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December 2011 COTM: 150 Best American Recipes: Desserts

LulusMom Dec 1, 2011 02:14 AM

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapter about desserts.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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    angelsmom RE: LulusMom Dec 1, 2011 11:45 AM

    I highly recommend The Intense Chocolate Torte. It was one of the best desserts, I have ever made and I only had Nestle chocolate chips at the time. The only change I will make is to chop the nuts almost to a powder because it was hard with the larger nut pieces to get the crust to stay in place in the sides of the springform pan.

    3 Replies
    1. re: angelsmom
      The Dairy Queen RE: angelsmom Dec 2, 2011 06:44 AM

      Thanks for the tip on chopping the nuts. I think I might have to make every recipe in this book! They all sound so good!


      1. re: angelsmom
        Bethcooks RE: angelsmom Dec 24, 2011 04:04 PM

        angelsmom - Can you make this the day before? I am planning to make it as one of the desserts for New Year's Day.

        1. re: Bethcooks
          angelsmom RE: Bethcooks Dec 25, 2011 03:56 AM

          Yes, but I would keep it in a cake container to keep it from drying out.

      2. pikawicca RE: LulusMom Dec 2, 2011 03:49 PM

        Souffled Lemon Custard, p. 283

        Excellent. Made this with Meyer lemons, as they are in season and have a flavor we love. Very lemony and refreshing. Didn't have a 10" round cake pan, so used a 13" oval baking dish -- worked perfectly.

        9 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca
          LulusMom RE: pikawicca Dec 2, 2011 04:45 PM

          baked the same amount of time?

          1. re: LulusMom
            pikawicca RE: LulusMom Dec 2, 2011 04:50 PM

            I baked it about 10 minutes longer, but since the dish I used had a larger circumference than the pan called for, I suspect that might need a bit longer, as well. I baked it until the entire top was a very light brown.

            1. re: pikawicca
              qianning RE: pikawicca Dec 3, 2011 07:39 AM

              I'm thinking about making this for a dinner party later this month, what do you think is it company worthy?

              1. re: qianning
                pikawicca RE: qianning Dec 3, 2011 07:51 AM

                I think that if you served it in little compote dishes (or similar), garnished with blueberries, it would be lovely. I would certainly serve it to guests.

                1. re: pikawicca
                  qianning RE: pikawicca Dec 3, 2011 08:15 AM


          2. re: pikawicca
            nomadchowwoman RE: pikawicca Dec 4, 2011 09:05 AM

            Souffled Lemon Custard, p. 283

            I love lemon and love custard, and since my repertoire of desserts is somewhat limited, this has been a go-to for me since I got Gordon Hamersley's cookbook years ago. Asked to bring dessert to an Indian dinner last night, I decided to make this in individual ramekins (it filled six of the largish ones). Like pikawica, I used Meyer lemons as I have a tree currently heavy-limbed with these babies. In trying to tie in to the flavor profile, I subbed coconut milk for about 1 1/2 c. of the milk (amount determined by what I had on hand, as I had done once before. The coconut flavor was there, but not terribly pronounced. We served these on pretty dessert plates with a couple of strawberries (the local ones are already out). The dessert looked pretty and everyone seemed to love it. I know I did.

            I baked the individual custards in their water bath probably about 40 minutes; they were lightly browned on top. Next time, I might start checking them at 30 minutes or so. The custard wasn't as loose or "saucy" as it usually is, but that could just be a function of baking in the smaller vessels instead of one large dish.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman
              qianning RE: nomadchowwoman Dec 24, 2011 08:29 AM

              Souffled Lemon Custard p 283

              Made this last night for a dinner party and the guests loved it. Like NCW and Pikawicca I used Meyer lemons, and thought they were just right for this dish.

              I baked most of the recipe in a two quart souffle dish, but there was about cup of batter that wasn't going to fit w/o making a mess, so I stuck that in a ramekin and cooked it along side the larger dish. The funny thing was the total difference in consistency between the two, in the larger dish the bottom layer was definitely a sauce more than a custard, whereas in the smaller ramekin it set almost like the custard in a lemon meringue. They were both tasty, but totally different effects.

              So my question is has anyone ever had this at Hammersley's in Boston? Wondering which texture is closer to the "original"?

              1. re: qianning
                nomadchowwoman RE: qianning Dec 26, 2011 03:07 PM

                Yes, I had this at Hammersley's, and the custard was definitely saucy. As I recall (and this was probably 8-10 years ago), it was served in an oblong or oval dish, definitely larger than the average ramekin. BUT, I have made this recipe in ramekins and had the same result you describe, which makes sense as so much more area is exposed to the water bath than is in a larger dish. I like the saucier version better, and I wonder if cutting the baking time would give that effect even in the smaller dishes.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman
                  qianning RE: nomadchowwoman Dec 26, 2011 06:38 PM

                  Thanks NCW, I was really curious which effect was "authentic".

                  The funny thing was the top of the the one I made in the larger container browned more quickly than the one in the ramekin. It seemed the higher ratio of contact with the water bath changed things quite a bit. I liked the sauciness of the larger one, but thought the ratio of custard to souffle was better in the smaller one....

          3. clepro RE: LulusMom Dec 2, 2011 06:03 PM

            I'm planning to make the browned butter cookies soon. Am I imagining it, or did someone not post about about sprinkling some coarse salt on top of the cookies? I can't find the post I thought I'd seen...

            Also, I noticed a comment on the linked recipe about this being similar to a..Italian, I think it was...refrigerator cookie. So I plan to try that out; to roll the dough and chill it, then slice and bake.

            24 Replies
            1. re: clepro
              Caitlin McGrath RE: clepro Dec 2, 2011 08:30 PM

              Here's the post about the salt: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8169... There's a note in the book that suggests sprinkling them with sea salt right after they come out of the oven.

              I look forward to hearing how these work as slice-and-bake cookies. I plan to make these closer to Christmas, and would love to use that time-saving step if it works out well.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                clepro RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 3, 2011 10:28 AM

                On second thought (and based on my no-lemon-screwup with the pasta with arugula and cream fraiche recipe) I think I'll make half exactly as written, and half as roll cookies. Only way I'll be able to tell if the result approximates the original intent.

              2. re: clepro
                roxlet RE: clepro Dec 3, 2011 07:59 AM

                You will find that the most difficult part about making the browned butter cookies will be forming them. If you use a scoop for portioning out cookies, a small one works well. You kind of pack the dough into the scoop by pressing it against the side of the bowl, and eject them onto the cookie sheet. Don't eat them right away, though! They just get better after a couple of days.

                1. re: clepro
                  LulusMom RE: clepro Dec 3, 2011 10:39 AM

                  These are really pretty crumbly cookies. Just keep that in mind when considering the slice and bake thing. I'd LOVE it if it works out for you, because I think that would be a great way to have these cookies. And yes yes yes - definitely do the sea salt.

                  And Roxlet is 100% right. These cookies are so much better after a day or two.

                  1. re: clepro
                    nomadchowwoman RE: clepro Dec 4, 2011 08:43 AM

                    When I made these, I thought I'd screwed up the recipe--they were difficult to shape, very crumbly, and didn't spread much. But, yes, they are delicious, better after a day or two. My husband ate ALL of them except for the two I tasted. I saved the crumbs from the container I'd put them in (there were a lot) and used then to sprinkle over other desserts--fruits, ice cream,etc.

                    1. re: clepro
                      Goblin RE: clepro Dec 4, 2011 09:51 AM

                      Brown Butter Dream Cookies, p. 289.

                      Just made these last night; took them to church today and they instantly vanished at Coffee Hour (with which drink they are particularly good, I think.) I would have let them mellow in a tin as recommended but didn't have time and they were delicious anyway. For an unprepossessing-looking cookie, they were chosen immediately from the platter of several different cookie-types--I think it's something about the golden-brown color combined with the translucent sparkle of the sea salt sprinkled on top that promises an honest, unfussy cookie with pure flavors.

                      Anyway, these are a "sable" type butter cookie, easy and quick to make, and requiring only a few pantry-stalwarts. 2 sticks unsalted butter are carefully browned and then mixed with 1 cup white sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. The directions say to add these two ingredients in 3 additions, I guess so that they are well mixed in. Then 2 cups unsifted AP flour are whisked separately with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt. (OR the salt is saved out to sprinkle over the just-baked cookies, which I did using a very scant pinch of sea salt for each cookie.) Meanwhile the flour mixture is blended into the butter-sugar mixture in 3 additions. The instructions say to roll into 1 1/2 tsp balls of dough and then bake at 350 F for 12 - 14 minutes until golden on the bottom and perhaps a bit cracked on top.

                      I made the cookies exactly as instructed except I eschewed the rolling into balls, which some commenters had noted were difficult to scoop out. Instead I rolled the dough into two "logs" about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, chilled for about 2 hours, and then sliced into 1/2 inch slices and baked. This yielded about 40 cookies. And yes; the rolls were slightly crumbly to slice, but I just pressed the dough-crumbs back into the slices. I used the method described in Hesser's The Essential NYTimes Cookbook for Pierre Herme's Chocolate Sables (p. 706): roll the dough into a log (or two), then flatten to press out any "air channel" and roll up tightly again in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed to bake.
                      My 1/2 inch slices took longer to bake to golden brown in the bottom than the 12- 14 minutes noted in the recipe--about 20 minutes all told. I also browned the butter carefully and slowly, but I think if you watched and stirred constantly, the process could be speeded up over medium heat.

                      For a quick and easy cookie that you can make spontaneously (and either keep in the refrigerator unbaked OR in tins for two weeks) with a toothsome texture and rich flavor, this recipe can't be beat. I read somewhere this is a typical German recipe (called "Heidesand") but I bet many cultures have similar recipes. The recipe also suggests adding a rounded tsp of cardamom seeds to the dough, for another layer of flavor.

                      1. re: Goblin
                        angelsmom RE: Goblin Dec 4, 2011 11:42 AM

                        Wow thanks for the details.. I read a tip somewhere, perhaps here, to place the roll of cookies in a paper towel tube to keep them round.

                        1. re: angelsmom
                          Goblin RE: angelsmom Dec 4, 2011 01:43 PM

                          Yes, and that's exactly what I did--was going to mention it but my report was already long! Anyway, I sliced two paper towel tubes lengthwise, the better to slip my two plastic-wrapped logs of dough inside. Popped 'em in the refrigerator and removed them easily a few hours later. This particular dough is relatively stiff and might have stayed "round" without the tubes, but they really work well with dough-logs that are a bit softer to start off, like some other refrigerator-type cookies.

                          1. re: Goblin
                            karykat RE: Goblin Dec 15, 2011 10:57 AM

                            This method is ingenious. I suppose you just have to make sure your logs are about the right diameter in the first place.

                            Then after you slip them into the cut paper towel tubes, I suppose if you put rubber bands around it it would keep the slit tubes compressed?

                            1. re: karykat
                              Goblin RE: karykat Dec 15, 2011 07:21 PM

                              Hi Karykat, It's not my invention but I read about it somewhere--Yes, paper towel tubes are about 1 1/4 inch diameter, which works out fine. In my last foray, I used a long empty wrapping paper tube (cut in half) crosswise) that I just happened to have around; again, they seem to be about 1 1/4 in in diameter, which is a good size for this type of cookie IMHO. A rubber band was not necessary in this case because the cardboard tubes were very stiff, but that's a good idea. It's not difficult to roll out a log of this size--I just eyeballed it.

                              1. re: Goblin
                                karykat RE: Goblin Dec 16, 2011 09:09 AM

                                I suppose the dough is kind of pliable until you refrigerate it so it will conform to the tube. Then gets stiff in that shape when cooled.

                                But I have one question: do you push it through the tube? Or cut the tube away?
                                Or pull it away if it's cut lengthwise first.

                                I was just thinking about my favorite slice and bake cookie which is rolled in nuts or coarse sugar so it has that coating on the outside. That might not work because the coating would rub off as you push it through? But other kinds would?

                                I'm intrigued with this idea.

                                1. re: karykat
                                  Goblin RE: karykat Dec 16, 2011 12:16 PM

                                  Karykat, I cut the tubes lengthwise and just opened them up gently to lay the plastic-wrapped dough logs inside. Yes; that's right: the rounded tube shape keeps the pliable dough rounded until it solidifies in a rounded shape. I don't think that a dough log that has been well wrapped in plastic wrap--or any wrapping material like aluminum foil or wax paper for that matter--would have its coating rubbed off, particularly when you are not pushing the log into the cardboard tube, but rather gently placing it inside as you pull apart the two tube halves.

                                  1. re: karykat
                                    Goblin RE: karykat Dec 16, 2011 12:22 PM

                                    KaryKat, you are correct that the pliable dough conforms to the rounded shape of the tube as it chills and solidifies.
                                    I slice the tube lengthwise along one side and then gently place the wrapped dough log inside. Wrapping it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or wax paper keeps any coating from rubbing off as you lay, not push, the dough log inside the tube and then allow the sides to come back together to enclose the log (or slip a rubber band around it to help keep the rounded shape.

                                    1. re: karykat
                                      Goblin RE: karykat Dec 17, 2011 06:48 PM

                                      Sorry about my two replies that repeat the same info. Couldn't get the first one to download, so I rewrote the post and somehow both got printed!

                                  2. re: karykat
                                    clepro RE: karykat Dec 27, 2011 01:19 PM

                                    Yes, I usually use rubber bands on the paper towel or wrapping tubes. Not my invention either; I learned it from my Aunt Naomi while watching her make her date swirl cookies almost 50 years ago now. We do it exactly as Goblin explains.

                              2. re: Goblin
                                nomadchowwoman RE: Goblin Dec 4, 2011 11:57 AM

                                Next time, I will definitely use your log method.
                                Thanks for your very helpful report, goblin.

                                1. re: Goblin
                                  LulusMom RE: Goblin Dec 4, 2011 01:59 PM

                                  Yes yes yes, thank you so much for testing out the log method! I had serious doubts that it would work, but am happy to be proven wrong.

                                  1. re: Goblin
                                    beetlebug RE: Goblin Dec 7, 2011 11:58 AM

                                    Brown Butter Dream Cookies, p. 289.

                                    I just packed these away to eat on Friday night. Just a few notes:

                                    1. I didn't use the tube method. I thought about it, but the dough was really soft and I thought that forming balls would be faster then trying to roll it into a tube.

                                    2. When these baked, they kept the same balled shape. I thought they would spread but they didn't move at all. They don't need to be 2 inches apart on the cookie tray.

                                    3. If you do decide to roll the balls, do them all at once. The dough is much easier to work with and will completely harden once the butter cools. Before I put my second batch into the oven, I wanted to flatten the ball to make the salt stick better when they came out of the oven (esp since it retained it's original shape). But, the ball just crumbled and I couldn't get it to re-assemble properly.

                                    4. My batch made about 4 dozen. A full dozen less then the recipe yield. I don't think the cookies were bigger then called for.

                                    I'll report back once I've served the cookies.

                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                      beetlebug RE: beetlebug Dec 13, 2011 02:49 PM

                                      I really liked these cookies. So buttery and crumbly. The salt was a wonderful additional. A visiting friend just kept popping them into his mouth. He said they were slightly addictive. good thing there were about 4 dozen cookies in total.

                                    2. re: Goblin
                                      buttertart RE: Goblin Dec 11, 2011 05:02 PM

                                      Heidesand are a little different, and are slice and bake. These cookies are too good. I didn't have any problems with forming them - I had let the butter cool, perhaps that is why?

                                      1. re: Goblin
                                        greeneggsnham RE: Goblin Dec 13, 2011 08:57 AM

                                        My turn with the brown butter dream cookies. Made these Sunday night to decompress from a long weekend on call. Easy to make, as others have described so well. I mixed my still hot butter with the rest of the ingredients and shaped them with a round old- fashioned measuring spoon and had no problems with the shaping (maybe I was expecting it to be much harder).

                                        I agree cookies did not spread hardly at all. I added the salt into the batter and like the salty edge. I sampled a cookie right out of the oven but then packed them away to let them "age". Just eating them now. They are very good. Not earth-shattering, but a very nice sable-type cookie. I think I prefer the "World Peace Cookies," of which these are the non-chocolate cousin.

                                        1. re: Goblin
                                          Goblin RE: Goblin Dec 15, 2011 07:36 PM

                                          So here's an addendum to my method listed above: this time I was in a hurry so I didn't let the hot browned butter cool down all that much. The first time I made them I cooled it down to room temp (about 63 F.) This time I mixed the sugar mixture in while the butter was still quite warm, and then added the flour . This warmed dough was much more malleable. I used a small scoop and had no trouble forming the dough into little round balls. Baked them right away rather than forming them into logs for chilling. Like the first time, they didn't spread out much, but stayed somewhat rounded with edges that browned. Tasted better the second day, and even better today.
                                          I wonder if the different experiences folks have had with the crumbliness/dryness/difficulty in shaping is due to the difference in temperature of the cooled browned butter when it is combined with the other ingredients? I kept checking the list of ingredients again this time to see why the dough was so much softer. Same amount of butter; same amount of sugar, flour, etc. The only variable I can see was the temperature of the butter when combining the ingredients. I weigh everything, and the relative humidity in my kitchen was the same as only 10 days ago when I made them the first time.

                                          1. re: Goblin
                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: Goblin Dec 25, 2011 01:26 PM

                                            Brown Butter Dream Cookies, p. 289

                                            I baked these on Wednesday. Following all the reports here, I browned the butter in a larger pan with a curved bottom - saucier shaped - and only let it cool a bit before I mixed up the dough. I then scooped the dough in mounds onto the cookie sheet, as it was too soft to roll into balls, but also very easy to work with. By the time I got to the last few cookies on the second sheet, the dough had cooled and was definitely crumbly, so I think the key to ease is to not let the butter cool much and to work fast. Mine were a bit bigger than the recipe indicated, so I only made around three dozen.

                                            I chose to add salt to the dough, and I put in around 1/3 teaspoon. When I first tasted a cookie, I think the day after baking, I was dismayed to discover that they tasted too salty, but on Saturday, at the magic three-day mark, the salt had mellowed and balanced the browned butter flavor perfectly. Echoing everyone's sentiments, these are cookies to make ahead, as they are much better several days out.

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                              buttertart RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 25, 2011 05:37 PM

                                              My butter was semisolid when i got back to it and I didn't have any trouble forming these.

                                        2. JoanN RE: LulusMom Dec 11, 2011 07:15 AM

                                          Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (page298)

                                          It may be time to hang up my toque blanche.

                                          It wasn’t until the ingredients were bought, the butter softened, the mis-en-place complete, and I was well into the recipe that I realized I had made these before. Twice. I offer in my defense that the name of the recipe was changed; a little. These are the Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Essential New York Times Cookbook that I raved about only five months ago.

                                          These weren’t as good as the batch I reported on here (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632... ) or a subsequent batch for which I didn’t keep detailed notes. The differences between the first batch and this one? First batch: 7 ounces President-brand butter; odds and ends of 60% and 72% TJs chocolate plus some Callebaut bittersweet; however many walnuts I had on hand. This batch: 8 ounces Plugra; all chocolate was TJs 72%; 2 cups chopped, toasted walnuts.

                                          So what did I learn? I doubt it’s the butter. Both butters are about 82% butterfat and it’s hard for me to believe that one ounce less in the first batch could make much of a difference in taste. The nuts? Nah! I like nuts in my CCCs. Double the amount (if that’s what it was) is okay in my book. So I’ve decided it was the chocolate. I think the all-72% TJs was too dark and bitter and that it needs to be balanced with at least a third, maybe half, of something a little less dark. The Callebaut bittersweet is about 60%.

                                          Something else I learned: I baked the first batch on Silpat. They were really thin. I baked the second batch on parchment, thinking they might not spread as much. No difference that I could discern. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised considering the amount of butter.

                                          I need to make another batch of cookies for a party next weekend. Even though I have a lot of the TJs 72% chocolate left, I’m going to buy some Callebaut to mix in with it. Haven’t decided yet which butter I’ll use. May just try Organic Valley European-Style. I haven’t had it before and it seems to be getting a lot of good reviews. Anyone here using it for their holiday baking?

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: JoanN
                                            greeneggsnham RE: JoanN Dec 13, 2011 08:58 AM

                                            Wow, those look incredibly good. Going to have to make those for Santa! Thanks for the recc re: chocolate to use. I will plan to use a mix of TJ 72% and some Ghiradelli chips (60%, i think).

                                            1. re: greeneggsnham
                                              greeneggsnham RE: greeneggsnham Dec 27, 2011 10:02 AM

                                              I finally got around to making these as the Christmas Eve cookies for Santa. I used TJ's organic unsalted butter and a mix of Ghiradelli 60% chips and chopped TJ 72% chocolate and a little bit of chopped milk chocolate because I had it and wanted to use it up.

                                              These are a solid, flavorful CCC. A bit more adult in taste than average-- the salty edge really comes through. Surprisingly, I may cut the salt back a bit next time I make them (surprisingly because I am a salt-hound in general and particularly like the salty-sweet combination). Santa and everyone else has been eating these up enthusuastically, but no one has really raved about their superiority to any other chocolate chip cookies. Maybe I should go all out and try them with some high quality butter and Callebaut? After all the rich eating of the past few days, may need to wait a little while.

                                              1. re: greeneggsnham
                                                greeneggsnham RE: greeneggsnham Jan 23, 2012 08:16 AM

                                                I made another batch of these the other day and thought they were AWESOME. The difference-- let the dough sit in the fridge for 4 days rather than just an hour and really watched them like a hawk while baking to make sure to take them out when the edges set and the cookie was just turning golden brown. (took 14 and a half minute for me). so good, they're dangerous

                                            2. re: JoanN
                                              JoanN RE: JoanN Dec 17, 2011 02:30 PM

                                              Made these again today for a party I'm going to tomorrow, and this was the best batch yet. This time I used Beurre d'Isigny. And because I had just read in Alice Medrich's cookie book that if you're using European-style high-fat butters you should use about a tablespoon less, I used 7 ounces instead of the 8 ounces called for. I also used about three-quarters Callebaut bittersweet and one-quarter TJs 72%. I just can't get over how much better these were than the previous three times I'd made them. Yes, the ingredients cost nearly twice as much, but sometimes it's worth it.

                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                karykat RE: JoanN Dec 22, 2011 10:51 AM

                                                I don't have a recommended butter to use, but do have a question. I'm making some caramel acorn cookies and some slice and bake cranberry pistachio. Both use a good deal of butter.

                                                I forgot the butter this morning and realized it while in the checkout lane. I'm not sure I got what I want. I was going to get Organic Valley unsalted. And ended up with Organic Valley unsalted cultured. Do you think using cultured butter will make a difference in cookies? I usually like uncultured better. Do you think that little twang from the culturing will be noticeable in the cookies? (Thanks for advice.)

                                                1. re: karykat
                                                  JoanN RE: karykat Dec 22, 2011 07:55 PM

                                                  If I recall correctly, Cooks Illustrated rated the Organic Valley cultured butter quite highly, although they said that some cultured butters, Echire, for example, had too much of a tang. I've never used Organic Valley, although it's on my to-try list. I suspect you'll be happy with the results. Let us know.

                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                    dkennedy RE: JoanN Jan 8, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                    Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (page298)

                                                    Like Joan above, I am pretty sure I made these out of TENYTC a few months back but no matter, reporting again here. A wonderful CCC recipe. The extra salt really makes them stand out in the flavor department. I used bittersweet chocolate from Surfas.

                                              2. Tom P RE: LulusMom Dec 13, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                Skillet Blueberry Cobbler p. 279

                                                I confess, I was getting a little disappointed in this book. Each recipe I've tried has been good but not great. This was definitely a huge winner and I hope turns around my experience.

                                                The recipe, first, is ridiculously easy. I don't think it could be easier! In cast iron skillet, you melt butter and then throw in 4 C blueberries and a little sugar. (We used frozen and it is hard to imagine it being much better... I cut back a little on the sugar as I wanted the berries to speak for themselves and am not partial to overly sweet.)

                                                Meanwhile mix 1 C self rising flour, 1 t baking powder, dash of salt and 3/4 cup milk. Spoon the batter into the cast iron skillet and stir around a little. Bake 20 min at 400.

                                                Wow. This was divine. Very 'berry' without being too sweet and the biscuit was perfect in a cobbler kind of way. (The biscuit was pretty blue in places, so you might not want to stir as much as we did for presentation.) 3 of us devoured the entire thing and had blue teeth for a day! This is a serious keeper for me, I will be making it often.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Tom P
                                                  greeneggsnham RE: Tom P Dec 23, 2011 10:42 AM

                                                  Thanks for highlighting this recipe! I am thinking about making it tonight for desert. Have family staying with us but working all day so need something for desert that doesn't take much effort. (It's either this or ice cream from the freezer!) I know I have frozen blueberries in the freezer. Did you thaw them first, or just throw them in the skillet still frozen? Thanks!

                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham
                                                    Tom P RE: greeneggsnham Dec 23, 2011 11:26 AM

                                                    I threw them in a bowl of warm water about 15 minutes before I needed them... then drained them.

                                                    I made it again the other night.. huge hit. And, wow, it is easy. I served it this time with some fresh whipped cream, and it was excellent, though it would be the bomb with vanilla ice cream.

                                                    1. re: Tom P
                                                      greeneggsnham RE: Tom P Dec 23, 2011 11:40 AM

                                                      Awesome. Thanks, Tom! I'll report back how it goes.

                                                2. beetlebug RE: LulusMom Dec 13, 2011 02:48 PM

                                                  Frozen Lemon Cream Sandwiches (pg. 290)

                                                  I had leftover lemon curd that I needed to use up (oh the hardship) and happened to come upon this recipe through a random flip of the book. These are so delicious and would be great for the summertime, although they were pretty tasty in the cold of winter.

                                                  So easy if you have the lemon curd handy as well. Mix the lemon curd with creme fraiche and zest of a lemon. Whip it until it's firm. Then, put a healthy dollop of curd in between two butter waffle cookies (Jules Destrooper Crisp Butter Wafers are recommended) and freeze until firm.

                                                  Chop up pistachios and when the sandwiches are set, dip the edges into the nuts. This is where I had some trouble. The filling was frozen so I pressed the nuts onto the sides. Next time, I may dip the nuts before freezing.

                                                  Note: The recipe makes six sandwiches. I made 8 which worked out since that was the amount of cookies in the box. I probably didn't use enough filling since I still had leftover filling. Oh well, I guess I'll have to spoon it directly into my mouth.

                                                  1. beetlebug RE: LulusMom Dec 13, 2011 02:48 PM

                                                    Matzo Buttercrunch (pg. 305)

                                                    I've made variations of this over the years and it's always a crowd pleaser. This is the first time I added toasted nuts and it was a great addition.

                                                    Lay matzo on a foiled, parchment papered cookie tray. In a sauce pan, combine two sticks of butter with brown sugar, combing the two until it boils. Boil for about 2-4 minutes and pour over the matzo. Spread the sauce until even and then bake for about 15 minutes.

                                                    Add 3/4 cup of chocolate chips and let it sit for 5 minutes (I used a cup and it could have used more). Spread the chocolate until it's even. Add the slivered almonds (I also sprinkled fleur de sel) and stick it in the fridge until it's firm.

                                                    This is always a crowd pleaser and the salty nuts is a nice contrast to the chocolate and faux caramel.

                                                    14 Replies
                                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                                      buttertart RE: beetlebug Dec 13, 2011 02:53 PM

                                                      Good with saltines too, and I saw one with Town House crackers and slivered almonds without chocolate I might just have to make (in Sunday supplement "Relish").

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        beetlebug RE: buttertart Dec 13, 2011 03:14 PM

                                                        I've made them with saltines in the past. I really liked it with the saltines (bc of the salt factor). Matzo was a bit easier to work with since I had to use fewer pieces. Is there such a thing as salted matzo? That would be the best of all possible worlds.

                                                      2. re: beetlebug
                                                        Caitlin McGrath RE: beetlebug Dec 13, 2011 04:27 PM

                                                        I can't see how any kind of toasted nuts one likes could be bad on these. I've done it with roasted, salted peanuts and that works really well with the butterscotch and chocolate. The first recipe I used for this actually called for graham crackers.

                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                          buttertart RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 15, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                          OT but if you like sweet and salty, try the Bon Appétit peanut and pretzel blondies from this month's issue. Irresistible. Make a half recipe unless you can get them the heck out of your reach :)

                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: buttertart Dec 15, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                            What is it about that sweet-salty combination that is so irresistible? I think we tend to consider it a contemporary phenomenon, but we have an heirloom recipe in my family for pain salé sucré - little yeast buns topped with coarse salt and sugar that are, indeed, kind of irresistible when warm - that my great grandmother got from the owner of the bakery they lived above in Switzerland, before the family moved back to Canada. That would have been around a hundred years ago, and who knows how long they'd been made prior.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                              pikawicca RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 15, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                              Share recipe?

                                                              1. re: pikawicca
                                                                Caitlin McGrath RE: pikawicca Dec 16, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                Sure, I'll post it when I have a chance (might be a day or two).

                                                                1. re: pikawicca
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: pikawicca Dec 22, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                                  pikawicca, I'm sorry it took a while, but I posted the recipe for salées sucrées (as they're actually called) in a separate thread, so as not to derail this one. It's here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824504

                                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                  kellyts RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 16, 2011 04:35 PM

                                                                  I call salt, sugar, and fat the holy trinity. Those three things and you've got most people hooked, right?! :)

                                                                  1. re: kellyts
                                                                    buttertart RE: kellyts Dec 16, 2011 04:46 PM


                                                                3. re: buttertart
                                                                  beetlebug RE: buttertart Dec 16, 2011 01:17 PM

                                                                  I just came back from the library with a copy of the recipe. This looks great, although I would add chocolate chips to the blondie part (I guess it's not a blondie then?). I'm going to make these in January for book group.

                                                                  1. re: beetlebug
                                                                    buttertart RE: beetlebug Dec 16, 2011 02:18 PM

                                                                    They are terrific.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                      beetlebug RE: buttertart Dec 16, 2011 02:31 PM

                                                                      Do you think adding a cup of chocolate chips to the blondie part would be overkill?

                                                                      1. re: beetlebug
                                                                        buttertart RE: beetlebug Dec 16, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                                        They are extremely extreme as is, I myself wouldn't do it because I like a non-chocolate this or that, but if you do, don't be surprised if your book club goes bananas.

                                                            2. buttertart RE: LulusMom Dec 15, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                              The prune and walnut cake is superb and keeps very well. We loved it. Going to try it with all walnuts next time (the recipe calls for part almonds). Try it, you'll like it!

                                                              12 Replies
                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                LulusMom RE: buttertart Dec 15, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                                I second this recommendation.

                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                  karykat RE: buttertart Dec 16, 2011 09:05 AM

                                                                  Can I talk anyone into summarizing this recipe? And is it kind of like a date bread -- real dark and moist with the prunes?

                                                                  1. re: karykat
                                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: karykat Dec 16, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                    This is a scan of the recipe from the book: http://domesticintelligence.files.wor...

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                      karykat RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 22, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                      Thanks Caitlin!!! I just finished a work deadline and am looking forward to my baking now.

                                                                      I'm making prunes in brandy in jars (supereasy and so good -- did it last year just for me and loved it so everyone is getting it this year).

                                                                      And bought lots of extra prunes for this cake.

                                                                    2. re: karykat
                                                                      buttertart RE: karykat Dec 16, 2011 02:20 PM

                                                                      It's paler than a date bread. It's also awfully dang good.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                        qianning RE: buttertart Dec 16, 2011 02:24 PM

                                                                        could it be baked in a loaf pan?

                                                                        1. re: qianning
                                                                          buttertart RE: qianning Dec 16, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                                          I don't see why not. It's fairly tender, though.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            qianning RE: buttertart Dec 16, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                                            ah, i see. thanks

                                                                        2. re: buttertart
                                                                          oakjoan RE: buttertart Dec 21, 2011 09:38 PM

                                                                          I made the prune and walnut cake (Perigord style) and it was a big hit. I used only walnuts because that's what I had. I'd say it is tenderer than a bread. I made it in a circular mold with a tube in the middle.

                                                                          Husband took it to work and it was a huge hit. It could be baked in a loaf pan, but it's more like a cake.

                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                            buttertart RE: oakjoan Dec 22, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                            Great, innit?

                                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                                              clepro RE: oakjoan Dec 27, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                              This cake was superb. I've been wanting to make it for awhile now, so went out all, using extra good quality butter and blanching, skinning and toasting the walnuts. Next time I think I'm going to cut the prunes a little more finely than I did, and dust them with a bit of flour to see if I can get a more even distribution in the batter.

                                                                              I too made mine in a tube pan; I got a nice browned surface all around that looked lovely unmolded.

                                                                              1. re: clepro
                                                                                greedygirl RE: clepro Jan 2, 2012 08:21 AM

                                                                                I had a cake disaster over Christmas (was supposed to be making a roulade, but the pan I'd bought specially had large lips and was too big for the oven!) so I ended up making this instead at the last minute. I'm glad I did - we all loved it and it keeps very well. I did find the prunes mostly sunk to the bottom though.

                                                                      2. Goblin RE: LulusMom Dec 17, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                        Double-Chocolate Layer Cake, p. 316 (aka THE Chocolate Birthday Cake)
                                                                        This recipe originally appeared in Gourmet Magazine and this is on Epicurious.com

                                                                        I know that this recipe has been made and discussed on a previous thread but for the life of me I can't find the right one this morning for comparison and citing! ( I think I remember that dkennedy made a satisfactory gluten-free example.) Anyway, I'll just review it here again:

                                                                        Made this one two days ago for a family-member's birthday and it is indeed a chocolate-lover's dream cake. Mine turned out to be intensely chocolately and somewhat dense, yet not overly heavy. The baked layers were still just light enough in texture to deserve the name "cake." They are baked in a slow oven (300 F) till a cake tester comes out clean: my layers took 60 minutes.

                                                                        The recipe is fairly long and detailed and is available on Epicurious.com under this exact title, so I will just cut to the chase. Non-chocolate lovers need not apply! Pluses include the fact that the cake can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated till needed. The directions are specific but I like that following them guarantees a good result (I call this the "Cooks Illustrated syndrome.") And the frosting is simply delicious and quick and easy to make (no prolonged beating.) Would be great on cupcakes, too. The recipe says "serves 12 but I think it easily would stretch to 16 smaller slices.)

                                                                        Oh yes: a product review: I tried those "EvenBake Cake Strips" that you first moisten and then velcro around the outside of the layer pans before baking, and they work! Both layers baked up evenly flat on top and moist. Though the slow baking in a 300 F oven may have had a lot to do with this as well. Anyway, I'll be using them again on other cake recipes.

                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Goblin
                                                                          Goblin RE: Goblin Dec 17, 2011 11:02 AM

                                                                          Here's the double-chocolate layer cake recipe on Epicurious.com


                                                                          1. re: Goblin
                                                                            dkennedy RE: Goblin Dec 27, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                                            Double-Chocolate Layer Cake, p. 316 (aka THE Chocolate Birthday Cake)

                                                                            I also made this recipe and it was received with rave reviews such as: make this again, and can I have a piece of this in my lunch box tomorrow? I had a dinner party last Tuesday and the group one again brought it up and reminisced about how good it was. FYI, I used the William Sonoma gluten free flour in this recipe (it is called Cup for Cup).

                                                                          2. re: Goblin
                                                                            beetlebug RE: Goblin Jan 6, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                            Ok, I just made the cake and frosting. Per the frosting directions, it sounded like it would take hours for it to become spreadable. Well, I made it this am and left the house. Now, the frosting is so stiff and I can barely spread it on the cake. I'm attempting to frost the cake, but the cake is crumbling because the frosting is so stiff.

                                                                            Do you think I can re-heat the frosting, over low heat to get it to loosen up a bit? Or would that be bad? I have to run out of the house for a few hours and am now worried that the frosting will be rock hard when I get home.

                                                                            1. re: beetlebug
                                                                              JoanN RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                                              Never made this recipe, but you can nearly always rewarm frosting to get it spreadable. You might want to consider a double boiler so you can control the temp better, but even over low heat it should be fine.

                                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                                beetlebug RE: JoanN Jan 6, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                Thanks Caitlin and JoanN. The frosting is just a ganache but it hardened so quickly. Apparently, my apt is really cold. Anyway, I re-warmed it slowly and re-whisked it to a smooth consistency. It's not the most evenly frosted cake but it's not the ugliest either.

                                                                                I'm bringing the cake to a dinner party tonight with people who I've never broken bread with. I didn't want to bring a yucky looking dessert. Report on the taste later

                                                                                1. re: beetlebug
                                                                                  beetlebug RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                                                  Here's a fuzzy picture of it.

                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug
                                                                                    JoanN RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 02:13 PM

                                                                                    Sure looks good to me.

                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug
                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 03:08 PM

                                                                                      Looks scrumptious!

                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug
                                                                                        pikawicca RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                                        I would eat a slice of that in a heartbeat.

                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug
                                                                                          nomadchowwoman RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 08:58 PM

                                                                                          I think they'll want to break bread (or eat cake) with you again--soon.

                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug
                                                                                            beetlebug RE: beetlebug Jan 8, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                                                            Double-Chocolate Layer Cake, p. 316 (aka THE Chocolate Birthday Cake)

                                                                                            The cake was a huge hit. I thought the cake part was ever so slightly on the dry side. I don't think I overbaked it but I may have just a tad. The frosting is delicious. I'm not usually a big frosting person - I find them too sweet and sugary. This was just right, probably bc it's a lb. of chocolate (TJ's pound plus) melted into a cup of cream with a bit of butter added in at the end. I also gave a few shakes of cayenne and cinnamon into the frosting and it gave it a slight something something. The leftover frosting was also tasty to eat on its own. Kind of like fudge.

                                                                                            Beware, this cake is HUGE. 10 inches, 2 layers. It will feed a lot of people.

                                                                                      2. re: beetlebug
                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath RE: beetlebug Jan 6, 2012 10:42 AM

                                                                                        The frosting is just ganache, correct? You should be able to rewarm it without a problem.

                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                          buttertart RE: Caitlin McGrath Jan 7, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                                          Or whip it when it's cold, lightens it up some.

                                                                                    2. L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Dec 22, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                                                      I'm looking here because I thought someone had commented on the sticky toffee pudding with chocolate bits. Don't see it, however. Has anyone made it, or does anyone recall where I might have seen someone mention it? I tried searching with no luck.
                                                                                      I'm in charge of dessert for Christmas, debating between the STP, which I've never made before, and a tried and true gingerbread bread pudding.

                                                                                      29 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                        LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Dec 22, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                                        I will be making Roxlet's amazing (but chocolate free) sticky toffee pudding for Christmas. It is truly first class. I'm sure if you search the site you'll find it.

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Dec 22, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                          Thanks LulusMom! I did find it. Also found Harters' link to another recipe. Although I feel a bit compelled to do the one from the COTM, as I haven't participated very much this month. It is reassuring to me that you are doing an STP for Christmas. Having never tried it, I wasn't sure if it was special enough for Christmas dessert.

                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                            LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Dec 22, 2011 01:34 PM

                                                                                            Oh, we absolutely love it, and it is something we never get in the States, so it is very much worth making for the holidays.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                              Tom P RE: LulusMom Dec 22, 2011 05:52 PM

                                                                                              Question here... can I do a Sticky Toffee Pudding in a bundt pan or do I need to do it in a springform pan? Thanks! I am going to do Roxlet's with a Suzanne Goin dessert (Pastel Vasco, amazing) for Christmas.

                                                                                              1. re: Tom P
                                                                                                LulusMom RE: Tom P Dec 23, 2011 02:29 AM

                                                                                                I am far from an authority, and I hope someone else will chime in, but I think a bundt pan might be a lot of work (in terms of having it loose enough to come out). I just checked my pans and found that the only springform I have is 9 inches (the recipe calls for an 8 inch) so I'm wondering if i buttered, floured and parchmented an 8 inch cake pan last time or just went with the 9 inch spring form. Vexing that I didn't write it down on the recipe. I do hope one of our bakers can give more help than I've been able to.

                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                  Tom P RE: LulusMom Dec 23, 2011 03:53 AM

                                                                                                  Thank you! I have a 9 inch springform pan and can't tell you how many times I used it, with success, when a recipe calls for 8. In fact, I was going to do the same here, but thought if I could make it in a bundt pan, it might be easier and more attractive to slice and serve.

                                                                                                  1. re: Tom P
                                                                                                    LulusMom RE: Tom P Dec 23, 2011 05:36 AM

                                                                                                    Thank you right back, because you've eased my mind about using my 9 inch springform.

                                                                                                    Roxlet's recipe is really really good. I hope you make it and love it as much as we do. Happy Christmas!

                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                      Tom P RE: LulusMom Dec 23, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                      One more question, sorry! :) Is this something I could make the day before or should I do it on Christmas? (I try to prep as many things on Christmas Eve just to make the actual day a little easier.)

                                                                                                      1. re: Tom P
                                                                                                        L.Nightshade RE: Tom P Dec 23, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                                                                        Good question, I need the answer too! We are going elsewhere for Christmas, supplying dessert. I am hoping to make it the day before, and warm in their oven (it's a couple hours away).

                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                          roxlet RE: L.Nightshade Dec 23, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                                                          I always make the sticky toffee pudding the day before. It keeps extremely well, and I have also served the remainder to visitors on Boxing Day. I'm not sure it matters whether you cook it in an 8 or 9 inch pan. Obviously, the 9 inch will make a flatter cake and might cook a bit more quickly. It's a pretty forgiving recipe.

                                                                                                        2. re: Tom P
                                                                                                          LulusMom RE: Tom P Dec 23, 2011 04:32 PM

                                                                                                          I made it today. We'll likely have some tomorrow night after dinner and on Christmas. Just held the foffee sauce in the fridge in the pot it was cooked in - can take it out and easily reheat.

                                                                                                          Do watch the timing in a 9 inch pan. Mine cooked a little quicker than expected (my oven is usually slow) - something like 70 minutes instead of the expected (again with my oven) 80-90.

                                                                                                          And Roxlet, I hope you are feeling the love. This is an amazing dessert. Thanks so much.

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                            L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Dec 23, 2011 04:38 PM

                                                                                                            Roxlet and LulusMom - when you make it ahead, do you heat it up before serving? Or just heat the sauce?

                                                                                                            I'm really torn now. I've read the raves on roxlet's recipe, but feel guilty, as I've not contributed more this month, so I'm still leaning toward the COTM recipe. Will make the final decision tomorrow.

                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                              LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Dec 24, 2011 02:38 AM

                                                                                                              I don't heat up the cake (pudding) itself, but yes, I do heat up the toffee sauce.

                                                                                                              You can always make the STP later if you feel really strongly that you want to do a COTM dessert. My usual Christmas dessert has been (for years) the Chocolate Whiskey cake that is in Gourmet Today (pretty sure it is that one). Also found on epicurious. Always better the second day, so you'd want to make it today. And easy as falling off a log. (Now I'm complicating your life even more - I'm sorry!)

                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                roxlet RE: L.Nightshade Dec 24, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                I like to let the cake come to room temperature if it's refrigerated. I will make it today, but not refrigerate for tomorrow -- just keep it under a cake dome.

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                  Tom P RE: roxlet Dec 26, 2011 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                  Huge hit. HUGE HIT. I'll say this... our version at least, the cake itself was good but not mind-blowing. But with the sauce, wow. I also made Suzanne Goin's Pastel Vasco, one of my favorite desserts and always a Christmas favorite and the Sticky Toffee Pudding won by a mile. Thanks Roxlet! It was so so good ;)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tom P
                                                                                                                    roxlet RE: Tom P Dec 26, 2011 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                    Yes, the sauce transforms it into another dimension.

                                                                                                              2. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                LulusMom RE: LulusMom Dec 24, 2011 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                Just had our first go at the sticky toffee pudding. Huge hit once again. Despite slightly over-cooking it (me and my oven's fault, not the recipe) it was absolutely delicious. Kept the cake part on a cake plate and refrigerated the toffee sauce, then reheated that for serving. The sauce took care of whatever dryness there might have been due to overcooking. This really is a great dessert. Thanks so much roxlet.

                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                  roxlet RE: LulusMom Dec 24, 2011 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                  You're so welcom, LulusMom! It is such a forgiving recipe, and the toffee sauce makes up for a multitude of sins! I think I have been making it for Christmas for about the years, and now I can't consider Christmas dessert without it!. I am so pleased you like it as much as I -- and our guest -- do. I am certain the the recipe in the COTM is excellent too, but I have no desire to try it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                    greeneggsnham RE: roxlet Dec 25, 2011 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                    Thanks to everyone for highlighting Roxlet's awesome STP recipe! Made it for Christmas desert and it was a huge hit. So good and perfect for Christmas (any other day of the year it might just be too rich for me!). Thank you for posting it, Roxlet!

                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                      LulusMom RE: roxlet Dec 26, 2011 02:36 AM

                                                                                                                      OK, so I'm going to post a thread about this just to get it out there, but my husband accidentally left the toffee sauce out last night instead of putting it back in the fridge as asked (can you tell I'm typing through clenched teeth?). I say given the cream, it needs to be tossed. Anyone out there know?

                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Dec 26, 2011 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                        I would keep it myself. I see it like a candy. Caramels are made with milk or cream, you wouldn't refrigerate them after making.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                          buttertart RE: LulusMom Dec 26, 2011 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                          Heat it to boiling and cool it, nothing to worry about.

                                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Dec 26, 2011 07:33 PM

                                                                                                    Sticky Toffee Pudding with Chocolate Chips and Toffee Sauce, page 330.

                                                                                                    After a small-sample vote here at home, I chose to go with the COTM recipe because of the inclusion of chocolate. It contains ingredients and assembles pretty much like many of the STP recipes I looked at, with the addition of bittersweet chocolate bits at the end. Having never made one of these before, I didn't realize that nearly all of the toffee sauce that went into the bottom of the pan would be absorbed by the pudding. There was just enough left in the cake pan to let it slide easily out. Additional heated toffee sauce went over the finished pudding.

                                                                                                    Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn't actually attend the dinner for which this dessert was prepared. The pudding attended the dinner without me. I've heard one report that it was "good" but I didn't hear a rave. Diners were offered a choice of a scoop of crème fraîche, or a scoop of crème fraîche gelato. At least one that I know of opted for both (?). It was a straightforward process to prepare, and it presents nicely, but I'm sorry I don't have more to report on the outcome.

                                                                                                    It's an awfully rich dessert. If I do it again, I'll use Roxlet's recipe, which clearly elicits raves.

                                                                                                    ETA: I finally got a piece of the pudding. I took a taste at room temp, with warm sauce, and it was "good." I heated the slice up. It was pretty damn great. Melty chocolate in the pudding. But I still want to try Roxlet's next time.

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                      roxlet RE: L.Nightshade Dec 27, 2011 01:28 PM

                                                                                                      There is no reason why you couldn't add chocolate chips to my recipe, if that's what you'd like to have in it, though it's gilding the lily in my opinion!

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                        L.Nightshade RE: roxlet Dec 27, 2011 02:42 PM

                                                                                                        I know what you mean. As good as my taste of the pudding was, I think the chocolate might have been a bit of overkill.

                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                          LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Dec 27, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                                                                          Remember when suddenly everyone was putting chocolate in their bread pudding? That seems like the same sort of "Huh? Why?" thing to me. It's already wonderful without the choco.

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                            L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Dec 27, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                                                                            Yeah, as much as I love bread pudding, that chocolate trend never appealed.

                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                              LulusMom RE: L.Nightshade Dec 27, 2011 03:58 PM

                                                                                                              We're obviously in the minority though, since it stayed on menus for years. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who didn't get it.

                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                buttertart RE: LulusMom Dec 27, 2011 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                Things are overchocolated these days, in my opinion.

                                                                                                  3. buttertart RE: LulusMom Dec 23, 2011 11:15 AM

                                                                                                    I got home the other night to be told there were only 3 of the browned butter cookies left. This means some more will have to be forthcoming soon...

                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                      Bethcooks RE: LulusMom Dec 24, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                                                      I saw the post about the Intense Chocolate Torte and wondered if it can be made ahead. I am planning to make it for our New Year's Day dinner and would like to make it the day before if that would work.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Bethcooks
                                                                                                        buttertart RE: Bethcooks Dec 25, 2011 05:36 PM

                                                                                                        I'm sure it would, that kind of recipe is good for a couple of days. May want to refrigerate it and take it out a few hours in advance of eating.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                          Bethcooks RE: buttertart Dec 25, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                                                                          Thanks buttertart and angelsmom. I am making it Saturday for New Year's Day. Will let you know how it hold up.

                                                                                                          1. re: Bethcooks
                                                                                                            buttertart RE: Bethcooks Dec 26, 2011 04:41 PM

                                                                                                            There's a very good recipe of the same sort in one of Maida Heatter's books - that one you have to make ahead and chill overnight, then let come to room temp.

                                                                                                      2. MunchkinRedux RE: LulusMom Dec 27, 2011 05:11 PM

                                                                                                        No one has yet mentioned the Italian Shortbread with Almonds and Jam on p. 293.

                                                                                                        This was the first recipe I made from this book when I acquired it a few years ago, and it remains one of my all time favorite cookie recipes (I love Apricot Jam).

                                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                                          rstuart RE: LulusMom Jan 6, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                                                                          reading this discussion lead me right to my local library's hold page... can't wait to try it!

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                            buttertart RE: rstuart Jan 7, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                                                                            It's a goodie, rs.

                                                                                                          2. Goblin RE: LulusMom Jan 22, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                                                                            Perfect Brownies, p. 301

                                                                                                            These really are very, very good. My daughter, a connoisseur of brownies, said that these were "as good as those from a mix" with their moist interior and crackly top--a high accolade. Perhaps no less expensive than a powdered mix but at least I knew how fresh and wholesome the ingredients were.

                                                                                                            You can find Anderson's recipe all over the internet, so I won't reprise it here, except to say that this one utilizes all the usual suspects to create a fudge-y but not too moist, bittersweet-chocolatey but not too dark, sweet but not overly so, brownie. All ages seem to like it. And it's easy, requiring one small bowl to mix flour, salt, and baking powder, and one larger one set over a pan of simmering water to melt the chocolate and butter together before adding vanilla, sugar, eggs, flour mixture, and chopped nuts if desired. I used a double-boiler here but a bowl set over a pan of water would have been fine too.

                                                                                                            The recipe as published says to line the 8-inch square pan with one long 8" x 16" sheet of aluminum foil to act as a sling when removing the baked brownies. I would use two (learned this from Cooks Illustrated recipes) one crosswise over the other. Makes it easier to remove the brownies from the pan. The recipe also says to bake 35 - 45 minutes at 325 F till a cake tester comes out with wet crumbs. The instructions caution that "if the toothpick comes out clean, the brownies are overcooked." I checked at 30 minutes and it was time to take them out. So I would start checking at 30 minutes. And this is something I've never done before: you are instructed to cool the baked brownies in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, and then pull the "big brownie" out of the pan with the aluminum-foil sling and turn it upside down on the rack to cool completely, "at least 3 hours."

                                                                                                            I've never done this before, but I have to say it produced a delectable pan of brownies with slightly crisp but not at all overcooked edges. Learn something new every day.

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