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Straight to a Man's Heart...

A friend of mine has been very kind to me. I want to say thank you to him for all of his help. Do you have a good recipe for a baked good that will Severely say thank you (and possibly endorse me as a good candidate for spending more time together)?

I am very experienced at baking and do not mind a complicated recipe.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

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  1. Well, this really depends on the man and his heart, no?

    Do you have any idea what the guy likes in terms of baked goods? Does he like sweets? Savory baked items? Neither? Both? Chocolate fiend? Chocolate hater? Does he allergies?

    Would be happy to help you out, but need more info.

    I know if someone of the opposite sex wanted to impress me and "thank me" with a baked good then a classic apple pie or NY style cheesecake would do the trick whereas a chocolate cake not so much.

    Of course, any kind of ice cream would always work.

    Like I said, need more info and be happy to help.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I know that he is supposed to eat in a healthy manner and cannot have a TON of fat (because of a medical condition), but at the same time he can eat sweets in moderation. I have seen him enjoy chocolate cake before and cookies. So I was thinking something along those lines--just not a whole hoard of whatever it is, in order to respect his restrictions. Regardless of what I give, I know he'll know that it was the thought that counts and he lives with a family member... so he would appreciate being able to give/share with his family member.

      (Also, Ipsedixit, (this is random) but your profile says you love eggs and ketchup--me too. Eggs with ketchup and sriracha sauce. MMM!--Thanks in advance for any advance that you have.)

      1. re: GraceW

        How about a Chocolate Torte? You can use this recipe as a guide.

        Good luck and hope it works out well for you.

    2. Unless he's allergic to one of the following...

      Chocolate Layer Cake
      Chocolate Chip Cookies
      Oatmeal Cookies
      Date Nut Bars
      Any type of Butter Cookies
      Pistachio Biscotti
      Shortbreak Cookies
      Apple Strudel
      Any Phyllo Pastry

      Sorry, no recipes

      1. Boston Cream Pie
        Yellow cake (not sponge cake), a real vanilla pudding filling (not just whipped cream), and a dark shiny chocolate glaze.

        1 Reply
        1. re: blue room

          yes, you would have me at BCP. Totally delicious when it's done right, and hard to find done right.

        2. Some that pulled at my heartstrings were huitlacoche enchiladas from my mexican ladyfriend, rouladen from my fraulein friend, stuffed manicotti from my italian ladyfriend, and cookies from my NE friend.
          Why don't you just invite him over for dinner?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Veggo

            I think dinner is the best idea.

            1. re: Veggo

              I would have to agree with Veggo and invite him over for dinner to thank him. I would think a nice roast chicken w/mashed potatoes and gravy with brownies or cheesecake for dessert would work just fine. You can always send him home with the leftover brownies so that he thinks of you when he grabs another one.

              1. re: lilgi

                I second this idea. There is a fabulous recipe for them in the cookbook 'Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs.' A copy of it can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ga...
                I have made these several times and they are always delicious.

                1. re: KimberlySH

                  I think I might like this pastry cream recipe better than the last one I tried, thanks! I like the ganache to shine so I'd add a teaspoon of corn syrup.

                  To the op, I gift a lot of baked goods and Sur la Table sells pink pastry boxes if you haven't changed your mind. Last time I got them they were I think $4 for 6. Good luck, whatever you decide!

              2. Chocolate Scratch brownies with lots of pecans! ~~ About a dozen should do the trick!


                2 Replies
                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                    Although when dining out I'll order a chocolate dessert only if there is nothing fruity that sounds appealing, I recently discovered that the Ghiradelli Dark Brownie mix (they have 4 varieties and this one is. IMO, far better than the Double Chocolate which is the only other one I've had) is just about the best chocolate baked good I have ever tasted. There are chips in the mix - I add chopped walnuts and use unrefined coconut oil rather than regular oil or butter. That slight coconut undertone is wonderful, and supposedly the medium-chain fatty acids make this form of coconut oil healthy.

                    I would not get too elaborate in my baking choice in these circumstance - elaborate ingredients and decorations may scare him off. I'll bet most men's favorite baked food is meatloaf or lasagna!

                  2. Hard to beat fresh baked chocolate cookies.

                    1. Your avatar is of a cupcake. I would go with cupcakes, especially if he has some restrictions (easier to portion) and lives with other family (he can share more easily).
                      You can really get creative.

                      1. Here is a delicious sounding hot fudge pudding cake, and guess what? It's low fat and low calorie. Straight to a man's heart and keep his heart healthy too!

                        1. I think you should go with something he is unlikely to get very often. You want to thank him but show some extra effort, too.

                          A nice lasagna would be well received and unless he cooks isn't likely to have eaten any lately.

                          If you want to go with a dessert, the same criterion exist. How about a coconut cake with lemon filling? You can't get a decent one of those without baking it yourself.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                            I would respectfully disagree......the thought and effort are more important than the actual dish......

                          2. Chocolate Cream pie from scratch with fresh cream. Another favorite is Magic Bars, or Seven Layer bars. For some reason, I can't get enough of them if they are around.

                            Another treat that brings me back and tugs at my heart is Icebox cake. Layers of graham cracker with sliced banana and chocolate and vanilla pudding. Simple, but my mom would make is for us as a special treat.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: awm922

                              I'm in a similar circumstance with a male friend, one who is beginning to cross the line from being a friend to something more. If there is a special connection and you're meant to be together, it doesn't matter what you serve him, it will happen. Having said that, there's certainly no harm in tossing out a few incentives! LOL I've found that some of our best moments together happen when he comes to my house late at night after a long day of work and I give him dinner, even if it's just am omelet. Showing that you care is the key. And, if you still want a dessert, I'd go for either a good rich brownie or even a truffle. You can eat a small amount of it and still get great satisfaction.

                              1. re: Miri1

                                Yes, this is like a last ditch effort for me. I know it's not going to happen. So if I make him an ultimate 'thank-you' treat then I can conclude any debt that I feel and convert him to "Friend-only-because-it's-not-happening" in my mind. It is very clear that he believes I am not up to par--I haven't been on a date in five years and haven't been interested in anyone on top of that.. so this was kind of exciting since he's actually genuine, but it's just not happening.

                                1. re: GraceW

                                  Dang, Grace! Don't be so hard on yourself.

                                  First of all, we (men) aren't all that altruistic. If he is being friendly and is helpful, he is probably interested. Some of us don't want to risk looking like idiots so we will wait for a rather obvious sign that the woman is interested. In short, he may well be thinking the same as you.

                                  It may be helpful to think in worst case scenarios here. You make it obvious that you are interested and he makes it obvious that he isn't. Ok.... are either of you any worse off? At least you know.

                                  If you want to show some interest, then just dropping a cake off at his house isn't the approach to take. Invite him to dinner at your place to show your gratitude. Then, make it a rather special dinner with dessert and maybe a movie in the DVD player for after dinner. If he doesn't get it then, he is either dumb as a box of rocks or he isn't interested.

                                  Grace, it would be a shame not to make a bit of a play here. or you will never know.

                                  1. re: GraceW

                                    OMG, are you sure you're not me? Because you sound just like me!

                                    Seriously, sometimes no matter what you do, it's not going to happen. I'm facing the same thing right now. And still... if he shows up at my door...I'll feed in him the vcain hope that MAYBE something more will come of it.

                                    So to stay on topic, tonight (if he comes) mine will get my mock meat loaf with mashed potatoes, and fruit crisp.

                              2. I sure don't have a degree in relationships but I like the direct approach....invite him over to share coffee (serve one of your baked goods) or maybe lunch and tell him you're interested. Will he be able to guess you're interested by giving him a cake? More importantly, should he be guessing? Skip the dinner because if you feel he may not be into you, cornering him with a drawn out dinner is not the answer. It's something you can work your way up to...okay, enough of that.

                                As to a baked good, you indicated he's a healthy eater with an occasional sweet tooth. IMO, I would not bake him a whole cake, pie, or batch of brownies nor would I bake a cheesy lasagna or give him a ton of other heavy carbs. I would make him a batch of homemade granola in a glass jar with a pretty ribbon or maybe a gift basket of coffees/teas with a special mug or insulated cup he could take with him to work or on the go.

                                Since it's clear he does eat some carbs, perhaps a nice loaf of fresh baked bread, muffins; maybe a dozen of cookies or a few brownies or even something healthier like meringue cookies dusted in cocoa or espresso...something that he could individually wrap and freeze to pull out for a treat once in a while, not something that he might feel he has to consume the entire thing before it goes bad. Best of luck!

                                1. My wife maintains that the best way to a man's heart is directly through the rib cage. I try to keep her sweet.

                                  1. For my Dad, an unfussy southern gentleman, it'd be a pound cake or hot biscuits with ham.

                                    I prefer carrot cake or red velvet with plenty of nuts in the cream cheese frosting, but I think the red velvet might be too strong a signal in your situation.

                                    Does he like rum? This one is still a winner. http://baking.about.com/od/bundtcakes...

                                    1. Definitely invite him over for supper. A gift which can be shared with his relative is a neighbourly thing to do; a dinner with just the two of you will give the signal you want him to read!

                                      FWIW, my bf says Nigella's Blueberry Boy Bait lived up to its name when I first made it for him.

                                      1. Maybe in a "round-about way" (during conversation, or ask one of his family members) you can find out his preferences in the way of food and desserts.

                                        My hubby just LOVES cinnamon buns.......the sticky glazed kind with walnuts & raisins....made with a sweet roll dough.

                                        You've got a lot of good suggestions. Let us know what you actually do.

                                        1. Cinnamon rolls. All warm out of the oven. Surely, he should come over and eat a warm one with you, and then take a pan home. They wrap up to freeze nicely, after all.

                                          I agree with the rest. If we knew what was going on in men-heads, lordy, we could fix the world. I wouldn't assume. Feed the boy.

                                          1. I've found a slab of steak under the broiler (or filet mignon done in the pan) along with some mashed potatoes with a flourish (like chives and goat cheese) accompanied by veggies done in a wine sauce that can be poured over the beef is the most successful layout for a guy who is not necessarily a foodie. Follow up with a simple iced cake and coffee for dessert.

                                            If he's into food, there's no foolproof plan, unfortunately and you should just go with your strengths.

                                            1. Whoops - change my answer for dessert to apple or pumpkin pie - both nice aphrodesiacs for guys:)

                                              1. You're wanting to thank him for helping you out plus give him the hint that you'd like to spend time together.

                                                From a guy's perspective, I would prefer a dinner over dessert or sweets. The dinner doesn't have to be a fancy elaborate dinner. A simple dinner, wine and pleasant conversation to see if you two hit it off.

                                                Your goal is just be a fun person to hangout with.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                  You could also invite him over for a Sunday breakfast/brunch. I've done this a couple of times) and it was always nice. You might make waffles or pancakes etc. Champagne might be nice...Make some cinnamon buns as mentioned above... what a nice way to start the week.