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What are you baking these days? September 2011, part 2 [old]

Here it is 9/15 and cooool weather is sneaking our way at long last. Can't wait to get into a cool bed (after spending some time in a warm kitchen, of course)! Hope things are shaping up to your liking in your little corner of the world too.
And...what ARE you baking these days?

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  1. I just pulled an Apple Cake out of the oven. It's cooling on the counter, and suddenly the kitchen smells like autumn. This is one cake that has to be cooled completely in the pan, and every time I make it, I am thankful for Wilton Cake Release. Getting it out of the bundt pan used to be an iffy thing before I discovered the cake release.

    In case anyone is interested in a super easy, delicious apple cake, here is the recipe:


    Pare and slice thinly 6 small Macintosh apples and mix with ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (do not use any other apple types). Set aside. Butter and flour a bundt pan extremely thoroughly, or use a tube (angel food) pan. (I find the Wilton easy release mixture works very, very well. Heat oven to 350 degrees
    (I make this batter in a single bowl using a whisk. Easy clean up!)
    -Beat 4 large eggs and add 1 ¾ cups of sugar
    Add in:
    -1 cup vegetable oil
    -¼ cup of orange juice
    -1 teaspoon of vanilla
    Then mix in:
    -3 cups of flour
    -3 teaspoons baking powder
    -½ teaspoon of salt.

    Use a little less that one third of the batter and drop by spoonfuls on the bottom of the prepared pan. It should just cover the bottom of the pan. Distribute ½ of the apples over that, and use just enough of the batter to cover the apples. Repeat with the remaining batter/apples, ending with a layer of batter. This batter is very sticky and is best dropped by small spoonfuls over the apples since it doesn’t flow.
    Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
    Let cool completely in the pan before removing, otherwise it is liable to fall apart. Dust well with confectioner’s sugar. This cake improves with age and is best the next day – or even the day after!

    27 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      Where did you get your Macs? My farmer's market doesn't have them yet. I will make this soon.

      1. re: buttertart

        I got them from Stop and Shop. They had little paper bags of them from NY State orchards.

        1. re: roxlet

          Gorgeous. I love those little paper totes, so old-fashioned.

          1. re: buttertart

            Hmm... only Macs work? Looks like a good recipe.. will have to try it.
            I just bought some apples from the farmer's market in a paper bag marked "1/2 Peck".. so much for the metric system!

            1. re: rstuart

              Ontario ones? No metric mark at all?

              1. re: buttertart

                Yep... from an Ontario orchard... and I'll just bought a 3 L basket of peaches, too!

                1. re: rstuart

                  What type? Elbertas? You're killing me with my home peaches.

                  On apples - have you ever seen a Lobo apple "up there"? They're fairly big and kind of squashed-looking (not very tall). An early September apple. Terrific for eating.
                  (PS I'm from London, ON originally and went to UofT.)

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Trying to remember.. think red havens? Excellent freestones.. basket was $6.. probably had 12 or 13 giant peaches. I don't think that I've seen Lobos.. my favourite apple stand at the market has had Galas, Gingergold, Honey Crisps (my favorite).. some Jonogold... think some Macs...
                    I live and work close to U of T.. grew up in Wpg.
                    where are you now?

                    1. re: rstuart

                      If they are huge and mainly yellow, they're likely Elbertas. Red Havens are usually earlier.
                      I'm in NJ now, have lived in a number of places in the States for a long time (peril of meeting an American at UofT)...

                    2. re: buttertart

                      Reminds me, BT, I have a BIL who owns an apple orchard just South of Montreal. I should visit him and pick up some Lobos and Honey Crisps (my favourite), free of course.

                      Back to baking: I intend to make Cynsa's Arizmendi sour cherry scones this weekend. As I predicted, she has already made them, and is pleased with the results. However, I plan to use raisins instead of sour cherries; life is too short to eat sour anything.....except maybe tamarind.

                      On the subject of scones, I have some Devon cream, in a jar from England, and on the jar it says that it should be consumed within 5 days of opening. 5 days seems very short. Does anyone have any idea why ? How much longer can I go safely?

                      1. re: souschef

                        So somebody else knows about Lobos? Hurray. They were always a back-to-school treat, like blue grapes. I'd love to get my mitts on some.

                        Devon cream is cooked, so I'd think it could go a bit longer than that, myself.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I have some Devon cream that is 2 weeks old. Would you risk it? If I try it and perish, I'll leave you my favourite conical sieve and digital scale.

                          1. re: souschef

                            Me? Yeah. I always use stuff way past date if it smells ok, isn't discoloured, and isn't moving on its own.

                          2. re: buttertart

                            I'm going to ask the apple guys about them this week at the farmer's market. I'd like to try the Dorie Greenspan recipe "Marie-Helene's Cake" from her newest cookbook... wondered if anyone else had tried it??

                            1. re: rstuart

                              I think there was a thread for the cookbook, and I remember reading several CHers comments on the recipe, which were positive as I recall.

                              1. re: rstuart

                                Here are a bunch of posts about Marie-Helene's Apple Cake. Be sure to read downward from each as they all have replies from more posters who baked the cake.





                            2. re: souschef

                              I grew up going picking at Marlin's apple orchard. I just read that they've expanded. I really ought to take the kids for a visit.

                              Roxlet the apple cake looks fantastic! Definitely a chill in the air now so I'll be making this asap. Thanks for sharing :)

                              1. re: maplesugar

                                It was my son's preferred cake for his birthday! I remember making one to bring to his kindergarden class when he turned 6. He's almost 16 now, and he still asks me to make this cake as soon as the fall apples are out.

                      2. re: rstuart

                        You want an apple that kind of breaks down. Though the Macs keep their shape, there is something sauce-like about the texture. I guess that if I couldn't find macs, I might try cooking the apples a bit first until they break down a bit. What you don't want is any kind of crunch or overly solid feel. he apple should be extremely soft, which is why Macs work.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          That makes sense. I'll keep it in mind if I try it. As always, too many good recipes, not enough time!

                2. re: roxlet

                  I just made raspberry-filled chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, a riff on the PB & J combo. My cupcakes were professional looking but a bit staid looking (light brown frosting with a chocolate drizzle across them). They sat next to a cupcake that had pink frosting with a raspberry stuck in the middle. Everyone was buying those. Then someone found out I made the PB & J cupcakes and bought one. Within the hour everyone was raving about mine. Someone even came back and bought 5 to share with his coworkers. Just goes to show you you can't judge a cupcake by it's "cover."

                  I'm planning a pumpkin cupcake next. Maybe with a cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. Still deciding on if I want to fill them.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Please tell me you didn't use a mix HA HA HA...

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I just KNEW you would chime in buttertart! :)

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        We're all in this together, mister.

                  2. re: roxlet

                    "This is one cake that has to be cooled completely in the pan, and every time I make it, I am thankful for Wilton Cake Release. Getting it out of the bundt pan used to be an iffy thing before I discovered the cake release."

                    Speaking of cake release, you can make your own. Mix equal parts veg shortening, veg oil and flour. Whisk well and keep in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard for at least a few weeks. Works every time.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      Yes, but I'm lazy and happy to pay 3.29 to have Wilton make it for me! Plus it lasts indefinitely in the pantry closet and I don't have to worry about wondering what's in that container in that cool, dark cupboard!

                  3. I made David Lebovitz's "Whole Lemon Bars" this morning and everyone who had it raved about it! It made me look like an excellent baker! (although I overbaked the filling hahaha but it still went down well!)

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: buttertart

                        Here's David's recipe:


                        Chunks of lemon, fantastic. I'm always looking for a better lemon bar.

                    1. The cooler weather has brought some energy for baking. More chocolate chip cookies for my Egyptians, who seem to inhale the things. My son doesn't really like them anymore -- I think I've bored him having made them so many times for them! We had a lot of apples hanging around, and rather than making another apple cake, as I did yesterday (the Egyptians apparently like this too -- it's half gone!), I decided to make the first apple pie of the season. I got kind of fancy, and made the top crust out of layered cut out apple shapes made from the pie crust, and then I lightly brushed them with beaten egg white and sprinkled on red sanding sugar. It's it the oven now, and so far, I'm quite happy with how it's baking up.

                      3 Replies
                        1. last night when I got home from work very late, I had a craving for baking a simple cake, so I made the red wine chocolate cake from Smitten Kitchen. It is really good, simple, needs only one bowl, and the wine adds a hint of mystery.. Even better today. I didn't top with confectioner's sugar or with mascarpone whipped cream.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: magiesmom

                            I had been wondering about that cake.

                            1. re: magiesmom

                              Ooh, intriguing. I definitely need to give this one a try. It's finally starting to cool down here in Phoenix--highs only in the high 90s!!

                            2. It's still hotter than a hubcap in an El Paso parking lot here near San Antonio, TX, but I can't stop baking....just now from my oven pulled two pans of the "knotted rolls" from the latest
                              Fine Cooking mag ( Peter Reinhart recipe) and they are magnificient, if I do say so myself. Easy to mix, easy to form and totally beautiful and delicious. Am taking all 18 of them to a pot luck tonight. I'll report if any are left. Get the mag and make these. You will fall in love.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: amazinc

                                Must get. I love making knotted rolls, they were the only shape I made for the longest time.

                                1. re: amazinc

                                  I think this is the recipe for Reinhart's knotted rolls


                                  They sure are nicely shaped. It also struck me how simply having 3 different "toppings" (plain and 2 kinds of seeds) makes such an appealing plate.

                                  1. re: blue room

                                    - love these pretty knotted rolls, baked for a potluck meeting last week - none were left because people asked to take them home at the end of the meeting.

                                2. Not baking, but just got a Cruisinart ice cream maker and just made Peach Ice cream. Oh my goodness, so good. I really love that machine....a bit noisy but so easy. Will never buy store bought ice cream again.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Mother of four

                                    I love my Cuisinart IC maker, too-- agree re noise level, but so very happy with results.

                                    When I'm not baking, I'm making custard and spinning up gelato. Yesterday I made fresh mint stracciatella for the second time. Once you land on a base recipe you love, it's fun to experiment with different flavors. I'm getting better at drizzling the chocolate in a very fine stream now that I've made it several times this summer ("regular" and mint). Next on deck: something with the leftover egg whites--maybe almond cakes, haven't made them in a while.

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      Dangit--compressed image instead of the better one. Trying again here.
                                      ETA: OK, cool, this is the better quality image. :) If you click to enlarge, you can see better. Want a spoon?

                                  2. I made the Arizmendi scones today, as planned. I was concerned about the pea-sized pieces of butter melting, and it was confirmed for me that this does happen, by that industrious elf who bakes while the rest of the world is asleep; thanks Cynsa. So, I ignored the mixing directions and instead followed my usual scone recipe directions. Also, I only made 1/2 quantity, which made 8 scones; I didn't want to make 15-20 of something unknown.

                                    The dough was very wet and the scones were hard to shape, but I did manage to form balls, which I flattened a bit. I brushed them with milk instead of sprinkling them with sugar, as the ones I had bought had sugar and were too sweet.

                                    The scones have to be placed well apart on the sheet as they really spread, into small rocks. The texture of the crumb was good, but I did not enjoy the grittiness of the cornmeal. Also, they were a bit too sweet. I did risk the Devon cream, Buttertart, but in retrospect butter is just as good, and maybe even better.

                                    I'm now thinking that the cakey texture of the purchased scone that I liked was that it contained eggs, and the yellow colour was because they were Onega-3.

                                    The grittiness of the cornmeal makes this a no-repeat for me.

                                    18 Replies
                                      1. re: souschef

                                        Baking the full recipe, we had scones stacked to the kitchen ceiling but DH dutifully ate one and all in testament to their inherent sweetness and his. I nudged the melting edges of the scones from spreading off the baking sheet with a spatula, corralling an irreverent scone into submission is a daunting task. Not in jest, I sing the praise of the Arizmendi cherry scone with its tender corniness - not gritty, but nubby. IMHO these scones are too sweet and will require a tweak here and there with the butter-rubbing-and-lifting technique of souschef's scones. A good dollop of Devon cream would be welcomed to offset the sweetness.
                                        Retrospectively, DH says if i bake them, he will eat them. So be it.

                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                          Thanks Cynsa. I asked DW if I should throw out the leftovers, and she said "No". I have had corn bread that was not gritty, so maybe I should look for a finer grind of cornmeal; I just used what I happened to have.

                                          In any case the recipe does need to be tweaked as the dough is too wet and they turn into rock cakes, not scones.

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            I just ate one of the leftover scones (cold), and it was not gritty at all today; very pleasant, in fact. Still needs tweaking, though.

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              Not sure what cornmeal is available in Canada any more, but the Indan Head brand here is much less gritty than Quaker. Look for a stoneground one.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                Okay, will do.

                                                Any suggestions on recipe tweaks based upon my comments, O Wise One ?

                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  Nope, other than maybe all yolks rather than eggs per se, but I think I'm repeating myself. Scones are not big in this household so I seldom make them.

                                          2. re: souschef

                                            Have you tried the joy of baking recipe? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8049... Cornmeal scones seem like such a good idea.

                                            1. re: THewat

                                              I haven't yet tried it, but I will. BUT ..........scones without butter?

                                              They look dense, and I'm looking for a cakey texture, but I'll try 1/2 recipe.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                Huh. I clearly didn't read the recipe very closely. I love hot cream drop biscuits (butter-free & not dense), but they are a different beast. For one thing, I can't stand them after they've cooled & it sounds like the Arizmendi scones actually improved with age - a handy thing in a baked good. I'm following your trials quite closely - unlike buttertart, I'm a scone fan.

                                                1. re: THewat

                                                  It's the man who isn't keen on them, and he eats the lion's share of what I make.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    ahhh. So sorry for the assumption.

                                                    I have gobs of family here for a wedding next weekend. I think scones are on the morning menu - probably the buttermilk scones from Baking with Julia, and maybe something new.

                                                2. re: souschef

                                                  I cannot speak to the recipe THewat linked, or to cornmeal scone recipes (I've had nice ones but never baked any), but as to scones without butter, my favorite scones I make use none - like these, they use cream as the only fat (though I would not make them with half and half or milk). They are fantastically light and tender.

                                                  This is the recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7114...

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    I have to try that! Unlike Casa M y Buttertart, scones are big in this household, but I make them only on the weekend, so next weekend is it, unless I decide to go up North foraging for food.

                                                    Caitlin's recipe definitely has appeal as it takes time to work butter into the dough; rubbing in takes time, and if you're doing the pea thing, when do you stop ?

                                                    Caitlin, I want to replicate your results as closely as possible, so am wondering how you measure your flour. Is it dip and sweep, lighlty spooned, or sifted into the cup?

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      You're right, those are delicious scones. I made mine with vanilla bean paste and diced dried figs. Fabulous.

                                                3. Flu bug in full retreat with taste buds' resurrection; brownies are cooling on the baking rack, chocolate will make me better.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                    Cynsa, I'm glad you're enlisting the help of chocolate to make you better. Eating your veggies should make you better, and chocolate is a vegetable !

                                                    I was hoping you would post your experience with making the Arizmendi scones, compared to mine.

                                                  2. Just made banana caramel cupcakes and they were divine. I've been gathering lots of pumpkin recipes this weekend in preparation for Fall... I love this time of year!

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: laytonj1

                                                      Your cupcakes are gorgeous! Meanwhile, do you already have Martha's recipe for pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing on file? If not, you'll want to add them to your collection. I baked them last year and they are EXCELLENT.

                                                      What I learned:
                                                      - Don't need a pastry bag. I used my 1-5/8″ scoop then flattened each dome slightly with a knife.
                                                      - Topping the frosting with a sprinkle of finishing salt cuts the icing's sweetness nicely.
                                                      - If you're using a BIG CAN of pumpkin, you can use the other half of the can to make a kickass boozy gelato. Google "pumpkin pie gelato with bourbon" if you're interested in one more pumpkin recipe.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        Thanks kattyeyes! I will definitely put those pumpkin cookies on my baking schedule. I just checked out your blog too... Lots of great recipes to try:)

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                          yes-pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top for the "pumpkin pie gelato with bourbon" recipe. Thanksgiving beckons.

                                                        2. re: laytonj1

                                                          Are you able to share that recipe? We love banana and caramel!

                                                          1. re: luv2bake

                                                            If you like banana and caramel, you will flip for Banoffee Pie!

                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                              Thanks! I was just coming around to decide whether to double my pie crust recipe or not. I think I will! :)

                                                        3. Poster kattyeyes' chocolate crinkle cookies, rice pudding with raisins, stove top variety, recipe from Joy Of Cooking, Alice Medrich Brownies, cocoa and browned butter based. I think that's just about enough sweet stuff.


                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. I made a walnut version of the hazelnut torta in Malgieri's "Perfect Cakes" today which I am not entirely sure will be worth eating. I used walnut meal from Apricot King (could not wait to try it, it was $6.00 for 2 1/2 lbs, I was wondering how it was). The batter seemed very tannic, it would seem a lot of the meal is walnut skins. We shall see. Certain People love walnuts and bitterness, so it may be more of a go than I'm expecting.

                                                            The dried apricots, peaches, and pears from Apricot King are truly stellar - haven't tried the dried mango or their walnuts yet, but they look very good.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                I overbaked it a bit but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Not a favorite (I think because of the base ingredient, not the recipe).

                                                            1. I made these delectable chocolate cupcakes with ganache filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. They are incredibly scrumptious but the ganache center sunk to the bottom. Any tips??? I refrigerated it for about 45 mins before placing it atop the cake batter.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: niceray19

                                                                It's finally cool enough to get back to baking! Yesterday was banana bread. Today, Peter Reinhart's marble rye, two smaller braided loaves and one huge non braided loaf for sandwiches. I hadn't thought of the Seinfeld marble rye episode in a while - chocolate babka must be just around the corner (crazy about the recipe on smittenkitchen).

                                                                1. re: niceray19

                                                                  I always add the ganache after baking by taking a piece out with an apple corer and piping the ganache in. I've never had much success with baking it in. I also use this technique to put lemon curd in poppyseed cupcakes. Yum!

                                                                  1. re: niceray19

                                                                    You may want to try freezing the ganache instead of refrigerating it.

                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                      I think that by freezing it, it immediately plummets to the bottom on the batter. After having it in the fridge for about 45 mins it was completely solid....

                                                                  2. I'm making these peach hand pies from the Smitten Kitchen blog: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/bou...

                                                                    Only I don't have any bourbon, so I think I will replace it with a bit of fresh grapefruit juice and vanilla bean scrapings.

                                                                    1. English muffin bread and more challah. Sadly, the English muffin bread is mostly gone now. Should have made two loaves.

                                                                      1. I was invited to style a birthday party scene for a Pottery Barn Kids Star Wars event this past weekend, so I had all sorts of fun working with an astronomy/Star Wars theme. I have two girly-girls, so this was quite a departure for me--though I did manage to work in an awful lot of glitter for a traditionally boyish theme. ;-)

                                                                        I made sugar cookies (planets and shooting stars), peanut butter planet pops (think buckeyes or Reese's pb cups but shaped like planets on lollipop sticks), shooting star lollipops (pralines and cream flavor), a small round cake (with edible sparkly topper, also pralines and cream flavor). and chocolate-dipped pretzel rods decorated to look like lightsabers. My husband's office was very happy with the leftovers this morning.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: modthyrth

                                                                          Fantastic looking cookies!

                                                                          Any tips, advice or links on how to decorate cookies like you did? How do you make sparkly icing? Also, any recommendations on best cookies to use?

                                                                          1. re: Eat.Choui

                                                                            This is my favorite recipe by far:


                                                                            I roll out the dough on parchment paper (silpat beneath to keep it from slipping around, cut out cookies as close as possible to eachother, then lift away the excess. Then freeze the cookies--for up to several weeks--and bake from their frozen state. That way they'll keep their nice, crisp shape.

                                                                            I think Sweetopia has marvelous tutorials on how to decorate cookies with royal icing: http://sweetopia.net/2010/04/how-to-m...

                                                                            The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle is also a marvelous resource: http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/?blogg...

                                                                            The edible glitter is a marvelous creation called disco dust, or pixie dust. It is *not* the same as the wilton brand edible glitter. Don't be fooled! It's absolutely gorgeous, and I put it on everything. ;-) The shimmer comes from aerosol spray cans of luster dust. Two fabulous products to make your confections look extra fabulous!

                                                                        2. Made Joy the Baker's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, except with hand chopped dark chocolate and some brown sugar instead of white, SO SO good, though very soft and muffin-like in texture- but delicious. Can't wait to make a billion things with pumpkin. [:

                                                                          1. Wake 'n bake--almond cakes! :) Recipe here:

                                                                            Modified as follows:
                                                                            - 2/3 cup almond flour (?)--I MAY have grabbed the third instead of the 1/2 cup measure, nice going, Kat
                                                                            - salted butter
                                                                            - 1/4 cup flour because the writing was tiny and I only realized after they were in the oven, it should have been 3/4 cup. That I know for sure.
                                                                            - 2/3 cup sugar is plenty, even though I was aiming for a cup

                                                                            I baked in my little Wilton silicone hearts. Made 8! Moist and delicious and ready for delivery! And foolproof, don'tchaknow?!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              Have a heart! ETA: And now that song is stuck in my head. GEEZ!

                                                                            2. Well, I blew out my oven and have to get a new one, so I can't quite bake anything at the moment.

                                                                              BUT!...last night I had about 2 cups of sheep's milk ricotta left over from the weekend and decided to make a big batch of zeppole.

                                                                              I mixed in a touch of honey and a lot of lemon zest into the batter. They fried up beautifully.

                                                                              I then dusted them with a cinnamon/sugar mixture and made a little bowl of creme anglaise for dipping.

                                                                              1. On the weekend I started my high fibre baking blitz - I made Vanilla Almond Chocolate Chunk Biscotti (with 20+ gms of protein, 7+gms of fibre and 20+ vitamins and minerals), and Chocolate Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti (with 20+ gms of protein, 8+ gms of fibre and 20+ vitamins and minerals). I made these Saturday afternoon and this morning (Tuesday) the last two pieces were eaten by hubby this morning. I made lots!! It's so depressing how fast it disappears - and I made it for myself - and he ate it all! Going to have to hide it next time and now I have to wait until Saturday to bake again!!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: nsstampqueen

                                                                                  "I made it for myself - and he ate it all! "

                                                                                  But isn't it so much better to share? :)

                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                    I love sharing - except I'm the only one doing the cooking/baking so once in awhile it might be nice to have something just for me!

                                                                                    Actually my hubby made a funny comment the other day - he said "I guess I'll know when you're mad at me - I'll have an empty tummy" - Priceless!

                                                                                2. I made a quick batch of David Lebovitz's Absolute Best Brownies last night:


                                                                                  The only changes I made were to add a pinch of salt, omit the nuts and accidentally use 1/3c. of flour rather than 1/4c. I cut them this morning but didn't taste - the texture seems very fudgy, not unlike that of a flourless chocolate cake. I've never made this recipe before, so I'll report back when I taste, but I will say this - they are the easiest brownies EVER, and come together quickly with ingredients that I always have in the house. I also like that the recipe makes a small batch - less temptation is a good thing!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                    Verdict: these are some GOOD brownies. However, they are so rich that they're almost NOT brownies. I would say that they fall somewhere in the crack between brownie and flourless chocolate cake. Texture is really nice, not chewy or cakey in any way. Lighter than you expect a "fudgy" brownie to be though, in that they sort of melt in your mouth. Intensely chocolatey (I used 70% dark). The accidental extra flour doesn't seem to have hurt, but I'll be more careful next time. I don't know that they're my ultimate brownie but I will definitely make them again.

                                                                                    Also made a sour cherry pie yesterday - it is very good, but the cherries don't have their usual snap (probably because the season was so dismal this year and the fruit was a bit waterlogged). Any ideas on how I can perk them up for my next pie? I will try almond extract for sure, and I was thinking that the Malgieri method of cooking down some of the fruit as a thickener might work. Other thoughts?

                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                      i once made a pie with canned cherry pie filling (sadly, i love the stuff) and fresh cranberries. the cranberries really added zing to the pie. I'm thinking they would perk up a fresh cherry pie too. Cool, i found the recipe... http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cr...

                                                                                  2. Just make peach crumb bars for book club.. recipe from the "Brown Eyed Baker" blog. Tastes good, but think that I prefer Smitten's peach shortbread bar for that sort of thing...

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                      Ooh, you just reminded me of something I made from Penzey's--Peachy Cheesecake Squares. Total keeper! For your future files if you'd like:

                                                                                      Now I wanna make them again!

                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                        Yum! I will for sure add to my files.. thanks kattyeyes!

                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                          Penzeys Spices Peachy Cheesecake Squares are just out of the oven. It's effortless baking, just my cup of tea for now. It's a delicious breakfast for DH. I topped mine with yogurt and blueberries.

                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                            Ooh, NICE!!! So glad you liked! Sounds yummy with toppings too!

                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                          Who else but RLB? My best effort prior to the CI vodka crust was her recipe with cream cheese in it. Must try that again, actually.

                                                                                        2. 12 apple honey challahs for Rosh Hashanah. Trying to figure out my dessert baking for the holiday...

                                                                                          1. A yellow cake with super glossy chocolate icing using the Easy from Scratch yellow cake with chocolate icing recipe from fresh loaf, linked by Christina Mason:
                                                                                            We're celebrating another Egyptian squash player's 21 birthday tonight, so this will be the birthday cake. I felt that the icing was not chocolatey enough, so I added about 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate to the icing after I took it off the stove. It is made primarily from cocoa, and since I ran out of my regular, I added a couple of tablespoons of the King Arthur Flour black cocoa, and I have to say, this is the darkest chocolate frosting I have ever made.

                                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                The guest of honor is on his way now and not arriving until 10PM. We shall see.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    The cake was excellent. I think that next time I would bake it in three 8" pans instead of the 9" ones. The layers were a little thin, but the flavor was excellent. And the extra chocolate added to the icing after it came off the stove really amped up the chocolate flavor.

                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      Sounds smashing! Hope it was appreciated.

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        OK, I just read through the whole thread you linked. Did you like this chocolate frosting better than your usual go-to chocolate frosting? Not to be dense, I always make frosting with confectioners sugar--this recipe just said "sugar"--is that understood to be powdered? :) It's completely different than the chocolate frosting I usually make, thus my questions. My usual chocolate frosting tastes like fudge and isn't cooked.

                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    I've bookmarked this cake--thank you. Out of curiosity, what's your regular cocoa? That KA black cocoa has caught my attention a time or two, so would be interested in your take on it. And the frosting in the pic already looks plenty deep dark, so I hope you have a pic for us!

                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                      It was regular cocoa -- not Hershey's but a European brand whose name escapes me at the moment. I did 1 1/2 times the recipe, and I think I had 6 tablespoons of regular cocoa and 1 1/2 of the KA black cocoa.

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        Droste, maybe? What a gorgeous cake! Baking a yellow cake from scratch is still on my to-do list for the year. Thanks for sharing. :)

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            Oh, understood. I'm just a ho for Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden. ;) This sounds like a step up for a substitute, though. And I saved Christina's last yellow cake post (blog name = something about chickens?!) for the same reason. I will get there, yes indeed!

                                                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      I made this tonight with glossy chocolate frosting. It's been a goal of mine to make a yellow cake from scratch that would rival Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden, my cake of choice. I was really looking forward to trying this recipe and am glad it was a win for you and your guests. But I couldn't help thinking:

                                                                                                      Glossy chocolate frosting is far closer to pudding than frosting in my book. So, in the wise words of the wacky Weight Watchers card, "Maybe Snack is not for you!" Le sigh. :(

                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                        I had a piece of this for breakfast today. Cooled, the frosting tastes less like pudding. I will say it's quite gorgeous, being so dark and shiny.

                                                                                                        The recipe's creator did say she had combined a pound cake recipe with a yellow cake recipe--maybe that's what I don't care for. It's heavy like pound cake, and for all the vanilla that's in there (I use both Penzey's Double-Strength extract and Italian baking powder with vanilla), I didn't find the cake itself very flavorful.

                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                          Hmmm. I did not find this cake to be like a pound cake at all. Sorry it didn't do it for you, kattyeyes!

                                                                                                    3. I was a busy little bee today - made the so-so walnut cake into biscotti, have bread dough about ready to go in the oven (no-knead with about 1/2 c whole wheat flour), made Chinese pancakes for Peking-ish Duck tonight (last week's 4-hour roast duck, heated up, with scallions and tianmianjiang - the real sauce to be eaten with, similar to but not not hoisin).

                                                                                                      And I made some cookies (brown butter dream cookies) from "The 150 Best American Recipes" that should be ILLEGAL. You brown 2 sticks (8 oz) sweet butter (I used half salt), allow it to cool, beat in 1 c sugar and 1 tsp vanila, then 2 c a-p flour mixed with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Roll into small balls (I weighed them, 10 g each, or about 2 tsp) and bake at 350 deg F until golden on the bottoms, colored a bit on the tops, and firm to the touch. They are supposed to crack a bit but didn't much. I may go a bit heavier on the baking soda next time. The recipe says baking should take 12-14 mins, but it was more like 18 in my oven, which despite the thermometers inside always seems to run a bit cool to me (at least I always have to bake cookies longer than recipes call for).
                                                                                                      I ate part of one warm and oh my goodness, how anything this simple could be this good...they're similar to the German cookie Heidesand but easier to make. A definite keeper.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        OOPS the 1/2 tsp baking powder should be baking SODA. Sorry sorry.

                                                                                                      2. I baked a Brownie Tart (Recipe I think from Epicurious, but I've been making it for years) It's like a gooey almost cooked brownie in a crust. The original recipe has a fussy kind of crust that has to be frozen before baking, but I use a graham cracker crust instead. Used my 4x14" tart pan so I made half the filling and it seems about right.

                                                                                                        I've got to make vanilla caramel sauce soon, maybe tonight. I have some manufacturing cream that will go off soon, but it keeps forever (or as long as I've ever needed it to :)) as the sauce

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                          Nice...I'm finding that UHT cream keeps a long time even opened, weird.

                                                                                                        2. Last night I baked a green tea angel food cake, using the recipe by Flo Braker in the "Baker's Dozen" cookbook. I've used the recipe several times before (though never with green tea) with wonderful results--good enough to get my mom, who used to abhor angel food cake, looking forward to the next installment of cloud-light, fluffy cake (heaven with a mound of whipped cream and berries!)

                                                                                                          This time, the cake wasn't quite as divine. I wonder which (all?) of the following caused it to rise and to fall to a level lower than starting point within 25 minutes of the 35-45 minutes of the prescribed cooking time:

                                                                                                          --eggwhites frozen for over a month;
                                                                                                          --whites whipped to stiff- rather than soft-peak stage (cook distracted by TV program);
                                                                                                          --a tablespoon of powdered green tea sifted with the flour mixture.

                                                                                                          Oh, it was still edible, just not as high and ethereal.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                            Hola pilinut, long time no see you around here - nice to have you back.
                                                                                                            That "Baker's Dozen" cookbook is excellent, isn't it? The Alice Medrich Reine de Saba in it is my favorite version of all.

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              Thanks, buttertart! And thanks, too, for reminding me of Mederich's Reine de Saba. I remember when Mederich first opened Cocolat in the Bay Area: she redefined chocolate desserts for me, and the Saba was probably my favorite. You're right--I should be baking it soon!

                                                                                                            2. re: pilinut

                                                                                                              Yeah, welcome back Pilinut. Good to see you posting again. Funny that your sidekick Cynsa seems to have disappeared (temporarily).

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                oh, I've had a relapse of the dreaded flu bug, it's my asthma and diabetes that complicate a quick recovery - I have 6 peaches that await kattyeyes' recipe for Penzy's Peachy Cheesecake Squares and 6 Gravenstein apples promised for pie. I've no energy and no strength to bake for now; can't catch my breath. I am lurking on the board/thread and longing to preheat the oven and rev up the KitchenAid. I am well enough to be bored and only had yogurt and cantaloupe for dessert tonight.
                                                                                                                I also recall the first time I walked through the door at Cocolat, it was a rite of passage.

                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                  Oh, that's crummy! Rest up and feel better soon, fellow cat! I'm sending you my katty cure-all. I make it all the time, even when I'm not sick: clove of garlic sauteed in OO, chicken broth, half a lemon, boil pastina, scramble an egg in at the end. Take care!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                    Sorry you are not well, Cynsa. Wish I were there to whip up a nice sabayon for you; always makes Madame Souschef feel better, and develops my forearm at the same time.

                                                                                                                    Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of experiencing Cocolat, but in deepest, darkest Africa, where I grew up was a pastry shop owned by a Greek guy, and he turned out wondrous pastries and cakes. I still remember his millefeuilles; never had millefeuilles as good since. That was my Cocolat.

                                                                                                                    I recently bought bread with chocolate and candied orange peel in it, and it was great for breakfast. Then while making (chocolate, almond, and pistachio) biscotti recently I was wondering how it would taste if I added candied orange peel to it. Opinion Buttertart, since you have made them? Cynsa, I suggest that once you are back in the saddle you make the biscotti from the recipe I posted.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                      I hope you're soon better, pilinut!

                                                                                                                      We lived about 8 blocks from Cocolat but I only ever had a truffle or two from the store (ah, impecunious student life). A woman I knew worked there and apparently Ms. Medrich was not at all of the warm and fuzzy stripe as a boss. I always have that in the back of my mind when I read/use her stuff, excellent though it is.

                                                                                                                      Orange would be very good in those (excellent even with white chocolate) biscotti.

                                                                                                                2. I got a ton of apples this weekend - Honeycrisps and Ginger Golds, and baked my deep-dish streusel-topped apple pie and this amazing apple cake with dulce de leche.


                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                    Oh my goodness that cake looksout of this world!

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      It was criminally good. I just had a piece after my virtuous green-salad lunch. lol

                                                                                                                    2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                      Wow! That recipe is getting book marked! Apples and dulce de leche and brown butter frosting? Heaven!

                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                          It is so good that I might not even tinker with the recipe, adn that is something that I can almost not help doing. So there ya go. It is that good. :)

                                                                                                                        2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                          Actually, come to think of it, I did make a change- I used 2 cups of very finely chopped apples instead of the 1-1/2 cups the recipe calls for.

                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                            That cake looks INSANE! Must make!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              Insane is the word for it. It was absolutely amazing, Enjoy!

                                                                                                                          2. Mounds of Macouns from Belltown = Apple Almond Crisp

                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                              Is "ah nom nom nom" appropriate in this context?

                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                It certainly is. Heavy cream over the top of my serving while it was still piping hot made it even more so! Sending you and all my other baking friends a virtual serving. >>^..^<<

                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                  Ah nom nom NOM from Apple Crisp Monster!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    Apple Crisp Monster is at it again this morning. I'm determined to make "Apple Almond Crisp" my own, so tweaked it just a bit further. More almond extract, brown sugar instead of white in the fruit, then chopped the sliced almonds in the mini FP so they're about the size of the oats. I just snagged a corner to try while it's still steaming. It is AHM NOM NOMMIER this way! And very bubbly when it came out of the oven. It continued to sizzle as it cooled on the rack. NICE!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        It's so funny how a small thing like chopping the nuts smaller and swapping brown butter in the fruit would make a difference. My mom said EXCELLENT to round one, then after tasting this, said it was even better. And this is all just a small variation to what she and Nanny made for YEARS. :) Now where is our friend Elsie the Cow when we need her? HA HA! Right, hanging out with Elmer in the living room...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                          I thought Elmer met a tragic fate...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            That was Elsie, but I like to imagine them in their living room with the crazy playpens for their children! Like this (so everyone else knows WTH we're talkin' about):

                                                                                                                              1. This morning, before it got too hot, I baked chocolate chip cookies for my Egyptians to fortify them as they make their arduous trek back to Alexandria. I also baked lemon pound cake from Sherry Yard's The Secrets of Baking for my son to bring as a snack to his advisory period tomorrow. I'm a little concerned that it sank in the middle as it cooled. The toothpick came out clean when I tested it, although it was in the oven for about 10 minutes less than the baking time. But my oven runs hot, and it certainly looked done. As it is now the warmest time of the day, and I'm beat and I have to go to my son's school for Meet the Teachers night, it will have to do. I'm not baking another thing in this heat (I also had to cook breakfast for the 3 guys as I was finishing my baking this morning), so if it's not edible, I'll be going to Dunkin' Donuts tomorrow at 6:30 AM!

                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Well, I tasted this pound cake, and while it is fine, I am truly underwhelmed. I have yet to make a pound cake that's 100% satisfactory, and I really wish I could -- and could find the recipe that would do it for me. Any ideas out there?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    This is my favorite-ever pound cake recipe:


                                                                                                                                    The texture is lovely.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                      I'll have to try that! Thanks, BabsW!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      Have you tried this one from James Villas in Saveur's "butter" issue?


                                                                                                                                      I've made it a couple of times and I thought it was the best pound cake I've made yet. It helps to read the full article, including Villas' 10 Commandments, though most of these are worked into the recipe, which should be followed closely.

                                                                                                                                      Another delicious one is Maida Heatter's Kentucky Pound Cake from her first (and best) dessert cookbook, "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts." This cake is flavored with bourbon and mace.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                                                        The first Maida Heatter is indeed great. But the others are too!

                                                                                                                                        I used to make a San Francisco Chronicle yogurt pound cake that was nice but not a traditional type. Don't make them because they are not the Primary Baked Goods Eater's sort of thing.

                                                                                                                                  2. Made a ginger cake from a Nigel Slater recipe, with stem ginger in syrup, golden syrup simmered with some of the stem ginger's syrup, and dried ginger, too. Simple, homey, gingery, moist...

                                                                                                                                    The recipe called for a pan too small for the volume of batter, easy enough to rectify if creating extra dish-washing (of the first pan).

                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                      You can never go wrong with lots of ginger.. I still want to try the David L.. recipe from "ready for dessert".. sits on the long list of recipes to try...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                        I like ginger, but disagree that you can never go wrong with lots of ginger. I find that the heat can be overwhelming; but then I dislike spicy hot food.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                          I am definitely of the " you can never go wrong with lots of ginger" school. rstuart, have you made Claudia Fleming's Guinness Stout Ginger Cake, from her book The Last Course (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... )? That's probably my favorite, but Lebovitz's famous Fresh Ginger Cake (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... ) also has a place on my must-bake-that list.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                            Wow.. the Stout Ginger cake looks great (and I just had that book out of the library, how could I have missed it?). Will have to try it.. thanks Caitlin!
                                                                                                                                            Souschef; I haven't had too much ginger yet.. but there's always a first time!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                              I made a cream of carrot and ginger soup last week, and went a bit overboard with the ginger. I found that the ginger caught the back of the throat and made me cough.

                                                                                                                                              I stayed a day once at a friend's Ayurvedic spa, and they began every meal with about 1/8 teaspoon of finely-minced ginger mixed with lime juice, as it aids the digestion.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                Yes, I've heard that about ginger... and it's supposed to help with nausea too?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, it does. Hence the use of ginger ale for stomach calming and hydration when one has been throwing up.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                    My landlady in Korea always gave me ginger tea when I was sick.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                      I had a Chinese friend who would give me little ginger hard candies, nice. Since I like to mix "stuff" in with my beer, (it's usually lemonade in the warmer months) I've switched to ginger beer lately, very warming.

                                                                                                                                                      On that note, Nick Malgieri has a recipe for ginger bars with crystallized and powdered ginger, zipped up with lemon zest and topped with a lemon glaze in his Bake! book:


                                                                                                                                                      These are on my bake list for the coming weekend.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                        Oh, those look good! I'll have to add those to my list.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                          Oooh! I just got Bake! for an insanely cheap price on TGC.com. I'm checking this recipe out.

                                                                                                                                        2. inspired by all the cornmeal scone talk, i baked two versions yesterday morning - one with dried apricots and crystallized ginger, and the other with lemon thyme and homemade fig jam thumbprinted into the centers. both were fabulous with tea, not so much with coffee.

                                                                                                                                          i did not have a problem with grittiness and they were definitely softer today but still had a bit of crunch.

                                                                                                                                          here is my recipe:

                                                                                                                                          10 3/4 oz Ap flour
                                                                                                                                          4 oz cornmeal
                                                                                                                                          3.5 oz sugar
                                                                                                                                          2.5 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                                                                          1/2 tsp. salt

                                                                                                                                          sift dry ingredients together.

                                                                                                                                          cut in 8 oz. cold butter ( i grate mine on the large side of a box grater)

                                                                                                                                          add to bind as needed until dough comes together:

                                                                                                                                          2 oz. heavy cream
                                                                                                                                          2 tsp. vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                          4-6 oz milk

                                                                                                                                          pat into an even layer and cut shpaes as desired. i sometimes wash with milk and sprinkle these with granulated or crystal sugar. if i am not doing this i skip the wash. bake @ 375-400 til golden and browning around edges.

                                                                                                                                          delicious additions:

                                                                                                                                          dried cranberries + orange zest
                                                                                                                                          apricots and ginger
                                                                                                                                          dried sour cherries and/or dried blueberries
                                                                                                                                          pretty much any kind of jam or marmalade dolloped into an indentation in the center especially raspberry, fig, apricot or rhubarb.

                                                                                                                                          1. I made vegan chocolate chip cookies tonight. Not because I am even remotely vegan, but because I had a craving, but no butter or eggs in the house. The recipe replaced both with coconut milk.

                                                                                                                                            My gut told me they would be hopelessly cakey and I should have listened to it. Ah well. I told my boyfriend they were chocolate chip tea cakes and I'm calling it a night. At least they tasted okay and did away with my craving for something sweet.

                                                                                                                                            1. Just made peanut butter Reese Pieces cookies.. very good, although I did eat too much of the dough (always a weakness of mine...).

                                                                                                                                              1. Pizza for dinner (three cheese and spinach-feta)

                                                                                                                                                And then I started a pear and almond tart that I'm making for tomorrow. The crust is made, the pears are poached, and the rest is ready to bake off tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                I'll be making honey-apple challah tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: milklady

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks! Forgot to mention the noodle kugel ... yum.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                        Soooooo pretty! Can you point us to the recipe when you have a moment?
                                                                                                                                                        P.S. Love noodle kugel, too. There's a thought for sometime soon!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                              I use this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/da...

                                                                                                                                                              I put crushed cornflakes on top just before baking. Not necessary, but the added crunch is good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                I was wondering if you did the sweet or savory kind. Neat idea with the crushed cornflake topping! I'll hafta try it on mine! Thanks! :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                    Picked up cornflakes tonight for my kugel!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                            Hey, now! Did you miss my frosting question among these 165 replies?! ;P

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                              I liked this frosting A LOT. For the record, I mostly bake for my son, and he is a chocolate cake with vanilla icing guy, so I don't make chocolate frosting a lot. That being said, this was very, very, good, and will likely be my go-to chocolate frosting. As I mentioned, I stirred in 4 squares of the Trader Joe's semisweet pound-plus chocolate after I took the frosting off the burner. I felt that it wasn't chocolatey enough before I did that. My husband, who is decidedly NOT a cake eater (with the exception of his annual coconut cake birthday cake), happily chowed down on this and thought that the frosting was fantastic. He despises classical buttercream, which he finds unpleasantly greasy. This he loved.

                                                                                                                                                              The basic recipe is here, without the addition of the chocolate: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1507...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                EXCELLENT--I can't wait to try this! Thank you! :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                  roxlet, did you grate the squares before adding them, or just stir them in whole and let them melt?

                                                                                                                                                                  ETA: this is the link to the frosting, right? http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1507...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                    Christina, I just popped them in whole, and they melted really quickly. You could chop them if you wanted to, but I think that is an unnecessary step.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I made some mini Dulce de Leche Brownies recently.

                                                                                                                                                        They were a huge hit at the office. lol

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                          That's a new one on me! Recipe please?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                            I used a mini brownie pan for these, and that calls for half of my usual recipe. If you use a regular pan (Mine is like 11 x 7 I think), I'd say double it.


                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup All-Purpose flour

                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup cocoa powder

                                                                                                                                                            pinch of salt

                                                                                                                                                            4 T salted butter

                                                                                                                                                            1 T heavy cream

                                                                                                                                                            5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup granulated white sugar

                                                                                                                                                            1 egg

                                                                                                                                                            1/2 t vanilla extract

                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup dulce de leche, store bought or homemade, La Lechera is a good brand


                                                                                                                                                            1.Preheat the oven to 325 and spray your mini brownie pan or mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

                                                                                                                                                            2.Mix together the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a small bowl.

                                                                                                                                                            3.Put the butter and sugar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Once the butter starts to melt, add the cream and chopped chocolate and melt. Stir to keep the mixture from scorching.

                                                                                                                                                            4.When the mixture has all melted, remove from heat and let cool. Add the vanilla extract and beaten egg and stir to mix well.

                                                                                                                                                            5.Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate and stir to make sure it is all well-incorporated.

                                                                                                                                                            6.Drop a small teaspoon of the batter into the prepared wells of your brownie pan, then add a teaspoon of the dulce de leche and swirl it together slightly, then top with more brownie batter.

                                                                                                                                                            7.Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until done. I always test with a cake tester. I also tend to under cook brownies slightly, so if a few bits of moist brownie are still clinging to my cake tester or toothpick when I test the brownies, that's ok by me.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, BabsW. These sound awesome!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Here in Northwest Florida it feels like Indian Summer -- New Delhi, India that is. Today's high will be 88 and very muggy. Cooler and drier weather is promised by Friday.

                                                                                                                                                          I have brunch guests coming Friday so, muggy or no, I'm baking the Granola Bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes. It's something I can start Thursday afternoon and finish in plenty of time the next morning. (And something a two year old might just possibly enjoy but who knows.) I'll also be baking a batch of honey-nutmeg muffins, which I can start the night before to the extent of getting all the dry ingredients whisked together.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Carrot apple muffins. Amazingly moist and delicious. 12 muffins disappeared in minutes when I brought to a work mtg yesterday, Scroll down to 2nd recipe from blog below.


                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                              here's the permalink: http://www.madriverkitchen.com/2011/0...

                                                                                                                                                              These sound good; I'm going to try them. Good use for all the apples we picked over the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Classic date bars, love 'em. I have a long history with them. Years ago I tried Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Miliken's recipe, from City Cuisine, and they were the date bars of my dreams. I sold the book, lost the recipe and found it again at FN's website. I made them this morning, after buying dates a few weeks ago for this intended purpose and before I finished consuming the entire lb. I had a headache, low blood sugar this am, and forgot to add the sugar to the oat based streusel topping. It looked a bit odd, I have to say. I realized my error after the bars came out of the oven, the topping was crumbly and salty from the baking soda and no sweet or bubbly. I had put the amount of sugar for the streusel in the dates instead, which made them more sweet than necessary, so it actually worked out, they're totally edible, and lots less sugar. I don't recommend not adding any sugar to the streusel, the lack of it leaves the topping rather dry and crumbly, but next time I'm going to adjust the sugar amount in the streusel down a bit.

                                                                                                                                                              So no epic fail, just a hiccup, I should know better than to bake when I can't concentrate fully.

                                                                                                                                                              The date bars are now all gone.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like they were good enough to eat :)

                                                                                                                                                              2. Can anyone recommend a good Tagelach (jewish recipe) recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't made it, but I have lots of Jewish cookbooks if you'd like me to take a look.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                      Ok, my two favorite Jewish cookbooks ("The Jewish Holiday Kitchen," from Joan Nathan, and "A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking," by Marcy Goldman) had two very different recipes for tagelach. JN's is fried, which is the more traditional way and uses almonds, sesame seeds and glaceed cherries, and MG's is baked, using walnuts and coconut; both are doused in honey syrup, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                      MG: http://jewish-scrapbooking.com/forums...

                                                                                                                                                                      JN (from Sarah Wernick): http://www.globe-recipes.com/Recipes/...

                                                                                                                                                                      And then there's this one from Gil Marks, which also sounds yummy:


                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you much. I'm trying to get an idea of what all it entails and make it for my aunt who I found out was nutso for the stuff. Plus it is another something I haven't made.... yet.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Does ice cream cake count? Hershey's black magic cake layered with homemade vanilla bean ice cream, homemade hot fudge sauce, and toasted chocolate cookie crumbles. Then cookies and cream cupcakes (I've done them before, but wasn't satisfied, so I changed them by putting a cookie crust on the bottom and an Oreo filling knock off in the middle), and was very happy with the results. Lest you think I'm nuts, we're having a birthday party for my stepdaughter AND my three year old tomorrow. Pizza dough to rest overnight for grilling tomorrow Oh, and I also painted a mailbox a la "Blue's Clues" but thank goodness we can't eat that!

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                                                                                                                    You were busy--and it all sounds great! Well, maybe the mailbox isn't so tasty lol. Good luck with the big party!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with Chocolatechipkt--that sounds like the best ice cream cake EVER! Impressive and of course it counts! :) Hope the weather is sunnier in your neck of the woods for the party! *<:)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                                                                                                                        Whoever is having a birthday is having a huge treat. That sounds fantastic, auburnselkie!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, thank you - the weather was perfect (high 70's and sunny) and we grilled pizzas and ate ice cream cake and cupcakes and a good time was had by all. When I recover enough, I'll try to post photos on the other thread.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Pumpkin mini cupcakes and peanut butter nanaimo bars for a bridal shower tomorrow. Also we'll have brie bites: puff pastry with a bit of jam and a piece of brie baked in a mini muffin pan. Super easy and delicious, and a great way to use up puff pastry scraps.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                            Mmm, brie bites, that's a delicious idea!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Well goodness me, here it is the first of October already, so onwards and upwards to a new thread for the beginning of the new month. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810201

                                                                                                                                                                            1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810201

                                                                                                                                                                              The first October thread -souschef noted the link didn't work so here we go again...happy Fall!
                                                                                                                                                                              (works now...)