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What are you baking these days? July 2011 [old]

buttertart Jul 1, 2011 05:56 AM

(Note: A new thread for July 2011 has been started here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795242 If you've got a comment on something below, go ahead, but if you want to add an additional item that you're baking, please jump to the new thread. Thanks! -- The Chowhound Team )

Good morning and Happy Canada Day! Make some butter tarts in honour of the day. Or have a Bloody Caesar (or a nice strong cup of tea) and then make them.

So...here we are in July already. souschef's challenge is still in effect (Brioche aux Fruits - a classically-shaped brioche, hollowed out, lined with chocolate, and filled with creme patissiere and berries). Deadline is July 14th, Bastille Day (or la Fete Nationale, to our French friends).

What's in your oven? Flag cakes for today or for the glorious Fourth? Nice things featuring summer fruit? Interesting cookies? Or good old favorites? We all look forward to hearing from everybody.

What are you baking these days?

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  1. r
    Rella RE: buttertart Jul 1, 2011 07:28 AM

    I can never remember making a brioche in a "classically-shaped brioche" pan, but I'd like to purchase something that is glass. Recently I purchased this brand of glass, Marinex, vs. Pyrex, and I see the Marinex brioche piece at


    I'm curious as to the size - 1 and 1/3 qt. - do you think it is a size that I could use for various recipes of brioche.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Rella
      buttertart RE: Rella Jul 1, 2011 07:35 AM

      That's gorgeous, wish I'd seen it before buying my Matfer 7" one from Amazon for this. It should be good for a decent-sized loaf, considering it's around the size of a 4-c Pyrex measuring cup.

      1. re: buttertart
        souschef RE: buttertart Jul 1, 2011 10:48 AM

        I checked it out on Amazon, and it says:

        "Marinex Bakeware can go from the freezer/refrigerator to a pre-heated oven where the oven temperature does not exceed 100C or 212F to start."

        You are supposed to bake the RLB brioche at 350F. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems unusual for bakeware to not take 350F, which is used a lot in baking.

        1. re: souschef
          herby RE: souschef Jul 1, 2011 02:30 PM

          I think they mean that it can go from very cold freezer into a warm oven but if you are putting the dish at room temperature it should be fine in 350F oven.

    2. biondanonima RE: buttertart Jul 1, 2011 11:13 AM

      Made a sour cherry pie last weekend but that's long gone - however, there are plenty of cherries in the freezer for at least 3 more pies! I also ran across this recipe for an almond brown butter torte with sour cherry sauce that looks delicious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      In addition, I am going to be visiting some friends in August and invading their lake house for several days, so I want to bring a variety of home-baked treats with me to thank them for their hospitality. I have tried and true faves, of course, but I'd love some new ideas (and I have all of July to test them) - so hit me with your favorite treats that travel well and hold for a while at room temperature!

      14 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima
        Caitlin McGrath RE: biondanonima Jul 1, 2011 02:21 PM

        If you are looking for sour cherry treats other than pie, I recommend this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281699

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          biondanonima RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 1, 2011 05:06 PM

          Not specifically, but thank you for posting the link, because that does look really delicious!

        2. re: biondanonima
          buttertart RE: biondanonima Jul 1, 2011 05:13 PM

          Check this discussion of a recipe for a chocolate chip square similar to one my mother made every couple of weeks when I was a kid and my brothers inhaled (the difference between it and my mom's is posted below it). Everyone I've given this to (Cynsa and mamachef among them) has loved it.


          1. re: buttertart
            biondanonima RE: buttertart Jul 1, 2011 05:40 PM

            That looks interesting - I'm not a fan of meringue, though. How prominent is the meringue layer? And is it crisp or chewy?

            I do think this will be my chance to try the Supernatural brownies that you rave about - I'll have to bake them the day before we leave anyway, so I won't be tempted to cut and gobble before the magic happens!

            1. re: biondanonima
              buttertart RE: biondanonima Jul 3, 2011 07:46 AM

              It's a thinnish layer and both crisp and chewy at the same time.
              Supernaturals always fit the bill too! Hope you love them.

              1. re: buttertart
                biondanonima RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 02:29 PM

                As I posted in the other thread, I liked the Supernaturals but everyone else I served them to LOVED them, so they're certainly going to be one of my regular recipes from now on. I have a whole line up of other brownie recipes to try now as well, including the Medrich, Ina Garten, CI Chewy, CI Triple chocolate and Mancatcher. So much chocolate, so little time!

                Aside from that, I made one of my better loaves of no-knead bread yesterday, using whey for the liquid. I baked it for 25 minutes covered and 35 mins uncovered, which resulted in an almost burnt top crust, but the extra crispiness was worth it.

                1. re: biondanonima
                  Rella RE: biondanonima Jul 4, 2011 03:48 PM

                  I have used the whey that I have left over from making paneer,

                  How did you come by the whey that you used.

                  1. re: Rella
                    biondanonima RE: Rella Jul 4, 2011 03:52 PM

                    I make Greek yogurt pretty regularly, and I like it very thick so I end up straining off quite a bit of whey. It seems to keep pretty well in the fridge (what I used last night had been in there at least two weeks, maybe longer) and I hear it freezes well also.

                    1. re: biondanonima
                      Rella RE: biondanonima Jul 4, 2011 04:14 PM

                      Yes, I get my whey from draining yogurt, too. I forgot that. I'm going to give the next no-knead a try with some whey. I usually use a flour mixture 1:3 KA bread flour with either kamut, spelt or rye. I think it might go well with spelt. Thanks.

                  2. re: biondanonima
                    somervilleoldtimer RE: biondanonima Jul 15, 2011 09:12 PM

                    I love it that you Canadians have different cookies than we do down below. What is a Supernatural? And Nainamo bars, although it's possible I actually made them many years ago -- can't remember. Are they good? Is there a national cookie?

                    1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                      Cynsa RE: somervilleoldtimer Jul 15, 2011 10:19 PM

                      Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies are a delight! We love 'em, too.

                      1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                        Breadcrumbs RE: somervilleoldtimer Jul 16, 2011 06:22 AM

                        Ah, Nanaimo Bars! A bit of a national treasure here in the great white north! Originally made in Nanaimo British Columbia and now claimed as our own all over the country. Here is a recipe for the original:


                        Over the years a number of variations have emerged, the one w a mint flavoured filling is likely the most common though.

                        1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                          rainey RE: somervilleoldtimer Jul 16, 2011 07:24 PM

                          Nanaimo bars! Three differently flavored layers of butter - coconut/walnut, custard and chocolate. In my family we call them Cardiac Event Bars. But we have them every year when we celebrate Canada Day here in Los Angeles and look forward to them all year until it comes around!

                          Last year I made them for my husband's office and then had to follow them with a sheaf of paper carrying the recipe. ;>

                2. re: biondanonima
                  NYchowcook RE: biondanonima Jul 5, 2011 09:15 AM

                  I've made the epicurious brown butter torte a few times with great success.
                  this year I made a cherry pie -- from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible (yum!)
                  A lemon/blueberry bundt cake from Rustic Fruit Desserts, and
                  Cherry almond bars (also from Rustic Fruit Desserts).
                  All delectable, and my friends love me more!!

                3. rakip RE: buttertart Jul 1, 2011 10:01 PM

                  Baking powder biscuits for strawberry shortcake. I prefer biscuits to sponge cakes or angel food cake with strawberries. Since I bake gluten free food, I 'cheat' and use a wonderful mix from Duinkerken Foods, Charlottetown, P.E.I. I prided myself in my ordinary biscuits but these are superior. Sometimes a mix is the route when G.F. baking. By the time 3 or four expensive flours have been bought plus leavening agents, it's sometimes more expedient to use to a mix - not always. I like cookies, cakes and loaves baked from scratch.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: rakip
                    firecooked RE: rakip Jul 3, 2011 03:54 PM

                    I make a chocolate shortcake (uses cocoa) ... easy and so so good with strawberries!

                    1. re: firecooked
                      Matahari22 RE: firecooked Jul 3, 2011 08:13 PM

                      THAT is awesome idea. A chocolately biscuit. Will you share the recipe, please. Thank you.

                      1. re: Matahari22
                        firecooked RE: Matahari22 Jul 4, 2011 01:31 PM

                        Here you go...

                        Chocolate Shortcakes

                        1 ¼ cups flour
                        ½ cup cocoa powder
                        ½ cup sugar
                        1 tablespoon baking powder
                        1/8 teaspoon salt
                        1 cup chilled whipping cream
                        ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

                        Oven: 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

                        Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat cream and vanilla in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Stir cream into flour mixture until most clumps form. Transfer mixture to lightly floured surface and knead gently until dough forms ball, about 10 turns. Pat dough out to ¾-inch thickness. Using 2 ½ to 3 inch cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather dough, pat out again, and cut a total of 6-8 biscuits. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack.

                        1. re: firecooked
                          Matahari22 RE: firecooked Jul 7, 2011 10:05 PM

                          Thank you! I have been very sick, and have not been eating enough. I finally made my apple cake today but I put it in muffin tins so I can freeze them easier, since it makes lots of cake, and I am not eating much, plus it's just me.

                          This is next on my list to make! I love chocolate!

                          1. re: Matahari22
                            Breadcrumbs RE: Matahari22 Jul 9, 2011 12:14 PM

                            Sorry to hear you haven't been well Matahari. I hope your yummy-sounding muffins entice you to have a little to eat and, that you're on the road to recovery.

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                              Matahari22 RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 9, 2011 03:35 PM

                              BC, thank you for the well wishes. Still no change, and I went to doctor on Wednesday. My ear is completely clogged, I cannot hear anything out of it. :( The muffins have come in handy, as I must eat and drink a lot of milk when I take these antibiotics. I really think I will be making my apple cake recipe, and baking them off in twelve muffin cups. Perfect size, and since it's just me, I won't be wasting a sheet of apple cake, since I can pop the muffins in the freezer.

                              Just praying I won't need a tube in my ear, and nothing is very wrong. Calling ENT on Monday.

                              1. re: Matahari22
                                The Chowhound Team RE: Matahari22 Jul 12, 2011 06:53 AM

                                Folks, we removed some posts from this sub-thread and would ask that you keep the focus on food, rather than on offering advice for dealing with antibiotics and other health issues. We try to avoid having people offer medical advice on Chowhound, as there's no way to vet whether it's safe or appropriate.

                                1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                  somervilleoldtimer RE: The Chowhound Team Jul 15, 2011 09:14 PM

                                  But you know, Chowhound Team, that for many, food and health are inseparable. So perhaps you would consider a food/health board. There are some who would never leave, and others who would only check in occasionally. A good disclaimer at the top and you're ready to roll!

                  2. m
                    Matahari22 RE: buttertart Jul 2, 2011 11:59 AM

                    Been making strawberry shortcake. With a sweet biscuit dough.

                    Tomorrow I am baking my favorite apple cake to bring to a 4th picnic. It's the moist apple cake ever.


                    1. r
                      rainey RE: buttertart Jul 2, 2011 12:31 PM

                      Last night I baked a tres leches cake for my daughter for her birthday celebration tomorrow.

                      On Mon for the BBQ we're having a peach kuchen and (what I hope will taste like) donut ice cream. We had some donut ice cream some time ago from a food truck. Theirs wasn't nearly creamy enough but the flavor was superb. I steeped my cream with cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods and I hope that will capture the flavor.

                      Oh, and I made these Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al... last week and they flew out of the kitchen! I didn't taste them myself because I've cut all grains out of my diet but the family certainly loved them and the reviews at FN were almost entirely raves.

                      PS Not to be negative but I don't get tres leches cakes. It's what my daughter requested so I was happy to make it but I find the texture gross. Anyone else? Or is there a secret to finding a point where enough of the damned tres leches syrup is enough!?

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: rainey
                        BangorDin RE: rainey Jul 2, 2011 05:19 PM

                        If your cake has enough firm spongy structure to keep the liquid inside until it is released by a bite, then there is not too much syrup. Alton Brown has a good one over at the Food Network site. Usually I find that people who don't like Tres Leches say it's too sweet, or "not chocolate".

                        But the sensation of biting into a solid and finding liquid (like Baba au Rhum, or even watermelon or juicy chicken) can be pleasurable to some people. Others in the family might like it.

                        1. re: BangorDin
                          rainey RE: BangorDin Jul 2, 2011 07:15 PM

                          Well, the important thing is that it's what the birthday girl wants. ;>

                          Thanks for the guidelines.

                          1. re: BangorDin
                            rainey RE: BangorDin Jul 2, 2011 09:02 PM

                            Too funny! I just got around to checking out the Alton Brown tres leches cake, BangorDin, and it turns out that's the recipe I printed out a week or so ago. I find his recipes very reliable and I very much like his palate so he's often the first resource I go to.

                            I baked mine in a springform pan (for considerably longer to reach 200˚) because I thought the sides could contain the syrup and then I could remove them for frosting and cutting. Worked out fine. I have since noted that a number of recipes recommend splitting a round cake to layer in a whipped cream filling. Mine is certainly deep enough and I'd go for that option but I've already soaked it so I think I missed my opportunity to cut it. Still, I think it worked out well to soak it and rest it in the pan.

                            Anyone have any ideas for stabilizing the whipped cream frosting? It's a large cake (and, I suspect, rich) and I don't see it getting finished in a single day. I'd like the whipped cream to hold up for a bit if possible.

                          2. re: rainey
                            sweetTooth RE: rainey Jul 3, 2011 01:30 PM

                            I made peach kuchen on Friday night too! This was only the second time I executed a pressed-in tart crust in a fluted loose-bottom pan and though there were no leaks, I would like to learn to make a uniform crust. Base was even, but sides could've been better. Is there a trick to doing this right? It would help to know how much of the mixture to save for the sides. I guess I could've scraped some up from the base when sides looked anemic.

                            1. re: sweetTooth
                              rainey RE: sweetTooth Jul 3, 2011 02:10 PM

                              I also use a press-in base but I don't worry too much about uniform. I just sprinkle it around and keep pressing where it's needed until I'm happy. ;>

                              1. re: rainey
                                sweetTooth RE: rainey Jul 10, 2011 09:27 PM

                                Heh, heh.. yeah, I was certainly being nit picky about the crust. Once it was baked, the crust was hardly in focus - the gorgeous looking peaches stole the show. Rainey, did the recipe you used call for fresh peaches or canned? Mine called for canned but I used fresh. They tasted great when I was slicing them, but I was underwhelmed by their performance in the tart. There was hardly any competing sweetness from custard or crust, so dunno why peaches almost tasted too tart. I switched out the cinnamon in the recipe for cardamom (Mr. Sweettooth hates cinnamon) and loved it. I plan to try again if I come by sweeter peaches in the next few weeks.
                                In other news, baked a Chard tart from Joy Of Cooking and Ina Garten's Brownie pudding for dinner tonight. The latter was yummy if a tad too rich and sweet. Will cut sugar by 1/2 cup and butter by 1/2 stick next time. The tart was ho hum.. I had high hopes. I must've kneaded the crust dough too much - it was tough. Didn't think I was in danger of overworking it, given the amount of oil in it. I was wrong. But the filling didn't wow either. Needs more herbs I think. I'm pretty sure I saw something like this on Lidia's Italy. Need to look up recipe and compare differences. Yeah dinner was a calorie bomb tonight. Too bad it didn't taste worth it. :-(

                                1. re: sweetTooth
                                  rainey RE: sweetTooth Jul 11, 2011 07:11 AM

                                  I used this recipe (which has canned peaches as the primary choice) but 1 used 4 large peeled fresh peaches. Can't be specific about the flavor since I don't eat things with grains or sweetener but the family and guests liked it a lot.

                                  Guests, of course, have to be polite about it but the fam is trained to give me real, tough feedback so I can continue improving while desisting from expanding. ;>


                                  I used a springform pan which resulted in much higher sides and fruit that was covered by the custard layer. Not necessarily my choice as I think some browing of the fruit would be appealing but I find the round form and being able to remove the sides make it easier to serve and more "guest ready" than the homey rectangular baking pan which is, otherwise, perfect for a down home dessert like kuchen.

                                  I would use the recipe again but next time I'd probably only pour on enough of the sour cream custard mix to fill in between the fruit to leave the prettiness of the fruit exposed.

                                  Here's a pic:

                              2. re: sweetTooth
                                roxlet RE: sweetTooth Jul 11, 2011 04:38 AM

                                Nick Malgieri has you make ropes of dough for the sides, which are easy to make pretty uniform, and then those ropes are placed around the sides of the tart pan and pressed in. I think this would help with he uniformity.

                                1. re: roxlet
                                  rainey RE: roxlet Jul 11, 2011 07:14 AM

                                  An excellent tip for a doughy-dough. Not so do-able for crumb type press-in doughs.

                                  I just love NIck Malgieri. He is so practical and approachable in his style and his recipes never fail.

                              3. re: rainey
                                somervilleoldtimer RE: rainey Jul 15, 2011 09:15 PM

                                Wow -- I'm so impressed that you're still baking after cutting out all grains!

                                1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                  rainey RE: somervilleoldtimer Jul 16, 2011 07:27 PM

                                  I had to do it for my health and my sanity. I'm GLAD I did it but that doesn't mean that I can't still enjoy the aromas, visuals or offering pleasure to my family. ;> ]

                                  Once I got the stuff that's toxic to me out of my system I don't find it all that difficult to pass on.

                              4. THewat RE: buttertart Jul 2, 2011 05:01 PM

                                Must stop reading chowhound & go to kitchen. Must stop reading chowhound & go to kitchen. Must stop... Bread dough tonight & probably tomorrow also, Julia Child's buttermilk scones for a brunch tomorrow, torta caprese for lunch on Monday. All pretty reliable. Maybe I can sneak in something from my "to try" file...

                                1. n
                                  nutmeg0287 RE: buttertart Jul 2, 2011 05:53 PM

                                  Just made a chipotle mango and zucchini bread and I'm really REALLY excited about it. Perfect balance/ amount of spice and sweet. Home run feeling lol Don't you love it?

                                  Trying to think of something to bake to bring camping next weekend; any ideas for something special that will travel well?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: nutmeg0287
                                    kattyeyes RE: nutmeg0287 Jul 5, 2011 03:45 PM

                                    I think Bittman's blondies with bourbon are pretty special (not to mention easy)...and would be fun/easy to snack on while camping.

                                    Payard's flourless chocolate cookies are also delicious, and thank you for asking this question as it reminded me there is something else I can do with my leftover egg whites. If you want to put a different spin on 'em, I made a Mexican variation by adding:
                                    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
                                    ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
                                    ¼ teaspoon chipotle

                                    Both of these would travel well.

                                    As for me, I still have sweet cherries to work with, so I'm hoping to make a cherry crisp. I've made other fruit crisps (apple, rhubarb, peach), but never cherry. After seeing a pic of someone else's, I really wanted to give it a try.


                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                      miss louella RE: kattyeyes Jul 5, 2011 03:52 PM

                                      Katty, do you have a recipe you're working from? A feel a sweet cherry crisp in my near future....

                                  2. Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 2, 2011 07:12 PM

                                    Rhubarb Raspberry Cobbler in the oven now.

                                    1. souschef RE: buttertart Jul 2, 2011 09:29 PM

                                      Below is a picture of a brioche aux fruits I made. I must confess that I took artistic licence and trimmed the top knot so that more fruit would show. It was delicious, and I really enjoyed the layer of chocolate with the pastry cream and fruit, but it was not what I would consider successful, for the following reasons:

                                      1) I don't think that RLB's recipe is the best to use for this type of mould (you heard right, Buttertart) because the 5 turns that you make cause it (like puff pastry) to rise vertically, but not much horizontally. I used 1-1/3 recipe, and after the final rising the dough rose quite high in the mould, but did not expand enough sideways; there was space between the dough and the side of the mould. I think this recipe would be best used in a bread pan. When baked it rose spectacularly high but there was still space on the side. Also, the layers made it a royal pain to try and form a top knot. When next I make it I will omit the turns; other recipes do not use turns.

                                      2) I thinned the pastry cream with whipping cream, resulting in it becoming too thin, so when cut it flowed out. Hence, no picture of the insides. Also, I did not make enough pastry cream - 3 yolks with 300ml of milk.

                                      3) I forgot to slash the sides of the dough, so there were a few cracks.

                                      What to do with the stuffing was no problem. As I pulled out the first piece, I tasted it, and I tasted subsequent pieces just to be sure that they all tasted as good. Well, I did not eat ALL of it. The layers made it easy to hollow out as the contents came out in layers.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: souschef
                                        buttertart RE: souschef Jul 3, 2011 07:51 AM

                                        Very nice! There's still time to make another with another dough...
                                        Did you use the classic method of dividing part of the dough and leaving it attached to form the topknot, or did you form it separately? Seat it by thrusting it in the middle? (Inadequate descriptions, methods seen in Julia Child and Paula Peck recently.)
                                        How did you add the chocolate? Brush or?

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          souschef RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 08:16 AM

                                          I used the classic method for the top knot, but besides being hard to form it was hard to attach; it almost took off on its own in the oven.

                                          I thought about brushing on the chocolate, but decided it would work just as well (and simpler for cleanup) if I just spooned it in, so that's what I did. I used the back of the spoon to smooth it out.

                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            somervilleoldtimer RE: buttertart Jul 15, 2011 09:16 PM

                                            I have never, ever made brioche. Should I? And do I need one of those nifty pans?

                                            1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                              buttertart RE: somervilleoldtimer Jul 17, 2011 04:48 PM

                                              I've only made it a couple of times so far, but yes, everybody should have one of those nifthy pans. Heheh.

                                        2. buttertart RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 08:18 AM

                                          Damn! finished a big post and had a connectivity issue, turned off computer, and lost text. Hate when that happens.

                                          Made pizza last night and saved some of the dough as a sponge for the French bread I'm making today - just more water, a touch more yeast, and enough flour to make a softish dough, whizzed up in the FP and to be allowed to rise all day.

                                          Made a raspberry pie yesterday with the CI vodka dough, substituted lard for shortening and it seems not quite as good as usual, surprisingly. Won't do it again. The fats were frozen and I may have overprocessed the initial mixture to compensate. pie dough and I are not best friends.

                                          The filling was done with the Malgieri method of cooking part of the fruit with the sugar, stirring some of the juice into a mix of cornstarch and water, cooking that until thick and combining it with the rest of the fruit. Cut the pie when it was still warmish and the filling didn't cohere any better than by usual methods (but it's a very nice pie nonetheless).

                                          Tomorrow, sablés, I think.

                                          Have a whole lot of sour cherries, part of which I will wrest from the cherry fancier's clutches and use either in a sour cream and sour cherry pie (a Taste of Home recipe recommended on the Philadelphia board discussion of sour cherries) or an almond Reine de Saba for next weekend's company.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            buttertart RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 08:59 AM

                                            Hey hey, I spoke too soon, both on the lard and the filling. Both shaped up very nicely overnight. Pie is one fine breakfast...

                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              DiningDiva RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 02:15 PM


                                          2. ChristinaMason RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 09:23 AM

                                            My old coworker is having a birthday, and lest he think I forgot him, I'm bringing by a cake today. This time I'm making a praline upside-down cake, which borrows this idea: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/p...

                                            but uses a homemade yellow cake instead of the pumpkin spice cake: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum...

                                            The topping stuck a little bit when I upended the layers, but they should be fine. I'm going to sandwich the layers with this whipped cream frosting: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum... and top with a dollop of the same and pecan halves.

                                            18 Replies
                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                              buttertart RE: ChristinaMason Jul 3, 2011 04:54 PM

                                              That sounds swell, especially since it's depumpkinized.

                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                ChristinaMason RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 11:05 AM

                                                Coworkers enjoyed it and, as an added bonus, DH requested it for his birthday cake! I think it would be fab topped with some sliced farmer's market peaches.

                                                That butter cake recipe is a true keeper. Nice and fluffy.

                                                Does anyone have advice on how to keep the gelatin from seizing when I add it to the whipped cream? I ended up with some globs to pick out.

                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                  rainey RE: ChristinaMason Jul 4, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                  I just did stabilized whipped cream myself for the first time yesterday.

                                                  I bloomed 2 teaspoons of gelatin over 1/2 cup of water and microwaved it for a minute at 50% power to dissolve it. Then I set it aside to cool.

                                                  I whipped 2 cups of heavy cream until I could see the trail of the beaters on the surface and then poured in the cool liquid gelatin and continued whipping to stiff peaks.

                                                  A day later, the piped whipped cream is holding up. It's soft enough that plastic wrap has smoothed out the piped edges but there's no sign of weeping or deflating. I didn't taste it myself but my son reports that he had no idea it was anything other than ordinary whipped cream so there doesn't appear to be any detectible flavor or sense of rubberiness.

                                                  1. re: rainey
                                                    ChristinaMason RE: rainey Jul 5, 2011 07:09 AM

                                                    great, thanks. i tried to do something similar, but with much less water, and i think it was too thick or something.

                                                  2. re: ChristinaMason
                                                    kattyeyes RE: ChristinaMason Jul 5, 2011 03:53 PM

                                                    Christina, are you by chance a Duncan-Hines Butter Recipe Golden lover (like I am!)? I ask because I always want to try making a cake like that from scratch, but suspect it won't taste as good to me. It's very silly--I don't feel that way about chocolate cake and prefer scratch chocolate cake rather than boxed. I have a real block on D-H BRG, though.

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                      ChristinaMason RE: kattyeyes Jul 6, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                      kattyeyes, it's been a long time since I've had a DH cake. This recipe was really fluffy and "cake mix" textured---I think you might like it. Try it!

                                                      BTW, I found it made rather thin layers (I made only two and scaled the recipe back 1/3), even in my 8-in. pans. Next time, I might make the whole recipe and divide it between just two pans.

                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                        kattyeyes RE: ChristinaMason Jul 6, 2011 07:36 AM

                                                        It's on my to-try list now, thank you! I almost always make the lazy 9 x 13" pan, so I should be covered. Appreciate the info. :)

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                          buttertart RE: kattyeyes Jul 6, 2011 07:49 AM

                                                          I love cake mix cake. White even more than yellow. Shhh don't tell anybody!!!

                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                            souschef RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                            Is that usually dessert after your frozen TV dinner ?

                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                              buttertart RE: souschef Jul 6, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                              Yeah, the Hungry Man Salisbury steak one. ;-)

                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                kattyeyes RE: souschef Jul 6, 2011 08:39 AM

                                                                No, don't those come with their own desserts?! :P

                                                              2. re: buttertart
                                                                kattyeyes RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 08:38 AM

                                                                Me, too--not sure on white v. yellow--love 'em both. But now EVERYBODY knows! It's OK, I wear it proudly. I bake a little cake with Duncan Hines (and I DO wear the pants they call the Calvin Kleins). HA HA HA! Apologies to RUN-DMC.
                                                                "Fresssssssh, for you, for you!"
                                                                I stand firm on homemade frosting though. Cannot abide canned--no way, no day. :)

                                                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                  buttertart RE: kattyeyes Jul 6, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                  With you on the frosting, as was my sainted mother. Try making chocolate frosting with orange juice as the liquid, if you like that combo. It gives it a nice little "nyah".

                                                                2. re: buttertart
                                                                  roxlet RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                  I loved them as a kid, but now I find that boxed cake mixes (except those from King Arthur Flour) taste and smell very chemically to me...

                                                              3. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                auburnselkie RE: ChristinaMason Jul 14, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                Christina, I *really* liked this cake recipe. I tend not to make yellow cakes, even though I like them, because they seem to be bland, or too dry, or, (cough), not DH-y enough, but this was perfect. And then I went and trashed it up to make faux-Hostess-baseball cupcakes for a friend! :)

                                                                The cake was very moist and fluffy but it held up well as a cupcake. It made 18 total. I will try this as a real cake when I can get over my filling-cupcakes-with-stuff mania. Thanks again!

                                                                1. re: auburnselkie
                                                                  kattyeyes RE: auburnselkie Jul 14, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                  HA HA HA, "not DH-y enough"--and "trashed it up"--how fun! What was the filling?

                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                    buttertart RE: kattyeyes Jul 15, 2011 06:34 AM

                                                                    Not DH-y enough, I am stealing that! Many things are not DH-y enough in our house.

                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                      auburnselkie RE: kattyeyes Jul 15, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                                      It was a marshmallow cream/buttercream filling (about 4 tbsp. butter to 1 cup powdered sugar to 1 cup of marshmallow cream with some milk and vanilla). It was really nice - the marshmallow kept the filling creamy (vs. a big bite of frosting, which probably would have gone over well, too). And yeah, it was fun. I was giggling madly as I put them together. :)

                                                        2. DiningDiva RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                          Emapanadas. I've been on an empanada making frenzy for the last week. So far, I've filled them with

                                                          - apricots that fell off my aunt's tree

                                                          - apples that a fell off the tree of a friend of my mother

                                                          - tomatillo & lime jam

                                                          I currently have a batch of empanada dough (recipe from My Sweet Mexico) in the fridge and a batch of tomato jam (4 cups cherry tomatoes and 1 1/4 cups sugar, cook it down) that will go into the oven as soon as I'm done purusing CH.

                                                          Brownies (Brownie Supreme recipe from Cookies by Nancy Baggett) just came out of the oven.

                                                          Tomorrow I'm making pecan shortcakes for Blackberry Shortcake

                                                          11 Replies
                                                          1. re: DiningDiva
                                                            rainey RE: DiningDiva Jul 3, 2011 02:39 PM

                                                            Tomatillo and lime jam empanadas sound like bliss!

                                                            1. re: rainey
                                                              DiningDiva RE: rainey Jul 3, 2011 03:08 PM

                                                              Here's the recipe -http://patismexicantable.com/2011/05/...

                                                              It's really good, somewhat addictive. I thought it tasted more of lime than tomatillo, but that's okay. I also thought it was a bit too sweet. I will make this again, but I will reduce the sugar to 1 1/4 cups. I may reduce the lime juice as well; I used fairly tart Key Limes and may try it with regular Persian limes before I reduce the lime juice.

                                                              It takes this jam a long time to begin to get thick, but once it does, watch and stir fairly attentively. I didn't and burned and almost ruined the Cuisnart pan in which I was cooking it. Easy recipe, worth making, just watch it towards the end of the cooking process. I also gave it a few whirls in the blender because I didn't want it chunky.

                                                              1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                jlhinwa RE: DiningDiva Jul 9, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                                Thanks for sharing the recipe. That sounds amazing...have to try it!

                                                            2. re: DiningDiva
                                                              buttertart RE: DiningDiva Jul 3, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                              I'll bite - how about that brownie recipe?

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                DiningDiva RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                                Brownies Supreme

                                                                1 Cup + 2 Tbls butter
                                                                5 oz Bittersweet chocolate (I use 6 oz today)
                                                                Put the butter and chocolate in a microwavable bowl. Zap at full power for 1 minute. Stir and then zap for another 30 seconds. Stir. If the chocolate hasn't fully melted, give it another 10 or 15 seconds depending upon your microwave. Set aside, cool to at least warm.

                                                                2/3 Cup A.P. flour
                                                                1 1/2 Tbls regular cocoa powder (i.e. not Dutch processed)
                                                                1/4 tsp salt
                                                                If cocoa powder is lumpy, sieve or sift it to remove the lumps. You should have 1 1/2 Tbls. *after* lump removal. Stir the flour, salt and cocoa together. Set aside

                                                                1 Cup granulated sugar
                                                                1/3 Cup light brown sugar
                                                                Mix both sugars together and set aside

                                                                3 eggs
                                                                2 1/2 tsp. vanilla

                                                                Add sugar to chocolate mixture and stir well to combine. Then add eggs and vanilla and stir well. Stir in the flour until just incorporated.

                                                                Turn into a prepared (i.e. sprayed with pan release) 8" sq. pan and bake at 350* for 28-33 minutes. I went 30 today and the center pieces are a bit fudgey, I think I probably should have gone the whole 33 mins.

                                                                1. re: DiningDiva
                                                                  souschef RE: DiningDiva Jul 3, 2011 05:43 PM

                                                                  I wonder how they would turn out if you upped the chocolate and skipped the cocoa.

                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                    DiningDiva RE: souschef Jul 3, 2011 08:08 PM

                                                                    Just fine, that's what I did today.

                                                                  2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                    buttertart RE: DiningDiva Jul 4, 2011 07:40 AM

                                                                    I'll give these a whirl. Thanks!

                                                                2. re: DiningDiva
                                                                  jlhinwa RE: DiningDiva Jul 9, 2011 10:21 PM

                                                                  I just made empanadas today for a Mexican-themed BBQ we went to this evening. I don't know where empanadas have been all my life as I just discovered how delicious they were a couple weeks ago. My filling was pineapple-orange, though it turned out a little sweeter than I would have liked. Next time I am going with my gut and adding lemon juice or cutting back on sugar.

                                                                  DD, does your dough recipe include cream cheese? The recipe I have did and I wasn't sure if that is standard for empanada dough or not. I really like what it did to the texture and flavor.

                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                    ChristinaMason RE: jlhinwa Jul 11, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                    Here's an empanada dough recipe that claims to be "authentic"--it uses lard: http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/authe...

                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                      DiningDiva RE: jlhinwa Jul 17, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                      My empanada does does not contain cream cheese. The dough I use is for sweet empanadas and is probably one of the most forgiving doughs I've ever worked with. I'd say it was foolproof, but, you know, the minute you make a claim like that someone makes it and says it failed.

                                                                      Empanada Dough
                                                                      2 Cups A.P. Flour
                                                                      1/2 tsp Baking Powder
                                                                      3 Tbls. Sugar, granulated
                                                                      Pinch of salt
                                                                      3/4 Cup of butter cut into small chunks*
                                                                      1/2 Cup Heavy Cream or Mexican Crema**

                                                                      Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together until well blended. Cut in the cold butter until it resembles coarse meal. Add the cream and mix until the dough begins to form. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it comes together. Form and flatten into a disk about 8" in diameter. Wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until needed.

                                                                      Alternately, this can be made in a food processor. Put all the dry ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the chunks of butter and process until it looks like fine meal. Add the cream and pulse to combine. The dough will not come together in the food processor, it will look coarse and grainy, but that's okay. Remove the top and press some of the crumbs together, if they stick you're good to go. Remove the blade and dump everything onto the floured surface. Pull the crumbs together pressing and then begin kneading until the dough forms. Wrap and refrigerate as above.

                                                                      * We always have butter in the freezer so I just grab a couple sticks, cut one in half and then cut everything into chunks.

                                                                      ** If you elect to use Mexican Crema make sure the container says something like "Mexican table cream". Most of the *crema* sold is the U.S. is actually sour cream and that's not necessarily what you want for this recipe. If you look at the Mexcian crema lables close enough they will generally specific sour cream on them somewhere

                                                                      This dough is really easy to work with and can be re-rolled many times without toughening up. My only complaint is that it doesn't brown especially well so I usually use the convection feature on my oven and then it browns just fine.

                                                                  2. Candy RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 03:22 PM

                                                                    Made an almond pound cake to have for peach shortcake tonight. I've put together 3 different ice creams for tomorrow and will be making shortcakes in the AM. I'm leaving my red white and blue window display up through 7/14

                                                                    1. firecooked RE: buttertart Jul 3, 2011 04:04 PM

                                                                      Last night I made an Apricot Clafouti... Yum! I used the the following as a guide http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/apr..., but used all whole eggs, whole milk, a good bit of butter to grease the pan, and less sugar. Plus adjusted quantity to fit in a 8" pan.

                                                                      A couple of weeks ago I made a lemon-olive oil cake (from the Oranges and Olives cookbook). Simple, perfect with fruit. Definitely a keeper!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: firecooked
                                                                        somervilleoldtimer RE: firecooked Jul 15, 2011 09:18 PM

                                                                        Mmmm. Clafouti! But I tend to stick to sour cherries. I would love to try apricot, but I have never, ever tasted a fresh apricot that didn't seem mealy to me. (I love the dried ones, though.)

                                                                      2. Breadcrumbs RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                                        Rhubarb Anise Upside-Down Cake - p. 717 - The Gourmet Cookbook

                                                                        I picked up a couple of pounds of beautiful MacDonald Rhubarb at the farmer's market on Saturday with this cake in mind. The idea of pairing rhubarb w anise seed seemed like a match made in heaven and, as fans of both, I knew this would be a hit at Casa bc!

                                                                        The cake is baked in a cast iron skillet which adds to its rusticity and appeal in my view. Prep is simple and straightforward w the most challenging (read . . . keep your fingers crossed!!) element being the actual plating. Happy to report that no fruit was left behind in the inverted plating of this dish!!

                                                                        The tangy juices of the rhubarb blend beautifully w the buttery-sugar topping to infuse the cake with moisture and flavour. The anise really elevates this dish. We enjoyed this warm as a breakfast treat this morning and look forward to our next slice w a little custard for dessert this evening.

                                                                        Happy to recommend this one. Here's a link to the recipe at Epi if anyone is interested:


                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                          buttertart RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 5, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                                          I like the idea of anise with rhubarb a lot. Having grown up with a big patch of it in the back yard I shudder at the price of it here ($4/lb!!!) and don't buy it. Must see about a plant or three.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            Breadcrumbs RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                                            Wow, that's expensive bt! I paid $2 for 2lbs. If you decide to make this, I'd recommend adding more anise seed than the recipe calls for. The anise flavour was much less predominant once the cake was cool. Next time I'll likely double the amount or, add some anise extract to up the ante a little.

                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                              buttertart RE: Breadcrumbs Jul 5, 2011 04:31 PM

                                                                              It's not as common here. I grew up on rhubabrb pie and rhubarb sauce (great with buttered toast for breakfast). I'll remember the anise when I finally lay my hands on some!

                                                                        2. roxlet RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 04:03 PM

                                                                          The DH bought a box of peaches at Costco last week, and the damn things just weren't ripening properly. Before they went to waste, I decided to make a peach pie, but because they were kind of uninspiring, I added in some frozen wild blueberries that are not getting any better sitting in the freezer. I used the Malgieri method of cooking some of the berries with the sugar and adding the cornstarch, so we will see how this concoction turns out and if the peaches are improved by baking. It looks pretty, though I think it's harder to wrestle with pie dough when it's hot and humid!

                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                            buttertart RE: roxlet Jul 4, 2011 04:13 PM

                                                                            Sounds like a nice pie. Were they CA or GA peaches? I usually have better luck with GA ones.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                              roxlet RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 04:31 PM

                                                                              They were from CA, but we have had incredible luck with these peaches in the past. One year they were so incredible that they rivaled peaches I've had in Italy. Not so this year.

                                                                            2. re: roxlet
                                                                              souschef RE: roxlet Jul 4, 2011 05:06 PM

                                                                              You should try wrestling with rolled fondant when it's hot and humid. It cannot be done without A/C.

                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                roxlet RE: souschef Jul 4, 2011 06:19 PM

                                                                                I make it a point to NEVER wrestle with rolled fondant! :)

                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                  souschef RE: roxlet Jul 5, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                                                  I enjoy working with rolled fondant as the end results can be so good. Check out this cake I made a while ago. It was very enjoyable to make.

                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                    buttertart RE: souschef Jul 5, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                    Do you make the sugar syrup one?

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                      souschef RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 06:56 AM

                                                                                      I made the one in TCB - icing sugar, glucose, glycerine. It was funny, but when I went to the drugstore looking for glycerine, the lady I asked for assistance finding it wanted to know if I wanted a glycering suppository :)

                                                                                      I recently discovered that the cake supply store I deal with has pre-made fondant. Not that I would ever use it ! :)

                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                        buttertart RE: souschef Jul 5, 2011 09:24 AM

                                                                                        Getting the glycerine wasn't a problem? Where did you get the glucose?

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                          souschef RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 09:54 AM

                                                                                          No, the glycerine was not a problem; I got it from the drugstore. The glucose I got from the cake supply store.

                                                                                          One thing I have not figured out: RLB tells you to roll out fondant on a marble board sprayed with vegetable spray, and it has always worked for me, except for the last time, when it was sticky (maybe the weather was a factor), so I called the cake supply store as they also make cakes. They told me that they roll it out on icing sugar, so I tried it and it worked great.

                                                                                    2. re: souschef
                                                                                      roxlet RE: souschef Jul 5, 2011 03:23 PM

                                                                                      That is beautiful, souschef, but it's not in my cards for two reasons: 1. I lack the patience and precision necessary, and 2. no one in my family likes fondant!

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                        souschef RE: roxlet Jul 5, 2011 05:53 PM

                                                                                        Thanks roxlet. I don't like fondant either. I just set it aside and eat the good stuff inside - stuff like RLB's Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte, which I have used a lot. Fondant is very definitely for decoration, not for eating.

                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                          roxlet RE: souschef Jul 5, 2011 06:05 PM

                                                                                          It keeps the cake fresh for a really long time, too, doesn't it. It's decorative saran wrap!

                                                                                2. re: roxlet
                                                                                  rainey RE: roxlet Jul 4, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                                  Your pie's a beauty!

                                                                                  I got some of those Costco peaches too. They benefited greatly from a week in the veggie crisper in their cardboard flat with the plastic lid. The packaging kept them unbruised and they went in a peach kuchen today that was well received.

                                                                                  1. re: rainey
                                                                                    roxlet RE: rainey Jul 4, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                                                    Thanks, rainey, but I feel the pie is a dud. Dull tasting peaches make for a dull-tasting pie no matter how many bells and whistles you add in. A good-looking pie, yes, but not a particularly delicious one!

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                      rainey RE: roxlet Jul 4, 2011 07:51 PM

                                                                                      Sorry to hear that the flavor didn't develop.

                                                                                      Some people grill fruit that doesn't have full flavor to add an element of caramelization. I wonder how that would work if you then put the grilled fruit in a pie.

                                                                                      1. re: rainey
                                                                                        roxlet RE: rainey Jul 5, 2011 05:13 AM

                                                                                        Interesting idea, but I hope to not have so much tasteless fruit again!

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                          buttertart RE: roxlet Jul 5, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                                                          That is a pain. M's mom often gets AMAZING Colorado peaches (the big ones, I think they're Elbertas, they look like the type a woman I used to work with said they were called "albicocc" in her Italian-American community - does that mean anything to you?) in August from her local Lutheran church fundraiser. Lutherans apparently get first dibs because she's never sure from one year to the next if she'll be allowed to get any!

                                                                                  2. re: roxlet
                                                                                    somervilleoldtimer RE: roxlet Jul 15, 2011 09:20 PM

                                                                                    VERY pretty!

                                                                                  3. pikawicca RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                                    Made some lovely Orange/Cardamom butter cookies as a thank-you to helpful neighbors. Well received.

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                      buttertart RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2011 06:52 AM

                                                                                      Care to share the recipe? Very nice flavor combo.

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                        ChristinaMason RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 07:12 AM

                                                                                        agree, please share. that sounds delish!

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                          pikawicca RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 07:18 AM


                                                                                          I added a bit of orange juice, as the dough was a little too dry.

                                                                                          Rolled the dough into a log, chilled, sliced thin and baked.

                                                                                          Didn't make the icing.

                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                            buttertart RE: pikawicca Jul 5, 2011 07:21 AM

                                                                                            Thanks! I got some gorgeous navel oranges this winter, minced the peels with sugar, and froze it - really vibrant orange flavor. Some would be good in these too.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                              blue room RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 09:57 AM

                                                                                              I wish I'd done that this past winter, didn't know you could do that and still have "vibrant". Is it just as simple as that--mince with sugar and freeze? Could you estimate the ratio of sugar to peel? Or is it just the zest--would a microplane be a good idea?

                                                                                              I've learned to always have lemons in the house, but I never have an orange when I need one!

                                                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                                                buttertart RE: blue room Jul 5, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                                I'm the same way about oranges. I peeled the zest off with a veg peeler, and processed it in the food processor until it was finely minced. Keeps beautifully. (These were "heritage" navels from TJ's that greygarious had mentioned on CH as being exceptional, and man were they good.)

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                  somervilleoldtimer RE: buttertart Jul 15, 2011 09:22 PM

                                                                                                  Now that's brilliant. When I have extra citrus i will zest it with a microplane and then add the juice I squeeze from the fruit, and freeze that mix in ice cube trays, and then in ziploc bags. But it never occurred to me to take off the zest of an orange and keep it, if I was just eating the orange. Thanks!

                                                                                      2. Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 07:08 PM

                                                                                        baked Apple Pie and Salted Nut Bars for neighbors' bbq today.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                          buttertart RE: Cynsa Jul 5, 2011 06:51 AM

                                                                                          Cynsa, you tease, you're not getting away without spilling the salted nut bar recipe...

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                            Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 03:06 PM

                                                                                            just for you, the recipe for Salted Nut Bars:
                                                                                            Blend together and press into ungreased 15x10-inch pan.
                                                                                            3 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                            1-1/2 cups brown sugar
                                                                                            1 tsp. salt
                                                                                            1 cup unsalted butter, softened
                                                                                            Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.
                                                                                            Sprinkle 2 cups of mixed nuts on the pre-baked crust. Set aside.
                                                                                            In saucepan, combine 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 2 Tablespoons butter, 1 Tablespoon water, and one cup of butterscotch chips. Bring to a boil - stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Pour over the nuts in the pre-baked crust. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Cut into bars. Sweet as candy, rich and buttery.

                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                              buttertart RE: Cynsa Jul 5, 2011 04:32 PM

                                                                                              Thanks! Oh my goodness, I'd have to have hungry company to make this, it sounds like something I would not be able to stay away from.

                                                                                        2. Chocolatechipkt RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 08:52 PM

                                                                                          Lemon scones for the parents of a new baby.

                                                                                          A berry shortcake variation, using lemon cake:

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                            buttertart RE: Chocolatechipkt Jul 5, 2011 06:51 AM


                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                              ChristinaMason RE: Chocolatechipkt Jul 5, 2011 07:12 AM

                                                                                              how pretty!

                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                DiningDiva RE: Chocolatechipkt Jul 5, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                                                That looks so fabulous

                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                miss louella RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                                I'm making a cherry pie with sweet cherries (I know, I know... sour ones not available here and my guy is not convinced sweet cherries are inferior in pies). Anyway, I'm using the Maglieri filling method with this adaptation for sweet cherries: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo.... Also, in the land of adaptability, am making a modified CI vodka crust. So if it fails, we can rest assured it's my many many changes. :-)

                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                  buttertart RE: miss louella Jul 5, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                                                                  I love a black cherry pie but the cherry fancier does not like them at all. How can one not like black cherries!???!!?

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                    miss louella RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 01:53 PM

                                                                                                    I adore black cherries but find them a little one dimensional in sweets. Hoping the lemon juice will tart it up for me. Will report back!

                                                                                                    1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                      buttertart RE: miss louella Jul 5, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                                                                      That was one of my mom's big summertime things, the one black cherry pie she could get away with - my dad was the same way in insisting on sour cherries.

                                                                                                  2. re: miss louella
                                                                                                    biondanonima RE: miss louella Jul 5, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                                                                    Miss Louella, have you seen the CI recipe for sweet cherry pie? They address the issue of sweet cherries being too sweet and not juicy enough by pureeing a cup of cherries with two plums. The puree is forced through a sieve and the strained puree is added to five cups of cherries. Then they add a tablespoon of lemon juice and only a half cup of sugar, and thicken with instant tapioca. I haven't tried it myself, but I definitely will once I run out of sour cherries.

                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                      buttertart RE: biondanonima Jul 6, 2011 05:53 AM

                                                                                                      That is a very good idea, the plums would add their acidity but not be dominating in flavor. Thanks for pointing it out!

                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                        miss louella RE: biondanonima Jul 6, 2011 08:45 AM

                                                                                                        Thanks!!! I had not seen that and it's PERFECT for today. The pie was a big hit and got the funniest compliment I've ever received: "I really love canned cherry pie, but this is pretty good too." rofl! Anyway, we left the pie at the bbq host's house, so I'm making yet another pie today. Will try your/their plum trick. I will report back to let you know how it goes.

                                                                                                        Thanks again!

                                                                                                        1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                          biondanonima RE: miss louella Jul 6, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                                                          Oh, you've got to love compliments like that. Reminds me of that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Debra finally gives up trying to recreate Ray's mom's "perfect" pumpkin pie and uses a can of Libby's filling - and that was the "secret" recipe all along!

                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                            buttertart RE: biondanonima Jul 6, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                                                                            Happens more than people would like to admit, I bet! I didn't know you COULD make a cake from scratch until I started reading cookbooks. Pies were always from the ground up in our house, though.

                                                                                                          2. re: miss louella
                                                                                                            biondanonima RE: miss louella Jul 8, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                                                            Please do let us know, I am very curious about their technique!

                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                              miss louella RE: biondanonima Jul 8, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                                                              Had an oven failure and didn't get to the second pie yet; will definitely share the results when I have some.

                                                                                                          3. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                            miss louella RE: biondanonima Jul 18, 2011 07:38 AM

                                                                                                            Hi there! Just reporting back that I tried this method and my pie eaters were definitely much happier with the sweet-cherry-only pie they got a couple of weeks ago. Hmmm, I guess it's possible they DO know what they like. :-)

                                                                                                            Thanks for the suggestion, I always like trying to pull one over on the tasting panel.

                                                                                                        2. twodales RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                                                                          I have some mushy bananas so methinks it will be Giada D's banana muffins (more like cupcakes) with mascarpone frosting. I'm not a big banana bread person but I have to admit everyone seems to love these.

                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: twodales
                                                                                                            THewat RE: twodales Jul 6, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                                                            OK, I've just riffed on the Giada recipe using a pair of aging bananas. Thanks for reminder that I should get around to doing something & for the starting point.

                                                                                                            1. re: THewat
                                                                                                              twodales RE: THewat Jul 6, 2011 11:00 AM

                                                                                                              Let us know what you think please. The mascarpone frosting is really "more-ish", as my husband is so fond of saying.

                                                                                                              1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                THewat RE: twodales Jul 6, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                Laughing - this won't be a good test of her recipe. Not finding my muffin pans, I turned it into a loaf. I also cut down the sugar & the vanilla, and added some black pepper & a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips. I used part roasted walnut & part safflower for the oil - just a little walnut, since I had it kicking around. I'm sad I couldn't put my hands on a muffin pan - I like the crust part. Anyway, this smells good, and looks more appealing than the two aging bananas. I don't think I'll get around to frosting, but I've saved for future reference. "more-ish" seems like an excellent recommendation.

                                                                                                                1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                  twodales RE: THewat Jul 6, 2011 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                  Improvising is the sign of a true cook! I forgot to mention that the frosting isn't too sweet, which suits me very nicely.

                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                    THewat RE: twodales Jul 7, 2011 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                    So the word on the unfrosted banana bread is that cool, it was perfectly respectable. (I'm not much of a banana bread person either.) But warm out of the oven it was surprisingly great. :-) Nice texture, not super sweet, good banana flavor, wonderful smell... What's not to love?

                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                      LEsherick2008 RE: THewat Jul 7, 2011 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                      Then you need to try this banana cake it is way better than any banana bread I have ever made. It is Dorie Greenspan's and it never disappoints.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LEsherick2008
                                                                                                                        THewat RE: LEsherick2008 Jul 7, 2011 08:02 PM


                                                                                                              2. re: THewat
                                                                                                                somervilleoldtimer RE: THewat Jul 15, 2011 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                I just hurl bananas in their skins into the freezer when they get mushy, and when I get 8 or 10 together in there, then I make banana bread. Joy of Cooking, oil instead of butter, replace 1/2 the white flour with whole wheat and throw in some wheat germ.

                                                                                                                1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                                  rainey RE: somervilleoldtimer Jul 16, 2011 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                  I freeze very ripe bananas too but I find them difficult to peel once they're thawed so I started peeling them first and sticking them in a ziplock.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                    roxlet RE: rainey Nov 10, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                                    I peel them, then wrap them in plastic wrap.

                                                                                                            2. t
                                                                                                              twilight goddess RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                                                                              To celebrate freedom, summer, and berries in their juicy splendor, I made the Smitten Kitchen blueberry crumb bars, after reading about them on another thread while up late-late bopping around CH on July 3.


                                                                                                              ★TOTAL KEEPER! I will be making these little dolls again and again. I brought one to my boss yesterday, no I brought two.... ;-) They certainly seemed to dazzle my group of friends on the 4th, all merrily gobbling them up. The color is just so passionately summery, and the flavor matches. Love how the lemon is just a hint, but balances the sweetness and the buttery crumbles. I am always a fan of lemon pretty much anywhere.

                                                                                                              I may try with rhubarb?!?!? Just for fun, I may also try 1/2 brown sugar in the crust next time. Maybe add some chopped nuts to the crunchy top. Pistachios, like the berry crisp I make, or almonds. Maybe not, though, as they are perfect right now. I like that they keep in the fridge too! *Definitely wait until they cool completely, and then refrigerate to ease the cutting process. They're too pretty and you wouldn't want their loveliness marred by cutting too soon!

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: twilight goddess
                                                                                                                buttertart RE: twilight goddess Jul 6, 2011 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                Sounds scrummy! Thanks for letting us know about these.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                  This is the thread where they were recommended, and it turns out they have many, many fans: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/793512 I saved that recipe myself.

                                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                                LEsherick2008 RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                I need a Brownie recipe or in a pinch a chocolate cookie or chocolate chip cookie for a party on Friday. I cannot get to the store before then and the only chocolate I have is cocoa powder and 1 bar of Scharfinberger Chocolate bar with cocoa nibs. Can I make something great with these. Also prefer cakey over fudgey brownies

                                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: LEsherick2008
                                                                                                                  buttertart RE: LEsherick2008 Jul 7, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                  I would go with this, for a brownie: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recip...
                                                                                                                  Always have good luck with their recipes - you could chop up the chocolate and stir it in to go a bit fancy.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                    Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies from Bittersweet have a great reputation: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                    I've also heard raves for her brown butter cocoa brownies: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                    I like buttertart's idea of chopping the chocolate up and mixing it in. Would be decadent, plus give a bit of crunch from the nibs.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                      buttertart RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 7, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                      I suggested the GH ones because they appeared to be a bit cakier, but there's nothing wrong with a Medrich anything.
                                                                                                                      Malgieri has one in "Chocolate" but it doesn't seem to be on the web.

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                                                                        You're right, I think the two Medrich recipes are likely more fudgy than cakey. I missed that part of LEsherick's request initially.

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                          LEsherick2008 RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                          Thanks I do think I will chop up the chocolate into the batter I just needed a batter that does not require melting chocolate just cocoa powder. The chocolate bar is only 3 oz so it would be there for a bit of extra flavor and crunch but not to add all the chocolatyness in the batter. So I am just going to use the Best Cocoa Brownies from Medrich, because I like Pecans and the candy like top crust like the recipe describes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LEsherick2008
                                                                                                                            LEsherick2008 RE: LEsherick2008 Jul 7, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                            So the brownies are out of the oven I hope they come out well. The batter in the double boiler look bad I had a little less cocoa than I needed so I put the chopped up chocolate bar in to melt with the butter and cocoa and sugar. Also I only had half the amount of sugar needed so I subsituted with demitara sugar which in hindsight I should have looked for brown sugar or something but once the eggs and flour went in it looked better. Then I put the pecans on and swirled some already made caramel. It took more like 45 minutes till the toothpick came out clean. Now a banana cake is in the oven the recipe for the cake is what I use all the time to use up browning bananas.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LEsherick2008
                                                                                                                              Cynsa RE: LEsherick2008 Jul 7, 2011 05:41 PM

                                                                                                                              banana cake recipe, please? I bake the banana bread recipe from Cook's Illustrated but my banana cakes have been dismal - too dense and heavy

                                                                                                                              1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                LEsherick2008 RE: Cynsa Jul 7, 2011 07:58 PM

                                                                                                                                It is Dorie Greenspan's and it never disappoints.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                  buttertart RE: Cynsa Jul 8, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                                  I must post my Aunt Iola's banana chocolate marble ripple cake recipe!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                    Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                    I think you must most certainly post Aunt Iola's recipe for us, please.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                      souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 8, 2011 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                      Cynsa, you ask for a lot of recipes, so I can't help but wonder if you make them ALL ;)

                                                                                                                                      Yes, I know, baking keeps you busy when you can't sleep. But does it not keep Mr. Cynsa awake when you use your Kitchen Aid in attack mode ?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                        Cynsa RE: souschef Jul 8, 2011 03:57 PM

                                                                                                                                        one recipe at a time; the file is growing and I can't resist - MUST bake. compulsive. our neighbors share the bounty from my nocturnal terrors. in fact, DH can sleep through earthquakes and fire alarms. Your Amaretti came out of the oven this afternoon - quite deliciously.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                      rainey RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                      Oh yes, please!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                        buttertart RE: rainey Jul 8, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                        I will. I have company this weekend so it might not be until Monday. It's a really nice cake, too bad banana is a no-go zone as far as himself is concerned.
                                                                                                                                        (Aunt Iola wasn't really an aunt, she was a good friend of my mom's - remember calling your parents' friends aunt and uncle? - and a great baker.)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                          buttertart RE: buttertart Nov 10, 2013 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                          Do I repeat myself much? :)
                                                                                                                                          And I do need to post the recipe, but I don't have time tonight...

                                                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                                                        burgeoningfoodie RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                        I have a co-worker who is wanting to make a great chocolate chip cookie, but not a typical cookie that is more flat. She wants something more like a Levain style cookie. Any recipes you recommend or authors that would be good? I am sure Levain has a recipe published somewhere, but in addition to that is what I'm asking.

                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                          shaebones RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                          Made the blueberry streusal cake recipe from yesterday's Boston Globe. It was 95 degrees out yesterday afternoon and I had my oven on. Am I crazy?
                                                                                                                          No. It was so worth t! :)

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                            rainey RE: shaebones Jul 7, 2011 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                            Surely you would share a link to such a wonderful thing, no?

                                                                                                                            1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                              shaebones RE: rainey Jul 7, 2011 11:35 PM

                                                                                                                              Here ya go!


                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                rainey RE: shaebones Jul 8, 2011 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                Muchas gracias! ;>

                                                                                                                            2. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                              buttertart RE: shaebones Jul 7, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                              Not crazy, I baked every summer we lived without central air. Naked! ;-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones
                                                                                                                                Chocolatechipkt RE: shaebones Jul 7, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                So it was worth it? I saw the recipe and was tempted ... but it was too hot. We made grapefruit sorbet instead. :)

                                                                                                                              2. e
                                                                                                                                EmBrooks RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                I love reading this thread, but haven't been baking much lately. Last night I made key lime cheesecake (from epicurious) for my fiance's birthday. My favorite comment: "Wow, this is like restaurant quality....and I don't mean Applebees".... Thank you?

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: EmBrooks
                                                                                                                                  buttertart RE: EmBrooks Jul 7, 2011 11:22 AM


                                                                                                                                  1. re: EmBrooks
                                                                                                                                    miss louella RE: EmBrooks Jul 7, 2011 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                    Snort! We should start a thread on most dubious compliments! :-D

                                                                                                                                  2. roxlet RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                    Not truly baking, but I made frozen lemon souffles for dessert tonight. I put a collar around the miniature souffle dishes, and piled it above the rim, so it should look quite attractive. I will decorate with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries dusted with some confectioner's sugar, and a sprig of mint. I had a couple of extras (the original recipe said it made 4, and we're 5 for dinner, but 11/2 times the recipe actually seemed to have made 9 though the 6oz ramekins were what I used), and my son had a semi-frozen one for his lunch dessert and said that it was fabulous, so I am excited to try it later. I confess I licked the spoon, and it was delicious in its non-frozen state!

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                      buttertart RE: roxlet Jul 7, 2011 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                      Save me one, please.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                        roxlet RE: buttertart Jul 7, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                        One's got your name on it :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                          buttertart RE: roxlet Jul 8, 2011 12:12 PM


                                                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                                                      mandycat RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                      I have two loaves of the basic boule recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 cooling on a rack in the kitchen even as I write. One loaf is for a neighbor down the street who has been more than kind in welcoming us to the neighborhood. The other is for my husband, who has asked approximately 5 million times "Is this ready to eat yet?"

                                                                                                                                      The nice neighbor has also asked us to help her deal with an over-abundance of figs from her tree. Fig jam??

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: mandycat
                                                                                                                                        buttertart RE: mandycat Jul 8, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                        I hate it when bread gets cut before it cools. It never recovers.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                          Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                          but it's so enticing - who can resist the siren's call of warm bread from the oven? truthfully, you're right, it never recovers.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                            miss louella RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                            We solve that problem by making a small sacrificial loaf. We eat the whole thing still warm and don't have to worry about recovery. (Of the loaf, that is.) :-) Absolutely loooooove Artisan bread in 5!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                              THewat RE: miss louella Jul 8, 2011 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                              I LOVE the title of "sacrificial loaf!"

                                                                                                                                              1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                Matahari22 RE: THewat Jul 8, 2011 03:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                Sacrificial loaf! Lol. My step mom owned a bakery, and I worked there for about 5 years when she owned it, we would make scarificial bread, rolls, sticky buns, whoopee pies....I am pretty sure I was the heaviest I ever was while there, and I never even liked sweets, oh but those fresh sticky buns out of the oven, and warm bread with gobs of butter... Wasn't exactly my favorite job, but there are days I miss that place.

                                                                                                                                        2. mnosyne RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                          I can't believe it's July already! I made a double recipe of tart dough and have strawberries, but I can't bear the idea of turning on the oven! LA is having a very humid spell. We're not used to it.

                                                                                                                                          1. Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                            souschef's Amaretti just out of the oven - absolutely the easiest delicious cookie ever! thank you! tip: let cookies cool completely on the parchment paper before removing from the baking sheet to a rack

                                                                                                                                            45 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                              THewat RE: Cynsa Jul 8, 2011 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                              and beautiful, too! I've got a batch of granola in the oven, but it's not nearly so photogenic.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 8, 2011 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                They look really great. It's been a long time since I last made them; I don't remember mine looking so good.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                  souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 10, 2011 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I baked amaretti again today, after many years. This time I found them a bit too sweet, and strangely tasted like they had a bit of cardamom in them.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                    souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 10, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Cynsa, Madame Souschef does not like the amaretti I made. She says that they are too hard, and I have to admit that after sitting out for a while, they are indeed too hard. Mine flattened out in the oven, to about 1/4 inch. How thick were the ones you made?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                      Cynsa RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Spread to 1/2-inch pillows during baking time - underbake the amaretti: 20 minutes is too long; I baked them for 12 to 14 minutes and the centers were chewy. The crunchy hard ones are lovely dipped in a cup of hot tea. This is now my most favorite recipe and it will be my contribution to the Valentine Family Cookbook for the July 2011 reunion.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                        souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 11, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Cynsa. I will try underbaking the next time.

                                                                                                                                                        I will have to go through a lot of hot tea as I have 40+ cookies. I recall Giada on FN using crushed amaretti to make a dessert, but can't recall what it was. I think there was some mascarpone in it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                          THewat RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Souschef, Dorie Greenspan has a chocolate-amaretti torte recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
                                                                                                                                                          I haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                            souschef RE: THewat Jul 11, 2011 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                            That looks really good, T. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                            One problem I have though is that it tells you to use so many cookies, but what if you do not have that brand. I wish all bakers (including Malgieri) would use weights.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I baked that torte last month: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7876...

                                                                                                                                                              If your amaretti are quite hard and crunchy, they should work pretty well in it. If it helps, the dozen di Saronno cookies the recipe calls for (six packets of two) are each around 1 1/2 inches wide and 1/3-1/2 inch tall.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 11, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks. And how thick are they ?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  About 1/3 inch, I think. You mentioned your amaretti being pretty sweet. The di Saronno amaretti are quite sweet by my lights, so you should be good. The finished torte is not overly sweet, at least when made with a high-cocoa-percentage bittersweet chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: The sour cherry amaretti in Ottolenghi: The Cookbook are really lovely, with a crispy-chewy texture, and the dried tart cherries complement the almonds so well, though they could be left out. I found the recipe online, though the instructions neglect to mention that the cherries should be chopped, and added to the almond mixture before the egg whites. The oven temp is, obvously enough probably, in C.


                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                  souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 11, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I have just been invited to dinner on Saturday, and will be taking the dessert, so I think I'll make this torte. The recipe says that it serves 8, but we are going to be 10 or 11. WIll it be large enough, or should I increase the ingredients and make it larger? I'm foolish enough to fudge with the ingredients of a recipe I have not made before and take it to dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I would definitely make it larger. It is rich and bittersweet enough to warrant small pieces, but no way would it serve that many - it's quite small in size. Note that I discovered it is quite fragile and wanted to break apart when I de-panned it. I used a springform, and next time I will let it cool completely in the pan on a rack before attempting to take it out and perhaps drop a buttered/floured cardboard round in the bottom so I needn't invert it at all.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                      souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 11, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if it would be okay to bake it with cardboard on the bottom. Perhaps covered with aluminium foil?

                                                                                                                                                                      I googled amaretti di Saronno and found out that a one-pound box contains about 75 pieces, so each piece weighs 6gm, or about 1/5 ounce.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        I've never baked with cardboard on the bottom, but observed in a thread here recently that others recommended the technique under similar circumstances, but for things with a crust, such as cheesecake. Wrapping it with foil when using a wet cake better should work, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                        I still have the (smaller) box of amaretti I bought to make the torte, and indeed, the nutritional information is for 5 pieces, weighing 31g. So now you have your weight measure.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                          souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 13, 2011 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I have a test torte baking right now in the oven (even though it is hot outside).

                                                                                                                                                                          Rather than use a cake pan I used an 8-inch tart mold, as in the link below:

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not planning to glaze the test torte, but just eat it as is. I have decided that I will bake the one I take to dinner in an 11-inch tart mold that I have. Instead of worrying about how to take it out of the mold I'll just invert it over a slighly smaller cake board and glaze it upside-down. Problem solved !

                                                                                                                                                                          BTW when you have the eggs, butter and sugar in the food processor, you are supposed to process them till they are smooth and shiny. Mine separated, but since that is what I get when I make the chocolate fig cake, I just ignored it and added the rest of the stuff together, and it came together in a smooth mix, just as in the fig cake. Note: I added half the sugar to the almonds as that is what you normally do to prevent getting a paste. Maybe the amaretti would have served the same purpose ?

                                                                                                                                                                          My amaretti were 12 gm instead of 6 gm.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 13, 2011 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I'll be interested to hear how easy you find it to unmold the cake from the tart tin with fluted sides, as I found the edges of the cake very fragile. Suggest letting it cool completely before unmolding, and inverting v. carefully. Would also be v. careful when glazing due to fragility of torte's edges. It doesn't need glaze at all, IMO (it does need serving w/whipped cream or equivalent), though I get that you likely want to for presentation's sake. You have a reputation to uphold...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                              souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 13, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin, I don't know about having a reputation to uphold ....

                                                                                                                                                                              The mold I had was actually 7 inches, not 8 inches, and the batter came almost to the top. It souffléed spectacularly in the oven, but settled down when I allowed it to cool completely in the pan. However, the crust on the sides overhung the edge, while the centre was level with the top of the pan. I removed the overhang with a long bread knife.

                                                                                                                                                                              Unmolding it was easy as pie; the sides did not collapse. You do have to ensure, though, that the paper is smaller than the bottom. Mine was just a little larger so it messed up the edge a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                              I was pleased with how cleanly I was able to cut the cake, and loved the taste, as did Mme Souschef.

                                                                                                                                                                              The cake does not need a glaze; it begs for it, though. Unlike buttertart (and you), I love the richness that a glaze gives to such a cake. Consider it the icing on the cake. I'm planning to decorate the final cake with raspberries on the perimeter.

                                                                                                                                                                              I used 60% Callebaut chocolate as that's all I had, but I think it would benefit from a better chocolate such as Felchlin, and with a higher cocoa content.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                THewat RE: souschef Jul 13, 2011 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for posting Souschef - it's very fun to have such a real-time report. Glad it was tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 13, 2011 06:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think cooling completely in the pan, in opposition to the recipe, must be the key. Glad to hear it unmolded so well. I made it with Valrhona Noir Amer 71%, and thought the high cocoa percentage worked well against the sweet amaretti. You can't go wrong w/raspberries. I served w/whipped cream without sugar but w/a slug of amaretto.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 14, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin and souschef, what do you think of possibly adding a few sour cherries to this? I quite often do it with reines de saba, which this basically is. They are awfully good with them...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                      souschef RE: buttertart Jul 14, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Funny, but when I was making it I was thinking that it is similar to Reine de Saba but without the eggs being separated. I think sour cherries would go well, but since the cake is so thin you would have to do a fine dice, and since the cherries are sour, stick with TJ's Pound Plus instead of a chocolate with a higher cocoa content.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart RE: souschef Jul 14, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pound Plus is 72%. Make the cake in a smaller pan maybe? (I bought a 10" pan last week because Nick Malgieri has a recipe for a Kouign Amann that I want to try, bad. Not that that's relevant here, particularly.)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                          souschef RE: buttertart Jul 14, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Huh. I thought Pound Plus was 60%. My mistake. I just discovered that I still have some, so I'll use it in the cake, but stick with Callebaut 60% in the glaze. It's too bad, but if I want Felchlin or Valrhona I have to go to Montreal.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 14, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pound Plus comes in two percentages, 72% and 54%, labeled bittersweet and dark, respectively. I think the cake is kind of small for additions, but if you you made a x1.5 recipe and baked in the same size pan, you could probably fold in roughly chopped cherries and have it work. The flavors would be good, certainly.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                            Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 14, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            of course, it's relevant - I, too, want to bake Kouign Amann when you post NM's recipe to the July, part 2 thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart RE: Cynsa Jul 14, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I owe you that and the banana cake...

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 17, 2011 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I made the cake in an 11-inch tart mold (the original was 8 inches, not 7, after all), so I doubled the recipe, and let the cake cool completely in the tart mold before unmolding.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I am attaching a picture of the completed cake, as well as a closeup of the edge since Caitlin was concerned about how it would turn out.


                                                                                                                                                                                        1) The test cake batter was very liquid, and I was not sure my food processor would hold it all without chucking some out, so I mixed the batter in my mixer, using the paddle beater. The batter was much thicker than the test batter; I had to spread it with a spatula as opposed to just letting the liquid find its own level.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2) I had to once again trim off the top crust carefully, before inverting a 10-inch cake board on it and flipping it over. With Caitlin's warning in mind, I ran a thin spatula between the ring and the removable bottom so the ring was free before I attempted to lift it off; it unmolded very easily that way. The side was not particularly fragile.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3) DG's glaze was a disaster; NOT RECOMMENDED. It was watery and grainy, so I used my trusty chinois to strain out the grains. Normally a glaze will hide imperfections in a cake. This one did not, as it was soupy; it is easily noted in the picture. It did not occur to me that you should not add water to a chocolate and cream glaze; that was pure idiocy (on my part as well). The next time I will use the Medrich glaze I use for the Queen of Sheba cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4) I used 7 oz of TJ's Pound Plus 72% (all I had), and added 1 oz of a new chocolate my friendly German baker introduced me to (I think it was called Galerias, and I think it was 59%). Taste-wise I preferred the test cake with its 52% Callebaut. The TJ's cake was not as tasty, despite the fact that (thinking of Buttertart and Caitlin at the time) I added a bit of salt. I go for rich rather than sweet desserts, but this sweeter one was better.

                                                                                                                                                                                        5) I don't know if the glaze added anything as it was so darn thin.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                          Cynsa RE: souschef Jul 17, 2011 11:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          It is quite divinely delectable. sigh

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart RE: souschef Jul 18, 2011 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Looks gorgeous - what camera are you using? Are those eastern Ont. berries?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                              souschef RE: buttertart Jul 18, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              The camera is a Canon Rebel. The berries are from Watsonville, CA.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                buttertart RE: souschef Jul 18, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I was hoping to see some Ontario fruit...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef RE: buttertart Jul 18, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Guess I should have used local strawberries instead. I will, if I have occasion to make the torte again soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart RE: souschef Jul 18, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No! Strawberries and chocolate is one combination I absolutely abhor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                      souschef RE: buttertart Jul 18, 2011 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why ? I quite like the combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart RE: souschef Jul 18, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I find the acidity offputting against the chocolate taste. Just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cynsa RE: souschef Jul 18, 2011 02:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Watsonville raspberries? Are you in California, souschef, for last Saturday's dinner???

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 18, 2011 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, I am at home. We get a lot of berries here imported from California.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Jul 18, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Beautiful. When I make it again, I will let it cool completely and plan my inversion strategy carefully to preserve the edges, as those moves clearly served you well. Interesting that you enjoyed the sweeter version more. Of course, if one is willing to forgo worrying about the looks (or a glaze, obviously), buttertart says it's very nice still warm, which I can definitely see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 18, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you're going to have it warm, you also need chocolate sauce, raspberry puree, whipping cream, and ice cream to go with it :) I'm sure Cynsa would agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  BTW I gave a piece of the test torte to the German baker. She said that she felt that it did not need a glaze. Of course, I begged to differ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When serving it, I cut it so that there were two berries per slice, so it would have served 19. However, we were only 10, and a few people went back for seconds.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart RE: souschef Jul 13, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I prefer this cake w/o glaze, but I'm not much on icings etc in general.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                            Cynsa RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            oh my, we're such little piggies - no amaretti left in our cookie jar!
                                                                                                                                                                            this peach and crushed amaretti looks lovely

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                              souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 11, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              You already ate ALL of the cookies ? That's a cyn.

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                buttertart RE: souschef Jul 12, 2011 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Did you make the torte? It really is good. The Amaretti di Sarronno are about 1//2 in high but hollow, incidentally.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef RE: buttertart Jul 12, 2011 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Not yet. I may well make a test torte before Saturday.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. twodales RE: buttertart Jul 8, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      When I was living in England our friends brought back a big bag of Sables from their trip to France. A week or two later we went to France ourselves for a road trip and we brought the cookies with us for the car. We ate our way through the bag in 2-3 weeks time. I have loved them ever since but I usually buy them.

                                                                                                                                                                      Has anyone here tried making French Sables? I also know them as Brittany Biscuits. I've tried with little success. Do you have any tips or good recipes?

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                        THewat RE: twodales Jul 8, 2011 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Several people on this board like the cook's illustrated version. Here's a link: http://www.afoodyear.com/2008/11/29/f...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                                          twodales RE: THewat Jul 9, 2011 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks. I'll give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart RE: twodales Jul 12, 2011 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            That's one of the best cookie recipes I know of. If naything they're better than the ones from France.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Chocolatechipkt RE: buttertart Jul 9, 2011 01:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Pizza, using the KAF beer dough they were promoting today. The dough is very easy to throw together, and the end result was tasty (though not beer-y, of course--just a bit more flavorful than plain water).

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                                                                          rainey RE: Chocolatechipkt Jul 9, 2011 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Oooo! Must go their recipe website to look for that. The combo of hot weather, grilling outside and so much excellent local fresh produce sounds like perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm wondering if they used any white whole wheat flour. Must go see. I think beer and whole wheat would work wonderfully together.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                            Cynsa RE: rainey Jul 9, 2011 10:00 AM


                                                                                                                                                                        2. BabsW RE: buttertart Jul 9, 2011 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownie Bites.

                                                                                                                                                                          They start with the taste of dark chocolate and finish off with the taste of espresso, I swear. It's crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                          I only made a 1/2 batch and baked them in mini muffing tins. I got 16 little bite-sized brownies. :)

                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: BabsW Jul 9, 2011 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I would love to have the recipe for these, Babs, as that's one of my favorite flavor combos.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                              BabsW RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 9, 2011 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Sure thing! I hope you like them. :)


                                                                                                                                                                              1 T espresso powder
                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup All-Purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup cocoa powder
                                                                                                                                                                              1/3 cup turbinado sugar
                                                                                                                                                                              3 T salted butter
                                                                                                                                                                              1 T strong brewed coffee
                                                                                                                                                                              6 oz. semisweet chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 t vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                              1 egg at room temperature, beaten

                                                                                                                                                                              Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 mini muffin tins with butter, shortening or cooking spray - I filled up one whole 12-muffin tin and had enough batter to make four more in another tin.

                                                                                                                                                                              In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder and espresso powder with a whisk. Make sure to break up any clumps of cocoa powder.

                                                                                                                                                                              In the top of a double boiler, gently heat the butter, sugar and coffee until the butter starts to melt.

                                                                                                                                                                              Add the chocolate and as it starts to melt, stir with a baking spatula. Once most of the chocolate has melted, take the top of the double boiler off the heat and keep stirring until it has all melted and is well mixed. Let it cool for about 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                              Add the vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture. Once the chocolate has come down in temperature to the point where you don't burn yourself when you stick your finger into the mix to test it, add the beaten egg and stir well. - or you can temper the egg with a bit of the melted chocolate, though I usually just wait until it's cool but not too cool to incorporate the egg, if that makes sense.

                                                                                                                                                                              Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate & egg mixture and stir well.

                                                                                                                                                                              Scoop the batter by spoonful into the muffin tins to fill the about 2/3 full. I had enough for 16 mini muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                              Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out fairly clean. I usually underbake them slightly.

                                                                                                                                                                              Let cool in the muffin tins for about 45 minutes before turning them out.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: BabsW Jul 9, 2011 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Lovely, thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason RE: BabsW Jul 11, 2011 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  These sound great. I used up the last of my powdered espresso but have tons of Nescafe. Do you think the substitution would work?


                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                    BabsW RE: ChristinaMason Jul 11, 2011 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure it would! I hope you like them. :)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                                                                                              modthyrth RE: buttertart Jul 9, 2011 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              More cookies for me! Two of my friends threw birthday parties for their little girls today--one a mermaid party, the other an Atlantis party. I made No Fail Sugar Cookies, and one batch made plenty of cookies for both events! It's a seriously large batch of cookie dough.

                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                                                                                Breadcrumbs RE: modthyrth Jul 9, 2011 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh my goodness modthyrth, you're so talented, what beautiful cookies!! Can I have the turquoise and bright green star?!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                                                                                  Chocolatechipkt RE: modthyrth Jul 9, 2011 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Those are beautiful!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                                                                                    rainey RE: modthyrth Jul 9, 2011 07:02 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                                                                                      Cynsa RE: modthyrth Jul 10, 2011 02:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Works of Art: seriously large batch of adorable whimsy ;^)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                                                                                        twodales RE: modthyrth Jul 11, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        So pretty!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                        miss louella RE: buttertart Jul 9, 2011 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight I am making multiple pie crusts so I'm ready for the ollalieberries we are picking (in gigantic quantities, I'm sure) tomorrow morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Went out in search of metal pie pans today and gave up after striking out at THREE stores. (One had no pie pans at all, what is this world coming to???) Anyway, I bought pyrex and am hoping I can freeze my pies in pyrex and bake them with no shattering effects. Anyone out there have an opinion or a word to the (not so) wise? I'd sure appreciate it!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                          rainey RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          How about getting the cheapy aluminum foil ones at the grocery store. Freeze them in that and pop them out to thaw in the pyrex before baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's just a thought and might or might not work but how many pyrex plates can you get to freeze in and yet you want the advantage of the heavy heat-retaining material for actually baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                            miss louella RE: rainey Jul 9, 2011 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Love that idea and actually had those cheapos in my hand but they were 7 inchers. What were they thinking? And I only found those cheapo aluminum ones at one place. My guy loves my crust (he and his tater tot grilling pal discussed my latest crust for ~15 minutes last night, lol) and I'm quite convinced those disposable aluminum ones just won't cut it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, I am thinking I might take the pies out of the pyrex pans after they've frozen. Then I'll wrap the frozen pie securely and plop it in a (non-frozen) pan when I'm ready to bake. Of course my fondest hope is that my guy would actually bake one of these pies himself and that will most certainly NOT happen if there's anything besides grabbing something from the freezer and putting it in the oven involved. The good news is that he's unlikely to do that, so I'm not really losing much (anything) if I have naked pies in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks again for the suggestion! (I am not a sweets eater and it's a fun challenge figuring out how to keep my guy supplied with desserts AND a happy cook. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              The best places to find disposable aluminum pans of all sizes IME are dollar stores and any standard chain supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                rainey RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                You could also shape and freeze them as hand pies that could be baked individually or a few at a time on a baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Are you up on the Central Coast? That's the only place I've ever seen ollalieberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                  miss louella RE: rainey Jul 9, 2011 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will have to check out hand pie possibilities. I can guess what they are, but don't know how I'd make them. Love the idea of single servings. Sometimes we throw away part of a pie -- a great horror on so many levels. Any chance you have a hand pie link (or any other advice) handy? If not, I'm still very grateful for you pointing me in that direction!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm in the SF bay area and heading to the coast for tomorrow's picking. Very very excited because I am a cheapskate and buying fresh fruit for my guy's desserts makes me roll my eyes. $20 at the farmer's market for berries for ONE pie. Of course he thinks it's cheap at twice the price but it involves a lot of deep breathing on my part. (Probably because I don't care for sweets--I think nothing of buying fresh morel mushrooms.) Oh the things we do for love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    miss louella, any Lucky's or Safeway in the Bay Area will have foil pans in my experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hand pies: cut out a round of dough, add filling, roll over, crimp - make size of a turnover. Cut steam vents. Put on a parchment-lined sheet pan in the freezer until they're frozen through, then wrap in freezer paper or plastic individually, and put them all in freezer bags together. Unwrap and bake from frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cynsa RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      slab pie is on the to-bake list:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      then, fried pies?

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never tried to move pyrex from freezer directly to oven, but it appears that it is not a problem as long as oven is preheated. See this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4325...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                  miss louella RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 9, 2011 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wonderful information, thanks soooooo much!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cynsa RE: miss louella Jul 9, 2011 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bed, Bath & Beyond for 9" Chicago metal pie pan $5.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart RE: miss louella Jul 12, 2011 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love ollalieberries, one of the things I miss most from the Bay Area.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Line your pie pans with aluminum foil, form your crusts in them, freeze them hard and remove them. Wrap them or bag them individually (still on the aluminum foil) and freeze (you can even stack them). Then when you're ready to bake, put one of the frozen ones back in a pan and there you go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 10, 2011 02:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Peach Pie today; working through the pain to schedule root canal on Monday

                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                      THewat RE: Cynsa Jul 10, 2011 04:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow - what a stunner! Look how puffed your crimp is! I make some pretty pies, but my crust never does that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 10, 2011 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cynsa, that looks really great; wish I could grab a slice. I'm not much of a pie baker. Good luck with the root canal, but remember that it hurts your wallet more than your jaw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I baked almond scones again for breakfast this morning; they were round and nice and fluffy - easily separated to take soft butter and port jelly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buttertart, you thought June was busy for this thread, but we are at July 10th and already ready for Part II.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cynsa RE: souschef Jul 10, 2011 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wish, I wish, I wish I had an almond scone for breakfast this morning; just back from 30-minute walk; eating yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef RE: Cynsa Jul 10, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You should make the scones; I posted my recipe here a while ago. But if you want to experience them as I do, use a round cookie cutter - do not make those wedges with concrete points.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                          rainey RE: Cynsa Jul 10, 2011 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gorgeous! With pie I'm always so glad I got the crust in the dish in fewer than 3 pieces. I DON'T get things I want to photograph...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well done! ...and delicious, no doubt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                            miss louella RE: rainey Jul 11, 2011 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rainey, you may have already tried this trick, but I now roll out my pie crust on parchment (just on the bottom). It makes it totally easy to flip the whole thing into the pan then just peel off the paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                              rainey RE: miss louella Jul 11, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, altho I use a large silpat that has more body and doesn't bunch up as the pastry gets rolled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I'm fairly hopeless when it comes to pies. It may be genetic. My great aunt, from whom I learned to make bread, was a fabulous cook but her pies were tough as shoe leather.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              My son hates cake and loves pie so I keep trying but I just can't make one worth photoing like Cynsa's. ;>

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                miss louella RE: rainey Jul 11, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                rainey, I am pretty new to any kind of pie-making success but mister louella loooooves pies so I've been getting a lot of practice. After glomming together several different techniques/recipes, I finally feel like I have crust nailed and last night's pie was so beautiful I almost ruined it by opening the door so many times to make sure I wasn't burning it. Silpats don't work for me, I don't seem to have the coordination to peel the crust off the pad, but peeling the paper off the crust works dramatically better for me and nets me whole crusts. (Which is also strikingly new territory.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                mr louella took a photo of last night's pie... it's nowhere near professional but it's lovely and golden and last night's dinner guest raved. (It's probably very fortunate that many of my dinner guests have never tasted a flakey home made pie, lol.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                miss l

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef RE: miss louella Jul 11, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To make it even easier, once it is rolled out on parchment set the parchment on a cake tin, invert the pie tin onto the dough, then flip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rainey RE: souschef Jul 11, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oooo! Clever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. THewat RE: buttertart Jul 10, 2011 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            From this board: Cooks Illustrated's sables & Payard's flowerless chocolate cookies - both new to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: THewat Jul 10, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              How do you like the chocolate cookies? I love them for the chewy texture and good chocolate flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                THewat RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 10, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin, I'll try them tonight, at a dinner where my gluten-free sister will, I suspect, appreciate them. Unfortunately for me, I think they are a version of a cookie I ate right before I got sick once - no fault of the cookie - and so they make me a little queezy. The sables, however... so nice. Thanks, Buttertart - I suspect I was following one of your posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart RE: THewat Jul 12, 2011 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The sablés are la bombe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  THewat RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 11, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Family loved both these cookies. I loved the sables & didn't love the chocolate ones (I also thought serving them together was a disservice to each) but I was definitely in the minority. Those who loved the chocolate ones especially appreciated how beautiful they are & that they aren't super sweet (despite what seemed like a lot o powdered sugar), as well as their gluten-free-ness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: THewat Jul 11, 2011 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I like that the choc. ones aren't too sweet, despite all that powdered sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                twilight goddess RE: buttertart Jul 10, 2011 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tomorrow I am going to try the raspberry buttermilk cake from epicurious, a recipe I noted months back on a your-favorite-epicurious-recipes thread here on CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would like to try raspberry or blackberry + rhubarb.... anyone have thoughts on that, especially anyone who has made this cake?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: twilight goddess
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  blue room RE: twilight goddess Jul 12, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made this cake last night (direct result of your July 10th link) and can't imagine any summer fruit/fruits not happy here. It's like whipped cream or vanilla ice cream--goes with everything, but lets the fruit shine too. (I used raspberries, it's possible you'd need more sugar if the rhubarb is tart.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. kathleen221 RE: buttertart Jul 10, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My 8 year old has started a little baking business, so I've been teaching her to make brownies and chocolate chip cookies. She started selling last week, and is doing pretty well. Apparently, people will tip generously if you're a cute kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  She's also learning to wash dishes. I'm very excited about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rainey RE: buttertart Jul 10, 2011 09:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not exactly baking but today I got half a flat of really ripe strawberries at a very good price. So I did strawberry preserves with Chambord and a splash of balsamic and also strawberry cheesecake ice cream from the yellow Gourmet Anniversary cookbook. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've still got a lot of strawberries left. I guess tomorrow will be strawberry shortcake 'cause my husband can never get enough of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any other strawberry suggestions are welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rainey RE: rainey Jul 11, 2011 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NIxing the strawberry shortcake -- which we'll have so many times over the summer -- for this strawberry tiramisu that I found in my own recipe files. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... Time to try it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        rainey RE: rainey Jul 13, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Alas for Giadda! The family verdict on this one was "thanks, but no thanks". They found it entirely too sweet while lacking in fruit flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, I wasted a couple jars of homemade strawberry preserves on it. =o

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart RE: rainey Jul 13, 2011 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OH NOOOOO...I hate that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cynsa RE: rainey Jul 11, 2011 08:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        we like strawberries with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, on vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened mascarpone cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 pints strawberries, hulled and cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        slices (small strawberries can be halved or quartered)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Simmer vinegar, sugar, lemon juice on medium heat until reduced by half. Cool completely. Toss berries with brown sugar and let sit for 15 minutes while sugar dissolves - pour vinegar syrup over berries and toss gently to combine - add grind of freshly ground black pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roasted Strawberries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Preheat oven 450°F - hull one quart strawberries and toss with 1/2 cup sugar - roast 15 minutes. Chill for 2 hours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (optional: toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar, and a dash of vanilla extract, then roast for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rainey RE: Cynsa Jul 11, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I really want to try roasted strawberries but I think these might be too ripe. I'm guessing you want the berries to be firm enough to hold their shape, no? Or do they firm up again when they're chilled?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rainey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cynsa RE: rainey Jul 11, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            no, they won't firm with chilling, and if too large, I cut them in halves. Leave small berries whole.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do try your soft berries, they'll make a lovely sauce for vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Cynsa RE: buttertart Jul 11, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        made these light and tender Buttermilk Biscuits from http://mamasgottabake.wordpress.com/c...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        with last night's dinner of leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          miss louella RE: buttertart Jul 11, 2011 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I made the Artisan Bread in 5 whole wheat sandwich bread day before yesterday and totally forgot the salt. Yikes!!!!! So today I'm rolling the rest of the dough out like a cinnamon roll and slathering pesto where the sugar/cinnamon/butter would go. My little pesto pinwheels will also get a dusting of parmesan to up the collective salt content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart RE: miss louella Jul 12, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hate when that happens! Sounds like as good a rescue idea as there is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              miss louella RE: buttertart Jul 12, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Turns out the pesto pinwheels were a big hit. Could have used more salt, lol. Next time I guess I'll just have to oh.... ummmmmmm....... pay attention?!?!? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: miss louella
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                buttertart RE: miss louella Jul 12, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have done that (did it with last week's bread but remembered in time). Makes me so mad at myself. Saltless bread is just icky (the technical term).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet RE: buttertart Jul 12, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tell that to the Florentines! There is a quote from Dante's Inferno (I think it's the Inferno) written after he was exiled from Florence, "How salty is the taste of another man's bread."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart RE: roxlet Jul 12, 2011 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was thinking of Tuscan bread when I wrote that. No likey!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. buttertart RE: buttertart Jul 12, 2011 06:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi all, I've been off a few days because of a hat trick of family matters - a nice visit with M's sis and her husband, a kitty acquisition (a beautiful and very charming Russian blue type from a shelter, we call her Fuchsia, after you-know-who), and M's cataract surgery yesterday. I shall return, however!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since we're at post 250 now, here's a brand spanking new one...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart RE: buttertart Jul 12, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reminder - this is an old thread, although not marked as such yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ChiliDude RE: buttertart Jul 12, 2011 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's TOO HOT to bake anything these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChiliDude
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chocolatechipkt RE: ChiliDude Jul 12, 2011 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I second that. No baking (or cooking, for that matter.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart RE: Chocolatechipkt Jul 12, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh ye both of little faith.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jay F RE: buttertart Jul 13, 2011 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you're going to have all these threads marked "Part Two" and "Part Three," shouldn't you lock down Parts One and Two?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart RE: Jay F Jul 14, 2011 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They (the CH Team) mark them "old" in the thread titles, but don't lock them, so people can still comment on things discussed in them. I cut them off at around 250 posts because some people still have trouble opening a thread with a kajillion responses on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jay F RE: buttertart Jul 15, 2011 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Every other forum I participate in closes too-large threads because of the kajillion factor. People post on thread #3 after thread #2 is full, and thread #4 when #3 is full. It works perfectly. No more kajillions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jay F
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart RE: Jay F Jul 15, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These tend to peter out without being closed.

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