings. A few degrees here or there really don't matter that much. You have to watch things and take them out as soon as they smell/feel right.

              1. re: JaneEYB

                Tell me, when you convert from F to C are you using 325˚ or 350˚? Any tips on adjusting the baking times accordingly? How frustrating that 170˚C is right in the middle. grrrr

                I find a scale so easy for metric recipes -- no conversion necessary. Yay! Wish ovens had the same switch from F to C. Why hasn't someone added that feature?!

                1. re: rainey

                  I have to do a lot of oven conversions as half my cookbooks are British but I now live in the US. You would think I would therefore be able to remember the C/F equivalents but somehow never seem to be able to. I have neat little converter on my iPhone called Convert that does anything you might ever need to convert (incl. currencies) and that says 170C would be 338F so I would set the oven to 340F. I don't think 2 degrees is going to matter given how much everyone's ovens differ anyway.

                  1. re: JaneEYB

                    Thanks for you help.

                    Tell you how stoopid I am: I get so annoyed that my Wolf doesn't have digital controls and I have to cycle through temps, 5˚ at a time and I'm so fixated on recipes being written in 25˚ increments, it never occurred to me until you wrote 340˚ that I can set the Wolf to 338˚. (Imagine me smacking myself in the head ;> )

                    For that matter, I just checked the KA with digital controls and I can set that to 338˚ too!

                    I think you just knocked loose my Celsius/Farenheit OCD! ;>

              2. Thanks, Buttertart, for watching over these proceedings.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mnosyne

                  My pleasure, truly. So fun to see all of the contributions and participate in the discussions.

                2. I made my favourite CCC recipe but replaced some of the sugar with malted milk powder. Made the dough to use up some milk chocolate chips I was given (b/c Pioneer woman recommended malted cookies with milk rather than semi sweet chocolate) but it turns out I prefer dark chocolate every time. Luckily I halved the dough and only added milk chocolate to one half! My husband took some to work and one of his coworkers called them adorable (he's french)., Gotta love that!

                  The malt flavour doesn't exactly sing out, but it does make the cookies nice and chewy - and they stay chewy in the jar too.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: kookiegoddess

                    I always find milk choc of whatever variety (and I've used everything from Hershey to Callebaut and Lindt) tastes weird in baking. The malt is a good idea - Carnation or what?

                    1. re: buttertart

                      You can now get milk chocolate with cocoa content as high as 45%. I know that Felchlin makes it, and Scharffenberger too, if they are still around. There was a discussion on it's availability (SB) on the Quebec board about a year ago.

                      1. re: souschef

                        I've used high cocoa milk chocs too - have you had success w it in baking?

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I don't like milk chocolate, so I don't use it in baking, except in one recipe in gianduja form, where it is combined with dark chocolate and cream and used as a glaze.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              I posted the recipe here in one of the (perhaps your) threads. It's the one where you simmer dried figs in cognac, and combine them with chocolate and hazelnuts and butter and eggs, etc.

                              1. re: souschef

                                Oh yes. I must hunt that up. Still didn't make myself a birthday cake.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Track down that recipe and make it as your birthday cake; you will not regret it. It is, hands down, my favourite chocolate cake. BUT, it absolutely HAS to be eaten at room temperature.

                                  Make sure you use Callebaut in the glaze (66% cocoa). The last time I made it I used Felchlin (can't remember which one) and the glaze was a bit too thick to work.

                                  I usually increase the ingredients by 50% and use a 9-1/2 inch pan. Just remembered that I have a picture, taken 8 years ago, which I am attaching.

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      Now there's a cake with my name on it.... ;)

                        2. re: buttertart

                          I'm in england and I used ovaltine. But, I think it would be interesting to try making CCCs by removing say, 2 tbs of white sugar and adding 2 tbs of malt syrup, which I can get at a healthfood store - might give a better malt flavour and also add that same chewiness no? Will try it when I'm a bit less busy.

                          Milk choc with high cocoa content - in my head it would be a waste to make cookies with milk chocolate again in any form. You just need that fruity hit from the dark chocolate.

                        3. re: kookiegoddess

                          Ah--you tried those PW cookies too. They seemed to me to be just an awfully-sweet version of basic CCC's. The malted milk has lots of sugar as an ingredient.

                          I wasn't a fan of how flat they came out with all the PW signature extra butter--so will cut the sugar back and use regular amounts of butter when I make reg CCC's, but add more malt powder. I didn't find them very malt-y either. Certainly not anything like a malted milk drink.

                        4. Just baked 60 or so sugar cookies the other day. My favorite sugar cookie recipe. For a baby shower. They were delicious, and they all disappeared.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: chef chicklet

                            And care to share your recipe? I've shied away from sugar cookies mostly since one of my first ever baking outings (a recipe in my kiddie "It's Fun to Cook" book - fun to cook maybe but not fun to eat).

                            1. re: buttertart

                              oh gosh yes there are two versions of the same recipe, one called the fast sugar cookie and the slow. Here's both. The recipe was given to me in the late 70s from a dear friend, this sugar cookie taste exactly as my favorite one at a bakery I used to frequent mainly for the soft sugar cookie.

                              Fast - sugar cookies
                              4 cup flour
                              1 tsp baking soda
                              1 1/2 cup sugar
                              1 cup butter
                              4 eggs
                              sugar for the tops
                              Cream butter and sugar together, Add eggs, one at a time and mix well.
                              Sift the baking soda, and flour. Add the flour mixture gradually & knead into a soft dough (if more flour is needed, add until the dough does not stick you your fingers) Roll thin, cut into shapes and bake at 400F for 8-10 mins. Use an ungreased cookie sheet.
                              Slow Sugar cookies

                              2/3 cups shortening
                              3/4 cup sugar
                              1 tsp vanilla
                              1 egg beaten til light
                              add 1 tsp milk

                              Sift together: 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt.
                              Blend creamed mixd and dry together, shape dough into a disk. Chill the dough 1 hour
                              Bake at 375F on greased cookie sheet.

                              My changes are that; I always add 1 tsp vanilla with the wet ingredients
                              Everygthing goes into the Kitchen Aid, sometimes I sift and sometimes not. I find no difference, I also roll the dough out pretty thick, almost 1/2 inch and use larger cutters. I pull before they get golden, for soft cookies.
                              you can glaze the tops with a tiny biit of egg white and use large sugar crystals on top, these decorate nicely.
                              Actually I prefer the ones made with shortening. I also don't double the batch, and bake them on my silpats. Make sure to chill the dough well, for the slow sugar cookies. For this particular party, I decorated them with different tinted icing and sugar crystals. I got so many compliments, and my sons kept coming up to me saying how everyone loved the cookies.

                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                love your Fast/Slow Sugar Cookies with butter/shortening.
                                Here's another good one: Pam's Mom's Sugar Cookies
                                Mix together and set aside:
                                4 cups all-purpose flour
                                1 tsp. salt
                                1 tsp. baking soda
                                1 tsp. cream of tartar

                                Cream one cup of butter; add 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 cup of granulated sugar + 1 cup powdered confectioner's sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

                                Add two eggs, beaten, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir in the dry ingredients.
                                Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
                                Roll balls of dough, dip in granulated sugar; press with fork or oiled drinking glass bottom to flatten slightly. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350°F. They will melt in your mouth.

                                1. re: Cynsa

                                  that is close my snicker doodle recipe! thanks!

                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                      oops I was wrong, must of been thinking of something else. The cream of tartar makes the cookie crunchie. I use too different recipes one with cream of tartar, the other with powdered sugar. I love lots of cinnamon in cookies.
                                      My snicker doodle recipe that is super good, also uses 2 eggs, cream of tartar, 1T cinnamon, and then you do the same with the top, only mix more cinnamon into the sugar for the topping. My oh my do these ever make the house smell delicious!

                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    these are especially good when you dip half the cookie in dark chocolate before plating. Let them dry, and serve. I make chocolate icing with grand marnier, its a grown up cookie.

                              2. Well, I went overboard last holiday season and hoarded a few canisters of Trader Joe's sipping chocolate, so today I baked brownies with some of it. They are amazing! Dense and intensely chocolatey, not for the faint of heart. I used my kitchen scale to measure (less mess), but converted the weights to volumes in case you don't have a scale.

                                You could also make these with regular cocoa powder, using an ounce or two less cocoa and adding that much more powdered sugar.

                                Fantastic Sipping Chocolate Brownies

                                1 stick unsalted butter
                                126 g. (1/2 C.) unsweetened apple sauce
                                4 eggs
                                240 g. (2 C.) powdered sugar
                                170 g. (1 C. + 2 Tbsp.) trader joe's sipping chocolate
                                2 tsp. vanilla extract
                                1/2 tsp. kosher salt
                                70 g. (heaping 1/2 C.) all purpose flour

                                1. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pyrex dish. Preheat oven to 300F.

                                2. In a medium, glass mixing bowl, melt the butter in the microwave until it just melts, but is not too hot (in my microwave, this took 1 minute at power setting 7).

                                3. Whisk the apple sauce, eggs, sugar, sipping chocolate, vanilla extract and kosher salt into the butter. Whisk in the flour until just combined.

                                4. Pour into pyrex dish and bake for 55 minutes, or until internal temperature is 190F. Cool before slicing.

                                1. On the previous baking thread I promised buttertart that I would post this recipe. I made a few changes to the procedure.

                                  ALMOND GUGELHUPF WITH CHOCOLATE

                                  6 oz unsalted butter, softened
                                  4 oz superfine sugar
                                  Scraped contents of 1/2 vanilla bean
                                  Pinch of salt
                                  Grated zest of 1/4 lemon
                                  6 oz almond paste
                                  4 egg yolks
                                  4 teaspoons orange liqueur
                                  6 egg whites
                                  2-1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
                                  5 oz flour, sifted
                                  4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, or chocolate drops
                                  4 oz walnuts, coarsely chopped (I prefer toasted almonds)

                                  7-inch gugelhupf pan
                                  Butter for the pan
                                  Sliced almonds

                                  Preheat the oven to 350F
                                  Butter the pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds, to cover the surface.
                                  In a large bowl cream the butter with 2 tbsp of sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest.
                                  Put the almond paste, in pieces, into a food processor and process till fine. Add one egg yolk and process briefly. Add the remaining yolks and process to a foamy mass. Combine with the butter mixture.
                                  Whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar and cornstarch till stiff.
                                  Fold the whites into the butter/almond paste mixture.
                                  Combine the flour with the chocolate and walnuts and fold into the batter.
                                  Spoon into the pan and bake for an hour, until golden brown.
                                  Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and cool completely.

                                  From "The Chocolate Bible" by Christian Teubner

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: souschef

                                    Thanks! ANOTHER book I "need" to get. I have a German friend who swears by those books. Maybe I should get it in German and get a language refresher at the same time.
                                    Since M is a walnut fan - not so much on almond, which I love) I could make this with them.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      How is it that I have so many books that you want when you have a much larger library than I do? I should look around for other books that you might like. Perhaps the Julia Child cooking with master chefs (2 of them)? I also have a book on women chefs.

                                      Who is M? Are you really 007 ?

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        I would tell you but then I might have to kill you.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          If you killed me who would recommend recipe books for you to get ? Oh yes, of course, there IS Roxlet !

                                        2. re: souschef

                                          I have the master chefs Julias I think.

                                    2. I think I've got the hang of the oven that came with our new place. The temperature controls are a bit wonky but the oven thermometer I bought is about 50 deg off (as my husband suggested when I was complaining about it and was of course irritatingly correct about) so what I thought was a too high temp was just about right. Baked some brownies for visiting French friends last night (Supernaturals of course) and they came out perfectly at a putative 350 deg F for 25 mins which was about the time I was baking them in the old place. Onward and upward.

                                      1. wanted to try out the new gluten free Bisquick as a self rising flour and was determined not to miss fig season again. So i made fig, banana, blueberry cobbler. the biscuits used buckwheat i got at the farmer's market and cocoa nibs. Yummy...


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                          sounds like it was a success! you're clearly getting better figs up North, the ones here in So Cal have been so disappointing this season - the Calimyrnas & Kadotas are spongy & flavorless, and the Black Mission are unpleasantly grassy. boo.

                                        2. golly, some amazing-sounding recipes here. hi, souschef!
                                          well today I made some very basic cookies for an auntie who can't have chocolate because of the theobromine/caffeine. So I used white chocolate chips which are really violently sweet so I threw in some plain rolled oats and raisins. Also I had no cookie sheets so I baked them on upturned foil take-out pans. That makes the tops bake faster because of the trapped air, so pans on the top rack (from the failed first batch) helped.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: bakersdelight

                                            Hi bd ! i agree with you about white chocolate being too sweet.

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              Yeah, I've never understood the appeal of white chocolate macademia nut cookies. Sweet overload. I do a white chocolate/salted pistachio cookie at Christmastime, however, that is adored by all. Even by me, though it's still sweet enough that one cookie is plenty. I guess that's a good thing. ;-)

                                              1. re: modthyrth

                                                I love white chocolate (Leonidas - Callebaut level and above). What is wrong with you people???

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Your tooth is sweeter than ours, that's all.

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    Perhaps. But I hated it when I was a kid. My father loved it and I thought he was seriously weird.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      The only white chocolate that I came even close to liking was the one made by Sarotti, from Germany I think, but I have not seen it in years. But then, who knows it I would still like it,

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        I'm with you on the white chocolate. I could do without the macadamia nuts though.

                                                        1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                          I like them both, although think macadamias are better eaten as nuts, not in baked goods.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            update: I found the cookies a bit heavy, though my aunt and cousin liked them. Now making a batch with the rest of the white choc. chips, which I've decided not to fight. So the cookie batter is far plainer, less sweet and lighter, with no other strong flavours. Gotta let white chocolate be itself, I guess.

                                            2. I was getting tired of zucchini (the hazards of planting it) so I made zucchini bread. I used this recipe: http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,184,13... because I had some buttermilk languishing in the fridge. I also was interested in trying the barley malt syrup I bought the other day, so I reversed the ratio of white to brown sugar and subbed it for the brown (and decreased the amount of oil slightly to compensate for the added moisture). Oh, and I forgot to put in the chocolate chips (since the instructions never tell you to -- I assume they go in last).

                                              It turned out quite well I thought, especially the texture, which was moist but not gummy and had a nice springiness to it.

                                              For my next project I'm thinking of using the filling for a Hatch chile apple pie recipe rworange posted with the topping of my favorite crisp recipe.

                                              1. Every week, without fail, a double batch of the world's easiest and best peanut butter cookies. They take literally 5 minutes to throw together; I use the food processor; Mr. has his munchies; all's right with the world. I also got commisioned to bake a pan of Opera for a friend's wedding's Viennese table, and I'm glad it happened before this heatwave because incomprehensible things happen to pastry on hot muggy days. Also on the home front, got gifted with a 5-lb. bag of ripe peaches; delicious, but they required using pronto. We're not long on the "cakiness" of most cobblers, so I made a pie crust that I shredded on top of the sliced peaches, etc: i don't remember where I saw the suggestion, but it was amazing and I will employ that method again and again. Last but not least, Laurie Colwin's Tomato Pie, which I think is an adaptation of James Beard's.

                                                1. Summer isn't quite over here in northern California, so I expect to have another couple of months of solar-oven bread. The pots that came with my solar oven hold twice as much as a standard breadpan, so I have to make double-sized loaves. I favor milk-and-egg breads; our rotation has been a sort of challah dough with green onions and rosemary; oatmeal bread with sunflower seeds and raisins; and a cornmeal/white bread based on broa, but with added milk and egg because it was going stale too fast. Enriching the bread didn't help, so I think I'm going to switch to a batter cornbread, or maybe a light rye.

                                                  What with tendinitis in all my arm joints, I usually knead the bread in a food processor.

                                                  Oh, and we were making a lot of fruit pies and cobblers in the solar oven, too. The crusts brown OK. So does the bread (example below).

                                                  1. I have been making a lot of muffins and quick breads with carrots and zucchini from the garden.

                                                    Last night we had this cheesecake swirled with fresh lemon curd: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... It was sensational! Really easy to do, attractive, great fluffy texture and beyond delicious!

                                                    Also rediscovering this whole wheat and oat bread from a recipe I've probably had for decades and not made in 5 years. It makes good sandwiches and it's lovely as toast.

                                                    Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

                                                    • 2 cup boiling water
                                                    • 1 cup rolled oats
                                                    • 1/4 cup sugar
                                                    • 1 tablespoon honey
                                                    • 1/4 cup butter
                                                    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
                                                    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
                                                    • 2 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
                                                    • 3 cup bread flour

                                                    In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, sugar, honey, butter and salt. Let cool to lukewarm.

                                                    Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise for an hour.

                                                    Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Divide in half and shape into two loaves. Turn into bread pans. Again cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise for an hour.

                                                    Meanwhile, preheat oven and stone to 400˚. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven, butter tops of loaves and cover with a towel for 10 minutes or so. Turn out of pans and allow to cool, covered to soften crust.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: rainey

                                                      Mmmm, that cheesecake does look good! BOOKMARKED!

                                                    2. it seems to have turned into fall overnight, so I made molasses spice cookies. They're spicy and chewy and really delicious, and perfect for snacking while I look outside at the rain...

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: onecaketwocake

                                                        Yum! My great aunt used to use a molasses spice cookie to enclose a date filling. It's one of my most delicious childhood memories!

                                                        It's anything BUT fall here. We're expecting temps as high as 111˚ I could almost be baking outside. ;>

                                                        But if you're feeling fallish, when you finish your spice cookies, you might try these. They have an altogether different kind of spiciness and the contrast of the spicy, cakey cookie and the sweet tart icing is, I think, bliss.

                                                        Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Lemon Icing
                                                        Makes 4 dozen

                                                        COOKIE DOUGH
                                                        • 1/2 cup shortening
                                                        • 1 cup sugar
                                                        • 2 egg
                                                        • 1 cup pumpkin puree
                                                        • 2 cup all purpose flour
                                                        • 1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                        • 1 teaspoon salt
                                                        • 2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                        • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
                                                        • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
                                                        • 1 cup golden raisins
                                                        • 1 cup nuts, chopped

                                                        LEMON ICING
                                                        • 2 cup confectioners' sugar
                                                        • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                                        • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, firmly packed

                                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                                                        For Cookies:
                                                        Cream shortening. Gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs and pumpkin. Mix well. Set aside.

                                                        Sift dry ingredients together. Add to pumpkin mixture. Add raisins and nuts.

                                                        Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with a flat-bottomed glass dipped in water every 2 or 3 cookies as needed. Bake about 15 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove cookies to cool on rack. Ice with Lemon Frosting when cool.

                                                        For Lemon Frosting:
                                                        Combine the ingredients adding just enough milk for a spreading consistency.

                                                        1. re: rainey

                                                          ooh those sound great as well, I'm curious about the pumpkin/lemon combination. I'll have to give them a try! I don't usually like to use shortening though, do you think it would be fine to swap for butter?

                                                          1. re: onecaketwocake

                                                            You know, I've had this recipe for 20 years. I didn't even know it had shortening in it!

                                                            I completely agree with you that butter is a better choice and that's exactly what I always use. I'll have to fix that in my database so thanks for bringing it to my attention. ;>

                                                            The combo of pumpkin and lemon may not be intuitive but I promise you it really works! It's like putting salt on savory food to electrify the flavors.

                                                            1. re: rainey

                                                              I'm very leery of subbing butter for shortening in recipes that call for it. Shortening has less water than butter does and brings its own texture to baked goods. A cake or cookie once in a while with it isn't going to kill anybody.

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                "A cake or cookie once in a while with it isn't going to kill anybody."

                                                                LOVE IT !!!

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Fair enough but I've always made these with butter with good results. I just never changed the original recipe when I imported it.

                                                                  1. re: rainey

                                                                    yup, I just think butter tastes much better so I'm glad to hear it works well, I'll try it out.

                                                                2. re: rainey

                                                                  Personally I think shortening works well in some cookies, I don't want every cookie to have a butterey back note. But bake with whatever you prefer I always say.

                                                                3. re: onecaketwocake

                                                                  I have iced my favorite pumpkin bread/muffins with a lemon glaze, and the combination of lemony glaze and spiced pumpkin flavors is very nice.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                    mmm thanks for the inspiration, I'm getting my Fall menu ready for our gathering. The would be great at at our annual pumpkin carving party!

                                                            2. I made the chocolate zucchini muffins from this post - they were very good and moist. They stuck a little to the muffin tins but the 2 small loaf pans turned out perfectly!


                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: geminigirl

                                                                I'm back to baking bread, having exhausted the stash in the freezer. This week made honey whole wheat, one loaf with a swirl of cinnamon, sugar and dried cranberries, and the NY deli rye from smittenkitchen. On the sweet side, I baked donut muffins (too good!) and used up some plums in a plum and almond tart. Oh, and ALice Medrich's chocolate melting meringues - the best use for leftover egg whites that I've found in quite a while. I'm glad that it's cooling off enough to at least turn the oven on some evenings and get a little baking done!

                                                              2. i made chocolate balls today.. super easy to make and only takes 5-10 minutes and great for kids because u only need a bowl and ur hands to make them

                                                                1. Last week, a batch of zuke muffins & zuke bread and a batch of carrot muffins. Tuesday, a batch of Italian basil hard rolls to go with a caesar salad and Ina Garten's meringues to pair with some lime curd & fresh berries. Tonight, more zuke muffins from the last of my garden's zukes

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                    Nice, how do you do the basil rolls?

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      My recipe is simple & basic:

                                                                      Basil Rolls

                                                                      2 teaspoons yeast
                                                                      3/4 cup warm water - 110F. degrees
                                                                      1/4 teaspoon sugar
                                                                      1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
                                                                      2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon for brushing rolls
                                                                      1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
                                                                      2 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all purpose) + a little extra for kneading

                                                                      Whisk together the yeast, warm water & sugar; allow tto bloom for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile add the olive oil & basil together in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Whisk basil mix & one teaspoon salt into the yeast mixture then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until blended. Sprinkle a little flour onto a surface, turn dough out and knead until smooth & no longer sticky.

                                                                      Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rise for one hour. Turn dough out, knead for one minute then divide into 8 portions. Gather the ends of each piece of dough and roll into a ball then form into miniature Italian loaves; place onto a parchment or baking paper lined baking pan. Brush tops of loaves with olive oil; cut three slits on top of each loaf and sprinkle with remaining salt. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise until doubled, or about one hour.

                                                                      Place bread into a 400F. degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden. Remove from oven and lightly brush with a bit of olive oil while hot.

                                                                      ** You can use dried basil (I have a ton in the garden, which is why I used fresh and it also lends a lovely color) if you have to; just use 1 1/2-2 teaspoons. Also, you can make smaller rolls and more of them if you allow the dough to rise a little longer during the first rising. These are great for sandwiches, crostini & croutons, by the way

                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                        These sound lovely, thanks for the recipe. It's basil time in these parts too!

                                                                  2. Making a midwestern American dinner for visiting French friends this weekend - as suggested by my stealth Iowan husband (ham, deviled eggs, potato salad, corn, sliced tomatoes, yeast rolls from an early 60's Good Housekeeping cookbook (my mother-in-law's favorite and her specialty). Going to make a great big beautiful American-style chocolate cake for dessert (out of 6 guests, three have August birthdays). Thinking of the Hershey's cocoa cake with clarified butter i/o veg oil - does anybody have any other ideas for something better along those lines? NOT a fancy French or other European cake, a straightahead US and A one.

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      One of the books I coerced you into buying (traditional Cakes and Pastries) has a Raisin Chocolate Fudge Cake.

                                                                      The International Chocolate Cookbook has a bunch of recipes from the Yewnited States, including some that use white chocolate, which you admit to liking :)

                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                        I'm going with the choc cake white frosting paradigm. White choc frosting is a possibility. Did you see the krissywats buttercream recipe? Milk and flour roux cooked up, cooled, a cup of gran sug and a cup of butter beaten in. Very good and not too sweet. And no icing sugar bleah cornstarch effect.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          No, I did not see it. Sounds similar to butter beaten into pastry cream. I would incorporate the sugar into the milk/flour before cooking as I dislike the gritty texture of sugar in icing.

                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                            It completely disappears in this, really. It's magic. Apparently an old Southern thing also known as gravy frosting (shudder).

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              I share your shudder, Butter. Gravy. Frosting. Oxymoron. Antithesis of anything tht even looks like "right." But magic, yes ma'am, that works for me and I'm going to have to attempt it.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                I prefer the first name I knew it by, custard buttercream. No, it has no eggs, but sure sounds better than gravy on cake!

                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                  There is one advantage though - if you do not feel like going to the trouble of glazing the cake you can serve the "gravy" on the side, for dipping your cake into. And leftover gravy can be served with chocolate spaghetti :)

                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                          I made the Hershey's cake with buttermilk i/o regular milk (with 1 1/2 tsp each of baking powder and soda I figured it would work) and it was very nice if a bit heavy, nice shaggy texture and very moist though. In 9:" pans it came out to layers maybe 1 3/4 in high if that. Is that the correct height? Made the krissywats buttercream and wondered if you could reduce the butter somewhat, this tme it tasted a bit more like a stablilized version of the creamed butter and sugar mixture you make for butter cakes I thought. If you beat it long enough every trace of the sugar grittiness disappears.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            I can think of only two other cakes that would be my choice or at least hard to decide between.
                                                                            A southern Cocout Cake, or a Brown Sugar Icing cake ( I think that's what its called or a Burnt Sugar cake) Basically a rich yellow cake with a brown sugar frosting that gives a slight crunch to the tooth. Fantastic cake.

                                                                          2. Thanks to whoever said doughnut muffins.

                                                                            I've had that recipe and been meaning to try it for months. My son (the cinnamon junkie) is home briefly so it was the perfect time to make a batch. I did half coated in the cinnamon sugar and half with strawberry freezer jam piped inside.

                                                                            I didn't try them because I'm going gluten-free but everyone else seemed to enjoy them. They certainly couldn't have been easier to whip up.

                                                                            I'm curious, tho. The recipe says the batter can be done in advance and stored up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 1) When has anyone ever held a baking powder & baking soda batter before baking and 2) wouldn't a batter with all that butter get really stiff in the fridge and be hard to form muffins with?

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: rainey

                                                                              Haven't done it, but I would expect that if you blended properly and allowed it to sit at room temp for a bit, that it would be ok. I would also guess that the chemical leavening, like yeast, is temperature sensitive and could possibly need to actually be at room temp after being cooled for that long.

                                                                              But what do I know....

                                                                            2. Early in the week, I made a big batch of granola.
                                                                              Yesterday, I made pistachio shortbreads (from Ottolenghi cookbook); loved these--not too sweet, but very pretty.
                                                                              Today, I used a copycat recipe (courtesy of a link from Maplesugar) to make "Rain Coast Crisps." Cooling as I type (w/fingers crossed). Taste will be the test.

                                                                              Update: they're terrific. I posted at length about them, if anybody is interested:


                                                                              1. For breakfast today I made scones from the recipe I posted here recently, except that I substituted chestnut flour for half of the AP flour. When pouring the chestnut flour it occurred to me that it was possibly from China, but figured that you only live once, so why live running scared.

                                                                                While baking there was a wonderful smell in the kitchen. The scones were simply amazing - really delicious. I had them with butter and home-made apple jelly (I have a SIL who keeps me supplied wiht the stuff). My wife really loved them, and thought they were lighter than usual. We both agreed that we could not go back to the ones made with all AP flour.

                                                                                You really have to try this, buttertart.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                  Sounds fabulous. Sub déchets of marrons glacés for the usual dried fruit for Christmas bfast?

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Great idea. I should keep it in mind.

                                                                                  1. So, is it possible to make one batch of dough, then divide it and shape it and have each loaf taste different?

                                                                                    I just made french bread from BBA and strangely, one loaf tastes better than the other. The one that doesn't taste quite as good had a little more shaping done at a later point to correct my horrible shaping technique, and thus it was a little less "proofed" than the other. The texture was different, which is what I would expect, but the loaf with an additional shaping tasted less "yeasty."

                                                                                    I'll take some pictures and upload them tomorrow...but any ideas?

                                                                                    I also made lemon bars and some AWESOME blackberry apple mini pies, of which I'll upload pictures tomorrow too. :-)

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: guster4lovers

                                                                                      You could certainly make dough and then roll or knead addition ingredients into one and get a very different flavor. You could go sweet with things like cinnamon, cocoa powder or chunks of chocolate, nuts, cardamom, dried fruit, etc. Then you could go savory with things like olives, herbs, roasted garlic, caramelized onion, sundried tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.

                                                                                      You could also put things in the middle of an envelope of dough stromboli-style.

                                                                                      I'd make my additions before the dough is shaped.

                                                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                                                        No, what I mean is that you make a dough - in this case french bread - and before the final proofing you separate the dough into loaves and shape it. At that point, the only difference in the loaf was that one had an additional shaping (basically because I moved it from the canvas and it lost its shape). And the result was that the two different shaped breads tasted different. Same ingredients, same process, same baking time, etc. Literally the only difference was that one had an additional shaping 30 minutes after the others.

                                                                                        And here are my pictures! The blackberry/apple pie is a recipe I made up essentially, but the lemon bars were pretty standard. The pies are way cuter out of the muffin tin...so I'll take a picture of the one left over and post that. In the mean time, here they are in the pan.

                                                                                        1. re: guster4lovers

                                                                                          Very nice. I haven't had that experience within a batch of French bread dough but given different gluten structure and aeration due to the reshaping I would suppose it would be possible to taste a slight difference. You must have quite the palate.

                                                                                      2. re: guster4lovers

                                                                                        patiently waiting for your photos.....: )

                                                                                      3. I hadn't baked in weeks until tonight, due to various combinations of non-working oven, heat wave, and life circumstances. The baking urge was strong, so I made chocolate spice cookies, which are very nice. Dough flavored with cocoa, molasses, and ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, baked into soft cookies with crisp, crackled tops. Each little treat is 60 calories, with 2 g total fat. The dough has no eggs, so also good if you or someone you bake for avoids them.

                                                                                        NB buttertart: This delicious and successful recipe is from Perfect Light Desserts (hence the nutrition info), and the cookies don't taste like a compromise. I took a quick look through while the cookies baked, and the serving sizes given look absolutely average: bundt and tube cakes, 12-16 servings; pies and tarts, 8 servings; puddings and custards 1/2-3/4 cup servings. Can't vouch for other recipes yet, but I'm going to try more.

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                          Today, after a night in a cookie tin, they're chewier, and the spices are more pronounced.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              As I said in the other thread, I've heard positive and negative opinions. IIRC, a couple of people posted on CH that they made things that looked great but lacked flavor, so I'm looking at the recipes with a critical eye. Haven't looked through the whole thing recently, but have my eye on the chocolate rum cake, ginger pound cake, and chocolate buttermilk tart.

                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                just Googled the recipe and it looks great - i think it would take really well to a GF modification with almond meal & mesquite flour...i may tackle that one of these days :) BTW, your Pear Fudge Pie recipe also sounds delicious!

                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                  The chocolate spice cookies? I think your GF mod idea sounds good; the texture will be different, naturally, but the flavors should work well. I never did mail order mesquite flour, but I learned of a place in SF that I'm pretty sure has it in bulk, so at some point I'll get some to play with.

                                                                                                  I've given out the pear fudge pie recipe a few times on CH, so I decided to go ahead and put it in the DB. It took a bit of refining at the time, but I really got the texture just how I wanted: soft, rich, and fudgy, but neither too dense nor cakey.

                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                    yes, the texture often changes at least a little bit with GF modifications, but i've occasionally found ways to make those changes an improvement over the original!

                                                                                                    re: mesquite flour, Whole Foods Market carries it now - depending on the store it'll be either with the GF baking ingredients OR with the raw food snacks & superfoods (sprouted seeds, maca, cacao nibs, etc).

                                                                                                    i'm not sure if Rainbow Grocery is the place you heard about, but i've seen posts here on CH that say they sell it in bulk...and the price will probably be better than at WFM.

                                                                                                    your pie recipe gave me a great idea - i've been obsessing over the dark chocolate key lime pears from Recchiuti Confections ever since i read about them a couple of years ago:

                                                                                                    i may try to create some hybrid of your pie and my dark chocolate ganache tart, and add a lime accent.

                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                      Yes, Rainbow., which has the best and most interesting bulk selection I know of. I live close to a WF, though don't usually shop there, so will take a look. Thanks.

                                                                                          1. Tried something new and it was a great hit. Mark Bittmann's Citrus Almond Poundcake. His recipe says to make it in the food processor, but I was afraid of overmixing, so I used my stand mixer. Delicious! Uses 7 oz. of almond paste (what a shame! Bought an 8 oz can, so "HAD* to eat the remaining ounce...). You make a syrup with fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juice which you pour over the baked cake. Sooooo good!

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: CathyR

                                                                                              That sounded really appealing to me too. Jane Grigson wrote about whipping up cakes in the FP so it really should work.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                Is it pretty straightforward (actually doing it not just reading the recipe I mean) to make almond paste? I bookmarked some famous almond cake the other day that requires almond paste but we only get marzipan in england. Is it going to exhaust my FP? I have a magimix 5200, fairly new so it's still my precious baby ;-) I love almonds but hate marzipan...

                                                                                                1. re: kookiegoddess

                                                                                                  If your FP is powerful I thik you could do it, but I don't think you could ever get it as smooth as the commercial stuff. Also, at least in the US the almonds are not terribly flavorful - and commercial producers use some bitter almond flavoring to get it to the proper intensity.

                                                                                            2. Yesterday it was madeleines (report on the madeleine thread recently started by souschef), and today it's an apple pie with first of the season apples (a sort of no-name variety and one early Mac) made with the CI vodka pastry (I always find I need more liquid than it calls for, I added an extra tb of vodka and will add 2 the next time) and the RLB perfect apple pie recipe from her "Piue and Pastry Bible". I even did the apples the way she orders - macerating, draining, cooking the juices up. About to bang it into the oven...we shall see... (souschef: your mind control methods are working, I've become much more favourably disposed to RLB of late And I weighed everything.)

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                Buttertart, I'm glad you are more favourably inclined towards RLB; that mind control stuff does work, it seems. She is the Jane Grigson of baking....to me, anyway!

                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                  I would have loved to have known JG - her writing style is both very intelligent and very warm. I don't get the slightest warm and fuzzy from RLB. Adducing a personality from a style can be quite deceiving, however - one of the major cookbook writers I've met, whose style is breezy and charming, seems quite the opposite in person (as opposed to Jean Anderson and Marcella Hazan, who were precisely as one would expect from their writing).

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    I am used to engineering texts, so to me RLB is warm and fuzzy.

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                      There is that. The comforts of rigour.

                                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  Mah pah below...
                                                                                                  I must say the vodka piecrust doesn't blow me away. It's good, but. I think next time I'll make my mother's crust recipe with part butter and lard and use some vodka in the liquid. And do it by hand, not in the FP. There were pieces of fat in this crust that melted and instead of making ot flaky made the top crust pockmarked.

                                                                                                3. Lime meltaways - smitten kitchen recipe - they're dough is chillin, but if they bake up half as good as the dough, yum!

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    The lime meltaways are excellent! Definitely going to make during the holidays.
                                                                                                    Tender cookies with just the amount of lime ( I didn't use key limes just regular ones) also used the zest of one lime. These are really yummy, and I need to hide them.

                                                                                                  2. playing with Christina Tosi's oat crust, but this time spiced it up and reduced the butter somewhat. Filled it with a peach buttermilk caramel bavarian and roasted peaches. Very yummy and the pie crust is so versatile and perfect for GF baking!

                                                                                                    Also made gluten-free danishes last night, stuffed with coconut "frangipaine" and roasted plums.

                                                                                                    and an upside-down nectarine caramel cake for a pot-luck.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                      I am planning to try my hand at that crust this week (as success at regular pie pastry continues to elude me). Would you mind commenting more on the adjustments (re: butter and spices) you made? I was actually thinking about a buttermilk custard pie w/sliced peaches so a spiced-up crust seems like a good foil.

                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                        Here is the link to the recipe. hopefully OK to post - I am never clear when i can link to my blog and when it isn't OK. It's just easier than trying to transfer it. Anyway, this has my modifications and spicing. It also has the buttermilk filling I used. I tried with a standard buttermilk filling and it soaked into the pie - I uploaded pics of both so you can see that too.


                                                                                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                          Thanks! That pie looks great.
                                                                                                          And thanks for the link (and another food blog for me to follow. Now if I could only figure out a way to make a living reading about food all day . . . )
                                                                                                          I look forward to reading about your kitchen adventures.

                                                                                                      2. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                        Here is a pick of the danishes. I really enjoyed them and the dough was fairly easy to make. I'll get to writing up the recipe soon.

                                                                                                        1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                                          Wow, that's someting I've always intended to try. Bravo!

                                                                                                        2. Since I really love Smitten Kitten's lime cookies, I'm going to try her Peach Shortbread recipe today. I am going back and forth whether or not to cook the peaches down into a jam or to slice them as she does. It looks like it needs more crumble (she explains why so little) so I'll make more of that. This just is a pretty cookie.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                            That is nice indeed...should I make thm since I have some peaches that are getting to their las legs? Hm.

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              Well that's' what I have, two gorgeous huge peaches that are also getting there.
                                                                                                              After reading smittenkitchen's blog about being inspired by a preview of recipes from a cookbook from The Big Surf Cookbook, that they posted in the NYT, the original recipe has a layer of shortbread, custard, peach jam and streusel and most of it made with brown butter. I guess as she says she's been pining for it, but she didn't want to go to the trouble of making the original recipe. I think I will but I doubt I'll do the custard, I don't see that being easy to eat? The jammy consistency is more appealing to me and the browned butter is the high point, I love browned butter on anything.

                                                                                                              Let me know if you do this cookie and how. I love peach anything.

                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                I made the smittenkitchen peach shortbread last weekend - terrific results. I just sliced the peaches, tossed with a little sugar and placed them on the dough as the recipe directed. I refrigerated them before sllcing (fighting back temptation!) and had lined the pan with foil so I could remove them easily.

                                                                                                                1. re: janeh

                                                                                                                  I made the peaches into jam, they really went maybe too far for slicing like you did. The jam turned out great, and I was all ready to make the shortbread. My hubby came home saw the jar cooling on the counter and made p&J sandwiches for he and the little guy.....first thing I heard when I came in was "God this peach jam is so delicious! Can you make more?" Well there was little to begin with since I only had 2 large peaches. hmmm. Yes, guess I can always get more. Glad you loved it, I really wanted to make the way you describe anyway.

                                                                                                          2. I made this Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking From My Home to Yours" and it was a big hit. Very rich so it serves quite a few. I definitely recommend it to chocolate-peanut butter lovers. I didn't want to buy instant espresso since it calls for just 1/2 teas., so I just used regular instant coffee and it was fine.


                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Thanks, bt. That sounds fabulous. We go to a "chocolate orgy" every year where the "price of admission" is a fabulous chocolate dessert, and this sounds perfect.

                                                                                                                1. re: bear

                                                                                                                  The recipe's been burning a hole in my pocket since I saw it in the 2008 Canadian Living (magazine) Baking Book. Their recipes always work and the website has lotsa good stuff.

                                                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  I can't find the recipe right now but I've made something similar, a tart with chocolate cookie crust and ganache on top, but peanut butter pastry cream as the filling - it was great too.
                                                                                                                  Yesterday I made a (seedless) concord grape pie, with peanut butter ice cream. A very rich combo especially since I goofed on the ice cream and put way too much pb in. The grape pie is so easy and people are always confused by the idea, then love it.
                                                                                                                  I think next I will try a peanut butter pie (not mousse but baked custard style) with concord grapes in it sort of like the raisins in butter tarts... that will definiltey be considered "experimental".

                                                                                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                    That sounds great! How are you going to get the pips out?

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      The local Ontario coronation grapes are just about all seedless these days, I think it would be harder for me to find the seeded variety! So making the pie is dead easy - just mix whole grapes, tapioca and sugar and bake.

                                                                                                                      1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                        Hmm, didn't know that a seedless slipskin grape existed. I don't think the ones you get in NY are seedless. The ones I remember from growing up in SW Ont definitely had largish hard very tannic pips.

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          They are new in my lifetime too but I'm not sure how new. I only became aware of them 2-3 years ago. The Ontario tender fruit website calls them "semi-seedless Ontario coronation table grapes".

                                                                                                                          1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                            Hmm...must get back in grape season sometime!

                                                                                                              2. Just put a dish of coffee-choc. chip blondies in the oven. And made another batch of pistachio shortbread, a recipe from Ottolenghi.

                                                                                                                1. A documentary of note has just come out - on the Meilleur Oeuvrier de France contest for pâtissiers:
                                                                                                                  I had miniature pastries in 2006 from one of the winners' (forget the name) shop on the rue Mouffetard once and they were really much more gorgeous than delicious.
                                                                                                                  I also had a chocolate bar from one of the master chocolate makers and MOF winners that brought tears to my eyes it was so astonishingly good (Jacques Bellanger, milk choc - high percentage, nice acidity, not in the least cloying - packed so full of the sweetest Marcona almonds that the bar evanesced in your mouth, leaving the full flavor of the confection behind.).

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    There are pictures in the book "The Roux Brothers on Patisserie" on what Michel Roux made to win, in 1976, I think. Astonishing.

                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                      The sugar competition is mindblowing. Had you heard of the film? I thought it was way up your alley. (Had chocolate ganache "tootsie roll pops" at my bday dinner, complete with the ridge around the middle - a thin gilded pulled sugar shell around ganache. Woo hoo.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        No, I had not heard of the film.

                                                                                                                        Darn new release of CH that keeps marking unread posts as read. I almost missed your post. Happens all the time on the canelé thread too.

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          Happens to me a bit too, I have to look at CH on the computer brcause the BlackBerry version sucketh.

                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                            I missed a number of posts on this thread in the past few days. What the heck???

                                                                                                                    2. Chocolate cream tart on Saturday

                                                                                                                      Souffle au fromage and a tarte tatin tonight.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. There was a sale on frozen blueberries when I was at the grocery store, so I'm working on a new blueberry muffin recipe this week. First batch was more pale than I wanted.

                                                                                                                        1. Pistachio Cardamom Rosewater cupcakes!

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: juniuni

                                                                                                                              Three of my favorite flavors on earth - recipe pls?

                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                Have you ever had gulab jamuns, a dessert from India that consists of round balls of dough that are deep-friend and then soaked in syrup (the Indian equivalent of baba au rhum?)? It has cardamom in it, and is very tasty.

                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                  Yep, we used to call those wet doughnut holes when we were at UofT.
                                                                                                                                  I really like rasmalai better (especially if squeaky).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Have you ever had a Lebanese dessert called "Ataif". A restaurant that is now closed used to make it, and I always ordered two. Crepe, filling, honey, pistachios...

                                                                                                                              2. I made this goat cheese cake tonight with blackberries http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/go... and while I loved the flavor, I didn't care for the texture with the whipped egg whites. This is the first time I made a cheesecake and whipped the whites, it gave it an almost sponge cake texture. Anyone else have experience subbing goat cheese in for cream cheese for cheesecake?

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: jules127

                                                                                                                                  did you copy & paste that link from another thread? it's incomplete...but i assume this is the recipe you're talking about:

                                                                                                                                  you could try this one instead:

                                                                                                                                  or maybe one of the many recipes out there that only substitute goat cheese for *part* of the cream cheese?

                                                                                                                                2. I made a killer apple raspberry pie this weekend, with my famous heart healthy crust, adapted from a recipe in Saveur magazine. It's made with organic canola oil instead of butter or shortening (I've also used macadamia nut oil in the past.)

                                                                                                                                  Don't be skeptical, the crust has won over many butter lovers. Just be sure to measure carefully, and do not refrigerate the dough.

                                                                                                                                  Apple Raspberry Pie

                                                                                                                                  5 cups peeled, thinly sliced apples (about 5 apples)
                                                                                                                                  1 tablespoon lemon juice
                                                                                                                                  1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                                                  1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
                                                                                                                                  2/3 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                  3 tablespoons cornstarch
                                                                                                                                  2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (about 12 ounces)

                                                                                                                                  2 2/3 cups flour, half all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour
                                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                  2/3 cup organic canola oil or high-oleic safflower oil
                                                                                                                                  6 tablespoons fat-free milk
                                                                                                                                  1 teaspoon milk and 1 teaspoon sugar, for brushing top crust

                                                                                                                                  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

                                                                                                                                  Combine the apples, lemon juice, spices, sugar and corn starch in a large bowl, then gently fold in the raspberries.

                                                                                                                                  Whisk the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the oil in a glass measuring cup and add the milk, without stirring. Pour this mixture into the flour and stir briefly, just until combined. Divide the dough in half and form two balls.

                                                                                                                                  Place a 15″ long piece of wax paper on your work surface, putting a few drops of water under the paper to keep it from sliding around. Put one ball on the paper and press it into a 6-inch circle. Top with another piece of wax paper and roll it out with a rolling pin to a 12-inch circle (the edges may extend beyond the top and bottom of the wax paper slightly, but you can loosen it with a knife when you lift the dough.) If your circle is uneven, simply tear off a piece from one part and add it to another – it’s easy to make repairs.

                                                                                                                                  Remove the top sheet and turn the dough over into a 9-inch pie pan, pressing to remove any air pockets. Pour in the filling. Roll out the second disc between fresh wax paper and place it on top of the pie. Fold the top crust under the bottom all the way around, and crimp the edges. Cut some slits in the top, then brush very lightly with milk and sprinkle on a little sugar.

                                                                                                                                  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake about 45-50 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Cool 3 or more hours before serving.

                                                                                                                                  Photos: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

                                                                                                                                  1. With my teenaged Egyptian houseguest retuning tonight, I made a HUGE batch of chocolate cookies, since they seem to inhale them. And because I am soooo bored making them, I decided to try a ginger cookie recipe out of an old Cook's Magazine special 'best recipe' issue. They're pretty good, but I think that I prefer my old-fashoned ones that are made with Crisco and not butter. They are thinner and I like that...

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      My mother-in-law"s molasses spice cookies are made with Crisco and are the best I've ever had. Come to think of it, I should make some soon.
                                                                                                                                      Have a sand cookie recipe from an old family friend that's made with Crisco and cream of tartar - they have the BEST texture and bake up hollow inside (unless you form them around chocolate and roll them in chopped nuts before baking...).
                                                                                                                                      Shortening definitely has its useful place in American baking.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        Want to share the sand cookie recipe when you have a moment?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                            Sorry roxlet, will get to this tonight.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                              Mrs Edith Kosnophal's famous sand cookies, transcribed from her handwritten recipe (with my comments):
                                                                                                                                              "1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 cup Crisco - creamed. Beat in 3 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla. Add 2 cups unsifted flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cream of tartar, dash salt (I use more). Batter will be quite crumbly. Roll into 3/4 in balls, roll in sugar (or nuts). Bake at 350 degrees until brown. Makes about 7 dozen cookies."
                                                                                                                                              A certain waggish individual known to us all said they should be called "Kosnophalitans"!

                                                                                                                                        1. Apple layer cake made like carrot cake, with walnuts in the middle and lightly cinnamony cream cheese frosting.

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              I used Granny Smith apples as they're fairly sturdy... more carrot-like, I guess. I didn't want to end up with apple mush throughout the cake (however tasty mush it might be.) In the future I think I'll probably mix up the varieties, but this was good for a test run. :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                I would think that would be the best variety too, they scarcely break down.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  There's a carrot-apple muffin with pecans in Ottolenghi made with shredded apples (and carrots) that's v. good, so I could see a combo being good in cake, too, instead of a purely carrot cake.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                    That sounds good. I made about a hundred billion carrot cakes to sell at the fish and chips shop I worked at in Berkeley and the experience was so traumatic I have't made one in years. The apple would add zip, definitely.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      I could see how that would be traumatic! I tried this because I wanted something for Rosh Hoshanah that wasn't the usual honey or apple cake. The color isn't quite as appealing as that of a carrot cake ... but it didn't seem to bother anyone but me lol, and even that was only for a few seconds. :-)

                                                                                                                                          1. I made a focaccia-like loaf yesterday, using a bottle of Anchor Steam beer instead of water for extra flavor. Spread with cilantro pesto and sprinkled with green onions, then baked at 425 for 25 minutes. It was heavenly!

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                                                              That focaccia looks beautiful--and so does your Boos; I've been coveting one of those for years.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                Thanks so much! Just got the Boos -- looking forward to many years of use =)

                                                                                                                                              2. re: operagirl

                                                                                                                                                What recipe did you use? I was thinking of making exactly this, a focaccia made with the pesto I make. Tons of basil and mint. Very impressive!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                  Well, I made up the pesto recipe, and the focaccia was a slight variation on the King Arthur Flour recipe for Quick Beer Pizza Dough. I used all 00 pizza flour (a great product by Giusto's, can't recommend them enough!), and omitted the Pizza Dough Flavor (whatever the heck that is) and the baking powder. Just put everything in my breadmaker on the dough setting, then turned the dough out onto a well-floured board and shaped it into a rectangle. Spread with pesto, sprinkled with green onions (patted into the pesto a bit), and baked at 425F for 25 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                  Here's the original KA recipe:

                                                                                                                                                  And here's the Giusto's flour I used:

                                                                                                                                              3. I haven't baked cookies for a while (I bake them, I eat them) but suddenly this afternoon got the urge. Tried for the first time Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops from 'Baking: From My Home to Yours'. Though strictly speaking they were Chocolate Malted Malteser Drops as I used the English variety (I think the chocolate is so much nicer than Whoppers). Nice malty taste, some crunch from the chopped Maltesers, good texture. My teenagers aren't around at the moment so can't report on the kid taste test.

                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                  Malteasers are definitely vastly superiour to Whoppers...I'll have to try that recipe. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: guster4lovers

                                                                                                                                                    I agree though i used up 1.5 bags of my stash that I keep for making Nigella's Malteser cake (and of course that half bag isn't going to last long now it's open). I'll have to find a supplier in the US. The kids highly approved of this cookie - couldn't stop my 17 yo son from eating them. Luckily it doesn't seem to affect his weight at all (oh to have the metabolism of a 17 yo again!).

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                      In case you can't find a supplier in the US, Maltesers are available in Canada.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                        That Malteser cake of Nigella's sounds v v interesting (and yes they are MUCH better than Whoppers) - link to recipe, or possible to post, JaneEYB? Since the texture of the filling is similar it might also be good with my downfall, Crunchies, chopped up I should think.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                          I Googled it and found a few reproductions of the Malteser Cake recipe, though not on Nigella's own site.

                                                                                                                                                          I don't think Cruncies would work as well as the whole premise of the cake is that the flavors replicate a Malteser - malt and chocolate - with Maltesers as decoration on top. Though you would like Nigella's Ice Cream Cake in Nigella Express which has Crunchies in.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                            Aha, thanks! My mother-in-law would love that cake, she's crazy about malt flavor.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Since we're just on the cusp of 200 responses, here we go to part VIII...