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What are you baking these days? Part XI [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=%22w... -- The Chowhound Team )

Hi all, since we've gone over 200 on part X, here's a new thread. I don't really think the old ones need to be locked, since if you have contributed to them they come up on your feed if someone posts something new, and comments on any former content are always welcome. The old Cookbook of the Month threads remain active and interesting - these might just as well too.
So anyway, what holiday or other delights are you baking these days? Getting into the hot and heavy baking season - let's have some fun. Family recipes to share? (I have some to post). Fruitcake, anybody? (I adore fruitcake). Things using seasonal produce??? Looking forward to it all.

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  1. I'll be making Claudia Fleming's Guinness Stout Ginger Cake for a post-Thanksgiving gathering. I was thinking of pairing it with vanilla & ginger roasted pears and their juices. Having not tasted the cake before I'm unsure if that's a love connection. Does anyone who has tried it have any suggestions?

    7 Replies
    1. re: maxie

      I've made that, and it is one delicious cake!

      1. re: roxlet

        Believe kattyeyes is a devotée too.

      2. re: maxie

        Your pears will be a great paring with the cake, maxie. I have served this cake with homemade pear-vanilla sorbet, and the flavors were very complementary. I suggest you make the cake a day in advance; it's good the day it's made, but better with a bit of age - the spices really come together. It stays moist for days.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Thanks, Caitlin! Now I'm thinking tiny scoops of David Lebovitz's pear caramel ice cream may be the way to go. Good news about the aging -- it will play well into my planning.

          1. re: maxie

            Oh my, pear caramel ice cream would be fabulous with the Guinness Stout Ginger Cake!

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I've made the cake a few times and its yummy. Light and fluffy. I was just thinking it would be great with caramel ice cream. Pear caramel sounds even better! bon app!

              1. re: judyfoodie

                That's funny, I don't think of Fleming's Guinness Stout Ginger Cake as light and fluffy at all; more like moist and a little dense, in a good way - the way I expect gingerbread to be.

      3. I still have leftover pumpkin puree, already sweetened and spiced, only about 1/2 cup, not enough for a pie or the gingerbread I just made, and I am trying to figure out what to do with it in the next day or so or else I'll have to freeze it.

        I was thinking about adding it to pancake batter or perhaps even making pumpkin souffles. Still not sure. I have a vague idea percolating about adding it to some pancake mix and eggs and making something I'd call a Pumpkin Puff in mini muffin pans. I'm also curious about a baked french toast stuffed with the puree. Hmm. Does anyone have great ideas for that little bit of leftover puree? The Yankee in me hates throwing stuff out.

        Also, I have to figure out which cookies I'll be baking this year. I have a few old standbys (thumbprint cookies, snowball cookies, gingersnap-type cookies and butter cookie), but I always enjoy trying out a few new recipes each year.

        For some reason I have three (count 'em, THREE) bags of cranberries in the freezer. I am planning on making a cranberry sauce or relish for Thanksgiving, but I am also leaning toward cranberry bread.

        Finally, I am hankering for a nice loaf of pumpernickel. I have a great recipe for it and might have to bake a loaf this weekend.

        1. I have a whole lotta birthday baking to do in the next couple of days. Today I am starting with a cheesecake, my standard from a 1945 Gourmet recipe. It is extremely elemental -- cream cheese, sour cream, beaten egg whites, vanilla, and it disappears. My son has requested a Red Velvet cake for his actual birthday, which is Sunday, and I am still dithering over recipes. The one in Rose's Heavenly Cakes bakes in either a heart shaped pan or in one 9" pan, so it seems quite small. Sunday I will have 20 people, so the cheesecake is the 2nd cake for Sunday, the Red Velvet being the requested one. But tomorrow night will be a surprise party with 7 of his closest friends, so I have to make a stealth cake for that party. Again, I'm still not sure what I will make, but I am thinking maybe a yellow cake this time since all we ever seem to have is chocolate. While my cheesecake is in the oven, I will peruse my cake books and try to come up with something that's not too interesting for some fairly un-adventurous boys..

          10 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            Love cheesecake with beaten egg whites, the Japanese one is the apotheosis of the type.
            I've never made a red velvet but wouldn't the Rose's HC one be susceptible to doubling the recipe?
            A good friend (gt a gd jb...), also an unadventurous eater, insists on a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for her bday - but these are boys, wouldn't they like a devil's food or something along those lines?

            1. re: buttertart

              At least one of the boys doesn't like chocolate. I know, how is that even possible? So I'm trying to come up with a different solution...

            2. re: roxlet

              roxlet, you might want to look up the thread "Mom-Mom's Red Velvet Cake and Buttercream Frosting" here on the HC board. People seem to really like that poster's recipe.

              1. re: roxlet

                @roxlet or @buttertart

                Mind posting a cheesecake recipe with beaten eggs whites? I've not tried this variety and am intrigued.

                Thanks in advance!

                1. re: bdegregory

                  Here it is:

                  Elemental Cheesecake

                  FOR THE CRUST
                  • 18 pieces zwieback, crushed fine (about 1 cup) or (graham crackers)
                  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits, and softened
                  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (omit for graham crackers
                  FOR THE FILLING
                  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
                  • 2 pounds cream cheese, softened
                  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
                  • A 1-inch length of vanilla bean, minced
                  • 3 large eggs, separated
                  • 1 cup sour cream
                  MAKE THE CRUST:
                  • In a bowl stir together the zwieback, the butter, and the sugar until the mixture is combined well and press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
                  MAKE THE FILLING:
                  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the sugar and the cream cheese until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the flour, a pinch of salt, the vanilla bean, and the egg yolks, beaten lightly, and combine the mixture well. Stir in the sour cream. In a bowl beat the egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks and fold them into the cream cheese mixture gently but thoroughly.
                  • Pour the filling into the prepared pan and run a rubber spatula through the filling in a circle about 1 inch in from the rim to help the cake rise evenly. Bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350° F. oven for 1 hour, turn off the oven, and let the cake stand in the oven for 30 minutes. (The cake will be puffed but will sink as it cools.) Let the cake cool completely, or until it is set, in the pan on a rack. (For a slightly firmer consistency, let the cake cool completely and chill it, covered, overnight.)

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Thank you roxlet! I can't wait to try this. I even have a spare vanilla bean waiting to be used.

                    1. re: bdegregory

                      Enjoy! It's a really great cheesecake!

              2. This question is for Buttertart:
                I am planning to make Medrich's Chestnut Pound Cake again, but this time want to give it a bit more character. Using the optional walnuts certainly will help, but I was also thinking chocolate. As you know, I dislike cakes made with cocoa, so sifting cocoa with the flour is out. I was thinking of melting chocolate with the buttermilk, cooling it, and then using it as in the recipe. Alternately, I could always just finely chop the chocolate and mix it in when I mix the nuts. Or, I could grate the chocolate and mix it in. What would you do, O Wise One?

                13 Replies
                1. re: souschef

                  My child (teasing), I would not put chocolate in this as you know, but if I were to, I would either grate or chop it (or use mini-chips MAYBE). I wouldn't mess with the liquid. How about déchets of marrons glacés i/o walnuts? You could use the Turkish ones in syrup. Must make this again.
                  The chestnut meringues are bery good too.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    a recipe for chestnut meringues, please?

                    1. re: Cynsa

                      It's from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert as is the poundcake. I'll look it up and post this weekend.

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        Chestnut-Walnut meringues, straight from the book: http://books.google.com/books?id=egZW...

                        And Chestnut Pound Cake: http://books.google.com/books?id=egZW...

                        P.S. If the second link doesn't open on the correct page, just click to page 71.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I bow to your infinite wisdom, O Wise One; I will leave out the chocolate. I have not yet started on the marrons, so don't yet have déchets.

                          In the absence of déchets de marrons I have figs in rum, so may try that.

                          Incidentally, there is one post in this thread with a very long link that screws up the entire thread when it is displayed on my iPhone. Any idea how this can be avoided?

                            1. re: souschef

                              Ah go on, you know you want to. How about Cognac and chocolate and déchets in it for a cake version of that bonne bouchée of which chef was it? (a bite of marron glacé, a bite of dark chocolate, and a sip of Cognac).

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Hey, that's a great idea. It was Roger Vergé (now retired) from Le Moulin de Mougins.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Hey Buttertart, on checking my fridge for the figs in rum I found out that they are really in syrup. What I have in rum is chestnuts, so you can guess what's going to be baked come the morning.

                                  I find that the Medrich recipe is a bit too much for one bundt pan, but not enough for two, so I may increase the quantities by 50% and make two.

                                  1. re: souschef

                                    I made it in those 2 little ones I sort of showed in the apple cake photo, filled them nicely. Why not, go for it.

                          1. There are some marvelous recipes that just hit the net on the Olive Magazine (BBC) site, but alot of them call for double cream. I remember double cream from my time in London, but I have no idea what to substitute here in the US. Any suggestions?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mnosyne

                              Hi mnosyne, double cream in England tends to have a butterfat content of 42 to 48% depending on the brand purchased. I live in Canada and am able to purchase Devon Cream (aka Clotted Cream) in some supermarkets and, British or Scottish shops. Depending on the brand, the fat content tends to be in the 45 - 48% range. This would be your best bet if you are able to find it. Good Luck!!

                            2. I am making gluten free pizza. Before you scrunch up your face in horror, hear this -- my better half, the east coast gluten-eating transplant, says that it's completely delish and better than most of the gluten-y crust I can get in town. This week's experiment was gouda, sauteed apples and red onion, and prosciutto, with some fresh chopped rosemary tossed on the top when it came out of the oven. OMG.

                              I preheat the heck out of my pizza stone, and use this crust: http://ruhlman.com/2010/10/carol-blym...

                              1. Just finished making the Birthday Cake from Nick Malgieri's Modern Baker. I used his ganache recipe, which is made with bittersweet chocolate, and it is out of this world. I used the bittersweet pound plus from Trader Joe's, which is terrific. My only beef with the recipe is that it calls for a 9 inch pan, which would make a very flat cake. I baked mine in 8" pans and it is perfect. On to Red Velvet next morning.

                                1. Mom Mom's Red Velvet Cake is in the oven. Searching for a good cream cheese frosting...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    I wound up using a frosting recipe from Nancie McDermott's Southern Cakes book. It is the kind that incorporates a paste made from milk and flour cooked together into butter beaten with granulated sugar. Stir in vanilla and chopped pecans and shredded coconut. Man, is it delicious! I think the cake looks like it came out well too.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      I love that kind of frosting. Sounds great. And guess what - I have that book! Surprised?

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        Roxlet, you used that frosting on Red Velvet? Hmmm now that sounds like an RV worth trying!

                                    2. No-knead bread with 20% whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 recipes, baked uncovered in 2 cake pans at 425 with a pan of water in the oven for 45 mins. Came out very nicely, not as much ovenspring as at higher heat and covered (I'd cover it next time, couldn't be bothered last night), but as good as 90% of any other breads I've made. You do not have to go through all the folderol to make this recipe, it's very forgiving.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Miss Smarty-Pants buttertart, this should bake about 15 mins longer and really should be covered. The bread is good but not great.

                                      2. This is the Prairie Apple Cake - for house guests this morning. It's sliced apples with golden raisins, lemon juice and brandy, melted butter, cake batter... topped with cinnamon and sugar.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                          Cynsa, it looks and sounds yummy, apart from the cinnamon (I don't like cinnamon).

                                          I made scones this morning, using the recipe I posted a while back. I substituted chestnut flour for part of the AP, this time using 1/4 chestnut (ratio per AM's chestnut pound cake) instead of the 1/2 I did before, as my SIL said they were too heavy when I did that. This time they were lighter, and I think I prefer them to the ones with all AP flour. I ate them with butter and home-made apple jelly.

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            will you please link to your scone post?
                                            I'm now on my second batch of madeleines and I'm fostering a fondness for the easy spray silicone molds.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                thank you, :^)
                                                and my house guests thank you, too.
                                                I am baking quick morning recipes...

                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                  Let me know if you need a recipe for crêpes.

                                          2. Marble cake with white chocolate glaze
                                            pecan tassies and something else...can't decide what else.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                              As you can see I was impatient and put the glaze on too soon. It was actually very good and moist. Next time I'll wait for it to cool....:)

                                            2. I was craving a cheese danish and almond-filled croissants so I combined them and made a sort of almond & sweet cheese-filled pastries.

                                              They turned out pretty good, I have to say.

                                              1. my fondant class today coincided with DH's birthday. here's my one layer chocolate cake from class with freehand script - I should practice with templates!

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                  Very nice, Cynsa. Great script.

                                                  I tried making poured fondant once (from a book) but it did not work out. When you keep folding the syrup onto itself it is supposed to turn white at one point, but I'd didn't for me, and I didn't try it again. Any pointers?

                                                  I have no problem making rolled fondant.

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    It's a very nice cake, Cynsa! My freehand piping looks like a maladroit 5 year old's.

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      that looks great Cysna! My experience with the cake decorating class wasn't so successful. I did learn to pipe shells, and make some flowers. Wow getting the icing is harder than I thought. But we did eventually make some decent flowers. I was able to handwrite ok but yours looks so nice. Well then again your cake looks really nice! Our fnal cake ( it was a team effort) was ahem...... a little messy. Tasted good, but inconsistent with our work. I think I need to take the course again...

                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                        the sugar flowers were fun - as novices we're slow and made one flower each - no production line and absolutely no quality control - we had great fun but our flowers would be rejects by pastry chef standards.
                                                        -sugar flowers of fondant; delicate stephanotis flowers and beautiful calla lilies:
                                                        Stephanotis: shape a thimble-sized piece of white fondant into a cone-shape or 'squat carrot' and snip vertical cuts for five petals at the wide end with tiny sharp scissors - flatten the petals with pointed tips for the star-shaped flower, inserting the pastry writing tip or a skewer 1/4" through the flower's center. Set aside to dry.
                                                        Calla Lily: add bright yellow food coloring paste to a small piece of fondant and roll a 1-1/2" piece on a towel to create texture for the stamen - of pencil-thickness. Roll white fondant to a workable 1/8" thinness and cut a teardrop shape. Place the yellow stamen at the wide end of the teardrop about 1/2" from the top edge, folding the wide edge of the teardrop in a collar around the stamen. With a small piece of dark green fondant, wrap and seal the stem end of the Calla Lily. Set aside to dry on a box, allowing the point to drape gracefully off the edge as it dries.

                                                        I'm lol - the teaching assistant paused and asked how I'd finish the writing after 'happy' because I'd obviously NOT planned the spacing : )

                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                          The Cake Bible has detailed instructions on how to make rolled fondant calla lillies. RLB claims that they are very easy to make. I haven't tried it, but doubt that it would be easy for me.

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            I know you could do this. : )

                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                              I doubt it. I'm good with glazes and stuff with symmetry, but anything to do with freehand forgetaboutit!

                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                Beautiful Cynsa!
                                                                I took 3 cake decorating classes at a local craft store, and loved it, especially making flowers. The instructor was great and she was surprisingly hard core strict. I learned a lot...like I needed more muscles if I'm ever going to perfect my basketweave. That was exhausting! :>)
                                                                Stopped short of the fondant class since I don't think I use it. Looks great, but don't like the taste. Does anyone?
                                                                Actually the recipes we used for the non fondant classes were shortening based, which was a turn off, but maybe that's typically of store bought decorated cakes? I haven't practiced my little skills much since then because I don't know any non shortening frosting recipes that are good for decorating. Any suggestions?

                                                            2. re: Cynsa

                                                              Oh thank you! See it's these little tips on how to form the petals, flowers or whatever that make the difference to those of us that are clueless. I wanted to learn so badly, but I think our teacher had to keep the class moving so there wasn't any time for indvidual help or to answer questions. She whipped them up so fast our heads were spinning. I thought it was due to my age, ahem, but my sons finacee who is 23 was also having difficulty catching on so she just made them the way she wanted! I do hope to get better. I'm and excellent seamstress, and some of the tools look mighty familiar... I'll get the hang of it eventually. It's good to know a lot about flowers I've figured out too. Need to deconstruct a few flowers and see what's inside, and to see the intricate lines, and color fading or darkening.

                                                      2. I made up a to-die-for recipe for scones -- they're rich and tender from coconut oil and greek yogurt, studded with diced pear and topped with a chai tea glaze. So good!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: operagirl

                                                          This looks VERY good! Love the combination of flavors too.

                                                          1. re: operagirl

                                                            that sounds incredible! can you post the recipe?

                                                            1. re: mollyomormon

                                                              Sure sure. It is on my blog as well, but I know the CH mods frown on self-promotion in the threads!

                                                              Here ya go:

                                                              Pear Scones with Chai Glaze

                                                              makes 16 scones

                                                              2 1/3 C. baker’s choice unbleached flour (all-purpose flour works too)
                                                              1/4 C. dark brown sugar
                                                              2 tsp. baking powder
                                                              1/2 tsp. baking soda
                                                              1/4 tsp. kosher salt
                                                              1/2 C. coconut oil, chilled
                                                              3/4 C. (6 oz.) Siggi’s vanilla Skyr or nonfat plain Greek yogurt
                                                              1 large egg
                                                              1 medium-sized Bosc pear, peeled and diced into 1/4″ cubes

                                                              1. Measure flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a food processor.

                                                              2. Add the coconut oil to the dry ingredients, cutting into small pieces with a knife.

                                                              3. Pulse the food processor a few times, until the coconut oil is evenly incorporated into the dry ingredients.

                                                              4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and diced pear, whisking until combined.

                                                              5. Pour food processor mixture into the bowl with the yogurt mixture. Use your hands or a pastry blender to incorporate everything until just mixed — you don’t want to over-blend your dough or the scones will be tough! Just mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a large ball.

                                                              6. Divide dough into two even pieces, and place each in the middle of a piece of saran wrap. Pat them into 6″ disks, fold plastic wrap over them to cover, and refrigerate for a half hour.

                                                              7. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

                                                              8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and cut each disk into 8 wedges. Press onto baking sheet, flattening slightly, and bake for 18 minutes, or until lightly browned.

                                                              Chai Glaze

                                                              2 black tea bags, boiling water

                                                              1 C. confectioners sugar
                                                              1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
                                                              1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
                                                              1/4 tsp. ground cloves
                                                              1/4 tsp. ground ginger
                                                              1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

                                                              1. In a mug or small bowl, pour about a cup of boiling water over tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes.

                                                              2. Use a fork to combine the powdered sugar and spices in a small mixing bowl.

                                                              3. Add two tablespoons of the double-strength brewed tea to the bowl, and stir until powdered sugar is completely dissolved.

                                                              4. Drizzle the glaze over warm scones with fork, or dip the tops of scones directly into the glaze. Place on a cooling rack to let glaze harden.

                                                          2. Wow kinda hard to keep up with these threads so I will bring my post that I made yesterday over here.

                                                            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.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: LEsherick2008

                                                              Please do post, that cake sounds very amusing.
                                                              Looking forward to beaucoup Christmas cookie contributions - could we have the cream cheese recipe possibly?
                                                              What do you think, gang? Should we start a Christmas cookie thread say Dec 1?

                                                                  1. re: LEsherick2008

                                                                    I have made the cake but since it was baked in a large pan its thin and I have decided to make another pan of the cake and use that as a second layer. Will post pictures once the cake is done.

                                                                    1. re: Island

                                                                      In the words of one of my favorite singers, Jarvis Cocker, "I'll see what I can do".

                                                                1. My son requested some corn muffin for breakfasts, so I just pulled a panful out of the oven. I really like the recipe from The Best Recipe, which is made with sour cream. I think they always come out really well with just the right amount of lead to lightness ratio. Plus, they are easily made in a couple of bowls with melted butter.

                                                                  Here is a question for all you bakers: do you measure sour cream in a liquid cup measure or a dry cut measure? I usually do the liquid measure, but I had a dry measure on the counter that I had just used for the flour, and I struck it in that. I wonder if it makes any difference since I think of sour cream as a semi solid. If I were measuring crisco, for example, I would use the dry measure...

                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    I do usually use a liquid measure for sour cream or yogurt, but I doubt it makes a difference.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      Me too, and ditto on the making difference. My mom measured everything in liquid measuring cups and my MIL measures everything in dry ones and the stuff they made/make came/comes out just fine.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        My mom still uses a liquid measuring cup for everything. And my grandmother only ever used a coffee cup. I was well along in my cooking before I realized 1 c. liquid and 1 c. dry was different. Duh . . .

                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                          I always wondered what the difference was, and found this at kitchensavvy:

                                                                          "In the U.S., the quantity measured by dry and liquid measured less than a pint are the same. After that, there is a difference. A U.S. pint used for liquid measures is 473 milliliters, where as a dry measure pint is 551 milliliters, which means it is 16.5% larger."

                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                            Aha! Interesting. Thanks, souschef!

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              One thing I should also mention is that dry measures are built that way so you can level them off easily. If you tried to level a dry ingredient in a measuring cup (for those who measure dry ingredients in cups!), you would have to shake the cup, and that would cause settling, and an inaccurate measurement.

                                                                              OTOH, if you tried to measure a liquid in a dry cup you would possibly end up wearing the liquid. Actually, this is not so bad as you can do this carefully over the mixing bowl.

                                                                              Scales for dry anyone?

                                                                              Can anyone explain to me why some recipes specify butter in tablespoons?

                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                Because the commercial butter producers (here anyway) mark the wrappers w/ea. Tablespoon? Or is this a case of which came first?

                                                                            2. re: souschef

                                                                              So, since less than a pint, 1 cup liquid and dry would be the same?

                                                                              I see the potential for much confusion on my part if I try to wrap my head around this. . .

                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                          I, too, go with not being sure if it matters. For me it usually depends on what measuring cup is already dirty, unless the recipe calls for mixing the baking soda with the sour cream, - then I'll use the liquid measure to give it room to grow.

                                                                        3. re: roxlet

                                                                          Anything I have to spoon out like Sour Cream, Yogurt, Crisco, and even oil its just easier to spoon and scrape it out of the dry measuring cup than a big liquid measuring cup.

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            Every recipe I have ever made has called for one full cup of sour cream, so that's the size of the container I buy; I bung in the whole thing. Guess I lead a charmed life :^)

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                A cup is 240 ml. Some recipes call for a cup and some for 250 ml. I buy the stuff in 250ml packages. I don't use a lot of sour cream, so if I bought the stuff at Costco it would go to waste. The same reason I don't buy salmon at Costco.

                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                  What??!!? You disregard the 10 ml? I thought you were an accurate baker! Honestly.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    That's just 4% :). A measuring cup is not that accurate, and I'm not about to buy lab instruments.

                                                                              2. re: souschef

                                                                                Yes, but you don't live with a man who loves to shop at the Restaurant Depot and Costco. No one cup sizes of ANYTHING!

                                                                            1. Pumpkin Scones from King Arthur: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe.... I didn't use the cinnamon chips, which kind of gross me out. I'm in an endless search for an outstanding pumpkin scone recipe - working my way through suggestions on other threads. These get a "good but not outstanding" rating from me - I'd use less ginger next time.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                                i have a very good sweet potato scone recipe. Does that interest you?

                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                  Thanks Chef Chicklet! I pulled yours off of an earlier thread but haven't made it yet. In my most recent baking, I ended up with sweet potato puree with chile in adobo in it (failed attempt at an unrelated side dish) and know it wouldn't be good to inflict that on your careful recipe - it does make surprisingly good scones, however. I'm interested in the fine baker's sugar you specify - what's the baking difference between fine & garden variety sugar?

                                                                              2. Sweet potato biscuits (Dorie's recipe, but with fresh sweet potato, not canned)
                                                                                Banana crunch muffins (a variation on Ina's recipe)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                  What type of flour (protein content) did you use? Also do you know the weight of the potatos and milk you used?

                                                                                2. Developed a recipe for gluten free cranberry cream tart with chocolate crust - could be made easily with gluten as well.

                                                                                  Experimenting with GF pie crusts, and made a brown butter apple pie again.

                                                                                  Pear and blue cheese souffle using fresh seasonal pears.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                    Tantalizer - how about sharing your cranberry tart, it's just the ticket for the holidays.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      Did you see this recipe in today's NY Times? It's called "Butter Pie," but it has cranberries in it and it sounded lovely...

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        Hey, that's like a gigunda butter tart with cranberries in it! It should be good.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          Well, then, you should make it, Ms. Buttertart!

                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            Well crikey, I might just then! I don't remember seeing a cranberry anywhere near a butter tart in my day, maybe they consort now.

                                                                                  2. A discussion is happening over on Site Talk about the thread locking and numbering issue. Does the numbering in Roman numerals bother you? Would you rather have good old regular numerals? Please weigh in there and the majority posting by 11/30 will rule.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      Hi again, no need to get involved, this particular tempest in a teapot has been settled. Roman numerals it is, plus the initiation date. The moderators are planning to mark the old ones as old but not to lock them so discussion can go forward on them. Thanks dears for making this such a fun ride.

                                                                                    2. I will be baking Sweet Potato biscuits and in the next few days a Salted Caramel and Banana Pudding pie.

                                                                                      20 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                        do you have a sweet potato biscuit recipe you love? and if so, what do you love about it?

                                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                          Hey, what are you doing in my brain?? LOL. I made sweet potato biscuits last night and plan to make the salted caramel banana pudding pie for T-giving next week. Did you see that recipe on the Food Network too? Can't think of her name at the moment ...

                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                            It's not letting me edit at the moment, but I meant to add ...

                                                                                            THewat - I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours. I substituted fresh roasted sweet potato instead of canned. Because I didn't have quite 3/4-1 c of mashed sweet potato, I made up the difference with milk. And I used 1 Tbs of brown sugar instead of 2 Tbs ... I didn't want them to be too sweet. They were SO good, if I do say so myself. Too bad they all disappeared so quickly!

                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                              Thanks. Oddly, of the about twenty sweet potato / pumpkin / yam scone & biscuit recipes I'm working my way through, I haven't tried Dorie's. Tonight I'm improvising wildly with some leftover sweet potato that has chile in adobo in it... wish me luck. I'll move Dorie's up on the list. :-)

                                                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                                                Which ones that you've tried do you really like? (I'm looking more biscuit than scone and thinking more southern biscuit).

                                                                                              2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                I tried making the Dorie version over the weekend and the taste was there, but the dough when you add the potatos didn't come together that well and so I may have worked it too much before kneading. The biscuits didn't rise as much as a typical buttermilk biscuit. Suggestions? Maybe substitute some cake flour with the AP KAF that I used? More baking powder?

                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                  Hmm, I don't know. The ones I made turned out pretty well (after being rolled out to about 1/2 inch), and I followed that part of the recipe pretty closely. How much potato did you use? I definitely had less than she called for, and I made up the difference with milk ... maybe having too little, or at least on the lower end of the amount, worked to their advantage? I didn't knead the dough too long, but I definitely did work to bring it together.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                    Well she call for 2 cans but I just used the one big one which equals out to the same. Drained them but when I added them to the dry ingredients it started to clump into pebbles as opposed to forming a dough. I wasn't too sure on her instructions to toss and coat.. or whatever it was. So maybe that didn't help with the working it together before kneading.

                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                      What type of flour (protein content) did you use? Also do you know the weight of the potatoes and milk you used?

                                                                                                2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                  Yes that is what I got it from. I was going to use caramel for a salted caramel peanut and chocolate torte but this came a long and figured I'd test that though I'm cheating with the crust and I needed a way to get rid of bananas beside banana nut bread (so this was new adn sounded delicoius)

                                                                                                  I just got a sweet potato biscuit recipe from a class I took at a gourmet store in my town. I think they said to drain the sweet potato because it may contain extra moisture which may lead to too much moisture int he biscuit.. I'll have to go and double check, but I trust dorie too. That I'll be making Challah per a request.

                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                    I've started the banana pie, but the caramel didn't turn out the best based on her instructions. First the sugar didn't dissolve it just sorta sat at the bottom of the water. In any case the end result has some graininess to it which may only take some warming up and stirring to dissolve I hope.

                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                      Finished the banana pie.. not sure if it is because I used a store bought crust or what but when layering the pie it overflowed all over the place.. (when I put on the 2nd pudding layer). Oh well I had to put a plate under it. I guess that will teach me. Will try again and may go less on the salt next time around.

                                                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                        How did it taste? I was already thinking of starting out low on the salt ... her amount seemed like a lot, and I know my family isn't into super salty.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                          I'll tell you tomorrow as I'll probably have a piece tonight. Though the caramel was very runny.

                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                            It tastes good but the caramel didn't stand out much.. may need to make it a darker color.

                                                                                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                              Thanks for reporting back! I made the caramel yesterday -- I'm always wary of letting it go too far, but it's a fairly deep color, I think.

                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                My question to you is this.. How did you get the sugar to dissolve in water? On low heat with no stirring, it just kinda sat at the bottom. The pie came together, but the caramel was no where to be found in the flavor profile for me so drizzling definitely helps.. This is almost like a bonoffee pie with caramel instead of toffee.

                                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                  When making caramel I do stir it on low heat till it dissolves. Then I raise the heat and leave it alone until it forms caramel. I may swirl the pan around if the caramel is forming unevenly.

                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                    maybe thats where her instructions were confusing though I think Dorie's states the same thing in the back of Baking ..

                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                      I made this pie as one of our Thanksgiving desserts, and it was a big hit. I think some were a little suspicious at first lol, but even the non-pudding person loved the taste. I cut back on the salt by about 25% but otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely. I made it in a tart pan, as I'd used the two pie plates for other pans, though the walls of a pie plate would hold it all in better together, IMO.

                                                                                                  2. Inspired by some lovely, plump raisins I purchased at a Niagara winery that recently started making them from their own grapes, I decided to bake some oatmeal raisin cookies. These raisins are larger than most I've seen here and really worked well in the recipe by complimenting the chewy texture.

                                                                                                    Also, thought I'd do a test run of a breakfast bread I'm considering for the holidays and made the Banana Gingerbread from Sheila Lukins' "U.S.A. cookbook. I have to say that based on the wonderful aroma it produces while baking, I may just make it to make the house smell festive even if it doesn't taste good,!! We'll give it a taste test tomorrow!

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                        Very nice. Those raisins sound very good, do they sell online? We used to get big raisins (Muscats) with seeds in them at Christmastime for the pudding, tasted great but were a chore to seed.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          Thanks buttertart. Those raisins came from Reif Winery and evidently they are the first winery in the region to produce their own raisins. Unfortunately I didn't try them until we came home and, to answer your question, no, they don't sell via the www. That's a real shame because to your point, they're seedless in addition to being delicious! I'm on their mailing list though so if things ever change, I'll let you know.

                                                                                                    1. I made Alice Medrich's chestnut pound cake, but adding chocolate and chestnuts in rum. I guess I didn't add enough chocolate (90 gm), and I had only 67 gm of chestnuts; you could not taste the chocolate or chestnuts separately. I used the rum in which the chestnuts were soaking, and it added a nice taste. Bottom line - it was better than the plain cake.

                                                                                                      I increased the ingredients by 50%, and it filled my two bundt pans nicely.

                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                        I made that with the Chinese cooked chestnuts i'm always on about and it was wonderful if a bit austere. Going to try a tarted-up version soon, maybe even put chocolate in it!

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          I'm the only one in my family who likes chestnuts. Growing up, roasted chestnuts were part of the dessert of every holiday meal, with little piles of shells littering the white linen tablecloths. Now, we roast them for every holiday to humor me, but they somehow always get forgotten. I made my son try maron glace in Belgium last October, and he didn't much care for them that way either.

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            There is something wrong with people who don't like chestnuts. KIDDING! We're both fiends for them. Marrons glacés are my favorite confection in the world.

                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            I suggest that you buy some of those Chinese chestnuts and throw them into a jar of rum. When you're ready to bake the cake you use both the chestnuts and the rum.

                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                              A baker to whom I gave a piece of the cake loved it and said that it tasted very Christmassy.

                                                                                                              BTW the chocolate I used was the Buttertart house brand - TJ's Pound Plus Dark.

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                I just used that chocolate in a ganache frosting, and it came out really well. It was nice to have a not-so-sweet frosting, and this chocolate added a very nice bitter edge.

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Good stuff, and cheap! Amazingly so for the quality.

                                                                                                                2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                  "Buttertart's house brand". Funny. Didn't know that, and didn't know it existed until I saw it mentioned in these threads.
                                                                                                                  I've made this chocolate cheesecake as written, but last time tried it with the less expensive TJ Dark and it was still delish. So thanks for cluing me in; it's my go to now.


                                                                                                              2. this week: sticky toffee pudding (from the leite's culinaria website), schiacciata l'uvo from wild yeast blog, sourdough pizza dough from the cheese board collective book, and maida heatter's sour cream coffee cake with caramelized apples.

                                                                                                                i also made some killer kouign amann a couple days ago. i used a standard croissant recipe, rolled out the last two turns on sugar, then dredged each 4x4 inch square in sugar before baking. pinch the corners to the middle, then pinch them again. it looks weird but as they bake they unfold into little round golden circles that look like flowers. delicious buttery crunchy sweet flowers....

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. I made BabsW's pumpkin gingerbread (WAYBTD? Part X) this morning, and I highly recommend it. DH especially recommends it as he is the true spice cake/bread fiend (though he claims to hate all squashes).
                                                                                                                  Just pulled two no-knead ciabatta loaves out of the oven, and since the kichen and I were already covered in flour, I went ahead and made a batch of buttertart's favorite "Canadian Living" FP puff pastry (seemed easy enough to throw together, but it's going into the freezer so I won't know if I really succeeded until I use it. Fingers crossed).

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                      How did the puff pastry work out for you - I don't recall seeing anything further about it?

                                                                                                                    2. Made the Alice Medrich via Smitten Kitchen cocoa powder brownies yesterday. Finally found a brownie recipe I love! Only took ten years of baking.

                                                                                                                      1. Every fall/winter I pick out one catagory of item to bake as a sort of 'quest for the best.' Last year it was chocolate cake, this year I've decided to do biscotti. I got started today with a simple Anise-Lemon variety, no butter, and I'm crunching on one as we speak. The lemon flavor was quite evident after the first baking, but faded to subtle after the drying bake and seemingly enhanced the anise.

                                                                                                                        I have a number of recipes/flavors lined up to try, but if one of you have a something really different/unique recipe or idea, pass it along, or if you want a recipe tested before you make it, I'll be glad to accept the task. You can email me recipes @ my profile addy if you wish.

                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                          BWG, a while ago I posted a recipe for chocolate pistachio almond biscotti that contains almond paste in the batter. I have made it many times, and really like it.

                                                                                                                          I wonder if buttertart has made it.............. Yet!


                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                            Not yet, still haven't laid hands on almond paste (recently). They do sound good - but I'm not the world's biggest biscotti fan.
                                                                                                                            bwg - there are a lot of biscotti recipes in Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Cookies (came out 1996? or so) and the new Saveur has a collection of Nick M's cookies in it, one of which is a biscotti baked in a jelly-roll pan and then cut up (not formed into logs). It sounds good, anise-y. Will make it if I can wrest the bottle of pastis out of M's hands (we never have anisette in the house but always have Pernod or its ilk, or ouzo).

                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                              Sous, I have yours now, thanks. I seem to recall reading the post, as I remember the comment about the Italian woman dipping her biscotti in whiskey...I promise I won't.

                                                                                                                              Bt, I have that book, or an older version, I'll check through it. I know I've seen the biscotti recipes in it but the idea for this project came to me today, so it's a whole new world opening up.

                                                                                                                              I want savory ideas as well, herbs, spices, oils, stuff like that.

                                                                                                                            2. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                              We ask that posters not request that chow-oriented information be emailed to them by other posters; an email benefits one hound, but posting information benefits the whole pack, which is the point of Chowhound.

                                                                                                                              We do ask that posters familiarize themselves with our Guidelines for Posting Recipes.

                                                                                                                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                Oh, thanks guys, not my intention to keep recipes to myself. I'll be sure to share.

                                                                                                                              2. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                One I love (and so have people I've given them to) is this Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Ginger Biscotti, which has a great combination of flavors. (I skip the white chocolate drizzle, not being a fan of white chocolate.)


                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                  Thank you, Caitlin, that's a good one, love that touch of ginger. I bookmarked it and I'll skip the white chocolate drizzle as well, not my fav either.

                                                                                                                              3. Here I go again, this is the time of year I scour chowhound, the internet and my precious library of books and magazines for candy, and dessert recipes. I tend to lean toward baked items since I dearly want to become a good baker.

                                                                                                                                This week I found an article by Dorie Greenspan called When French Women Bake... I am searching and searching and would dearly would love to stumble on a recipe for French Apple Pie, not just any but my mom's. Anyway. I found something else I'd like to try, Far Breton.

                                                                                                                                What a gorgeous looking breakfasty/dessert this looks like. A custardy (not a clafouti which I love) but denser she says, and with brandy soaked raisins (that's my kinda breakfast!) and prunes. I love prunes! They're so under appreciated, I love those things! Anyway this is at the top of baking list. Following will be a beautiful pear and almond tart, my oh my does that look good.

                                                                                                                                Although the article and recipes were written 2005 I like the way she writes very much. Her recipes look so good they make me want to run to the kitchen and try them. I had such bad luck with the World Peace Cookies, afterward I didn't know what to think. Perhaps I should hold off in saying this untill I bake a couple more of her things, but after reading this article I really want her cookbooks now.

                                                                                                                                All you Dorie Greenspan followers do you swear by her recipes?


                                                                                                                                Here is a photo from a flickr member using her recipe. I definitely want to make this for the holidays, it looks sooooo good~

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                  I find her French baking recipes to be very reliable - the best book is Paris Sweets as far as I'm concerned. (Far Breton - have never made it, the most memorable time I ate it was at a little restaurant on the main street in Giverny, after visiting the gardens at the end of May one year - wisteria - my favorite flower - everywhere.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    Love wisteria too (what a surprise!) and we have one we are trying to train to be a tree. But I have never been to Giverny, and never have eaten Far Breton. It seems I have some definite holes in my French baking tasting/repertory. First canele, and now Far Breton!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      The museum has an arbor leading up to it about 10' long completely covered in white wisteria that smells like heaven. I have a gardener friend on the hunt for a white plant for the back yard. The Japanese bridge is covered in it. Unbelievably beautiful. There are also bearded iris that smell like apricots. You must go.
                                                                                                                                      Far Breton is delicious - I love prunes too - have never made one though - and i have never eaten a good canelé or attempted to make one, yet.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        I'm going to make one for the dessert table for Thanksgiving, if no one else eats it, it'll be just more for me. I think it looks quite a bit like clafout which is one of my favorite desserts.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Thank you buttertart I value your opinion soooo much, I will definitely try to find it, and add it to my collection. I have no idea why I didn't check into her sooner, I see the posts. Slow I guess~

                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                        Thank you! I live to serve. That really is a great book.

                                                                                                                                  2. Just now made a sablé that you are to break apart from the new Dorie Greenspan book - I cut it warm, breaking things apart would not be enjoyed by the primary baked-goods eater in residence - and a new-to-me square from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies from the 1970's - Viennese Chocolate-Walnut Bars - a dark brown sugar pastry base baked 10 mins at 375, topped with 1/4 c apricot preserves, a layer of finely-chopped walnuts with more dark brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa, a bit of salt (did both the pastry and the filling in the FP) baked on top for 25 mins, to be let cool and topped with an icing of bittersweet chocolate, corn syrup, rum, water, and walnuts. Sounded very appealing and smells great. Have had this book forever, not sure why I never made it - maybe because the ingrerdients were expensive on a student budget.

                                                                                                                                    1. I made a lovely carrot cake today, trying to get ahead of the game for Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, one layer refused come out of the pan without a fight, and it's now being enjoyed as cake crumbles tonight. I'll make another tomorrow night--and hopefully we won't all be sick of it later in the week. The second layer from today is mostly fine, so I'll just have an extra tall cake lol. I'm also going to make cranberry streusel shortbread tomorrow, for a dinner party we're having on Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                        Could you please share your recipe for the shortbread? That sounds very good. Thanks in adv.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                          Here you go. I haven't made this before, though it's similar to a recipe for Hungarian shortbread (in Baking with Julia) that I love.


                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              Just btw? These are very tasty. I made them this afternoon, and we all (kids and adults) really enjoyed them for dessert.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                              These look great, thanks! I have extra cranberries sauce, left over, I think I can get away with it for the filling. Only thing different, is that I cooked the cranberries in water with about 1/4 cup grand marnier, orange juice and a little zest. And I also drained the syrup off to use for a Tyler Florence recipe. He used the juice for cranberry kir royales. I love getting double duty out of my food!

                                                                                                                                        2. I finally, finally finally made the brown-butter spoon cookies from Gourmet. And they were delicious both sandwiched with strawberry jam and dulce de leche (my interpretation.) And we ate them. All. And I'm now afraid to make more because I'm concerned they'll go the way of my annual holiday buckeyes, which is....straight into me/us.

                                                                                                                                          1. I have a cranberry swirl cheesecake in the oven for tomorrow (it's beautiful!). I haven't tried it yet, but I couldn't fit all the batter into the pan and ended up eating all the extra. It turns out that cheesecake batter makes a delicious dinner! Although I'm slightly regretting it now.

                                                                                                                                            1. The cake turned out well but the cut sides started falling off when applying icing. I patched things up and covered in glitter sprinkles. I did take pictures but my SD Card first off did not show anything of what took and now the SD card does not show up at all when opening up my computer and its usually right below C drive and D drive. If it shows up I will post the pics. I am making my 1 pumpkin pie and a oatmeal pie that I ended up making 1 1/2 of the recipe since I have a big deep dish pie pan.

                                                                                                                                              1. having tea with my Indian neighbor this morning and will take the vegan gingerbread that is now baking in the oven

                                                                                                                                                1. Golden pecan pie for dessert tonight from Marion Cunningham's Fannie Farmer Baking Book with twice the amount of pecans and a tb of white vinegar - the vinegar a tip from a recipe in my mother's handwriting to which the book fell open, for a pecan pie with not terribly many pecans, raisins, and coconut (gaah - but pecans were very expensive in Canada, after all). Made the CI foolproof vodka crust exactly following the recipe (other times had put all the flour in at the first, I'm ashamed to say) and it handled beautifully and looks as if it baked up well this time - I still had to add an additional capful of vodka to get it to come together.

                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    On first read, I thought you said you'd added another "cupful" of vodka!!! I'm thinking, wow, what a pie!!

                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps the cost of pecans had something to do w how the original "buttertart" was born here in the north!

                                                                                                                                                    Your pie sounds scrumptious.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you! I think the butter tart may have preceded anybody in Upper Canada knowing about pecans, they not growing much of anywhere than the US south. This "buttertart" was born in London, Ont., to a fabulous pie and butter tart baker, whose pastry I have yet to live up to.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        As a Western grad, I have a soft spot for London. As Canadians, I think the love of buttertarts is in our blood though!

                                                                                                                                                        Not sure if you're familiar w the "Edible" community magazines but the current edition of "Edible Toronto" has an article that immediately came to mind when I read your post. Here it is in case it's of interest:


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for pointing me to that, it's lovely. Sniff sniff. I do think lard is the secret, my mother never used anything else (the recipe on the Tenderflake package, tweaked a bit). She also mixed the lard into the flour with her (always cold) hands. I use the food processor. (2 years UofT, met American-born American graduate school-bound husband the first day I got there, UC Berkeley grad.)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            Glad you enjoyed the article. I only use Tenderflake for my pastry and after a "hands-on" pastry class w a pastry chef from Dufflet's, still prefer my Cuisinart but now feel guilty using it! Arrgghh.

                                                                                                                                                            I too didi 2 yrs @ UofT.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I am cooking in my sister-in-law's kitchen in San Diego, and I have to say that her ovens are a real challenge. They're tiny, and they have heat coils on top. One of them is a convection/microwave oven, and it is impossible to turn the convection off. None the less, I made one apple, one pecan and two pumpkin pies.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      roxlet your pies look scrumptious, I'll have a slice of the pecan please!

                                                                                                                                                      Now, about those ovens...I might have felt bad about that but you're in SAN DIEGO and, its just soooo beautiful there (and its grey, freezing, and raining here!)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                        (Mine looks like roxlet's except messy. But gooood, even for breakfast. And I finally made a piecrust I'm happy with, oh frabjous day - now to try it with lard.)

                                                                                                                                                    2. Here is one of my pumpkin pies the before and after baking, then their is my Oatmeal pie.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LEsherick2008

                                                                                                                                                        How do you make the oatmeal one? It's unusual, did you come across it on your own or is it a family tradition?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                          Yes my grandmother always made a oatmeal pie for big dinners. This one was a recipe I found on Allrecipes it is very similar if not the same as the recipe she used that was handwritten and placed in between two pages in a older local church style cookbook. It might still be at her place somewhere but I will have to probably search her attic bedrooms for it.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Yesterday's baking ... baked french toast (essentially bread pudding for breakfast), and then for dessert last night (and luckily we had a much bigger group for dessert than originally planned):
                                                                                                                                                        Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
                                                                                                                                                        Pumpkin chiffon pie
                                                                                                                                                        Cheddar-apple pie
                                                                                                                                                        Salted caramel banana pudding tart

                                                                                                                                                        1. Bread by hand...no machines, just a bowl and a wooden spoon for the dough.

                                                                                                                                                          1. A minor emergency kept my mom from baking all her pies (usually pecan, pumpkin, and mince) on Wednesday for T-Day, so I made two on Thursday morning--lemon-buttermilk pie and lemon pecan--and they both came out great. The buttermilk is an old (and reliable) standby, much better imho than pumpkin, which I've never liked. I also don't like pecan pie much--too sweet--but my husband remembered I'd made a lemon pecan several years ago, which wasn't nearly as sweet. (In case you can't tell, I love lemon.) Well, the lemon pecan was a huge hit. Even Mom said she liked it better than her own pecan pies and wondered why I didn't make it every year. I also made one and sent it to a friend's, and her BIL texted me from Texas last night to say it was the best pecan pie he'd ever had. I've decided this may be the pecan pie for pecan pie haters.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm about to put a N-K (WWblend) loaf in the oven, for our turkey sandwiches. And I've got out my CI and, inspired by buttertart's recent success, I'm finally going to give the vodka pie crust a go (b/c we really need more pie around here).

                                                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                              Seriously want the lemon buttemilk and lemon pecan pie recipes, nmcw! I love lemon too. Also love pecan pie, we're 3/4 done with the one I made and it's only the two of us eating...last night had some with some very nice vanilla ice cream from our local homemade ice cream place, never liked ice cream and pie together really but this was fantastic. Again - if you're looking for a pecan purveyor I can't recommend Landgraf Farms (in OK) highly enough, they only produce pecans and their nuts are big and superb.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                Buttertart, the last part of your last sentence had me in stitches :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                  Oooooooooooooooops! PECAN nuts!
                                                                                                                                                                  Finally tracked down some almond paste, what's my first order of business in using it?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    I suggest that you make the kugelhupf from The Chocolate Bible.

                                                                                                                                                                    Even though you don't like biscotti, I suggest that after that you make the biscotti from the Chocolatier recipe I posted. You may well change your mind about biscotti.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                      Aye aye, sir. I was looking around and couldn't find the recipes which I KNOW you posted, could you take pity on me and send the links to them? Thanks a million.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        Almond Pistachio Biscotti
                                                                                                                                                                        3 oz semisweet chocolate
7.5 oz all-purpose flour
4 oz sugar
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 oz almond paste
1.5 oz cold unsalted butter, in small cubes
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp "good vanilla" (for Ina enthusiasts)
5 oz slivered almonds
5 oz shelled pistachios
                                                                                                                                                                        toast almonds for 10-15 minutes at 325°F till they begin to colour. Transfer to another pan to stop the cooking; cool completely. Heat oven to 350°F.
                                                                                                                                                                        Finely chop chocolate, with a knife, not a food processor.
                                                                                                                                                                        Put flour, sugar, baking powder,and salt into a food processor. Using the metal blade pulse it till blended. Add almond paste and butter, pulse to coarse crumbs. Transfer mixture to large bowl, add chocolate, nuts - stir to combine.
                                                                                                                                                                        Beat the eggs with fork to blend. Set aside 2 tsp for a wash. Add vanilla to the egg, stir.
                                                                                                                                                                        Make a well in the center of the flour/nut mixture - pour in egg. Stir with a rubber spatula till the mixture clumps together. Form into a ball.
                                                                                                                                                                        Transfer dough to lightly-floured surface; shape disk; cut 4 wedges.
                                                                                                                                                                        Gently roll each quarter into a 12" log. Transfer logs to parchment-covered sheet, 2" apart (they spread). Flatten to 1-1/4". Note: I find that this makes biscotti that are too small, so I make three logs instead. Lightly brush with the egg wash.
                                                                                                                                                                        Bake in the center of oven for 25 --35 minutes, till they begin to brown and bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger. Cool sheet on rack for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
                                                                                                                                                                        With a finely-serrated knife cut logs into 1/2" diagonal slices. Place standing up on cookie sheet, 1/2" apart. Bake 15-25 minutes till they are dry and the sides begin to color slightly. Remove and cool.

                                                                                                                                                                        Chocolatier, October 1993, modified a bit by souschef

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Cynsa.

                                                                                                                                                                          Buttertart here's the permalink to the other recipe:


                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                              When you make the biscotti, depending upon how hard your almond paste is you may get coarse crumbs or a smooth paste; either works fine. I used to get crumbs until I used the Dean and Deluca pistachio/almond paste, when I got a paste (it was really soft).

                                                                                                                                                                              I decided to use a food processor as I just could not do what the recipe stated, i.e. work the butter and almond paste with a wooden spoon. Try doing that with almond paste that's not soft !

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                I can imagine! I got the Odense stuff in the tubes, think it's pretty soft.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  OK, here you are.
                                                                                                                                                                  The lemon buttermilk recipe is based on an old Martha Stewart recipe; I've tweaked it over the years. I love it w/fresh berries. (BTW, just made a fresh one--leftover buttermilk, you know--using the vodka crust; can't wait to test the results.)
                                                                                                                                                                  The original recipe for the lemon pecan pie came from a Bert Greene book, which suggested a cornmeal pie crust. While it was good, I quit bothering with it (mostly b/c DH prefers a "regular" crust). A friend just gave me a pound of black walnuts, so I think I'm going to substitute those for the pecans in the next pie. I recall lemon and black walnuts being a particularly felicitous combination.

                                                                                                                                                                  Lemon Buttermilk Pie

                                                                                                                                                                  well-chilled 9-inch pie crust (I freeze it until I’m ready to fill it)


                                                                                                                                                                  1 ¼ c. sugar
                                                                                                                                                                  3 T flour
                                                                                                                                                                  4 lg. eggs, beaten
                                                                                                                                                                  ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
                                                                                                                                                                  1 ¼ c. buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                                  1 T lemon zest
                                                                                                                                                                  1 T lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp. vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                  Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

                                                                                                                                                                  Preheat oven to 425F.

                                                                                                                                                                  Whisk sugar and flour in lg. bowl. Add eggs, and mix well. Stir in butter, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and nutmeg. Pour into pie shell. Place in center of oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350. Bake another 35-40 minutes, until filling is set. (The middle will be slightly wobbly, and some melted butter may have pooled there; it will settle into the cooling pie.) Remove from oven; cool on rack. Serve at room temp.


                                                                                                                                                                  Lemon Pecan Pie

                                                                                                                                                                  well-chilled 9-inch pie crust (I freeze it until I’m ready to fill it)


                                                                                                                                                                  4 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                  1 2/3 c. sugar
                                                                                                                                                                  ¼ c. milk
                                                                                                                                                                  1 T yellow cornmeal
                                                                                                                                                                  1 T flour
                                                                                                                                                                  1 T lemon zest
                                                                                                                                                                  2 T lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                  ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
                                                                                                                                                                  1 c chopped pecans

                                                                                                                                                                  Preheat oven to 325F. In lg. mixing bowl, beat eggs until light. Slowly add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients, through butter. Stir in pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until firm.

                                                                                                                                                                  (For tasty variation, use 2/3 c. chopped pecans and 2/3 c. shredded coconut.)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                    They both sound great - although I don't "get" black walnuts, not having grown up with them, sorry to say. Must try again.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I never heard of/had them until I was an adult, and someone I know brought back a lot of them (from Missouri, I think). They do have a very distinct, pretty strong flavor. Back then, I tried them in choc. chip cookies and definitely did not like that combination. But then we baked them in lemon "teacakes" and in cranberry nut bread, and I liked those a lot. Since I now have a whole pound, I thought I might try a lemon-black walnut pie. But I'm thinking maybe I should probably mix them w/English walnuts as they could be overpowering.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                        The ones I had reminded me of blue cheese, oddly. Maybe they were past their prime? They were in fairly plain cookies my MIL made for my FIL who was fond of them from his boyhood (Peoria, IL). (His other favorite was Springerle - his father was German - he was the only person in the family who touched them - and they're all anise/licorice nuts. Had to have them every year.)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          You know, we always had springerle at Christmas when I was growing up, and my brother makes them now (using my mother's springerle pin), and our recipe is not all anise-y. It's a lemon-flavored dough, and then you strew anise seeds on the cookie sheet and lay the cookies on them, so when they're dried and baked they have a gentle lemon flavor and just a few anise seeds baked into the bottom of each.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                            These were his mom's recipe and looked like nothing so much as plaster of Paris molds - and were as hard as rocks. Pretty darn anisey too.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I had to make an adjustment to my KA mixer today and decided to test out my handy-work on a no-fail Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I've been making since I was a wee lass since it would be easy for me to identify if I'd fixed problem based on how my batter came together.

                                                                                                                                                                Good news, all went well. Mixer is good as new again and, cookies enjoyed by all!!

                                                                                                                                                                1. Magic 200 reached, and away we go to part 12:

                                                                                                                                                                  Feel free to post on this or any previous thread with regard to matters covered in them, of course, but new stuff would be best served/receive the largest audience on the new thread.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Buttertart, you bad person, you are bound to confuse some people ;)

                                                                                                                                                                    You did not ask the CH Team to change the title of this thread from "current" to "old", and you did not put "current" in the new thread title. I do realize that if you did put "current" in the new title we would have two "currents" for a while, but then we all like currants (well, I do).

                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                      Be kind to the still under the weather...sorry...did they change the titles of the others to old?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        I guess you are really still under the weather - you missed that my comment was tongue-in-cheek.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                          No offense taken in the least! But you're right, I missed the tongue-in-cheek.
                                                                                                                                                                          I dreamt up (literally) a cake for you last night - a white cake with holes poked in it with a wooden spoon handle, and the syrup from marrons glacés mixed with a bit of cognac and tiny pieces of the marrons poured into the holes. In my dream it was a 13x9 sheet cake - you could do it with layers and ice it with chocolate buttercream flavored w cognac or just a cognac one...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                            Buttertart, I am indeed honoured that I occupied a prominent place in one of your dreams (deep bow here, with a flourish). Thank you ma'am !

                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds like an amazing cake. I should make it once the marrons are made.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                              (Maidenly blush) - it was a funny dream because I was thinking "gee, that's just like a Jello poke cake" and that you would not be pleased at poke cakes entering my cosciousness. !!!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                I had never heard of a poke cake, so I googled it. Nasty words like Jello and Cool Whip came up, so yes, poke cakes should not enter your consciousness.

                                                                                                                                                                                Reminds me, the guy who invented the hokey pokey dance died recently, and they had trouble burying him. They first put his left leg in....you get the idea !