HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What are you baking these days? Part XVI/16 3/19/11 [old]

So, we've just had our first gorgeous 70-ish degree day vouchsafed us (and just as rapidly taken away, much cooler today). Baking goes on even in the most pleasant of weathers, so what are your springtime and forever delights?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I seem to have permanently lost the original, but found on online recipe that I think is the same as my favorite Lemon-Coconut Bars. The neat thing is that you mix up the crust in the processor, then while it is doing it's preliminary baking, the liquid topping is done in the processor with no need to clean it first. I am going to make it with the juice of the excellent Sky Valley heirloom navel oranges from Trader Joe's instead of lemon. Never tried it with OJ before.

    BTW, buttertart, may I suggest renewing this thread the first of each month? I think it would make it easier for people to ascertain that they are on the current one that way. Plus, "Part 17 - April 20ll" might stand out more clearly than that string of Roman numerals (which, sadly, many younger people can't read) and numbers.

    8 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Greygarious, just to say -- I've tried orange *and* grapefruit as substitutes for lemon in pies and tarts (a cooked mixture) and was disappointed. Lemon is ... brighter and more distinct...
      orange just got lost, the pink grapefruit I used was also bland-ish.
      But it certainly might be way different with coconut--especially if zest is included.
      Let us know!

      1. re: blue room

        You can also add a tb of lemon to jazz it up.

        1. re: buttertart

          Darn! I was going to say that. Lemon can be added even to raspberries to bring out the flavour.

          1. re: souschef

            Lemon can be added to *vegetable soup* to bring out the flavor! It's a true "secret ingredient", to me.
            I made peach ice cream once and not until I added lemon juice was it really peachy!

            1. re: blue room

              Try that peach ice cream with just a hit of almond extract, blue room. You will never look back.

              1. re: mamachef

                My mom never made anything peach or cherry without almond extract.

                1. re: mamachef

                  In addition to the lemon. or instead of ?
                  This coming summer I can experiment!

          2. re: blue room

            You were right, blue room. The orange-coconut bars don't have orange flavor. I have orange extract which I meant, and forgot, to add. I did add 2 packets of TrueLemon powder to the fresh-squeezed OJ, and that's the only citrus flavor they have. Turns out the recipe is not the same as the one I lost. It came out overbaked and dry. I think I can tweak it to fix it but will use fresh lemon juice next time. I know there was no zest, and it used the juice of an entire lemon, 1/4 cup. I remember trying it with grapefruit ages ago and not liking that, either. Even pineapple juice lost its zip in baking. And I don't like lime, so lemon it is from now on!

        2. I think I want to make cranberry bars -- never tried making them myself before. How does this recipe look, or does anyone have a go-to recipe for this??


          2 Replies
          1. re: twilight goddess

            Sounds good to me, wish they were for fresh cranberries - still have 2 bags frozen.

          2. Been hard at it today for our annual southern dinner (14th) for 10 tonight. I baked a sour cherry pie, (which I made for the original dinner 14 years ago), followed by a blueberry pie. It is so difficult to find sour cherries. I wanted to make 2 sour cherry pies, and I had ordered canned sour cherries from a midwestern orchard, thinking that 4 cans were enough. Wrong. Four cans were really only 6 cups of cherries. The DH could not find sour cherries anywhere, so I decided to do the blueberry pie as the second pie. I followed the method from Nick Malgieri's Modern Baker for both pies. I also decided to make a coconut cake. I used Nick's recipe from Perfect Cakes except that I doubled the recipe and made 3 9" layers. One of my only gripes about NM is that he specifies 9" pans, and the cakes come out very thin. I made some lime curd to fill the layers, and a fantastic cooked flour frosting for the outside. It was a slightly different method for making this frosting. Since most of the recipes specify adding the sugar with the butter, and a lot of the comments were that the frosting was a little grainy, I decided to add the sugar to the flour and milk and to cook it together with those ingredients. I also had left-over coconut milk from the cake, so I subbed coconut milk for some of the milk. The frosting is fantastic -- not too sweet, really some of the best I've ever made.

            11 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              I have used the recipe for cooked-flour frosting that was posted here on Chowhound years ago by krissywats, which has you cook the sugar-flour-milk yogether. No graininess whatsoever.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                The one that I saw most recently had the sugar and the butter creamed together and then the cooked flour added bit by bit. This had the cooked flour mixture beaten until cooled and then the butter is added bit by bit. If that's the same as the one posted by krissywats, it is really wonderful!

                1. re: roxlet

                  The one from krissywats has the cooked flour beaten into the butter, but sugar is cooked with the flour and milk. I'm going to go find it...huh, didn't remember the powdered sugar, but regardless, the finished frosting is terrific, and does not have any unpleasant grittiness. krissywats's post in 2005 was my intro to this type of frosting.

                  Here it is: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/277826

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    That's the first time I've seen it with confectioner's sugar! Doesn't that have cornstarch in it? Here's the one I used:

                    1/4 cup flour
                    1 cup sugar
                    1 cup milk
                    pinch of salt
                    1 cup butter cut in cubes
                    1 tsp vanilla

                    1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, salt together. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture has thickened into a paste and slightly bubbly at edges

                    2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter bit by bit (make sure the butter is softened), beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly: then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

                    3. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      It's the only one I've seen w/powdered sugar (as I said, it's the first I ever saw). Trust me, from the taste/texture of the finished frosting, you wouldn't guess it was in there.

                      1. re: roxlet

                        I'm going to try cooking the sugar. The frosting I make is called Delicious Frosting and is very similar to your recipe. It says to use 1 cup milk or water, 6 T. of flour cook and cool,,then the cup of sugar, 6 T. butter,6 T. Crisco, and the vanilla. I have substituted juice for the milk.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          I think the one I used was with the sugar and butter creamed together, and if you beat the bejeebers out of it it's not gritty. Must try the other two. Great-looking desserts there, roxlet! Your guests must have been over the moon. N! M!! N! M!! N! M!!!

                          1. re: buttertart

                            That is a technique that is new to me - beating the beejeebers out of something.

                  2. re: roxlet

                    Sour cherry pie is my absolute favorite, and I'm so frustrated that the cherries are becoming so hard to find! Only a couple of the chains in our area carry them at all (but they all have plenty of nasty premade cherry pie filling, blech).

                    1. re: modthyrth

                      I really had to plan ahead for this one and order from the internet well in advance of the dinner. The cherries were very good, but I am also frustrated that cherries seem impossible to find locally.

                  3. I'm trying Alton Brown's Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. You can never have too many recipes for the same thing!

                    1. Success! I made the bakewell tart today from Bake! by Nick Maglieri, and it turned out really, really well. I'm so excited! I was worried about my crust because it was a little crumbly and dry and it cracked a bit when transferring it to my tart pan, but I smoothed everything over and hoped for the best. I used some homemade strawberry jam as called for in the recipe- but the next time I make it I'm going to try the beautiful sour cherry preserves that I bought at the FM today, but for the first time I wanted to stick to the recipe.

                      The filling on top of the jam was thick, but not as stiff as I feared (even though my almond paste was really, really dry- more so than the usual stuff I buy), but I followed Caitlin's advice from the last thread and dabbed it in chunks. The filling "melts" and spreads by itself as it bakes, so I don't even think it's that necessary to smooth everything over too much before it goes in the oven.

                      Baked it for the full 40 minutes and it came out a beautiful golden brown with a bright layer of red jam at the bottom, and the crust was perfect! Hubby loved it, and is already requesting it again when we finish this one (and considering I want to have it for breakfast tomorrow morning, it won't be long!)

                      One question- the dough recipe made a double batch, so I have half left over. It's just the two of us, so I won't bake again for awhile (and I want to try the supernatural brownies next), so do you all think I can freeze the dough until I want to use it again? Thanks SO much for all the tips and inspiration, I love these threads, glad I have something to contribute this time.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: mjhals

                        You can definitely freeze the dough, it freezes well. Wrap well and put in a freezer bag. Allow to thaw in the fridge when you want to use it.

                        1. re: mjhals

                          That would be so good with sour cherry...too many ideas, too little time, too few at home to eat stuff up...
                          Happy to have you here - great contributions!

                          1. re: mjhals

                            Alright! Hubby has finished the Bakewell tart, so I'm ready for my next experiment. I hope to make the supernatural brownies either tonight or tomorrow night. And since hubby has a marathon on Saturday, I expect these'll go fast. I seriously cannot wait to try them, I'll just have to elbow him out of the way to make sure I get a taste!

                            1. re: mjhals

                              Remember, let them sit overnight before cutting. I think some people whov've been disappointed with them haven't done that.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Whoa, thanks for the tip, but that means I'm going to have to hide them. There's NO way I can get hubby to wait. Better make 'em tonight.

                                1. re: mjhals

                                  They're much better if let sit, believe me.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Well, they're out of the oven, and they smell amazing! Not touching though, promise. Hubby is polishing off the last of the Girl Scout cookies (they may, actually, be from last year...) instead. The batter looked a little thin, but they seemed to have set up like normal. Can't wait to try them tomorrow!

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        Oh. My. God. I can never make this again, seriously. I've eaten an obscene amount since yesterday (hubby will be lucky if there are any left when he finishes his race today- and here I was worried he'd eat them all! Oops). These seriously are the most amazing brownies ever.

                                        FWIW- my mom is a great baker (better baker than a cook, as is sometimes the case), but she NEVER made homemade brownies. She'd make the box ones a lot, when she didn't really feel like doing much but my dad still wanted a dessert. So I never really cared for brownies, I'd maybe have a piece from the middle, but I guess I just thought brownies weren't that special. I was wrong- these brownies take it to a whole new level. They're so moist and rich! I put in some milk chocolate chips before baking (just for good measure), since both hubby and I don't like nuts in our brownies. I can never make these again, they are single-handedly ruining my diet.

                                        1. re: mjhals

                                          I'm happy you love them. Make them, have a couple, and give the rest away - that's what I do. Share the love!

                          2. I made almond and raisin scones for breakfast this morning; nothing terribly exciting compared to all of the recent posts by others. They were nice and fluffy and high (almost 2 inches). I didn't use any chestnut flour today; they don't rise as much with chestnut flour though they do smell wonderful.

                            They were great with Devon cream and port jelly.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: souschef

                              I had a couple of the chestnut madeleines with some frozen sour cherries as a bed dessert (devised by M) on Friday night - they were still good but the chestnut taste had definitely attenuated. Good though!

                            2. I recently made raspberry squares, but I replaced the raspberry jam with kiwi jam. The squares are a shortbread base, a layer of jam and a coconut topping, which could be similar to your lemon squares. My mom made kiwi jam and I thought it would make a nice St Patricks Day treat, with the green in the middle, but the green jam paled in the oven. They were delicious, though.

                              1. I just made a coffee cheesecake, basic cream cheese recipe with a half cup coffee and a little dark rum. It is still cooling, but the batter tasted like a million bucks. I think the bitterness ( and color!) of the coffee are a nice contrast to the richness of the cream cheese and cream.

                                1. I found a recipe for making sourdough starter using pineapple juice and I decided to try it using no sugar added 100% apple juice. The starter took off, and yesterday I made no-knead bread using starter, whole wheat and white flour, and barley malt syrup. Because of my schedule, I had to let it sit for 26 hours but the dough was beautiful and holey. Preheated at 500, baked at 450 for 30 covered and 15 uncovered. Beautiful high loaf with alp-like excrescences, crispy crust and good crumb. Fun to experiment.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mnosyne

                                    I am in awe, MNO! Great to experiment w/ great results!

                                  2. Buttertart, the Mexican Fruit Cake is pretty much a yellow cake with a can of crushed pineapple dumped in. But it doesn't use any oil so you have to top it with cream cheese frosting to keep the fat and calorie level up.

                                    Mamachef, my girls weren't the most fun at the age of 12,but this one wins. I would never give her a cell phone unsupervised. She had one and caused many problems with it.
                                    I've made cupcake meat loaves before,frosted them with mashed potatoes,then put crumbled bacon and shredded cheese on top for sprinkles. The kids didn't seem to care.I thought they were cute. They are terrible picky eaters. They will eat some fresh veg but mostly they want Dortitos and all things junk food. My niece has not been strict at all about their eating habits.

                                    I've also made the cupcakes from the "Hello,Cupcake" people that are decorated to look like mashed potatoes,peas and carrots and corn on the cob. I have a bad tendency to play with my food.

                                    1. I made chewy chocolate cookies from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2010. These are really, really good. Intense chocolate flavor, just the right amount of salt, crispy on the outside with a little crunch from the sugar the cookies are rolled in before baking and chewy on the inside. One of the best cookies I've baked in a long time.

                                      8 Replies
                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Makes 16 cookies

                                          The test kitchen recommends using Callebaut Intense Dark L-60-40NV, but any high- quality dark, bittersweet, or semisweet chocolate will work. Light brown sugar can be substituted for the dark, as can light corn syrup for the dark, but with some sacrifice in flavor. A spring-loaded ice cream scoop (size #30) can be used to portion the dough.


                                          1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 1/3 ounces), plus 1/2 cup for coating
                                          1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
                                          3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
                                          1/2 teaspoon baking soda
                                          1/4 teaspoon table salt plus 1/8 teaspoon table salt
                                          1/2 cup dark corn syrup (see note)
                                          1 large egg white
                                          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                          12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , softened (70 degrees)
                                          1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (about 2 1/3 ounces, see note)
                                          4 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (see note)


                                          1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ½ cup granulated sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in small bowl.

                                          2. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add corn syrup mixture, and beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bowl once with rubber spatula. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and chopped chocolate; mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Chill dough 30 minutes to firm slightly (do not chill longer than 30 minutes).

                                          3. Divide dough into 16 equal portions; roll between hands into balls about 11/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, drop 8 dough balls into baking dish with sugar and toss to coat. Set dough balls on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart; repeat with second batch of 8. Bake, reversing position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 10 to 11 minutes. Do not overbake.

                                          4. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature.

                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                              Oh, wow. I am printing this one up right now!

                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                flourgirl, I made these chocolate cookies today. Rolled them up a little smaller and ended up with 40. These are dark and rich, and not overly sweet. And they just beg for a glass of milk.
                                                Thanks for posting the recipe. It's a keeper.

                                                1. re: flourgirl

                                                  My wife and I made these cookies today. Wow, they were incredible. Thank you.

                                            2. I've got a Brownie Pudding in the oven. It's one of those gooey cakey things that I've never made before and I hope it is wonderful.
                                              The timer went off a couple of minutes ago and I stood in front of the stove trying to figure out what I set a timer for - my pudding had 15 minutes left to go (on the other timer), I'd already made my pot of tea (need a timer so I don't forget to check it since the kettle is not a whistler), the boiling water in the micro had already gone into the pudding.....
                                              Oh! It's the bowl and beater in the freezer to do the vanilla whipped cream with...so now I not only need to set timers to remind me of everything, I need to write myself a note so I know what I set the timer for....urggh.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. I made the best cheesecake I have ever made today. It has 1/2 c of strong coffee and a couple of teaspoons of rum, 1/3 c of heavy cream, sugar ( I used coconut palm sugar), eggs, cream cheese, and vanilla. It is very creamy but dense, strongly coffee flavored, which plays off the cream cheese beautifully, and it came out gorgeous, no cracking, perfect set.
                                                I used a silicone springform, which was really fun.

                                                1. I baked on Friday. Because St Patrick's day was on Thursday and it is a busy day for my family, we had our St Pat's day dinner on Friday. For that meal I made a Guiness chocolate cake and a loaf of beer bread using Harp Lager, Dubliner cheddar and green onions. I took the leftover beer bread to a party last night and it is gone. I also made kolaches stuffed with little smokies and cheddar cheese (Texas kolaches). 2 dozen were gone in 24 hours.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: suburban_mom

                                                    It took 24 hours? Your family is a model of self-restraint. Those sound great, how do you make them?

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      I used the kolache dough recipe from the homesick texan blog and stuffed with a little smokie and a piece of tillamook cheddar cut the same size as the little smokie.

                                                  2. Nothing! I baked nothing this weekend. What is wrong with me. All my baking has been vicarious. Will have to make up for it.
                                                    It's hot cross bun time! Entenmann's suck (socky sweet), I haven't tried our local (German) bakery for them, and I have to have them at least once a year. Any good recipes out there? I've never been thrilled with the ones I make.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      I used to like hot cross buns until the health freaks took over. Now it seems that all you can find is whole wheat, and I hate whole wheat anything. In addition to my not liking it, whole wheat upsets my digestive system.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        I thought they were whole wheat when I was a kid, my mom told me it was spices. But I know what you mean. Nothing like one split and toasted and soaked in butter.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          Hey! What did you do with our friend Buttertart? You sound like Paula Dean!

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            >snicker< Canadian butter! It was Canada that put the butter in buttertart!

                                                    2. making a pear tart for dessert

                                                      1. I wanted cinnamon raisin bread for breakfasts, but the local grocery store is charging well over $4 for a loaf laced with preservatives and HFCS. You know, the kind that just never. ever. molds. Scary.

                                                        So, at DH's suggestion, I made my own. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I took my standby honey oatmeal bread recipe and tweaked it. You know, the one I always blather on about: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                                                        Changes: I subbed milk for water, molasses for half of the honey, and added a bit of grated lemon zest, raisins, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and cinnamon to the dough. When I rolled out the dough, I sprinkled it with with a cinnamon/sugar/brown sugar blend before rolling up. I also brushed the loaf with milk before baking.

                                                        It got a little darker than I expected, but it sure smells good. Hopefully it will be good toasted with butter for breakfast.

                                                        17 Replies
                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                            Yum! I love cinnamon raisin bread, but I daren't make it since I am the only one in the house who likes it, and I would eat the whole thing. Yours looks absolutely delicious.

                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                              Interesting-looking recipe. I should try to make it, minus the cinnamon; it's almost impossible to find raisin bread (which I like) without cinnamon (which I don't like). Do you see any problem if I leave out the oats ?

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                That just reminded me that raisin bread at home in the old days was cinnamonless. Good point. There's a very nice recipe for same in Beard on Bread, his mother's, I'll hunt it up if you'd like it and don't have the book.
                                                                I've never been happy with any oatmeal breads I've made, don't know why.

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Have you tried Laurie Colwin's Blender Oat Bread recipe? It's pretty delicious - toasted and spread with sweet butter, even more so. (Edit, 5 minutes later.) So I guess it would be nice if I posted it instead of hitting "send" too soon, eh what?

                                                                  Blender Overnight Oatmeal Bread
                                                                  An hour before you hit the hay, toss 1 cup oatmeal in blender; grind finely. Put oats, 1 c. wheat germ, 6 c. white flour, 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. yeast into large bowl. About 3 cups of water will make up the dough. Knead it, roll it in flour, place into the bowl you just took it out of, cover bowl; go to bed.
                                                                  The next morning: knock down the dough. divide in half; place each half into buttered bread tin. Cover with towel; go to work. (6-8 hrs. handsfree time here)
                                                                  Back at home preheat oven to 400. Paint loaves with milk; bake 40 minutes.
                                                                  Best made a day in advance, but delicious all the same. And virtually 10 minutes' worktime.

                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                    I used to make this all the time and it is great - why I don't keep wheat germ in the house any more I do not know and will remedy.
                                                                    Thanks for reminding me (love Laurie Colwin, such a shame she's gone).

                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      I did this, too! I was worried the oats would make for too chunky and crumbly of a texture, so I blended them to a fairly fine powder. I also tossed in some oat bran for good measure. DH loved it ("It was awesome"), so I'll definitely be making it again.

                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                      I don't have the book, and yes, I'd appreciate your posting the recipe. Thanks.

                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                        I shall. It's what I learned to make bread from, great book.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Oops forgot the book this am, perplexed by it snowing outside. Just not right. I'll do it tonight.

                                                                        2. re: souschef

                                                                          Here we go - "Mother's Raisin Bread" (apparently absed on one served at the Palace Hotel in SF during WWI) (note treatment of raisins below, overnight prep required)

                                                                          1 pkg yeast
                                                                          2 c warm milk
                                                                          1/3 c granulated sugar
                                                                          1 tb salt (he used kosher, so if table salt, reduce - or not, I like salty bread myself)
                                                                          3 tb butter
                                                                          5-6 c a-p flour
                                                                          melted butter
                                                                          1 1/2 c sultana raisins (golden raisins, I think? you could use the dark ones or even better currants) soaked overnight in sherry or Cognac to just cover, 1/2 tsp ground mace, and 2 tsp grated orange rind (this part sounds like your kind of thing exactly)
                                                                          1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tb cream

                                                                          Dissolve yeast in 1/4 c warm milk and allow to proof.
                                                                          Put the rest of the milk, sugar, salt, and 3 tb butter (soft I would suppose) in a large bowl.
                                                                          Add the yeast and gradually stir in the flour to make a firm dough (I wouldn't go too firm myself).
                                                                          Knead by hand 10 mins
                                                                          Let rise in buttered bowl until doubled (he says 2 1/2 hrs, with this much yeast I'd think less - also I think you could reduce the yeast somewhat, but not too much because this is a fairly rich and sweet dough)
                                                                          Punch down, knead briefly, let rise in bowl 30 mins.
                                                                          Divide into 2 pcs, roll out to rectangles 7 x 20 inches.
                                                                          Brush w melted butter and sprinkle with the raisin mixture.
                                                                          Roll up tightly, put in 2 buttered 8x4 loaf pans.
                                                                          Let rise until cresting the pans slightly.
                                                                          Brush with the egg and cream glaze.
                                                                          Bake at 400 deg F for 10 mins, then 350 deg C for 20-30 mins (bet it takes a bit longer, myself).
                                                                          Return to oven briefly if needed to brown bottom and side crusts if necessary.
                                                                          Cool completely on racks before cutting.
                                                                          I have simply got to make this, sounds too good.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            Merci Madame La Doyenne. I plan to make it soon.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              look ! no cinnamon ! (souschef !)

                                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                souchef and I are united in our dislike of it (in my case, except in extreme moderation, in his, categorically).

                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                  Fortunately it's not spelled Cynnamon !

                                                                      2. http://www.deliaonline.com/
                                                                        The doyenne of modern British cooking has some pretty snazzy baking recipes on her site - check it out. British baking is very nice indeed.

                                                                        1. I'm gearing up to bake a cake for my daughter's belated 13th birthday party this weekend. She wants something really cool and exciting. She thinks the frosting might involve Nutella.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                            Where there's nutella, there should also be pretzels :) Can you work them into a garnish?

                                                                          2. Lemon squares -- my mom's recipe -- mmmm

                                                                            Espresso blondies with butterscotch chips. These appear weekly in my kitchen now....

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. I threw an April Fool's Day party with a Neapolitan ice cream theme for my daughter and her friends. It'll debut on the TomKat blog soon, but I'll post a little sneak peek of the dessert table here.

                                                                              First, you have to understand that the universe has been telling me to throw a Neapolitan ice cream themed party. Paired with an April Fool's party, that meant that everything on the dessert table looked like ice cream... but wasn't. I made:

                                                                              Probably...Drumsticks? (they looked like Good Humor drumsticks, but were actually cake balls on homemade krumkake mini ice cream cones)
                                                                              Ostensibly...Fudgesicles? (actually chocolates with a peanut butter filling)
                                                                              Presumably...Ice Cream Cones? (actually meringues that looked like soft serve ice cream cones)
                                                                              Maybe...Milkshakes? (Actually just chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla milk, topped with whipped cream and a fondant cherry)
                                                                              Presumtively...Scoops of Ice Cream? (Sugar cookies that look like scoops of ice cream, in Neapolitan flavors, some on faux cones, some in bowls with chocolate,sprinkles, and fondant cherries)
                                                                              Supposedly...sugar cookies? (Ok, those actually were sugar cookies in ice cream cone shapes. No trompe l'oeil here, but I liked the alliteration.)

                                                                              The whole party was thrown at a new cupcake shop that opened less than a mile near my house. It just happened to be painted in Neapolitan stripes and it's a top-it-yourself cupcake place (you know, just like a top-it ice cream place--I told you the universe was talking to me!).

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                  Very clever, but the biggest April fool's trick of all is not having it on April Fool's Day!

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    Yeah, have to do things ahead of time for the blogging schedule. ;-)

                                                                                2. For sure banana bread, recipe of mine that I acquired years ago, never had any better so I've stuck with it.

                                                                                  I'm thinking that I might try my hand at new recipe in an old cookbook, one from a place I worked over 25 years ago. I swear each time I look at some of my old books I find new things.
                                                                                  Anyway its called a Mocha pie, but instead of one big one, I'm making 4 individual small ones.
                                                                                  The pies bottom is meringue,and you make it over night (get the heat on in the oven turn it off, and it bakes the meringues) and the filling which is whipped cream and coffee, then topped with grated chocolate (maybe some berries). I need to step it up a bit, so I'm thinking about how to do that.
                                                                                  Also for tomorrow's lineup I'm thinking mexican wedding cookie, and caramel flan? Got to go with our Mexican food themed dinner.

                                                                                  1. I would like to try *mango bread.*

                                                                                    Tomorrow. My vision for this: I don't want a lot of spices... a mellow mango flavor that would be great warm or even toasted with butter, accompanying a cup of coffee.

                                                                                    Recipe, anyone? I know that Dorie G has one (her recipe calls for ginger and cinnamon -- meh, not sure I want that)... any others that people have tried and liked? I am reading one of the Hannah Swensen cookie mysteries (by Joanne Fluke -- great series if you like to curl up with a cozy culinary mysteries, by the way) and she judged a mango bread for a baking contest in one chapter. There's a recipe in the book, actually... but I thought I'd see if I could come up with anything here. Nothing appealing at epicurious other than a 3-fork rated mango "tea bread" which does not pique my interest.

                                                                                    thanks in advance.

                                                                                    1. It's not the most exciting thing to bake in the world, but I jazzed up some chocolate chip cookies by adding toasted, chopped pecans to the batter. Yum, yum.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        are you kidding? I'm very picky about my chocolate cookies! the pecans look like a great addition to me!

                                                                                        1. for instant gratification, I made this:

                                                                                          INA PINKNEY’S FAMOUS NEW OLD FASHIONED VANILLA BEAN POUND CAKE

                                                                                          8 oz. butter (2 sticks) unsalted and gently melted in microwave or on stove top, cooled slightly
                                                                                          6 oz. cake flour ( 1 ½ cups)
                                                                                          1 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                          ½ tsp salt
                                                                                          8 ¾ oz. sugar (1 ¼ cups)
                                                                                          4 large eggs
                                                                                          1 Tbsp. Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste

                                                                                          Preheat oven to 350°F and put oven rack in middle position.

                                                                                          Grease a 9 ½ x 4 ½ Pullman loaf pan with butter and flour or non-stick spray.
                                                                                          (Pullman loaf pan has straight sides, not slanted.) Do not use the top.

                                                                                          In a medium bowl, beat together well, flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
                                                                                          In a food processor, process sugar, eggs, and vanilla for about 2 to 3 seconds.
                                                                                          Stir the melted butter well to mix in the separated solids. With the machine running pour butter through feed tube in a slow and steady stream. Blend for about 3 seconds.
                                                                                          Scatter flour mixture over the top of the egg mixture in the processor. Pulse 5-6 times until flour is incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse 2-3 more times.

                                                                                          Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
                                                                                          Lower oven temperature to 325°F and bake until the tester comes out clean. It should bake about 35 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through the baking.

                                                                                          Cool in pan for 10 minutes, unmold, and let cool completely on a wire rack. ( I love it toasted with ice cream!). Ina cuts 1-inch thick slices, toasts on both sides, cuts at an angle to form 2 triangles, serves with one triangle standing.

                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                              I just bought some of that vanilla bean paste and haven't used any yet. This recipe sounds like a good reason to break it out.

                                                                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                this pound cake is even better the next day :^) - it's impossibly light with a dense crumb

                                                                                              2. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                This sounds amazing, can I ask a few questions? First, tell me about the vanilla paste- does it make that big of a difference vs. a good vanilla extract? If so, where can I get some? Second, is the Pullman loaf pan necessary? Any ideas of what the difference would be using a regular loaf pan?

                                                                                                I have some leftover strawberry compote that is crying out for this cake!, thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                                                1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                  yes.. http://www.nielsenmassey.com/vanillai... ...no

                                                                                                  1. the paste is better - with vanilla bean seeds; but I have also made this happily with vanilla extract
                                                                                                  2. http://www.nielsenmassey.com/vanillai...
                                                                                                  3. my Pullman loaf pan is longer than 9" so I bake the pound cake in a pyrex 9"x4" loaf pan lined with parchment paper that has straight not sloped sides - works just fine except that it's too much batter for the pyrex loaf pan and I make an extra tiny loaf with the excess batter. The Pullman pan just bakes a nice squared edge loaf for perfectly cut triangles. Adjust your baking time to your pan.

                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                    Whew, I think I've finally been to gym enough to counteract the effect of those brownies last week, and I'm ready to have another dessert in the house. This pound cake looks great, and I think I have all the ingredients (thanks for the tips, I have a vanilla bean to sub for the paste, have to look into that some time though...) Will let you know how my version turns out tonight!

                                                                                                    1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                      Oh wow. This was great. Really, really great. I wanted to drink the batter by the cupful. I actually probably would have, but hubby was right there watching me, thank god. This recipe turned out perfectly- it even smelled amazing (I did use about 1/4 a vanilla bean, and that was just right, imo). I think I had to bake it slightly longer than the last 35 min the recipe called for, but not by much.

                                                                                                      I served it with strawberry compote and whipped cream- hubby's favorite combo- I'm definitely in the mood for summer now! Hubby votes this as his new favorite experiment (but he ALWAYS says that!), but I tend to agree. This will certainly be in my rotation now as a go-to dessert for company/hostess gift. Super easy to make too, and the clean-up was easy. I'm a believer!

                                                                                                  2. re: mjhals

                                                                                                    Instead of the paste, I would make it using the seeds scraped from the inside of the vanilla bean, and then a shot of vanilla.

                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      yes, the real bean is better :^) - ah, the fragrance!

                                                                                                  3. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                    Browsing through this recipe this afternoon, I decided that I needed to make it, especially since it looked like it would be easy to put together, and because I wanted something for dessert.

                                                                                                    I didn't have vanilla bean paste, so decided that I would use seeds from a vanilla bean. Not having Pilinut's access to a vast stock of vanilla beans, I had only half of one solitary bean, so decided I would use that.

                                                                                                    Decided also to use Roxy's "shot of vanilla". By my estimation, a baker's (as opposed to a bartender's) shot is 2 tablespoons. Also, I store my spent, tired, empty vanilla beans in sugar, so I had vanilla sigar. Yes Ina, this all constitutes "good vanilla" !

                                                                                                    I always thought that a Pullman was a trunk, not a loaf pan, and since I did not have a trunk-shaped loaf pan, I had to improvise, with a pan that looks like a Bundt pan, but is not as high; don't know what it's called, but check the picture.

                                                                                                    I was amazed that the batter was so runny, but who am I to doubt Cynsa !

                                                                                                    I baked it for the indicated time (maybe 5 minutes more). Turned it our after 15 minutes, and it felt very heavy. BUT, it was nice and light and tasty. I tried it while it was still warm, and ate two more pieces just to be sure I did like it; I did,

                                                                                                    I think I'll throw in some orange zest the next time, and reduce the sugar a bit as I found it a touch too sweet.

                                                                                                    This is a keeper. Thanks Cynsa !!

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                      lookin' good in the bundt ... let me know if you like it more tomorrow, it gets denser as it sits.

                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                        Yes, I do like it more today, and yes, it did get a bit denser (but still light). Of course, I'm comparing it to when it was still warm.

                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                          I had another piece of that cake for dessert at lunchtime today (a rare treat for me), and surprisingly found it way too sweet. I did find it a bit sweet yesterday and this morning, but now it seemed far sweeter. Based upon my last taste I would cut the sugar down to 5 oz at most - that's 5/7 cup, lilgi :)

                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                            I think I'll cut back on the sugar next time, too - although the DH likes it sweet.

                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                              Please let me know how much sugar you use, and if it was sweet enough for your sweetie.

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                I just made it last night, with the called for amount of sugar, and yup- it's sweet. I love it! I can't wait to see if it gets sweeter. I have a serious sweet-tooth, so that's a definite selling point for me.

                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                          This recipe interests me because Jane Grigson gives a recipe for a plain cake in one of her later books in which you just bang everything into the FP at once and whizz it up to a batter. I tried it and didn't like it very much. The method here makes more sense.

                                                                                                        2. I have been making bread puddings lately. All with bread pieces from my freezer. I keep odds and ends from winter baking and then bread bust at the end of winter. So far I have made a croissant and chocolate pudding and a brioche and raisin bread pudding. Tomorrow I am going to dabble with a savory pudding made from christmas rolls. We are having it with pork and homemade apple sauce from the pile of strange looking apples from the root cellar.

                                                                                                          Well, didn't that last bit sound appetizing!

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                            Fascinating idea to make bread pudding from left-over frozen bread. Unfortunately, I just tossed a bag of rosemary rolls that were left over from some I made for a New Year's Day open house. I will think about using them for a savory bread pudding if I wind up with left over bread like this next time. Thanks for the tip, and hey, you have a root cellar, that in itself is cool, so whether the apples look strange or not, no matter!

                                                                                                          2. I made a chocolate nut loaf cake from "Desserts by Pierre Hermé" that looks awfully appealing (it has hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios in it, and called for 3 oz chocolate cut up - I'm not crazy about hard bits of chocolate in a cake and so used all but 1/2 oz of a Ritter Sport praline chocolate bar - the other 1/2 oz went down the gullet). Also made some minis in a mini muffin tin and they are really quite good. Holding off cutting the loaf until tomorrow. Maybe.
                                                                                                            And better go get my no-knead bread rassled into pans if I want to go to bed before midnight (white, rye, whole wheat, ground flaxseed, and caraway seed freehand version).

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              " I'm not crazy about hard bits of chocolate in a cake".

                                                                                                              But in RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake (which you made) the hard bits are no longer hard once you bake the cake.

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                I used mini chips and they were a bit. I like the effect of the praline bar in this (it's essentially gianduja). Wish there was a Ritter Sport every bar they make club that would send them to you. There are ones available in Germany that never make it here.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  I think that chocolate chips, both mini and otherwise, have some sort of additive to keep them from melting into a batter, hence the chippiness of chocolate chip cookies and such. Regular chocolate, chopped to the approximate fineness of mini chips would probably melt into the cake.

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    Probably, must try another time. Minis may have even more of it to keep them stable at their size. The recipe calls for minis, by the way.

                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                      True. I use callets, which are the same as a block of chocolate, but easier to work with. I used to buy Callebaut chocolate in 5 kilo blocks, and never looked forward to chopping it up.

                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                        I have the TJs bars (said to be Callebaut) that are harder than carps. Oh for the days I used to get French couverture given to me in 5 kg slabs...perk of working for a French company.

                                                                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                        yes, I chopped up Trader Joe's 17 oz. Pound Plus bittersweet chocolate for chocolate chip cookies and it just melted into the cookie, no chips. Good taste but it made marbleized chocolate cookies not' chocolate chip cookies'.

                                                                                                                2. I baked 2 things to celebrate the advent of Spring Break...

                                                                                                                  Cookie-dough stuffed cupcakes...
                                                                                                                  --found on this blog:

                                                                                                                  Triple Oreo Bars
                                                                                                                  --found on this blog;

                                                                                                                  (Yes, I am pretty done with sugar for a while.. I need some spinach or something to counteract this all.)

                                                                                                                  1. I'm making my friend's ricotta whole wheat bread, a recipe he's been perfecting over the years. I made half of the recipe, because we only want (need) one loaf:

                                                                                                                    RICOTTA WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

                                                                                                                    5 teaspoons instant yeast, or 2 packets active dry yeast dissolved in 4 tablespoons water

                                                                                                                    2 1/2 cups (cool) water
                                                                                                                    2 1/2 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                    2/3 cups ricotta [I subbed whipped cream cheese--the closest thing I had on hand]
                                                                                                                    1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                                                    1/2 cup honey, molasses, or maple syrup [I used grade B maple syrup]
                                                                                                                    1 cup grape nuts
                                                                                                                    1 cup oatmeal
                                                                                                                    3 cups whole wheat flour
                                                                                                                    3 cups white flour

                                                                                                                    Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 10 minutes, adding enough flour to make a sturdy, supple ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 60 minutes.

                                                                                                                    Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, divide in two and shape into loaves. Place each in a well-greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the loosely with plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour, or until it's crowned about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.

                                                                                                                    Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 40 minutes.

                                                                                                                    [It's in the oven now...photo forthcoming!]

                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                      Is this more of a dessert/sweet bread?

                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                        Nah, it's more of a hearty, grainy breakfast bread, delicious toasted. A tad sweet but not overly.

                                                                                                                      2. My coworker is having a birthday, so I'm making a chocolate buttermilk layer cake with sour cream icing. I'll sandwich some sweetened strawberries (and more icing) between the layers.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                          Everybody should have coworkers like you. :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                                            lol, last time i subjected them to a horrible cheesy beer bread, so it's the least i can do ;)

                                                                                                                        2. I've got to get something going for the inevitable evening craving/weekend sweet tooth, so today am doing field research with a boxed fudge cake mix that I'm going to kick up with cinnamon and a hit of almond extract, and then figure out what to do with a can of dulce de leche as far as filling goes. Maybe topped with unsweetened whipped cream. It depends on my motivation towards getting to the store.

                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                            Everything but the cinnamon, but I can see the direction you're going with this rather calls for it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Unless......unless I just subbed bitter espresso powder instead. Tickticktick. Thinking. Ok, and used some cold pot coffee for part of the liquid.....
                                                                                                                              It was the dulce that had me thinking Mexican, but I actually think the coffee/almond/fudge/caramel sounds better. Good thing I hadn't left for the store yet. : )

                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                Jamoca almond fudge cake! My favorite BR.

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  (Looking around furtively) Shhhh......we'll get sued.....

                                                                                                                                  My BR pick is either Daquiri or German Chocolate Brownie, but my ALLTIME favorite is Sticky Chewy Chocolate from Swenson's, and they have started making it again!
                                                                                                                                  Oh, the daquiri ic is great in a highball glass with a shot or so of good rum and some tonic or seltzer, btw.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                    Swenson's IS NOT NATIONALLY DISTRIBUTED! caps intended.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                      wow! daquiri ice is my all time favorite and I've never met anyone else who liked it!

                                                                                                                              2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                I want to hear how that turns out... I have been experimenting with the espresso powder lately too. Really enjoying the results.

                                                                                                                              3. I'm making the strawberry shortcakes from Nick Malgieri's Modern Baker. The DH bought a huge container of strawberries at Costco, and my son has some friends around who are ready, willing and able to eat their weight in strawberry shortcake!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Oh beauty, Oh joy. Yum. Can you tell me about the shortcake itself, please? Or post a recipe if you don't mind?

                                                                                                                                2. I took a second try at making Nancy Silverton's graham crackers, but - like the first time - they turned out quite hard. I thought it was an overcooking issue the first time, but now I'm less sure. Any thoughts? Anyone else made them? Were yours hard?

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                    This is a very quick shortcake, which is a bit lighter and less calorific than others I've found, but it is very good!

                                                                                                                                    2 c all-purpose flour (spoon & level)
                                                                                                                                    3 tablespoons sugar, divided
                                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                    4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into bits
                                                                                                                                    1 egg
                                                                                                                                    2/3 cups buttermilk, light cream, or half and half

                                                                                                                                    Put all the dry ingredients into a food processor (save one tablespoon of sugar) and mix.
                                                                                                                                    Add the butter and pulse a dozen times until finely mixed
                                                                                                                                    Mix the egg and buttermilk together and add to the food processor. Pulse until a very soft dough forms.
                                                                                                                                    Drop 8 mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with remaining sugar and bake at 450 for about 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                                    Serve these as close to baking time as possible.
                                                                                                                                    You know the rest about the berries and whipped cream!

                                                                                                                                  2. This afternoon I made a banana layer cake with pecans and a coffee buttercream (recipe from Saveur). Rich but yummy! I made chocolate-almond meringue bark with some of the extra egg whites I had from the buttercream.

                                                                                                                                    1. 10 am Bakesale for Japan today at Bi-Rite and SPQR in San Francisco... I baked this morning; ono butter mochi, chewy chocolate cookies, and tea cakes and will fold origami paper cranes

                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                        You will make a lot of money with these mouth-watering baked goods!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                          :^) I hope so... lots of yummy donations this morning. Easter Bread is next on my list.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                          WOW, that ono butter mochi looks AMAZING.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                            too easy! Ono Butter Mochi
                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup butter
                                                                                                                                            1 pkg (1 lb) mochiko (sweet rice flour)
                                                                                                                                            1 1/2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                            3 cups milk
                                                                                                                                            5 eggs, beaten
                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                                                                                            1 cup coconut
                                                                                                                                            Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter; cool. Combine mochiko, sugar and baking powder.
                                                                                                                                            Combine butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla; stir into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in coconut.
                                                                                                                                            Pour into 9 x 13" pan. Bake for one hour. Cool; cut into squares with plastic knife.
                                                                                                                                            note: I combined one cup of coconut milk + 2 c. milk to equal the recipe's 3 cups.
                                                                                                                                            Makes 24 pieces. I like this recipe because it's fairly low on the sugar-richter scale; other recipes have 2-1/2 cups sugar on their ingredient list. This trades butter fat for sugar.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                              Thank you thank you! I cannot WAIT to give these a try! Part of the reason I love glutenous rice cakes is because they tend not to be too cloyingly sweet, so your comment about the sugar content makes me even more eager to bake these up.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                Thank you for posting! I just pulled a pan of these out of the oven and they look delicious! Can't wait to take them to my event tonight.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                                                                                  The entire pan is already gone. Definitely a huge hit. I had requests that I bring them again next week to the weekly meeting.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mollyomormon

                                                                                                                                                    I'm so :^) — really! I thought this was one of those 'acquired' tastes.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                              A thousand thanks, I really want to make these.

                                                                                                                                            3. Ina Garten's Brownies and Ina Garten's lemon bars this evening. Brownies have cooled and are sitting overnight in my "winter refrigerator" (the screened porch:) Lemon bars are cooling now. Tomorrow, I am making mini cupcakes from a "Cooking Light" carrot cake recipe, with lightened up cream cheese icing. I made them a couple of weeks ago, and they were keepers.

                                                                                                                                              1. Been making cakes lately. Early last week, a white cake with boiled fudge icing. Then an applesauce cake with penuche icing. My husband bought 5 dozen eggs from a co-worker for 50 cents a dozen so today we had an angel food with the pudding frosting. I used that maraschino juice instead of milk to make the frosting. Used A the egg yolks in two loaves of a kind of pound cake. Sliced the pound cake, then cut each slice into strips, placed them on a cookie sheet, brushed them with butter, sprinkled granulated sugar on them, then toasted them until they were lightly browned. I put them in a plastic French fry basket with a paper towel under them, and put a small bowl of red icing in there too, for my "French fries and ketchup". And a pan of biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                1. Made the tarte au sucre from Nick M's "A Baker's Tour" and was underthrilled - nice taste BUT a. the pastry recipe did not work AT ALL, seriously under-moistened (I had to beat up on it and add vodka, and it showed) and b. way too much filling for a tart shell (I made 2 ramequins with the excess, adding some pecans). It also stuck like mad to the pan but I think I forgot to PAM it (and should have used the Wilton cake release). Added some bits of marron glacé to it.
                                                                                                                                                  Also made some oldfashioned almond cookies (with LARD, for the texture) and some palmiers with the leftover pastry (I had sort of puff pastry-ed it up trying to salvage it).

                                                                                                                                                  1. This past weekend, I baked an olive oil cake with rosemary and bittersweet chocolate chunks to take to a dinner party, served with sugared strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I really like this cake, which I have made before; the flavors all work very well together.

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                      Beautiful - which olive oil cake is this? My mom used to do that with the doily...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        It's from Good to the Grain. It's in the spelt chapter, with spelt and AP flours, but I honestly think it would work just as well with all AP. I actually reverse the amounts of olive oil and milk in the recipe, and I like it with a full 2 T. of rosemary (the rosemary flavor is fairly subtle).

                                                                                                                                                        The recipe is here: http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                          I thought maybe it was, since you had mentioned the recipe before. I really must try it. Like the reversed amounts of milk and olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            If you haven't tried it, I also highly recommend the olive oil and sherry pound cake in Pure Dessert - great flavor and texture.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I was asked to make lemon bars yesterday and remembered seeing a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that looked good to me.
                                                                                                                                                        They were quite good and the cookie layer was easy to throw together and rolled out nicely. Something about the cookie layer always seems persnickety to me, so I never want to make lemon bars, but it was request so I dove in.
                                                                                                                                                        She says to gather the dough in your floured hands and then press it into the pan. I gathered the dough, which was soft and came together easily, and rolled it out between two sheets of parchment. It rolled very nicely, and I took it to about a 1/4 " before inverting in onto my buttered and parchment-lined half sheet pan (I doubled the recipe, had extra dough and extra filling).
                                                                                                                                                        This gets blind baked until golden, and while it bake I zested and juiced lemons and then whisked all the ingredients together (sugar, eggs, zest, juice, flour). So easy, no cooking a curd/custard, one-bowl mixing, I love this kind of baking.
                                                                                                                                                        When doubled, the filling calls for 5 c of sugar, which I just couldn't do. I used 4c and next time I would use 4 1/2c. Also, added a pinch of salt to the filling.
                                                                                                                                                        It calls for a good amount of zest, which I think is key.
                                                                                                                                                        They baked up just lovely. Nice, even crust, with a firm yet custardy lemon layer.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                          Funny......I made lemon bars today also. I used Ina Garten's recipe, which I loved, but it sounds very similar to the Smitten Kitchen one you used. My sister isn't feeling well, and they are her favorite,so I took some to her. They say "spring" to me.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Hubby made a cheesecake today, and we get to eat it tonight with my homemade strawberry jam.

                                                                                                                                                          1. just out of the oven, these butterscotch meringue bars are so-o-o sweet - my teeth hurt
                                                                                                                                                            (where's the vanilla ice cream and the cup of steamin' joe?)
                                                                                                                                                            DH is happy and says it's not that sweet at all. I do like the chocolate in the middle.

                                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                              Where'd you get my momma's recipe for chocolate chip squares? They certainly look similar. Could you possibly post it or link?
                                                                                                                                                              (If they are the exact same, my husband is with you on the sweetness. I usually cut the brown sugar in the meringue by a third or so.)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                my brother sent me this recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                Butterscotch Meringue Bars
                                                                                                                                                                2 cups     All-purpose Flour
                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp.   Baking Powder
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp.    Baking Soda
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp.    Salt
                                                                                                                                                                16 Tbl.    (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                2 cups    Brown Sugar, packed
                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup    Granulated Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                2    Large Eggs, separated
                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp.   Vanilla Extract
                                                                                                                                                                1 Tbl.    Water
                                                                                                                                                                2 cups    Semisweet Chocolate Chips

                                                                                                                                                                1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350° F. Grease 13" x 9" baking pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                2. With mixer on medium speed, cream butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and water. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Spread dough evenly in prepared pan. Press chocolate chips lightly into dough.

                                                                                                                                                                3. In clean bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks and slowly mix in remaining 1 cup brown sugar. Spread egg white mixture over dough and bake until golden brown, about 30-minutes. Cool in pan 1 hour. (Bars can be stored in airtight container to up to 3 days.)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                  It's quite similar - must check my mom's. I think there's less sugar overall in her recipe. The original recipe (which I think came from a Chipits - Canadian choc chips brand - bag or ad) called for chopped salted peanuts on top of the meringue, which certainly appeals to me (but not to my mom, who noted it on the recipe card she wrote out for me..."can put chopped salted peanuts on top, but I don't").
                                                                                                                                                                  We pretty much always had these in the house when I was a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    These differences:
                                                                                                                                                                    Flour and salt the same
                                                                                                                                                                    2 t baking powder i/o 1
                                                                                                                                                                    1 t baking soda i/o 1/2
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 c shortening (would have been Crisco or margarine probably)
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 c white and 1/2 c brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                    2 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                    1 t vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                    3 T milk
                                                                                                                                                                    12 oz choc chips (or less)
                                                                                                                                                                    meringue as above
                                                                                                                                                                    325 deg F for 30-35 mins
                                                                                                                                                                    And the injunction about the peanuts actually reads "Top with 3/4 c salted chopped peanuts if desired (I don't)."
                                                                                                                                                                    I think they'd be terrific with them but have never tried the recipe that way, either!!!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      :^) shall we do a side by side taste off? Your recipe certainly reads better than my sweeter version.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                        Why not! She also used to use grated orange rind in the base from time to time (but she did always use the full amt of sugar in the meringue).

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          60 minute countdown to tasting your mom's yummy recipe :^) with peanuts
                                                                                                                                                                          note: I reduced the brown sugar in the meringue to 3/4 c.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                            Your mom's recipe is this taste-off winner - yay! :^) All the votes went to Mom!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                              She would be delighted if she were here to know it!
                                                                                                                                                                              Funny thing about that recipe - I misplaced it after she was gone and was desperate because she wrote the recipe card and gave it to me when we got married.
                                                                                                                                                                              On my birthday that year, I got up, and for no apparent reason went directly to my bookcase in the kitchen, picked up a book I hadn't opened in ages (Mediterranean Desserts), opened it, and there was the recipe card.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                Lucky for us that this recipe was found between the pages!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                  Indeed. Mom-ly intervention? ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm beyond tickled you like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    Love that synchronicity, so glad you found Mom's recipe! I'm making several pans of these at home today, along with a double-up of Elevator Lady Spice Cookies and a base mix for bran muffins to keep in the fridge. Can't wait to taste the bars. Thanks to bt and Cynsa for doing the bake-off!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm so happy my mom's recipe is going places. Ever make Peg Bracken's Aggression (oatmeal) Cookies? They were one of her favorites too.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night I made Grandma’s Blackberry Cake from Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashioned Baking Book. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from this appealing little book and we really enjoyed the cake.

                                                                                                                                                              I will say that Jim describes it as having “a sweet-tangy flavor and a rich marbleized colour”. While he describes the flavour well, you’ll see from my photos below, the colour was fairly uniform. Given that Fobel has you “beat the batter for one minute” with and electric mixer after the addition of the very tender blackberries, I find it hard to believe that anyone would achieve a marbleized colour. Appearance aside, this really is a delicious cake with a moist, tender crumb and a comforting familiar aroma that I just couldn’t place. The cake really did take us back to our childhoods though. I omitted the pecans.

                                                                                                                                                              Looking forward to further exploring this book.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                That is a very good book in general. Nice to see something from it. (And Breadcrumbs, when are you going to start baking bread?)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  No, I haven't baked any bread yet but I did pop back here to mention that this lovely book has now been indexed in EYB so hopefully I'll get more use out of it. Such delicious sounding recipes.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I bought fine stoneground cornmeal a few weeks ago and afterwards noticed that it expires this summer, so I am making an effort to include it when I bake. The cornmeal cookie recipes I saw were all of the lemon or lime type, which didn't appeal to me in lingering winter weather.
                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday I made cookies without any recipe: coconut oil, egg, agave nectar, Splenda, baking powder, cornmeal, white whole wheat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, vanilla, walnuts, coconut, dried mango, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, white chocolate chips, kitchen sink. They were in the oven before I realized I hadn't tasted the dough first, but they came out fine. I am a late riser who eats no breakfast and lunch isn't till after 2, so I usually have a single cookie along with morning coffee and at least with these, I know the ingredients have some value.

                                                                                                                                                                1. I was requested to make challah today ... and so I did. I used a new recipe, and came away with two of the best loaves I've ever made. :)

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                      Here you go. The recipe is from "97 Orchard," but is posted online here: http://www.forward.com/articles/128061/ (scroll down


                                                                                                                                                                      This is a good reading cookbook too, btw.

                                                                                                                                                                      Changes I made: I used AP flour instead of bread flour, 5 tsp yeast instead of 4, and 1.5 Tbs salt instead of 3. Also, I baked it for about 27 min. instead of 45-60 -- that would have been extra crispy bread, and not in a good way.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                        Very nice. I met the writer of that book and she is a sweetie.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                          Those look really nice. I guess I was a little surprised that they weren't braided in some fashion. If you are Jewish, I hope those disappear before next weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! I like braiding them, but this was mid-week challah, not for anything in particular. There's not much left. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Bakers.. I'm looking for great Bailey's flavored items that are not Truffles. My fiancee's birthday is in a months time and she loves Bailey's. What are some great birthday goodies that I could make including which version of said recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                        Chocolate mousse made with Baileys?
                                                                                                                                                                        chocolate cake with choc. buttercream flavored with Baileys? (or filled with choc-baileys mousse)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                          See I would just do baileys buttercream and no chocolate. I'm looking for it out and out... I just didn't know if there was a dedicated Bailey's recipe floating around that is recommended.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                            Instead of Bailey's buttercream, where the taste of Bailey's would be diluted, why not make a layer cake and moisten (soak?) the layers with Baileys? I once did this with Kahlua/Tia Maria for a coffee freak.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                              Well I guess I could do both. I've never made a proper cake and so my big worry is that it falls apart. Is there a technique or way to do it without causing the cake to get too soggy or dripping with liquid? Or would you suggest brushing it on heavily? I guess the icing could be chocolate or anything else that marries well with baileys (coffee flavored butter cream?)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                It's hard to say offhand how much Bailey's to use to brush the cake. It would depend upon how dense the cake was. Recipes for layer cakes usually specify how much liquid to use.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. My mom's childhood favorite --- cherry coconut squares. Ooops, the whole pan vanished.... did *i* eat all of those? Yup. I almost did, with the help of an enthusiastic special someone.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                          OK Miss Goddess, make with that recipe, please!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. i've been playing around with some of the "standards."

                                                                                                                                                                          Brownies - fudgy fudgy deep rich with a slight chew. not overly sweet, and nicely accented with fleur de sel. (i think most things benefit from a sprinkle before baking ;) ) took some to a meeting last night, afraid there would be tons leftover, but they were gone by the end of our first break. i wanted to use both bar chocolate and cocoa powder. these are a new keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                          Chocolate Chip Cookies - the dough is resting in the fridge overnight, so we'll see tomorrow, but i realized about two hours after making the dough that when i meant to use 2 oz, i mistakenly used 2 tablespoons of butter (which i had browned). the dough was plenty moist (due to sugar, eggs, vanilla), but i'm curious to see how it bakes up, especially since i just created my own ratio for them... fingers crossed.

                                                                                                                                                                          Pound Cake - i pretty much used Dorie Greenspan's from FMHTY, and may have altered the vanilla (increased slightly), but i was totally underwhelmed by it. i didn't overbake it (in fact, was quite vigilant about it), and it was dry. oh! i did make one alteration that actually saved half the loaf really. i topped half with a few spoonfuls of a cream cheese batter and some streusel. that moisture salvaged those few slices. but i definitely wouldn't make it again. i may try the New Old Fashioned Vanilla Pound Cake up thread!

                                                                                                                                                                          Macarons - ugh, utter failure. i've made them before successfully, using an Italian Meringue. i did the same this time, but i don't know if my scale goofed or what. i had the most stiff batter, i can't even explain it. i baked them and they're crunchy crunchy almondy things... i surmise that maybe the sugar syrup got left in the bottom of the saucepan, and somehow i didn't pour it all in. i was so flabbergasted at my own ineptitude though. i'll make them again, as i have been successful before, but not until my ego mends.

                                                                                                                                                                          Cheesecake - a good solid vanilla creamy one with some sour cream in it. similar to tyler florence's Ultimate as i think about it now, but i think i prefer mine. gasp.

                                                                                                                                                                          Kichel - the traditional eggy based Jewish cookie that is puffy and looks like a bowtie. the key with these puppies is *really* letting the batter get nice and elastic in the food processor. some of it will get under/inside the blade. it's a pain in the butt to clean up, but they're fun to make. just need the time to allow for the stages of baking (reduction of temperature and long final bake at 200). my mom loves them, so i make them for her. of course, she's happy to give her criticism on each batch. love you mom.

                                                                                                                                                                          ...can't decide what to make tomorrow... maybe that pound cake or rugelach.... unless someone has a better idea!!

                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                            And what do you do in your spare time??

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                                                                              find people to give the goods away to... which usually isn't very hard.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, you were busy! What time should we show up? :)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                any time... kitchen's always open here :)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                this morning, i woke up wanting to bake, so figured i would dry run something new for passover next week. in addition to a flourless chocolate something, so i made an Almond Dacquoise with a French Vanilla "Buttercream," and will probably make some sort of fruit thing to go with when i do it next week. it's cooling now, so we'll see!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yum! I always see Passover baking as a good kind of challenge. Last year I made a triple chocolate mousse cake ... still not settled on what to make this year!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                    Would love to see your recipe for a KforP triple chocolate mousse cake. The last Passover I made a Schaum's Torte. Assuming that the cake is not too difficult. I've never made a proper mousse.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                      The recipe I used is here: http://en.petitchef.com/recipes/desse...

                                                                                                                                                                                      I topped mine with raspberries and blackberries and shards of dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. David Lebovitz's Almond Cake. Crazy easy, and provided you're prone to having almond paste around, it's doable "from recipe search to cooling wrack" even if you only have a couple of hours before you have to bring it to a dinner party. In looking for the link to post here, I realize he's changed it some, including decreasing the butter, which I think I would like better. Here's his revised: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/06/...

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. Coconut custard pie. We are going to a friend's house tonight and they are making chicken curry. They had asked another friend who is joining us to pick up dessert at the bakery formerly known as Yura. The hostess said to me that she was going to call them to see if they could get a coconut custard pie. Since I had a half crust in the freezer, I volunteered to step in. It is cooling on the counter right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi roxlet, your pie looks wonderful! I've never heard of coconut custard pie before and I just know I'd love it!! What a fabulous dessert choice for the meal you're having as well . . . lucky friends to have such a thoughtful baker-friend!

                                                                                                                                                                                    I bet this pie would be good w some lime in it as well. Where did you find the recipe roxlet or, is this your own creation?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                      No, it is not my own recipe or creation. Coconut custard pie is a very NY thing, I think. It was commonly available everywhere when I was growing up, but it seems that now it is more difficult to find. It also took me a while to find a recipe, but I use an excellent one from Ken Heidrech's book called Pie. Personally, I think it is better without lime. It is very elemental, custardy and creamy. I think that lime would just get in the way of that for me. I could post the recipe if you are interested. Beware: lots of cream!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Elemental, custardy & creamy sounds heavenly. Please post. Just the thought of Coconut custard pie puts me in a diner on the NY thruway.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey listen, this is not an NY thing, we had it at home in Ontario (where it was one of my mother's favorites) and M had it at home in Iowa (where it was his dad's all-time favorite hands down and going away, until he nudged my MIL into putting sliced bananas into it, at which point that version became the be-all and end-all for him). Great idea for a curry dinner dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll post tomorrow. The DH, who grew up in the south, always thinks that coconut cream pie is the standard, but I never really had that. Just coconut custard.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                              southerner here, and i always thought the coconut custard pie was southern. LOL it strikes me as being like a chess pie plus coconut. but these are essentially basic american pies, i think. roxlet, where can i find your recipe? "pie personality"?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                We had both the cream and the custard. I'd love a piece of either right now, really really cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  i prefer mine at room temp, as for me it lets the flavor come through more. i was just looking at an old southern living pies cookbook, and saw that chess pie is an english pie. so, if i had ever known that, i'd forgotten it...but it makes sense, because chess pie is really all over the northeast, east coast and the south --i.e., initial main settlement areas..... (did the pie migrate west, too, i wonder?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    You know, as far as I know chess pie is more a southern thing. I haven't seen it in northern cookbooks (as far as I recall) and it's not known in Canada. The butter tart (!) and the Québecois tarte au sucre are as close as it gets there, and they seem to be based on English/Scots treacle tarts - more on the butterscotchy side of things than chess, which is quite often lemon and has cormneal in it, I thought? (Two things northern climes were not rolling in.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                      good point, tartalicious -- esp. re corn meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm making this today http://www.copykat.com/2009/02/04/sar... to have w/ strawberries I bought on sale. I've made this before and it came out really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made the chocolate mayonnaise cake from the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit (pg. 111) this weekend. Three layers of dense, moist chocolate cake, with creamy chocolate icing layers in between...just the right amount of sweet. We brought it with us to celebrate a friend's birthday on a all day wine tasting tour in Virginia. We hunkered down with a few Barrel Oak reds and the cake. Turned a grey, gloomy saturday right around!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: applemomma

                                                                                                                                                                                            That is gorgeous, and you might want to repost it on the new thread so all will see it -