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What are you baking these days? Part X [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 )

Buttertart usually starts these ongoing baking threads, but as she is indisposed she has given me her blessing to start this, tenth, version.

We are interested in anything you are baking, sweet or savory. The weather has gone decidedly colder, so I expect that a lot more baking will be done, and a lot more contributions made to this thread.

Get well soon, Buttertart !!!

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  1. It is raining and I'm making My Ginger Cookies from Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy. They smell fabulous -- it's all spicy fall warmth in here -- and as they come out of the oven, they are beautiful. This book rocks! I want to make every single recipe. You get Alice Medrich perfection, many cookies that can be mixed by hand, plus instructions on gluten-free where applicable.

    3 Replies
    1. re: maxie

      Sounds wonderful! My copy should be here soon!

      1. re: roxlet

        I am really looking forward to this book! (And I already have about a million and twenty cookie recipes hanging around.)

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Admittedly having baked only the one recipe, I still think this cookbook is destined to become a classic.

    2. This morning I made my own piecrust (rare, for me). It is piccwicc's recipe I got from here last year, quite easy. I made a pumpkin pie for my sister, it's her favorite. We'll have a slice later with a dab of whipped cream.

      1. i have been making the pumpkin chocolate chip bread from the king arthur flour cookbook. it is moist but not too dense and "wet" textured like so many quickbreads. since i'm sure to have pumpkin left over i plan on making the butternut brioche from wild yeast, found here:


        i made this into dinner rolls a few thanksgivings ago and they were beautiful.

        i am also a little bit in love with the brown butter shortbread bars from the smitten kitchen blog, which were originally made with summer peaches but are perfect with beautiful ripe pears. i am dying to try them made with some poached quince.


        i adore fall! what a gorgeous season for baking! *sigh*

        1. I made gingerbread cookies yesterday from a (gasp! for shame!) mix from Stonewall Kitchen. They were/are very good, nice and buttery with a just-spicy-enough gingerbread flavor. I'll be bringing them to a party, maybe sandwiched with some cream cheese frosting...

          1. I made Nana's creole pecan date bars from Eating Well's award winning cookie contest,. Good but seemed underdone even tho I added another 10 -15 minutes of baking time, Or maybe the raisins, dates pecans and choc chips made for a really moist chewey bar, Anyway they are fast disappearing frm the kitchen counter. :)

            1. As my boy has been begging me to make biscuits with him for days, today I relented and we have baked a lovely batch of ANZAC biscuits. They are cooling as I type and the house smells amazing :) A nice little introduction into baking for him.

              1. Well, since today is Halloween and we are having people over for chili, I made a DEVIL's Food Cake, of course! It's the one from the cover of Nick Malgieri's Modern Baker, and it is somewhat of a different recipe because it uses brown sugar instead of white. With a three ring circus in the kitchen today, I wound up adding too much brown sugar to the butter, so I just went ahead and added a little more butter. I made the meringue/marshmallow frosting that is suggested with it, and it is certainly a very easy and straightforward method: you heat 4 egg whites, one cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup and a large pinch of salt to a mixer bowl, but the bowl over a saucepan with boiling water and stir until the sugar melts and the temp is 130. Then put the bowl on the mixer, and beat until the meringue is cool. Presto. Couldn't have been easier! Thank you buttertart (feel better, buttertart!) for suggesting that my baking library needed some Nick Malgieri. She couldn't have been more right!

                3 Replies
                1. re: roxlet

                  Thanks, roxlet. Glad to hear it, I do love NM. I bet it's good. Can't wait to be back in the baking saddle again.

                2. Made Inas apple crostada for dessert tonight as my fridge is full of the last of the seasons pickings. It was easy to make and tasty, but not sure if I loved it...it cooks rather fast so the apples don't have a lot of time to cook, they had a bit of a bite to them, and I prefer mine much softer. Probably next time I would cook the apples down a bit first, or bake at a lower temp so they get to stay in the oven longer.


                  Next apple dessert Im considering galley girls tart with apples. I've made it with sour cherries and pears, but never with apples.

                  1. Baked Khachapuri - a flatbread stuffed with cheese - for a Georgian wine tasting.
                    I substituted ricotta-mozzarella-muenster cheeses for the suluguni cheese.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Cynsa

                      This looks great!! I was going to make a turkish pogaca but this is quite similar.

                      I'll try it sometime.

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        I have a recipie for this I cut out quite some time ago, one of these days I will get around to making it! It looks delicious!

                      2. This past week:
                        Toodiejane's English toffee (really delicious!)
                        Banana-walnut muffins
                        Challah with a coolbeans way of braiding it: http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute....

                        I got some young ginger, candied it, and turned part of it into:
                        Ginger Crunch (an antipodean biscuit)

                        Ginger buns (make cinnamon buns but swap the cinn for ginger, and threw chopped candied ginger in too. Drizzle with ginger syrup leftover from candying.

                        Lebkuchen baked into individual rounds instead of a big slab. Instead of a sugar coating, I coated them in tempered chocolate.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: stilton

                          how did you like the Lebkuchen from KA? I have it bookmarked to try.

                          1. re: geminigirl

                            I've made it about four times over the years, always baked in individual scoops (#70 disher, 350F for ~12-14 minutes) and chocolate-coated. I add a 1/4 tsp of table salt to counteract all the sweetness. Sometimes I throw in a 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns, ground in a spice grinder.

                            I'm not familiar with authentic German lebkuchen, but I like this recipe a lot, and the people I've given it to liked it too. It's gently spicy and has a good chew, though in the first couple of the days the edges retain a nice crunch.

                            1. re: stilton

                              great thanks, I have made one version and I overbaked it so it was like a rock untill a few days with tuperware and a few slices of bread...then it was perfect:)

                        2. I've been on a doughnut kick so did cake donuts, apple fritter donuts and french cruellers all gluten free.

                          Also for events:
                          1. Brown butter apple pie
                          2. Brown butter custard apple tart
                          3. Flourless chocolate cake with guanavana sauce
                          4. Pumpkin pear bread pudding with dulce de leche pecan sauce
                          5. Almond coconut cake with guava syrup and white chocolate whipped cream frosting (this was really good and I need to make again and post the recipe)
                          6. apple muffins
                          7. Eyeball soup for halloween - super fun
                          8. Butterscotch oatmeal toffee squares

                          Gotta love Halloween week!

                          1. I hope some of you expert bakers might give me some advice.

                            I have come up w/a mix of flours for a variation of Jim Lahey's No-Knead Pane Integrale. For me, it's the perfect taste, and I like the color and crumb. Instead of his flour mix (2 1/4 c bread flour and 3/4 whole wheat), I've made these adjustments: 2 c. BF, 1/2 c. WWF, 1/4 c each of whiteWWF and ground flaxseed. I add 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp yeast (not instant) and 1 1/3 c. cool water.
                            I made this again last night, and while I really like it, I wish I could get a little more height to the loaf (though I realize I might get a less dense crumb). My goal is to be able to be able to slice it for sandwiches that arent' the size of finger sandwiches.
                            Since the flours and the resulting dough is a little heavier than in the original recipe, should I add more water? Should I make any adjustments to the yeast? and, I know this is a dumb question, but would a smaller pot make a difference?
                            I'll be grateful for any advice.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                              IKAF sell something called a whole grain loaf improver used specifically to give whole grain breads more lift.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Thanks, roxlet. i should've known there'd be an app for that!

                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  my guess is that king arthur's whole grain loaf improver is vital wheat gluten, which gives some height to ww loaves. you can get it in any health food store, but use sparingly--a couple of tablespoons should be enough--otherwise you'll get a tennis ball.

                                  for ideas on the amounts, look into the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day website:

                              2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                Ground flax, being full of natural oils can be a bit of a 'downer' in baked breads. That flax might be inhibiting the leavening but as it clearly serves as both the oil and a deliverer of flavour and nutrition in this recipe, I am now sure how or why you could avoid it.

                              3. Made Dorie's Chockablock cookies from Baking: From My Home to Yours. They really are chockabloc with choc chips, pecans, coconut, oats, dried figs and dried apricots. As she says, the cookie dough just barely holds it all together. Took them to a Halloween party where they went down well. I thought the molasses flavor seemed a lot stronger than when I made them before - I checked and realized I'd added blackstrap molasses which she says not to do. Whoops! Still good, but I think better with a milder molasses flavor.

                                1. I made a batch of Dorie Greenspan's Salted Butter Breakups last night. Very good and easy, and I can't stop eating them; after all, they have the three most important food groups: butter, sugar, flour!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. Tomorrow I'll start making chocolate sourdough bread!

                                    1. I'll be off with this at least another week per the doc, so I hope at some time will be able to bake something. Hate to buy bread.

                                      1. For Halloween I baked this 5 layer chocolate pistachio cake. The idea came from last year's issue of Celebrate Halloween. They used cake mixes, but I used a chocolate cake recipe from Gourmet, my family's white cake recipe and adapted the filling and used the ganache from Celebrate Halloween. My first ever very tall cake. LOL

                                        3 Replies
                                            1. re: decolady

                                              Thank you! The kids all loved it and it pretty much disappeared last night. Cake stand is part of the Krinkles line by Dept. 56.

                                            2. Does anyone have a tested and favorite Morning Glory muffin recipe?

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                Hurray! Found my sought after recipe - made them yesterday - and enjoying them with coffee for breakfast today!

                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                  do share! what's a morning glory muffin?

                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    I'd only had them twice (two different years during vacations - they were memorable!) - but also enjoyed them from the freezer on the two occasions that I bought some to take home. They are chock full --- of coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, nuts. I love them - and have been wanting to try to make my own for a long time.

                                                    1. re: smilingal

                                                      Would you mind sharing your recipe, smilingal? I've also only ever had MG muffins on vacation, but loved them--and never could quite remember what all they contained. They *seemed* healthy : )

                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman


                                                        I hope that works for you. Now that I made them, although they were great, i would like to make them a bit less sweet and use more nuts and much coarser than I had them.

                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                          I'd love to know what you think after you make them!

                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                            Thanks for the recipe--and I will post when I do. How much would you cut the sweetness by the way? And I'm wondering about leaving out the pineapple--my husband doesn't like it when I add it to baked goods--wondering how critical it is for moisture?

                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                              they are extremely moist - can be a bit drier - but also I am not sure that the pineapple taste is so pronounced - i am thinking that I might play around a bit and add a little oats, cut the sugar to maybe 1 cup - definitely more nuts!

                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                If it is a moist recipe, substitute additional apples, or some other fresh fruit, instead of the pineapple.

                                                  2. Baking up a storm, lots of yummy stuff.

                                                    Dark chocolate raspberry layer cake
                                                    Cheddary Thyme cougeres
                                                    Apple struddel (cheat using puff pastry)
                                                    Apple Streusel maple french toast
                                                    Key lime bundt cake (courtesy of chow member MMRuth) using key limes on clearance. Drying out the rest for savoury meals.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                      Have you tried using phyllo instead of puff pastry for the strudel?

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        I'm familiar with phyllo for mostly savoury bites but honestly working with it is one of my pet peeves, it's just so tiring.
                                                        I like to use it for baklawa, with a dry nut sugar filling but haven't really thought about apples, I may give it a try.


                                                    2. Continuing to get better at the whole almost-no-knead bread thing. Made a kalamata/rosemary boule last weekend that was to die for! Crusty and delicious.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. Today is the DH's birthday, and he is not a cake eater -- with one exception: coconut cake. So in the oven now is Nick Malgieri's coconut layers from his Perfect Cakes book. The last time I made it, my DH said that it was the best coconut cake I had ever made, so I am making it again. The only beef I have with the recipe, and other Malgieri cake recipes that I have tried, is that he calls for 9" pans, which make, in my opinion, too flat a cake. That was actually my husband's only negative comment last time, so from now on, I am baking all Malgieri's cakes in 8" pans. I did this with the devil's food cake from Modern Baker that I made on Saturday, and I feel that it was the perfect height.

                                                        1. Well after all this glamour, my simple little date squares seem pretty dull...would it help if I told you I enliven them with a good dollop of homemade lemon-marmalade in the date mixture? And then to make them guilt-free, I add a cup of all-bran cereal to the crumb crust. I don't have to tell anyone over 50 why this is a good idea!

                                                          Tomorrow I am making (in my bread machine) a very hearty brown bread with oatmeal porridge added (a regional favourite) that is the traditional go-to base around here for local maple-smoked salmon, sliced onions and cream cheese.

                                                          This will be baking away in the background tomorrow afternoon while my girlfriend and I gossip over the rhubarb-cranberry chutney we are 'putting up' for Christmas pressies.

                                                          15 Replies
                                                          1. re: LJS

                                                            Canadian Maritimes, eh? My mom (SW Ont.) used to make date squares (no fripperies) all the time. They are good.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              You've got it! Once upon a time (last year) I was a big city girl, but now I am a happy convert to small town living...Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

                                                              However, my cuisine mentor, a 'courtesy' aunt who taught me everything I know about courage-in-the-kitchen (and elsewhere) was from SW Ontario and this is her Date Square recipe.

                                                              Around here the square (bar cookie) of choice is a Queen Elizabeth Square. They are sold at the local bakery and appear at all church events: delicious!

                                                              1. re: LJS

                                                                And how are they made? Have never heard of them.
                                                                1st HS BF was from Sydney and am still friends with his sis in HFX but I've never been east of Quebec City, am ashamed to admit.
                                                                Your "auntie" ( a friend of your mom's, right?) teach you how to make...butter tarts?

                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                    Sorry! One of these days. I promise.

                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                    Happy to oblige and share this Maritime treat:

                                                                    Queen Elizabeth Squares

                                                                    1 cup chopped dates
                                                                    1 cup boiling water
                                                                    1 teaspoon baking soda

                                                                    1/4 cup butter or margarine
                                                                    1 cup sugar
                                                                    1 egg, beaten
                                                                    1 1/2 cup flour
                                                                    1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                    1 pinch salt

                                                                    1/2 cup brown sugar
                                                                    2 tbsp butter
                                                                    3 tablespoons half-and-half (or evaporated milk, more traditional here)
                                                                    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
                                                                    1/2 cup flaked, sweetened coconut


                                                                    Heat oven to 350degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.

                                                                    Over medium heat cook dates, boiling water and baking soda for 10-15 mins and set aside to cool.

                                                                    Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg, flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Add cooled date mixture. Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

                                                                    TO PREPARE THE TOPPING: (20-25 minutes into baking time) Boil together brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk/half-and-half for 3 minutes. Stir in nuts and coconut. Quickly spread topping mixture on hot baked cake. Place under broiler until topping is brown and bubbly. Cool well. Cut into squares.

                                                                    Yes, I did learn to make Butter tarts at my Mum's best friend's (my 'aunt's') side and had freason to be grateful I learned well. A few years ago my husband and I taught in Italy and our students, mostly Canadians, missed many things from "home", but butter tarts above all else.

                                                                    I bribed a visiting parent to bring us corn syrup (totally unavailable in our small town in the Abruzzo) and made my class a big batch of this treat. They were thrilled to bits and shared them with their Italian boyfriends and girlfriends...who found them totally over-the-top and inedible because of the sweetness!

                                                                    The recipe I used came from the Toronto Telegram (long defunct newspaper) and my grandmother had cut it out in 1948 with a note on it that at last she could make these again because the butter shortage was over (after the war.)

                                                                    So much history in food!

                                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                                      That reminds me a bit of a bakeshop favourite of my childhood, Dream Cake, but that had a plain icing (on top of nut/coconut cake and jam).
                                                                      Made butter tarts for some French colleagues and they loved them (I can see their being too sweet for most European tastes).
                                                                      Some of my mom's recipes have notations like that - it's so nice to come across them - I recently found a page from the Star Weekly (Christmas ca. 1959 ad for Chip-its) that my mom had kept because it had a recipe for chocolate chip meringue cookies that I loved,

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Buttertart, I have to confess that I don't like buttertarts as I find them too sweet. Do you have a less-sweet recipe where they taste just as good to you?

                                                                        I even made them once and found them too sweet; can't remember the recipe I used.

                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                          You're allowed. My mom's recipe with brown sugar (I posted a couple of years ago) isn't as sweet as some, but they are very sweet by nature. The pastry is supposed to be quite thick and a bit salty, both to hold in the (preferably) pretty runny filling and as counterfoil, like the pastry on Portuguese and Chinese custard tarts.

                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                            If you find them too sweet try making them with brown sugar as buttertart suggests and in a mini cupcake pan; that way there's a more even crust to filling ratio. :)

                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                            There is a bakery in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto called Hot Oven that makes Dream Bars to this day. I think the technique is identical, but they use cherries (and maybe raisins), instead of dates Also, to take them back up to the excruciating level of sweetness (that Europeans and sensible Souschef wisely avoid) they then frost them with 1/2 inch of butter frosting.

                                                                            I, of course, only know just how sweet they are because I heard someone talking about them! (hope my husband doesn't come on this Board and read my lies)

                                                                            The Star Weekly was still in production and competitive to the magazine I worked for when I entered the business in 1978. I have some of their recipes in my stack! They had a full test kitchen and Food Editor back in those days of rich ad dollars.

                                                                              1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                BamiaWruz: why, yes, it is, though I believe there is also a branch at Royal York and Bloor these days, too.

                                                                                1. re: LJS

                                                                                  You guys are making me homesick for T.O.

                                                                  3. re: LJS

                                                                    Not everyone over 50 needs bran. I don't have any problems in that department, to the point that bran upsets my digestive system. So it bugs me when people sneak bran into stuff, thinking I need it.

                                                                  4. After I mopped my kitchen floor the other day, I prepared a dish of a simple apple cake with walnuts on top that looked like a yummy recipe.
                                                                    While I was putting it in the hot oven, I noticed that the rack was at the wrong spot, and backed up to put the pyrex cake pan back on the counter, not noticing that the oven door was coming back up.
                                                                    I'm not sure what I hit the cake pan on, but I dropped the whole thing onto the ceramic tile floor, flat on the bottom of the pan. It exploded into a million shards of glass with goopy cake batter attached to them. They went flying across the entire kitchen.
                                                                    What a waste of a preheated oven!
                                                                    So, back to mopping the floor again, after sweeping, then vacuuming. I still had dinner to make, so I didn't try the cake again that day.
                                                                    I'm thinking I'll make that apple cake today, but I just may make it in a metal pan. ;-)

                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                      Oh, don't you hate it when that happens!!!! I once tried to clean up a spill on the bottom of the stove while baking a (pyrex) cheddar-apple pie. In my enthusiasm, I swept the pie onto the tile floor. What a hot sticky disaster! Biggest challenge? keeping my terrier pup from that appealing looking glassy-appley mess until it was cool enough to clean up...I confess I did not bake apple pie for some time!

                                                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                        I know LJS - that was my initial thoughts for jmc - for me it would be as when I became ill after eating something - it might be a very long time, if ever, that I would attempt to have it again - I give jmc credit for getting right back in the saddle with the apple cake!

                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                          Well, I made the apple cake yesterday, and am I glad I did! I think this was the simplest, easiest and best tasting apple cake I have ever made. The recipe is called German Apple Cake. This is for an 8" square pan.
                                                                          Beat 1 egg with 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
                                                                          Add 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and beat.
                                                                          Add 1 cup self rising flour ( I used White Lily) and 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix well
                                                                          Stir in 2 cups diced peeled apples. Batter will be thick.
                                                                          Scatter pecan halves or walnut pieces on top. (I used pecans -they were killer!)
                                                                          Spread into greased and floured 8" pan.
                                                                          Bake at 350' for about 40 minutes. When cool, dust with confectioner's sugar.

                                                                          LJS, my cat did walk through the mess, of course, but unlike your pup, I didn't have to keep her from licking at it!
                                                                          smiling, thanks for the thumbs up!

                                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                            Oh, that is such a co-incidence: this recipe is exactly the same, with one exception, as my favourite apple cake recipe, an adaptation of The Farm Journal Country Cookbook (1959-p. 361). They call it Nobby Apple Cake and add a 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Here is my secret...don't peel those apples: just refer to it as Rustic Apple Cake and save your breath for playing with the cat!

                                                                            1. re: LJS

                                                                              LJS, I do like your way of doing it! I will definitely try the nutmeg and no-peeling next time.
                                                                              sous, my cake was about 1 3/4" thick. Reminded me of a coffee cake. I used a big crispy green apple from an apple farm in north Georgia, and don't know what it was, as I bagged up some of half a dozen types. Maybe Mutsu - it was similar to a Granny Smith, crisp and tart.

                                                                            2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                              How thick a cake does it make, and what type of apples do you use?

                                                                              1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                thanks for the recipe, DH is very happy :) it's a keeper

                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                  Nice! Love pecans. By the way, Landgraf Farms sells gorgeous ones (not expensive) and they're peanut-free if that's a concern - they only grow pecans and process their own.

                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                    Glad he liked it! Happy hubbies are a good thing!
                                                                                    Your picture makes me want to make another batch.
                                                                                    Got myself a new Calphalon 8" pan to bake it up in.

                                                                                  2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                    I just made this subbing melted butter for the veg. oil (was completely out---usually I substitute in the other direction). I also couldn't find the vanilla extract I just bought (completely vanished), so I added some lemon zest for flavor. I also subbed half a cup of dark brown sugar in place of the white and left my apples unpeeled.

                                                                                    OK, I guess I really didn't follow the recipe very much at all. But this seems hard to screw up. Hopefully it turns out!

                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                      This was really good! I thought the cake turned out a bit thin, though, so I would probably bake it in a narrower pan (I used an 8x8-in.). The melted butter added wonderful flavor, so I'll probably stick with that. I also dusted the pan with granulated sugar instead of flour, which made a nice, crisp exterior.

                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                        Christina, the first attempt with this cake, I used the granulated sugar in the pan, and didn't get to see how that turned out! I'd read about it, and thought it sounded interesting.
                                                                                        Glad you liked it. It's so nice to find a recipe that tasted great - and - is quick and easy!
                                                                                        I wonder if the moisture in the brown sugar made the cake a little flatter? Mine was almost 2" high in the 8 x 8 pan.

                                                                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                          Could be! Mine was maybe a little over an inch high. My baking soda/powder is new, so that probably wasn't the culprit. I'm going to try making the cake in a loaf pan and see what happens. This time I'll use vanilla.

                                                                                    2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                      If I don't have self rising flour then how much Baking powder should I use?

                                                                                      1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                        1 tsp. baking powder or 1/4 tsp. baking soda per each cup of all-purpose flour.

                                                                                        1. re: rjlebed

                                                                                          The recipe called for 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1 cup regular flour. I just happened to have self rising flour in the pantry, too, so I took the easy way out!

                                                                                  3. Last night I made the Very Full Tart from Ottolenghi's new Plenty book, p. 84. Although it's a main course, it IS baking and it IS delicious.

                                                                                    You start out by making and baking an unfilled short pie crust.

                                                                                    You roast a bunch of vegetables (sweet potato, aubergine, zucchini, red and yellow peppers cut into chunks, and slathered with olive oil). Onions sauteed with bay leaves and thyme are added

                                                                                    The vegs then get mixed together along with the onions and some ricotta and feta.

                                                                                    When the pie shell is baked and cooled, the veg mix is put into the baked pie shell. Scatter some feta and ricotta over the pie and push some into the vegs.

                                                                                    You mix some cream (I used half and half and 1% milk instead) along with a beaten egg. Pour this mixture over the veg in the pie shell, pushing some of the mixture into the pie so it doesn’t cover all the vegs. Scatter some thyme on top and bake the whole thing for 35-40 minutes.

                                                                                    This pie is beyond delicious. My son and husband ate 3/4 of it in about 10 minutes. I had been nibbling on the veg and pie dough while making it and only had one medium-sized piece. I think they would have eaten an entire second pie if it had been available.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                      This tart sounds super scrumptious and rich! Sounds like a good make ahead meal (if it lasts that long). A slice of tart and a salad sounds perfect for brunch or after a hard day.

                                                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                        I've intended to make that for the longest time. Good to know it's as good as it looks. Must get busy and do it one of these days. I SUPPOSE you bought your beautiful VEGETABLES at the BOWL, huh???

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          Oh, well, we can currently buy all those vegetables (plus tomatoes and much more) at our local farmers' markets, and they're better than what's at the bowl. Sorry, BT, couldn't help myself [vbg].

                                                                                      2. I've been trying to eat more fiber and also wanted something easy for breakfast on hand, so I made bran muffins using this recipe, which was previously recommended on the boards: http://www.natrel.ca/english/recipes/...

                                                                                        Didn't have blackstrap molasses, so I used regular. I also subbed veg. oil for the melted butter and added a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. The first batch didn't rise much, so I jacked up the heat for the second to give them nice peaked tops. The first muffin I sampled was good but maybe a little overbaked, and it needed more spice to compensate for the missing blackstrap. I will play around with this recipe.

                                                                                        I also added some rehydrated Sunmaid Fruit Bits to the batter. Nice addition. http://www.sunmaid.com/en/products/pr...

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                          Christina, you might also try this recipe, which I liked a lot: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3306... I added cinnamon and a grated apple (which melted into the batter). I recommend filling alternate cups in the muffin pan for the best rise, and I also had enough batter for more than 12, filling 2/3-3/4 full.

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                            Sweet, thank you! I definitely want to perfect a recipe I can make over and over. :)

                                                                                        2. Was feeling a bit perkier last night and made a chicken and leek pie for dinner (sauteed leeks in come of the chicken fat, cubed up the leftover white meat from the chicken we did Sunday, strained the chicken juices, added some white wine and added it to the chicken and leeks, threw in a tsp or so of dark soy and a squirt of fish sauce, thickened it lightly with Wondra flour and topped it with biscuits which came out unusually well this time - 2 c flour, 2 tsp bp, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp bs, whirled in fp, 1/2 c total butter and Crisco added, mixed in, 2/3 c buttermilk added just until it started to come together, kneaded briefly and cut the dough into 16 squares, used some for the pie and baked the others separately at the same time for 17 mins at 400 or so). Was pronounced delicious by himself. Romaine salad and blue cheese dressing with. Posted here and on WFD because it was the first thing I'd baked in a good while.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            Welcome back Buttertart! Glad you're feeling better! I thought that in a vengeful mood your first meal would consist of kidneys ;)

                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                              Anything but! Although it would be poetic justice.
                                                                                              Have started some sablé preparations, M was speaking wistfully about them earlier this week. Might as well make myself useful as well as decorative ;-)

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                Sablés (the Cook's Illustrated recipe with hardcooked egg yolk) turned out very well.

                                                                                          2. Let's see if this will work this time ...

                                                                                            Yesterday I baked almond biscotti and rugellah, both from Dorie. The rugellah had rasp. jam, pecans, dark choc. slivers, and dried cranberries. I think I might be making these for the holidays this year ... a little messy to put together, but very yummy. The biscotti recipe is great--there's a little extra crunch from cornmeal, but the cookies aren't so hard you risk your teeth.

                                                                                            Today I'm thinking of parmesan/cheddar biscotti to go with some soup ... or possibly just some buttermilk biscuits. With the cold rain outside, it's a good day for something warm and comforting.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                              Survey says? Cheddar biscuits ... they were good.

                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                Regular recipe w how much cheddar added? Or special variation?

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  Dorie's basic biscuits (Baking: From My Home to Yours), with about a cup of cheddar cheese. I reduced the salt by half (so only 1/4 tsp) because cheese has salt too.

                                                                                            2. Just baked a pumpkin pie this morning and will be making pumpkin gingerbread with the remainder of the pumpkin puree later on today.

                                                                                              I'd like to get an apple pie made before my northern spies go bad on me. They're refrigerated, but they need to be cooked up.

                                                                                              24 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                Yum yum! I baked a kabocha gingerbread recently. I wonder if our recipes are similar?

                                                                                                1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                  Oh, I've never cooked with kabocha. Can you use it exactly the same as pumpkin?

                                                                                                  My recipe will be up on my blog at some point this weekend. I think it is a pretty standard gingerbread recipe, though I do sub in a little whole wheat flour. Other than that, it's molasses, buttermilk or milk curdled with cider vinegar, spices, butter, egg and brown sugar.

                                                                                                  I often vary the spice mixture.Sometimes I add a dash of black pepper and cardamom. Lately I've been crushing up my cloves and allspice berries and tossing them into everything - apple pies, pumpkin pies etc. :)

                                                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                    the lovely kabocha has an edible skin so don't peel it... I steam it or bake it - substitute it in butternut squash recipes... slice it and fry it in tempura batter, so yes, bake it in pie, too! I'd like to bake your pumpkin gingerbread...

                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                      I'd love to try that pumpkin gingerbread too! Can you post your recipe here?

                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                        Cynsa and rabaja, here you go:

                                                                                                        Pumpkin Gingerbread


                                                                                                        * 1 T cider vinegar
                                                                                                        * 1 cup milk
                                                                                                        * 1¼ cups all purpose flour
                                                                                                        * 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
                                                                                                        * ½ cup dark brown sugar
                                                                                                        * 2 ¼ t baking powder
                                                                                                        * ½ t baking soda
                                                                                                        * ½ t salt
                                                                                                        * 2 t ginger
                                                                                                        * 1 t cinnamon
                                                                                                        * 6 cloves, crushed
                                                                                                        * ¼ t allspice
                                                                                                        * ¼ tsp nutmeg
                                                                                                        * dash of black pepper
                                                                                                        * ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
                                                                                                        * ½ cup dark molasses
                                                                                                        * 1 egg
                                                                                                        * ½ cup pumpkin purée


                                                                                                        1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

                                                                                                        2. Grease and flour an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

                                                                                                        3. Mix together the apple cider vinegar and milk and set aside to let the milk curdle - otherwise you can substitute 1 cup of buttermilk if you have it.

                                                                                                        4. Put the flours, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, salt and spices in a large bowl and whisk well.

                                                                                                        5. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and add to the molasses.

                                                                                                        6. Pour the butter and molasses mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing well.

                                                                                                        7. Add the curdled milk/buttermilk and stir well.

                                                                                                        8. Add the egg and mix until totally combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

                                                                                                        9. Fold in the pumpkin puree and mix well.

                                                                                                        10. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake 45-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

                                                                                                        11. Let cool or serve immediately with whipped cream or ice cream.

                                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                          A note: I like my pumpkin and apple desserts boldly spiced, hence the ubiquitous cloves and lately, allspice, which I crush from whole berries. The dash of black pepper in this really dazzled my tongue. I am also thinking of perhaps using a bit of fresh ginger next time.

                                                                                                            1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                              looks awesome! I'm going to try this.

                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                Enjoy! We've been chowing down on it this week. lol

                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                  Reporting back: I liked this. I wish I had dark molasses, but the regular worked. I subbed AP flour for the WW pastry. My only issue was I had about 2 extra cupfuls of batter. You really bake it in an 8x8?

                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                    I did, yes. Wow, 2 extra cups of batter? That's a lot of excess.

                                                                                                                    My recipe only has 2 1/4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of pumpkin and, between the melted butter, molasses, egg and milk, about 2 cups of fluid.

                                                                                                                    How high is your 8x8 baking dish?

                                                                                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                      Maybe 1 1/2-2in. deep? Or maybe I just mismeasured something. I dunno. Oh well.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                        Next time you're in the mood, get some of the Wilton 3" deep aluminum jobs. I have 3 of the 8" (one loosebottomed) and love them. They're not too expensive and they last forever.

                                                                                                                2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                  Thanks so much, this sounds fantastic.
                                                                                                                  Love the black pepper addition.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                    Thanks, I really liked the hint of black pepper in it. :)

                                                                                                                  2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                    That looks heavenly.
                                                                                                                    I have all the ingredients except WW pastry flour. I have WW flour; I have pastry flour. Do you think I could somehow achieve a WW-ish pastry flour by some combination of those? Would subbing reg. pastry flour for the WWPF work? Or is the WW essential for the recipe? (I want mine to look like yours!)

                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                      Honestly, I think you can probably use WW flour or white whole wheat flour.

                                                                                                                      I just had the WW pastry flour right there in the front of the cabinet and I was dying to try it out. The King Arthur flour gingerbread recipe, upon which I loosely based this one, calls for 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour flour or subbing AP flour.

                                                                                                                      I took a gamble and it paid off. I may use this blend of AP/WWPF in all of my quick breads from now on. l've been doing this for my muffins & cupcakes (carrot cake and pumpkin cupcakes) lately and just loved the texture. I had been using mostly whole wheat flour for them in the past, but found that they got heavy, which is why I thought I'd give the WWPF a try.

                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                        TY! I'm going to give this a try, hopefully tomorrow. Esp. as I have some pumpkin I pureed and froze at Halloween. My husband absolutely adores gingerbread and spice cakes. (And I won't tell him the pumpkin's in there until after he tellls me how much he loves it. But I know he will.)

                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                          In my self-appointed completely unofficial role as chief drum-thumper and promoter of Canadian Living magazine's food section, I'd like to draw you pumpkin fanciers' (who seem to be legion on CH Home Cooking judging from the excitement about Dorie Greenspan's stuffed pumpkin recipe) attention to the below. It sounds good although I am probably the least likely person on earth to make it (pumpkin not being remotely one of my favorite things).

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            Oh my, I just drooled on my keyboard.

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              That looks pretty good. I like pumpkin baked into cakey or bready things or used like squash in risotto, but if I'm going to be eating it plain, as in chunks, I prefer acorn or butternut squash. I hate pumpkin pie--but it's possible, as I've been told many times, that I've never had a good one. And I guess I've never had a good sweet potato pie either, because I hate those--although I love, love, love sweet potatoes.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                Cake maybe, pumpkin pie only to be polite.

                                                                                                                      2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                        I was determined to make this yesterday, but never got around to it, so I hauled myself out of bed early this a.m. and baked it. Hubby got up in such a good mood, wondering what the wonderful smells were. (He's not used to that; I'm not much of a morning cook. Usually yogurt smoothies, fruit, maybe some toast if he's lucky.) He probably initially had a start, thinking he'd forgotten our anniversary or something . . . But no, just me baking BabsW's fabulous pumpkin gingerbread.

                                                                                                                        We loved it, and since we were having it for breakfast, I forewent ice cream or whipped cream (though I know that would be good). Had a little lemon curd on mine.

                                                                                                                        Really excellent. DH had no idea it contained pumpkin and insisted on taking a large piece to work (for his assistant, he says . . .).

                                                                                                                        For the flour mix, I used 1 1/2 c unbleached AP and 3/4 c white WW; my crumb was probably a bit heavier than yours, but, really, it was beautiful. I used buttermilk; I used 1/4 tsp. pepper; I also crushed about 1/4 tsp. cardamom seeds w/the cloves since I have a lot of those right now.

                                                                                                                        When I saw that my 8 x 8 pan was rusty, I used a heavy 9-inch cake pan w/handles (true love handles!). The thing rose beautifully, was perfect after 45 minutes.

                                                                                                                        Thank you, BabsW. I will make this again and again.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                          I'm happy that you all liked it! Doesn't it smell wonderful while it's cooking?

                                                                                                                          The cardamom sounds like a great addition. My daughters are on me to bake another one. lol I might bake one to bring to my mom's for Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                            2. I haven’t had anything yummy chocolate for a while, so I made some plain old toll house cookies with good butter, Callebaut bittersweet chocolate callets, and crushed pecans. Really simple and very satisfying. Had fun using a new commercial food scoop ¾ oz size.

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                If you are looking for something yummy and chocolate, you may want to try Nigella's Chocolate Cloud Cake. And it's so darn easy. TDF!

                                                                                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                      ahh - thanks! And now I am going to google the cake to try it out! :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                        Check out Youtube. Nigella does this cake on a video and it's amazingly easy too. Just amazing.

                                                                                                                      2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                        lol - I thought it was total dietary fiber - to die for, is better :^)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                          Hey, if I could get total dietary fiber from something that tastes like a chocolate cloud, I'd be cool with it!

                                                                                                                          On topic, I baked hermit bars from a Maida Heatter recipe (currently baking COTM), and added a lemon glaze. They turned out a little dry, but have a really nice, mellow molasses spice flavor.

                                                                                                                      3. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                        Sorry, I am kind of a geeky person when it comes to shortened terms on the 'net.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                      Could you describe your squash lasagna. It sounds very interesting.

                                                                                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                        Sure. I cubed and then roasted (s&p, olive oil) butternut squash til tender, with slightly caramelized edges. I layered the squash between sheets of fresh lasagna pasta, with about three layers of squash/bechamel sauce/parmesan and three layers of tomato sauce/bechamel/parmesan. Bake til golden brown on top and bubbling. Pics are up on my blog. :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                          could you please share any more of a specific recipe?

                                                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                            Specifics? Umm, I could try, lol ... I'll come back to this when I get home from work tonight. :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                              thanks - I would greatly appreciate it - I went to your blog but alas... BTW - scrumptious picture!

                                                                                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                Thank you!

                                                                                                                                Here's an approximate recipe. It seems to change every time, yk? lol. This is enough for a very full 9x13 pan of lasagna.

                                                                                                                                1 med. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

                                                                                                                                6 sheets fresh lasagna (or 1 box dried)

                                                                                                                                Bechamel sauce (I make a lot ... but it all seems to get used up)
                                                                                                                                1 stick of butter
                                                                                                                                1/2-3/4 c flour
                                                                                                                                5-6 c warm milk
                                                                                                                                salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                Tomato sauce (I cheated this time and used one large jar of WF brand organic tomato-basil sauce)

                                                                                                                                1 - 1.5 c Parmesan cheese

                                                                                                                                salt, pepper, and olive oil

                                                                                                                                1. Put the cubed squash onto a cookie sheet lined with foil. Toss with salt, pepper and a little olive oil and roast at 400 (425 if you're impatient) til the squash is tender and the edges are lightly browned/caramelized. Remove from the oven and let cool.

                                                                                                                                2. Cook the pasta according to the box or, if using fresh, parboil and rinse in cool water to stop the cooking.

                                                                                                                                3. To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a med. saucepan. Then add the flour and whisk well. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, and then slowly whisk in the milk. Keep stirring til thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                4. Assembling it all:
                                                                                                                                a. Spoon about 1/2 c of tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread it around. This will help keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
                                                                                                                                b. Put down a layer of pasta, trimming it to fit, if nec. (with the sheets of pasta I use, I get about 3/4 of a sheet per layer, and then I combine the shorter pieces for middle layers.)
                                                                                                                                c. Then spoon in 1/2-3/4 c of the bechamel and spread it around. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the butternut squash cubes (or use 1/2 if you don't want to make as many layers.) Sprinkle with a little parmesan
                                                                                                                                d. Add another layer of pasta. Cover with 1/2 c or so of tomato sauce and then more bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.
                                                                                                                                e. Repeat the layers of bechamel/squash and tomato/bechamel twice more (or once each if you're just doing two layers of squash)
                                                                                                                                f. Top with a last layer of pasta and spread a little more bechamel and parmesan on top. (I don't cover this layer completely, so the edges get a little crunchy and the orange bits of squash peek through as it all bakes together.)

                                                                                                                                5. Bake at 350 for 45 min. or so til hot and bubbling. Let sit for 10 min. or so before serving, so you can slice it a bit easier.

                                                                                                                                I hope this makes sense. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                  thanks so much - I will try this - I have never made Bechamel and unfortunately I once had a meat bechamel lasagna and found it too rich to enjoy - but I want to try it with the squash as you suggested.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                    Fwiw btw, I used 1% milk, not whole milk or anything. :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                      ok thanks - we are a FF milk house - I was going to try it with that. Any experience?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                        Oh it'll probably be richer and yummier and all that ... :) But if you're concerned about it being too rich, maybe you could add some water to the FF milk?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                          not sure it makes sense to me - you think that FF milk would yield a richer taste than 1% milk? OHHH - are you thinking full fat as opposed to fat free??

                                                                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                            LOL. I think you're talking about Fat Free and Chocolatechipkt is talking about Full Fat.

                                                                                                                                            Edited to add--I think any will work. For some things, I make bechamel w/chicken stock or onion cooking water. It comes out great w/those, so FatFree milk should be fine too.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                              that's what I am now thinking too! lol

                                                                                                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                Sorry , yes ... wasn't thinking of the other direction (fat free), lol. I think it will work fine either/any way.

                                                                                                                    2. Just baked a 5-strand braided challah from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, with 1/3 white whole wheat flour. I've been using the whole wheat challah recipe from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book, so I'm trying to see if one is tastier than the other.

                                                                                                                      Finishing up Crystal Diamonds, aka Arnhemse meisjes. It's basically sugar barely held together with butter and flour. Omnomnom! Recipe here:

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: stilton

                                                                                                                        I've been meaning to make those Arnheim biscuits for the longest.

                                                                                                                      2. Made Melissa Clark's shortbread cookies, which were so easy and really good. Just whizz everything in the processor then press into an 8" square pan. 5 minutes tops. On her website she lists lots of variations of her basic Rosemary Shortbread Cookies recipe. http://www.melissaclark.net/blog/2006...
                                                                                                                        I made the spice variation, with cinnamon and nutmeg, as I was serving them with Alice Medrich's Banana Ice Cream from 'Pure Dessert'. Another very easy recipe and a great way to use up over-ripe bananas. 2 cups pureed ripe bananas mixed with 1 cup heavy cream, 3 tbl sugar, some vanilla extract and salt. Freeze in ice cream maker.

                                                                                                                        1. It was a rainy morning so I baked a (healthier) sweet potato pie. Substituted the butter in the filling with applesauce, and reduced the amount of sugar. However, it was made with a traditional short crust.

                                                                                                                          1. Yesterday I made a nice, custardy bread pudding w/dried cherries so I coud use up all the stale ciabatta and other bread I had on hand. My husband raved about it so this morning, after my workout, I found justification for having a small serving for breakfast. Heated it and a little of the lemon curd I made yesterday--and, oh, it was pretty good, IIDSSM.

                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                              my lemon curd that I had made a few weeks ago is now thankfully finished - I found it was like peanut butter for me - once I got started.... and I kept going back to it - a little on this, and a little on that, and a little on the plain ole finger!

                                                                                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                Something I've never made ever, lemon curd. One of these days.

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  It's very easy, buttertart! Just stir, stir, stir, or you can cheat and use corn starch...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    Don't know why I haven't really, just one of those things. Have made lemon bars and lemon meringue pies. Himself isn't as crazy about lemon stuff as I am (may be the reason for a certain disinclination on my part since I mostly bake for him).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      yeah - that's what I always say - but it seems that I consume more of it!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                        I don't, really. My vice is candy (eaten at the office).

                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    I have a pretty easy recipe--but it does take 20 or so minutes of whisking. But, as smilingal suggests, it's the crack of the lemon world.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                    I can't be left alone with passionfruit curd in the fridge! I like it even more than lemon curd.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                      I love passionfruit more than almost any fruit flavor. Had a white chocolate passionfruit truffle recently, to die for. Passionfruit/orange juice sustained me through some very nasty flus in Taipei.

                                                                                                                                2. I made a pear tatin tonight ... quick, easy, and very tasty. :)

                                                                                                                                  24 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                    I took a pastry class a couple of years ago and we made a pear tatin with ginger. I've made it a couple of times and it's my favorite dessert. I've flopped at flipping it (last time) and now am afraid to make it again this year, ugh!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                      Ginger ... great addition! I'll have to remember that for next time. :)

                                                                                                                                      You should try again -- it's sooo good!

                                                                                                                                      I made a variation on Dorie Greenspan's tarte tatin, using puff pastry instead of a different pastry dough and pears instead of apples. Her recipe uses 1 stick of butter, 3/4 c sugar, 4-5 apples, and a crust recipe she gives, or she suggests using one sheet of puff pastry rolled out. The pears were on the hard side when I put them in the butter and sugar mixture (pre-caramelization), but they became super juicy along the way. I think I like this with pears even more than with apples.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                        Me, too. And I usually go for a sheet of puff pastry for the crust, esp. when I'm in a hurry.

                                                                                                                                        No matter how often I make this, people always ooh and ah over it, devour it, and think I must be some baker to produce this. And I am, most assuredly, NOT a skilled baker.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                          I took a pastry class in Boston, the pear tartin was fabulous. After you carmelize the pears on the stove and are letting it sit to cool a bit, sprinkle in 2 T. of finely minced ginger. Proceed with your tartin, the ginger is sublime. I served it with Haagan Danz Ginger Ice Cream and it was such a hit.
                                                                                                                                          Oh, BTW, I cheat and use puff pastry when I made it, but I ruined two of them when flipping and don't want to do it again. I developed some sort of fear of burning myself, and my glove-like pot holders feel too bulky. I MUST figure this out. This dessert is too darn good not to have again. :)
                                                                                                                                          Here is a picture of my success, lol!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                          Pear tatin is one of my go-to desserts, and mcel215, I often have had trouble flipping it, even though I always run a flame under it, stove-top, before flipping. Sometimes it works fine, and sometimes the crust ends up on the plate but some or all of the pears stick in the skillet. In the latter case, I just pick them out and put them back on the tart. The finished product never looks any worse for the wear; the caramelly stuff all oozes together.

                                                                                                                                          My main problem is that if I make a larger size in a bigger cast-iron skillet, it's so danged heavy to flip. I have actually been focusing on building arm strength (with weights) so that I don't have to give up making things that require such flipping and other heavy lifting in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                            You know what? I have never ever made a Tatin. (embarassed shrug)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              Probably because you are usually engaged in more ambitious baking projects!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                Not really, I'm not generally a fancy fancy baker - that's souschef's bailiwick.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  Don't know about that, Buttertart; my aim is to be as good as you!

                                                                                                                                                  BTW you had better get cracking. I hear that another baker here may well beat you to the Chocolate Chestnut Cake; she's planning to make it for Thanksgiving.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                Me either. But I have made lemon curd. [bg] I actually really like the butterless one in Medrich's Chocolate and the Art... - very zingy. And it doesn't make a ton, so you could just make and enjoy on toast, and the Mr. could ignore.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    I posted a link for Meyer lemon curd - but I made it with regular lemons - and increased the sugar to 3/4 cup. Fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  Shame on you, Buttertart! (Love to bug you!).

                                                                                                                                                  What type of pears do people use to make the Tatin? I love Bosc, but think they would break up.

                                                                                                                                                  I have seen Tatin pans that were designed specifically so that you can flip the tarte safely. The rim of the pan has two tabs that you hold while doing the flip. I use a large cepper skillet with a long handle. After branding myself a couple of times, I bought a cover that slides over the handle (made from the same material as an oven glove).

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                    I'll look for this pan, or at least the cover for the handle, thanks souschef.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                      wondering if you still have stickage?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                        I have never had "stickage" with Tarte Tatin.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                        I always use Bosc, souschef; never had trouble w/breakage; have had trouble w/stickage. I will look for the pan of which you speak--and add it to my growing wish list.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                          I found the pan on Amazon and ebay, the cheapest is 79.99. It's made by Emile Henry and it looks wonderful, but out of my price range.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                      NMCW - Now THAT"s as good a reason as any to develop those arm muscles! lol
                                                                                                                                                      Buttertart - me neither but it has now gone onto my wish list - I am going to attempt the pear version.
                                                                                                                                                      Does everyone use Dorie Greenspans' recipe?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                        For many years, I've used the recipe in SP New Basics. But, as I said earlier, I often forego making a pastry crust in favor of a frozen (rolled out to size) puff pastry sheet. You basically caramelize butter and sugar with pear quarters or eighths in a skillet; when the caramel is golden, you drape the pastry over the skillet and finish in the oven. And then flip. I did not see a tarte tatin recipe in the new DG book, but I'm sure there's one in one of her books.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                            I heard that segment--while I was running (therefore thinking I deserved some).

                                                                                                                                                            But, wow, am I impressed--look at how easy she makes flipping that LARGISH cast iron skillet look. I'll bet her upper arms are very toned!!!

                                                                                                                                                            This recipe is almost exactly like the one I use--I don't think tatin recipes vary that much--except I usually use pears. Apples are quite good, but I like caramelized pears better.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                              Dorie's recipe is REALLY easy and good. I totally recommend it! Apples ... pears ... use either, but make it. And using puff pastry makes it even easier. I used a nonstick Calphalon skillet and had no problem turning it out this time. A couple pieces of pear moved around, but they're easily popped back into place -- and vanilla ice cream on top helps to hide any imperfections on a slice. Not that anyone cared ... it was devoured in no time flat.

                                                                                                                                                2. Yesterday I made Flo Braker's Crystal Poundcake. Someone on this board suggested the recipe to me (bushwickgirl maybe?), so since I had a tin of almond paste in the pantry, I decided to give it a try. Everything went smoothly, but when I looked in the oven about 5-7 minutes before the end of baking, it seemed as if the cake had shrunk and it was very brown. I took it out, and finished it although I really had no hope of success. It was delicious, and the crystal sugar glaze was a very nice touch,

                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                    Is the recipe around somewhere? You said the magic words: almond paste.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      No, but it is now...
                                                                                                                                                      Crystal Almond Pound Cake from Flo Braker's The Simple Art of Perfect Baking

                                                                                                                                                      81/2 inch tube pan or other decorative pan (I think my standard bundt pan was too large, tho she says it should be a 7-8 cup pan)

                                                                                                                                                      3/4 cup (75 grams) sifted cake flour
                                                                                                                                                      1/2 tsp baking powder
                                                                                                                                                      1/8 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                      (sift these 3 ingredients together)
                                                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon lemon zest
                                                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon orange zest (didn't have an orange, so I omitted this)
                                                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                                                                                                      5 large eggs room temperature
                                                                                                                                                      7 oz almond paste, room temperature
                                                                                                                                                      1 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                      2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
                                                                                                                                                      Grease the pan and set oven to 350

                                                                                                                                                      Put the almond paste in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the flat paddle on a low speed to break up the almond paste. Add the sugar gradually and beat until incorporated. Add the butter tablespoon by tablespoon and continue beating. Scrape the bowl, and increase the speed to medium, beating for 3-4 minutes. Eggs are lightly beaten with 1 tsp of vanilla, and added tablespoon by tablespoon to the mixture. Do this slowly allowing the last bit of eggs to be incorporated before beating in the next tablespoon. Then, continue to cream until the mixture appears fluffy and while. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the zests, then the flour mixture in two additions. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, level the top and bake for between 45-50 minutes or until the sides pull away from the pan and an toothpick comes out clean.

                                                                                                                                                      Put the cake on a rack and prepare the glaze by mixing together 3/4 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of orange juice.
                                                                                                                                                      Invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been set over a piece of foil, and brush on the glaze while the cake is still hot. Allow to cool and for the glaze to harden about 4 hours. Don't freeze this cake or the glaze will liquify.

                                                                                                                                                      I love the photo of Flo Braker on the overleaf. She just looks like a home-ec teacher to me!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                        That sounds fantastic, must try. Thank you very much! There's nothing in it that would lead it to look like a failure when baking, although that's a shall we say distinctive method of mixing a cake.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      I know JoanN has posted that this is her favorite cake.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Like the other bakers, I'm into the mace, cinnamon, and apples--it's just that time of year. I also made some Brer Rabbit molasses cookies last night to give to my CSA farmers--it's the last week--sigh!

                                                                                                                                                      I've also been trying to make pumpkin cookies that have the same texture as those molasses Brer Rabbit cookies--flat, soft, chewy, with crispier rounded edges--but all I get is cakey results.I've tried various iterations with various amounts of leavener to no avail. Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                                      Also, a moist and light pumpkin chiffon cakes from Cook's Country--instead of cream cheese frosting I used a cider, powdered sugar glaze.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Speaking of pumpkin, I also baked a pumpkin cheesecake for my birthday a few months ago. I usually only make this once a year around Thanksgiving, but darnitall, it was my birthday and I wanted cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                        Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake



                                                                                                                                                        * 4 cups gingersnaps
                                                                                                                                                        * 3/4 cup pecans
                                                                                                                                                        * 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                        * 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted


                                                                                                                                                        * 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree - canned or fresh*
                                                                                                                                                        * 3 large eggs
                                                                                                                                                        * 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                        * 2 tablespoons heavy cream
                                                                                                                                                        * 1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                                                                                                        * 1 tablespoon bourbon
                                                                                                                                                        * 1/2 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                        * 1 tablespoon cornstarch
                                                                                                                                                        * 2 teaspoons cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                        * 1 teaspoon ginger powder
                                                                                                                                                        * 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
                                                                                                                                                        * 8 whole cloves, ground to a powder ( 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
                                                                                                                                                        * 6 allspice berries, ground to a powder (1/4 teaspoon allspice power)
                                                                                                                                                        * 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature


                                                                                                                                                        1. Line a 9 inch springform pan with buttered parchment paper. Put an oven rack in the middle position in the oven and preheat to 350°F.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Place gingersnaps and pecans in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is pulverized nicely.

                                                                                                                                                        3. Place the crumb mixture and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and mix together until combined well. It will be dark and moist and stick together nicely. If it is too crumbly and does not stick together, add more melted butter.

                                                                                                                                                        4. Press the crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up the side of pan. You may have extra crumb mixture which you can sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake when serving. Or, you could eat it in great heaping handfuls while the cheesecake bakes. It's up to you.

                                                                                                                                                        5. Whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, cream, vanilla and bourbon in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the spices to the mixture and taste to adjust seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                        6. Add the eggs and mix well.

                                                                                                                                                        7. Stir together the sugar, cornstarch in large mixing bowl. I use the mixing bowl of my stand mixer.

                                                                                                                                                        8. Add the softened cream cheese and beat with the flat beater of an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                        9. Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth, another 3 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                        10. Pour filling into crust, smoothing the top, then put the springform pan on a shallow baking sheet in case the pan leaks.

                                                                                                                                                        11. Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle in the center when you take it out. Don't worry, it will firm up and set as it cools. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                        12. Cool the cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Then, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.


                                                                                                                                                        * I like to make my own pumpkin puree from sugar pumpkins. It is very easy to do:

                                                                                                                                                        * Cut a baking pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and stringy fibers. Then place, cut side down in a baking dish and roast for 45-50 minutes at 400°F. Let the pumpkin cool, and then scrape out the flesh into a food processor, puree and then use as you would canned pumpkin. If the pumpkin is especially watery, I'd strain out the excess water with a cheesecloth.

                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                          is this your own recipie or book? I have a freind who is looking for a pumpkin cheesecake and this looks great, I would love to send to her! thanks

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                            I hesitate to say, "Oh it's MY recipe," because I'm sure I am not the first person to decide to use a gingersnap and pecan crust with a pumpkin cheesecake, but it's the recipe that I have finagled with over the years, making adjustments until I like the texture and taste.

                                                                                                                                                            Share it!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                              the idea is wonderful.
                                                                                                                                                              I have played so many times with pumpkin pies and the innards.
                                                                                                                                                              not so much the crust but the filling.
                                                                                                                                                              my favorite is a pumpkin cheesecake type thing and also including apple pie filling in the original pumpkin pie, so fun to get a bite of something that is not expected in the pie. for me anyway as pumpkin alone is not my favorite pie by any means.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                One year I used the gingersnap-pecan crumb mixture I had left over from making the cheesecake and tossed it in with the pumpkin mixture when I made a pumpkin pie. That bit of crunch and texture was a nice surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                Of course, the pumpkin pie purists in the bunch didn't like it. lol Some people say that there's no need to mess with tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                  I get that often with my family too. Like trying to doll up stuffing one year I added cashews/cranberries/garbanzo beans. I know sounds strange but I loved it, maybe the first two ingreds weren't far off but the "elfs' bu++s" just ticked people off. Stick to the winner and don't the folly of additives they'd tell me.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                    Some people have no sense of culinary adventure!

                                                                                                                                                                    We usually have two types of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. There's the stuff in the can for those who absolutely have to have "the stuff with the lines on it," and then a homemade sauce or relish for the rest of us.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                      I am relieved to hear my family is not the only sticklers for tradition, good or bad. It is so frustrating. So I usually end up doing both what they want--and what I want to try. The amount of food gets kind of ridiculous, but it eventually gets eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                      My brother was well into his thirties before he stopped insisting we have packaged--and only the packaged kind--Brown-n-Serve rolls w/squeeze Parkay. Now he's a foodie. Thank God. But he still doesn't like having his holiday dinners messed with too much. But my mom is the worst for wanting everything to always be exactly the same.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Another Canadian Living recipe for all you cucurbitae fanciers:

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            Is it possible to request that the Mods lock the current thread when we open the next one?

                                                                                                                                                          2. I've made "Better-than-Crack-Brownies" a few times now. They have a layer of brownies, then nuts and Reeses pb cups, then a layer of peanut-butter chocolate rice krispies on top of that.

                                                                                                                                                            If I had time, then next thing I'd make would be a New York crumb cake because I've never had it or been to NY but sounds buttery and wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                              A bakery in Kauai makes something called Killer Bars. They have everything under the kitchen sink but to some, they'd call it over kill. To me, they're "redunkulous"

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                Grace - had to let you know I made "better than crack brownies" last night for the family - and they were to die for. Truly outrageous! My only criticism - and I think it was probably in my baking - I used the Ghiradelli boxed brownies as a shortcut - and made it in a larger pan than called for - so I guess it was a lesser level of brownie - possibly got more well done than it should have - and then this, I am thinking, caused the brownies to separate in layers when cut. BUT THEY WERE TRULY GREAT! I just don't think I would make them for "real" company - just for us pigs!
                                                                                                                                                                Do you find that yours separated in the middle layers?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                  I am glad they liked them. I have to delicately remove them otherwise sometimes they do separate (I figure I get to eat the ugly ones).

                                                                                                                                                                  I have also made them with sunbutter because I have some friends that have peanut allergies.

                                                                                                                                                                  I recently tried to made brownie covered oreos (which looked really good on someone's blog); they were easy but awful. Stick with the better than crack brownies!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                    ah -ha - so I guess it is a fault of the brownie recipe - that you too, were unsuccessful in lifting a nicely cut square - but - none-the-less - reeeeeeeeally great! I have some in the freezer - I love to be able, when I am craving a sweet treat, to find things like this in the freezer to have with a cup of coffee. thanks again for posting the recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                      You ever try cutting them with a bench scraper, straight down stroke? Best technique I've found.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        great suggestion BT - I hope I can remember it for next time! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know if it would help in the case of this recipe, but I have found it much easier to deal with bars of all kinds (especially layered or delicate ones) if I make a parchment paper sling - that is, fold a piece of parchment so it covers the bottom of the pan and extends up the long sides above the top of the pan, then grease the other two sides of the pan and the corners. Once the pan is cooled, cut around the non-papered edges, grab the paper extending above the sides and lift the whole thing out onto a cutting surface. You can cut easily straight to the edges, and you don't need to try and lever the bars out of the pan neatly.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                            I do this when baking almost-no-knead loaves of bread in my pyrex loaf pans, too . . . found out the hard way that it was necessary!

                                                                                                                                                              2. I somehow posted this on the wrong thread, so here is what I am baking today...

                                                                                                                                                                Just put a pan of Nick's Supernatural Brownies in the oven for my son to take to his science class tomorrow. He had brought these brownies to a different class several weeks ago, and I think he gave one to his science teacher, who has been suggesting that I might want to make them again sometime. Since my son is doing very well in the class, I think that it might be possible to have him bring these in without being accused of currying favor. Everyone loves brownies, and these are really the best! Thanks again, buttertart.


                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet - the link doesn't work?!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry. Try this:
                                                                                                                                                                    and if it doesn't work, just go to www.saveur.com and search recipes for Nick's Supernatural Brownies. They are truly fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                      roxlet - thanks for that link - it worked this time - earlier today I saved a recipe for "better than crack" brownies - which called for making a brownie and then continuing - I think I will use this as the initial brownie - probably it will really be tooooo crazy!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. We split some discussion about the logistics of these threads over to Site Talk, where that kind of discussion about the discussion really belongs. You can follow it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/746579

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I am gearing up for Thanksgiving and planning on making 1 or 2 Oatmeal Pies depends on how much filling fits in 1 pie pan but I may use my deep dish pan and use my other standard size pans for the pumpkin pies. I always make the Libby's label recipe as its tradition here. With the bigger can it makes 3 pies so I know I just need pie dough for 4 pies. My dad wants me to make 2 with a box pie dough and the other two including the oatmeal pie will be homemade. I really would like to make a nice homemade roll recipe made like Pioneer Woman's Rosemary rolls. Any ideas on homemade rolls for that recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                      But before Thanksgiving I have a dark chocolate birthday cake to make. I am baking in a 13 x 9 pan and layering it once with a milk chocolate frosting then sculpting it into a Glitter Lamp (similar to a Lava Lamp) because that is what my cousin who has her birthday on the 20th likes to collect lava lamps and her favorite was a blue glitter lamp. I plan to frost in vanilla frosting and take blue sugar decorating crystals and maybe some other type of glittery decorating crystal for the glitter part then tinting the white frosting into silver for the base and the top. I will post pics when done.

                                                                                                                                                                      Then I will have to start gathering nuts like a squirrel for Christmas cookies and figure out what kinds I will be making. Family favorites are Mexican Wedding cookies with walnuts and a folded cream cheese sugar cookie dough over a walnut, sugar, and egg mixture. My dad also love the peanut butter kisses cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. In the last few days I've baked a peach cobbler, chocolate layer cake, rum cake with pecans and a sweet potato praline cheese cake with a cinnamon drizzle & gingersnap crust.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                          Cheryl - I marvel at what you have produced in the last few days - and wonder - who eats all of these goodies?

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Dollinks, if posting new content, mosey on over to the new thread for maximum exposure: