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What are you baking these days? March 2012, part 2! [OLD]

buttertart Mar 16, 2012 04:28 PM

Hello from warm and sunny Toronto! I forgot how much I love this city. Lots of eating but no baking for me this weekend...and seeing friends old and new is always fun. So, what are YOU baking these days? Muffins, perhaps?

  1. souschef Mar 16, 2012 05:23 PM

    Funny you asked about muffins, as Madame Souschef has requested low-fat muffins. I found an Epi recipe I intend to make this weekend. If they are any good I'll post a link.

    Don't forget the food and wine show in Toronto (Mississauga, that is).

    7 Replies
    1. re: souschef
      r
      rstuart Mar 16, 2012 06:18 PM

      Souschef; I bake lots of low(er) fat muffins; Ellie Krieger makes some good ones.. here are some favorites:
      http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/good-for-you-blueberry-muffins.aspx
      and
      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/el...
      They're good, and they don't taste,er.."healtthy"..if you know what I mean..

      1. re: rstuart
        roxlet Mar 17, 2012 04:45 AM

        I'm kind of not in a pumpkin mode right now (too wintery for this early spring!), and I was wondering how the blueberry ones are in particular since I thought they looked like they didn't rise very much in the photo.

        1. re: roxlet
          r
          rstuart Mar 17, 2012 01:07 PM

          I really like them roxlet...they rise pretty well and fill the muffin tin..

          1. re: rstuart
            souschef Mar 18, 2012 04:03 PM

            Thanks for posting the recipe; I'll give them a whirl.

        2. re: rstuart
          souschef Mar 24, 2012 08:26 AM

          I looked at the food network recipe and wondered why muffins need to have so many spices these days. I like spices, but not in muffins. Even the little nutmeg I used in the epi recipe I did not really like. BTW after a day my wife and I changed out minds about those muffins.

          1. re: souschef
            buttertart Mar 24, 2012 04:47 PM

            To the worse? Traditional muffins (quite low in fat) have a very short shelf life. They were intended to be eaten hot with dinner.

            1. re: buttertart
              souschef Mar 25, 2012 11:03 AM

              Yup, to the worse. I'll keep the low shelf life in mind the next time.

      2. Emme Mar 16, 2012 07:52 PM

        with the rainstorm heading in tonight/tomorrow, i plan to spend a lot of tomorrow in the kitchen...
        funny you mention muffins... i was contemplating whether i was gonna make some to go with brunch tomorrow -- i already water bagels retarding in the fridge. i don't really need another starch, but we'll see. if i do, it will likely be Grape or Blueberry Cashew... can't remember what i have more of in the fridge...

        in the mood to make kichel as well.
        and something with caramelized white chocolate.

        and sunday, i just might do apple or pear strudel. watched that great video and started to look at my coffee table as the perfect place to set the scene...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Emme
          Emme Mar 17, 2012 07:44 PM

          boiled and baked off some of the water bagels today... they floated awfully quickly... i fear i didn't retard them soon enough (due to extenuating circumstances)... oh well, they got good reviews, but didn't have quite the crust on them that i was seeking...

          ended up making a small (6 muffin) batch of grape cashew muffins.

          also baked off some chocolate rugelach - i did a chocolate dough, and filled with brown sugar and dark chocolate chips... sprinkled the top with granulated sugar before baking. really nice when they cooled.

        2. Chocolatechipkt Mar 16, 2012 08:01 PM

          I'm in the mood to bake as well.

          I found a recipe for mandelbrot in my desk today, one I'd clipped from somewhere years ago and never tried. So I baked it up, adding chocolate chips etc, and they were good.

          I see brownies in my future tomorrow ... not sure what kind. I also need to make a large birthday cake (for 15-20) at some point.

          1. k
            klynne Mar 16, 2012 08:18 PM

            Hi, new poster (but long-time reader). I had left-over egg white to use up, so I made flourless chocolate walnut cookies. I added some bittersweet chocolate chips which I would not do again; they did not cook as nicely as when I have left them out. They also had to cook longer than the recipe specifies (though that could be because I made them full-sized this time).

            http://nymag.com/restaurants/recipes/...

            14 Replies
            1. re: klynne
              roxlet Mar 17, 2012 04:42 AM

              Welcome to the baking thread! Always great to have another fellow baker for inspiration!

              1. re: roxlet
                k
                klynne Mar 17, 2012 10:20 AM

                Thank you! I must admit, I get much of MY inspiration from you all, so I'll have to try to get creative and return the favor.

              2. re: klynne
                buttertart Mar 17, 2012 04:39 PM

                Yes, welcome! Happy to see a new face.

                1. re: klynne
                  Caitlin McGrath Mar 19, 2012 03:48 AM

                  Oh, I've made a version of those cookies, really the same thing with slightly different proportions, and I used pecans; I got the recipe from Chowhound poster Danna. I made them for the holidays a couple of years ago and really loved them.

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                    kattyeyes Mar 19, 2012 05:39 PM

                    Yes, yes, yes! The first time I baked them, they came out as rocks. But then you and Danna helped me get 'em right. :)

                    I have a very funny pic of April Katt staring at the rocks, seemingly puzzling over what happened! Don't ask me why you've gotta turn your head to see:
                    http://kattyskitchen.files.wordpress....

                    Thank you for reminding me of what else to do with extra egg whites--I keep getting stuck on almond cake. Those cookies are fantastic, tho'!

                    1. re: kattyeyes
                      r
                      rstuart Mar 19, 2012 06:45 PM

                      Wow! What a lovely cat...

                      1. re: rstuart
                        kattyeyes Mar 19, 2012 07:02 PM

                        Thank you! She's such a good girl--and keeps me amused in and out of the kitchen. ;)

                        1. re: kattyeyes
                          Chocolatechipkt Mar 20, 2012 08:29 AM

                          LOL, that's a great picture!

                          I caught my cat recently walking off with a vanilla bean, lol.

                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                            kattyeyes Mar 20, 2012 08:49 AM

                            OMG, that's funny! Thankfully, this bean was safe!

                      2. re: kattyeyes
                        k
                        klynne Mar 19, 2012 10:02 PM

                        Yes, I get stuck on the idea of macaroons for my egg white leftovers, but I am more likely to have chocolate around than coconut!

                        1. re: klynne
                          r
                          rstuart Mar 20, 2012 06:27 AM

                          I tend to make friands with my leftover eggs whites... they are pretty easy, and with the browned butter, taste great.. this is one that I make a lot in the summer...
                          http://www.mowielicious.com/home/2010...

                          1. re: rstuart
                            kattyeyes Mar 20, 2012 07:12 AM

                            Another good reminder! One of my friends made them earlier this year (sans cherries) and I'd forgotten all about these treats with the funny name. ;)

                            ETA: In case you have fewer egg whites on hand (I have four when I make gelato, so this is perfect), here are my friend's friands!
                            http://pattysfood.blogspot.com/2012/0...

                            I still need to pick up some mini molds, tho'.

                            1. re: kattyeyes
                              r
                              rstuart Mar 20, 2012 10:01 AM

                              Yum! I made my friands in muffin tins.. since I don't have any mini-molds!
                              Apparently they're very popular in Australia.. I've found a few good recipes from Donna Hay..

                              1. re: rstuart
                                k
                                klynne Mar 20, 2012 07:39 PM

                                Those look and sound wonderful! I'll have to add them into the "left-over egg white" rotation.

                  2. s
                    sandylc Mar 16, 2012 08:34 PM

                    I made some small brioche filled with pastry cream, then rolled in melted butter and sugar. (I rolled the brioche in the butter/sugar, not me)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sandylc
                      r
                      rstuart Mar 17, 2012 01:09 PM

                      I generally find that by the time I've finished a large baking session, I do tend to look like I've rolled in butter and sugar (with splotches of chocolate!)

                      1. re: rstuart
                        s
                        sandylc Mar 17, 2012 04:32 PM

                        Ha, true. My kitchen floor is always a floury mess, too. I clean it and within 24 it's covered again.

                        1. re: rstuart
                          Emme Mar 17, 2012 07:46 PM

                          i have a couple of "baking sweatshirts," ones in which i have no shame in wiping my flour or sugar dusted hands on. you can tell when i've been in the kitchen... some combo of flour, sugar, fondant, gumpaste... not to mention the other week when i found a small (but not small enough to not be weird) piece of fondant in my ear (the section above the actual ear canal)... i was glad i was alone when i found that...

                      2. sarahjay Mar 16, 2012 09:12 PM

                        Tomorrow I'm making my pie for pi day. I wasn't feeling well on Tues and Wed, so it hasn't happened yet! My brother is looking forward to it and has been bugging me since Wed to get it done

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: sarahjay
                          Chocolatechipkt Mar 17, 2012 01:12 AM

                          What kind?

                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                            sarahjay Mar 17, 2012 09:09 PM

                            A baked coconut pie, recipe from here:
                            http://www.dramaticpancake.com/2011/0...

                            It looks and smells good, but it's still too hot to eat

                            1. re: sarahjay
                              roxlet Mar 18, 2012 06:37 AM

                              This sounds wonderful -- a variation on coconut custard pie. Please report on how it turned out!

                              1. re: roxlet
                                sarahjay Mar 18, 2012 10:27 AM

                                It's good, but really sweet. I might try with unsweetened coconut next time, but the fam loved it!
                                It has a brulee-esque crunchy top and a gooey custardy filling that reminded me of pecan pie. I used a TJ's crust because I didn't want to make one and I'd had them in the freezer for months. It wasn't a bad crust, but of course not as good as homemade:)

                                1. re: sarahjay
                                  s
                                  sandylc Mar 18, 2012 04:53 PM

                                  Oh, my!!! That's my family's toasted coconut pie recipe, with two very small differences:

                                  1-our recipe uses 1 1/3 cups coconut, and
                                  2-Instead of vinegar, we use 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

                                  My mother has been making this for holidays for years. I haven't had it in quite a while because, as you say, it is VERY sweet and therefore doesn't appeal to me as much as it used to. Thanks for the memory!

                        2. Breadcrumbs Mar 17, 2012 07:13 AM

                          I'm having fun experimenting with my new ovens. Yesterday was my second attempt at baking and I'm learning to adjust to an oven w accurate temperatures!

                          I found a recipe for a Fig & Anise Quick Bread in my relatively new cookbook - Williams Sonoma Cooking at Home. I was looking for something to accompany my cheese course and this recipe fit the bill. Fittingly (given it's the St Patty's Day weekend) the recipe is based on an Irish Soda Bread. Happy to report the flavour and texture was just perfect with our cheeses. Not too sweet and the soft texture was a nice contrast to the crisp, crunchy flatbread we served.

                          I was pleasantly surprised as I thought my dough was a bit too sticky when I turned it out onto the counter. Perhaps this is just one of those recipes that's more forgiving than others. I did need to reduce the cooking time by approx 7 mins.

                          I'd recommend this one. Here's a link to the online recipe if folks are interested:

                          http://kristinekidd.com/kkidd/kristinekidd/2010/11/cooking-at-home-fig-and-anise-quick-bread-1.html

                          Oh, and as I continue to experiment w my new oven, I'd sincerely appreciate any tips you baking experts here might be able to share w me. I've started a thread here and would love to hear from you:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839220

                           
                           
                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                            d
                            dianne0712 Mar 31, 2012 09:56 AM

                            Breadcrumbs, I just wanted to say you made me smile. What I love about Chowhound is no-one looks at me funny when I say "cheese course"

                          2. Chocolatechipkt Mar 17, 2012 03:25 PM

                            I made s'mores brownies today, based on a Giada recipe (but I made bars instead of bites)

                            1. s
                              shaebones Mar 17, 2012 03:55 PM

                              Double coconut muffins fom SK. Awful. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

                              1. s
                                sandylc Mar 17, 2012 07:54 PM

                                Made some Swedish rye with freshly squeezed orange juice and some Russian rye with chocolate, shallots, espresso powder, etc. Both were outstanding and we look forward to thin toasts made from them and eaten with poached eggs tomorrow morning.

                                EDIT: Both recipes from Beth Hensperger

                                1. r
                                  Roland Parker Mar 17, 2012 10:09 PM

                                  This weekend I made Nigella Lawson's dense chocolate loaf cake. It's not a pretty cake as it splits and the top is slightly burnt (though didn't develop a bitter taste).

                                  The cake is very dense and very rich and very good. It reminded me of Julia Child's reine de saba cake although there's no almonds involved. The center is slightly undercooked and fudgy. As promised by the recipe the cake flavors develop over time and it's better tasting on its third day then when I made it on Friday.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Roland Parker
                                    r
                                    rstuart Mar 18, 2012 11:14 AM

                                    Roland; that recipe has long been on my list of things to try.. glad to hear it's so good! I find that Nigella is very good with chocolate...

                                  2. j
                                    jessinEC Mar 17, 2012 10:16 PM

                                    We've had lots of rain & cold here in the Bay Area, so I've been baking like crazy. A pumpkin pie for pie day; pumpkin scones (to use up leftover heavy cream); oatmeal muffins from soulemama (pretty bland & chewy; tasted much better cut in half and toasted the next day); KAF no-knead pizza dough (which I used to make a big focaccia and then small focaccia rolls for sandwiches); Mark Bittman's whole wheat flatbread (went great with lentil soup); and there's a Maida Heatter coffee cake in the oven now for tomorrow. Whew!

                                    1. buttertart Mar 18, 2012 07:00 AM

                                      Wow! everything sounds terrific. Must get baking again myself.

                                      1. l
                                        LJS Mar 18, 2012 07:36 AM

                                        Yesterday was a big baking day at my house and an equally BIG disaster.

                                        The plan was production of 6 large and 1/2 dozen small meat pies for the freezer. The fillings were prepped and ready to go: traditional pork pies, deep-dish double crust turkey pies and a new Morrocan pork/turnip/prune/cumin style pie that had the most delicious filling.

                                        As a 35-year baker of pies, I have tended to get a little cavelier about pastry/pie-crust. Added to that, I have been suffering (whining between the sneezes and the coughs) from what is known locally as the 100-day-cold. My husband, who knew his fave meat pies awaited the end of the effort, offered to help with the pastry-making which was motivating!

                                        We made a giant batch of pastry (regular Crisco, AP flour, salt and ice-water) in the usual, by-hand method and formed the results into the correct number of proportionate-sized balls, slightly flattened.

                                        Then,my husband prepped them for their rest in the fridge while I went to change for our hike.

                                        I think this is where things went wrong, though I hasten to add that I do NOT blame Himself for this, as I didn't see the problem coming.

                                        I usually wrap each individual slightly-flattened pastry disc tightly in plastic wrap. Hubby simply placed them all on dinner-plates and covered the plates in plastic bags. (He is very environmentally careful and will re-use the washed bags again and again: I confess I would bin the plastic wrap!).

                                        We then went for a much longer walk and then napped before I got back on track with the pie-prep. When I woke up and grogged my way to the surface, I realized that I had no time left before dinner and had to get those pies formed and in the oven/freezer fast so I got the plates out, prepped my rolling area and went for it.

                                        That is when the disaster revealed itself. Every single disc fell apart as soon as I tried to roll out the pastry. Leaving out the cursing and the tears, I then ended up piecing together enough bits to do 1/2 dozen single (top) crusted pies, turning the Morrocan dish into a pastryless casserole, and serving some of the turkey mixture on rice for dinner. More than 1/2 the pastry went in the bin. We ate very late.

                                        Post-game analysis?

                                        -my cold impaired my experienced judgement and the pastry was too short to begin with

                                        -you MUST wrap pastry INDIVIDUALLY to retain moisture while it rests in the fridge

                                        -you MUST obey rules of timing for pastry-rest 1/2 an hour in the fridge and no more or take out from fridge and rest for an hour before attempting to roll if you have left it there for more than 3 hours

                                        Alternatively, maybe there are some days you simply shouldn't try to do major kitchen projects!

                                        In any case, no permanent harm done and I am getting re-inspired reading this thread: I think muffins sound like a good safe place to go next!

                                        Have fun in TO, my old home town, Buttertart!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: LJS
                                          roxlet Mar 18, 2012 08:19 AM

                                          Aw, that's terrible, LJS. I concur with wrapping the pastry in plastic wrap, but I sometimes make my crust a day ahead and have it rest overnight -- and sometimes even longer. The falling apart is always a question of moisture to me, and I always feel that recipes understate the amount of water needed to bring a pie dough together. But for an experienced pie baker, it is always a major disappointment to have one's crusts not work out, so I sympathize whole-heartedly!

                                        2. Caitlin McGrath Mar 18, 2012 09:16 PM

                                          From the current Cookbook of the Month, the Greek cookbook The Olive and the Caper, a yogurt cake with lemon zest, soaked with lemon-ouzo-sugar syrup.

                                           
                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                            roxlet Mar 19, 2012 05:20 AM

                                            That looks delicious! How was it?

                                            1. re: roxlet
                                              Caitlin McGrath Mar 19, 2012 01:50 PM

                                              It is delicious, and even better the day after it is made, when the syrup has had more time to permeate the cake. Very lemony and moist.

                                          2. b
                                            burgeoningfoodie Mar 19, 2012 06:39 AM

                                            Has anyone tried baking Perfect Party Cake from Dorie's Baking from My Home To Yours? Did you have success with the cake rising?

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                              r
                                              rstuart Mar 19, 2012 01:23 PM

                                              Yes and yes... but it was a few years ago...

                                              1. re: rstuart
                                                b
                                                burgeoningfoodie Mar 20, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                Oh okay. I made it but the cakes didn't rise so I had a two layer instead of a 4 layer cake. Trying to sleuth out what may have been the cause.

                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                  roxlet Mar 20, 2012 04:49 PM

                                                  Pan size? Baking powder?

                                            2. Breadcrumbs Mar 19, 2012 04:11 PM

                                              Had a fun day in the kitchen yesterday and one success story was another recipe from Maida Heatter. This time I baked "Kathy's Cranberry Loaf" from her New Book of Great Desserts. The recipe yields two glazed loaves - something that's always appreciated here as it's nice to have something to tuck into the freezer.

                                              Since there were two loaves in the oven at the same time, I decided to experiment with my convection bake feature. I adjusted the temperature down by 25° (per oven directions) and the loaves baked for the suggested 45 mins at which time I checked them per Ms Heatter's instructions. She instructs that if the tops are too pale (they were) to raise the rack to a higher pos'n (which I did). I liked that she also noted the the precise appearance of the loaves (2 inches high with a crack down the length of each loaf...check, check!). The cooking time using convection heat was 1 hour - identical to that which was prescribed for conventional baking.

                                              I did stray from her instructions when it came to the glaze and simply released the loaves from their pans, replaced them and glazed them in there instead of on plates as she suggests. I use this technique for lemon loaves and never have an issue.

                                              This is an outstanding recipe. I used blood oranges and they imparted a special punch. we loved the fruitcake-like texture as well. Highly recommend this one!

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                m
                                                mahlzeit_yumyum Mar 19, 2012 05:23 PM

                                                I haven't really used the convection feature on my oven, but when I did the results were less than optimal. In particular, when making several pans of lasagna the pasta did not cook on the edges and was crispy instead. Anyone have any general tips when baking with convection?

                                                1. re: mahlzeit_yumyum
                                                  Breadcrumbs Mar 19, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                  Up-thread I posed the same question mahizeit. I asked folks for comments/tips on a separate thread and provided this link:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839220

                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                    m
                                                    mahlzeit_yumyum Mar 19, 2012 05:32 PM

                                                    cool. thanks.

                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                  kattyeyes Mar 19, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                  Where are folks getting cranberries this time of year? I keep seeing recipes pop up and can't help wondering...or are they frozen? I can't find 'em past Turkey Day, it seems.

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                    Breadcrumbs Mar 19, 2012 05:45 PM

                                                    Mine were frozen kattyeyes. Since they freeze so well and I just love them, I tend to stock up after the holidays when they go on sale. I have one bag left now so I'm looking forward to Easter!! ; - )

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                      kattyeyes Mar 19, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                      Thank you, Breadcrumbs. Lesson learned--this kat is stocking up next time! I love 'em, too!

                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                    buttertart Mar 20, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                    In one of her books Maida (really my all-time favourite dessert cookery author) mentions being a Virgo and hence obsessed with details and making everything perfect. ;-) Her instructions are as good as they get in cookbook writing.

                                                    Just made cranberry sauce a week or two ago with cranberries from 2010...tastes fine.

                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                      kattyeyes Mar 20, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                      Vintage! ;)

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        Breadcrumbs Mar 21, 2012 06:47 AM

                                                        Most of my best friends are Virgos! MH's details make her books ideal for experimenting with my convection and surround bake functions. I'll be sure to continue to share results here.

                                                        We're loving that cranberry loaf btw, I fear the second one won't be in the freezer much longer!

                                                    2. Emme Mar 19, 2012 08:13 PM

                                                      Yesterday made some Portuguese Sweet Bread and some Lavash Crackers. Very pleased with both. (pictured)

                                                      Also made some sugar diamonds, which i didn't photograph, along with some Caramelized Rugelach some with white chocolate some not.

                                                       
                                                       
                                                      1. sarahjay Mar 19, 2012 09:35 PM

                                                        I made a shoofly pie (alton brown's recipe, but baked in a raw shell for less time for a wet-bottom pie) because I got some bad news and wanted to eat my emotions. I'm good now that I had pie ;)

                                                        1. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 19, 2012 10:58 PM

                                                          We were craving something sweet after dinner tonight, so I took the opportunity to finally try turning some of my homemade cream cheese into cheesecake. I'm doing 2 mini cheesecakes, lemon zest mixed in and orange curd swirled on top, with brown butter shortbread crusts. I'm using a new recipe for the crusts, which are just pre-baking now. The uncooked dough tasted great, so I have high hopes.

                                                          1. peppermint_sky Mar 20, 2012 01:32 PM

                                                            Tried my first recipe in Tish Boyle's book The Good Cookie -- the lemon cornmeal cookies (crumiri). Delicious! :) Thin, not too sweet, and I doubled the lemon (zest of 2 lemons total). Perfect to accompany tea or coffee, or (as one taster said) to wolf down by the half-dozen after going for a run.

                                                            1. souschef Mar 20, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                              I made the zucchini muffins in the link below; I already had the zukes, so decided to make them first, before the other low-fat recipes posted above. They turned out really nice, so I'll make them again. Mme Souschef loves them ❤

                                                              The recipe is a perfect example of something I dislike - 3 cups of grated zucchini specified, instead of the weight. I bought 2 zukes, thinking it would be enough, but I got two cups, unless I had decided to pack the stuff, in which case it would have been one. Emme will understand my frustration.

                                                              17 Replies
                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                buttertart Mar 20, 2012 04:28 PM

                                                                What link, my dear s?

                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                  souschef Mar 20, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                                  This link. I'm positive I included it, but here it is:

                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                  Oh BTW I omitted the cinnamon, and used almonds instead of pecans.

                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                    Caitlin McGrath Mar 20, 2012 08:46 PM

                                                                    Interesting, I wouldn't really consider that a low-fat recipe, with 2/3 cup oil for a dozen muffins, but I guess it's all relative.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                      souschef Mar 21, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                                      I know nothing about low-fat as I've never had to watch my fat intake. I was telling my wife that there's nothing wrong with that recipe that butter would not fix :)

                                                                      Would you consider 1/3 cup oil for a dozen muffins low-fat? I'm looking for guidance here.

                                                                      My wife was suggesting that I add bran, wheat germ, and flax seed, as well as using some whole wheat flour, making it disgustingly healthy. What do you think?

                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                        s
                                                                        sandylc Mar 21, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                        You didn't ask me, but I will barge in here anyway! Many recipes will easily take a 25-30% substitution of whole wheat for unbleached/white flour. A bit of bran or germ is good. Flax seeds, however, are useless to the body unless they are ground before eating.

                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Mar 21, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                                          Yes, 1/3 cup would be more moderate, in my eyes. If you note, the recipes rstuart linked up above each use 1/4 cup oil, but also use buttermilk, which I feel adds tenderness and moisture when you're using less fat. If your wife is more concerned about fat content than fat composition, there's nothing stopping you from using melted butter in place of the oil, for improved flavor.

                                                                          In the zucchini muffins, I'd certainly sub whole wheat flour for some of the AP. I personally prefer the more finely ground whole wheat pastry flour, which performs most like AP because its protein content is similar and it's not coarse. I often use all WWPF in muffins and the like, but that's me. I do tinker, subbing different flours and such but instead of adding bran, etc. to a recipe, you could also start with a recipe that uses those, and add the flavors I like. I like this bran muffin recipe, which uses 1/4 cup oil and has bran, wheat germ, and whole wheat flour and is moist and tender; I've added apples to it, as well as spices. I do think they bake better if you fill every other muffin cup: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3306...

                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                            souschef Mar 21, 2012 11:11 AM

                                                                            Thanks Caitlin, I'll give those a try as well. While reading through the recipe I couldn't help but think Buttertart would never make them - too many bowls to clean after !

                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                              r
                                                                              rstuart Mar 21, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                              Souschef; it is possible to make yummy lower-fat muffins; I find that they just don't tend to keep as long as higher-fat options, so I tend to freeze them and just defrost as needed. As Caitlin said, usually 1/4 cup butter or oil per dozen muffins is good. I've replaced up to half the fat in other muffin recipes with unsweetened applesauce. I also replace up to half the flour in the muffins with whole wheat flour..
                                                                              This is another good recipe..
                                                                              http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/blu...

                                                                              1. re: rstuart
                                                                                Emme Mar 21, 2012 08:59 PM

                                                                                i find that sometimes using applesauce is fine, and sometimes not so much so.. it definitely can alter texture.

                                                                                sometimes i like to use 0 or 2% Fage to replace some of the fat. i find it doesn't make them so dense as applesauce or fruit puree can.

                                                                                if i do use applesauce, i tend to separate the eggs and beat the whites to peaks to add a little leavener.

                                                                                and as to the whole wheat, bran, flax, etc, i love using a little wheat germ (in so many different applications). it's not a huge nutrient booster, but i do love the taste it imparts.

                                                                                1. re: Emme
                                                                                  r
                                                                                  rstuart Mar 22, 2012 06:55 AM

                                                                                  True.. you've got to experiment.. and you need some fat for moisture. I've made some with no fat at all.. and they are always so dry.

                                                                                  1. re: rstuart
                                                                                    souschef Mar 22, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                                                    I've always wondered what it would be like to use duck fat in sweet stuff. Has anyone tried it ? Buttertart? Caitlin? Roxlet ?

                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Mar 22, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                                      I can't imagine. Duck fat has a wonderful flavor, but it seems pretty strong and very savory to me.

                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                        souschef Mar 22, 2012 02:45 PM

                                                                                        Wouldn't you classify a zucchini muffin as savory, despite the sugar?

                                                                                        I have some duck fat in the fridge, so I should try it - for me, not for the wife.

                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          sandylc Mar 22, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                                          I would call it a sweet - in the same way that a carrot cake or muffin would be a sweet. I am sure you can make a savory zucchini muffin, but those I've encountered have been sweet.

                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                            buttertart Mar 22, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                            I've seen goose fat cookie recipes. Try it!

                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                              Emme Mar 22, 2012 08:12 PM

                                                                                              only if it was made with onions and garlic and herbs... :)

                                                                                  2. re: souschef
                                                                                    buttertart Mar 22, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                                    Would depend on whether the dishwasher had been emptied recently...

                                                                      2. Chocolatechipkt Mar 21, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                        Today I made an orange-scented vanilla cake (12 x 18) with chocolate buttercream and hazelnuts. And four cupcakes of the same combination. And biscuits, because dinner had to happen.

                                                                        1. s
                                                                          sandylc Mar 21, 2012 08:24 PM

                                                                          A dozen and a half sesame bagels.

                                                                          1. greygarious Mar 21, 2012 09:12 PM

                                                                            A belated nod to Pie Day - I made a couple of dozen pie pops, inspired by the pictures on Gesine Bullock-Prado's pieitforwardcookbook.com site. I did not use her recipes, just the assembly steps. For dough I had whole wheat pastry flour and unbleached white to use up - not quite enough so I added almond meal, a roughly 2:2:1 ratio. Again using up, 1:1 unsalted butter to butter-flavored crisco. Fillings were raspberry (dregs of preserves + fresh + Trader Joe's freeze-dried), blueberry (preserves + frozen), and apricot (jam + dried). They went fast, with compliments on the flavor of the crust. It was not very flaky but with the cookie-cutter size cut-outs, flaky might have meant too fragile. It's too hot to tackle the planned caramelized pear with gruyere crust hand pies, but the filling and dough are made and in the fridge awaiting the return of cooler weather this weekend. In New England, the equinox ushered in "Sprummer".

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: greygarious
                                                                              buttertart Mar 22, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                              Hooray greygarious, love "Sprummer". Here in NJ too. GO AWAY, want baking weather back!

                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                Chocolatechipkt Mar 22, 2012 08:45 PM

                                                                                I want baking weather back, too! Only too soon is it going to be gone til at least mid-September.

                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                  buttertart Mar 23, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                                                  You know we'll still be baking...I used to bake in my only lightly-airconditioned kitchen in Brooklyn in summer.

                                                                            2. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 22, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                                              It's sourdough day again! Another 2 loaves of basic SF-style sourdough bread, since the last one turned out so well (oooh, all the irregular holes!) and another double batch of pizza crusts for the freezer, since I'm down to a lone, frozen blob.

                                                                              And I'm experimenting with English muffins. I only have one appropriate cookie cutter, so I'm cooking them one at a time. It's proving to be rather useful, as I'm finding it tricky to get the temperature and cook time just right. Muffin #1 was delicious, but kind of flat, a touch dense and way underdone (doughy even after toasting). Muffin #2 looks better, but still kind of flat. I think next time I'll proof my starter a bit more before tossing in the rest of the ingredients and see if I can get it to rise better. Regardless of their faults, they taste great, so I'm sure we'll manage to eat them all.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                s
                                                                                sandylc Mar 22, 2012 06:04 PM

                                                                                Some recipes for English Muffins call for some baking soda water to be stirred into the wet dough just before cooking them - helps with the hole structure.

                                                                                1. re: sandylc
                                                                                  BananaBirkLarsen Mar 22, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                                                  Hmm.. this is a good idea. I might have to try it next time. Thanks!

                                                                              2. roxlet Mar 24, 2012 10:29 AM

                                                                                I just finished making the glazed lemon cookies from The New Best Recipe, and they are excellent. Very lemony with a nice brown ring around the edge. They will be a nice textural counterpoint to the lemon mousse with raspberries we are serving for dessert. Lemon mousse is next up!

                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                  maplesugar Mar 24, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                                                  I don't suppose you could paraphrase or point me to a link for those cookies? They sound terrific & I googled but can't find the recipe.

                                                                                  Thanks in advance!

                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar
                                                                                    roxlet Mar 24, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                                    Start with 2 tablespoons of grated lemon peel, which you will whir around in a food processor with 3/4 cup of sugar until the sugar looks damp. To that you will add 1 3/4 cups of AP flour, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of baking powder. Pulse to mix. Add 12 tablespoons of butter cut into pieces, and pulse to combine. Mix together a large egg yolk (I had extra large), two tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Add that in to the food processor and let the whole thing mix until it forms a ball. Remove, and roll into a log about 10 inches long, roll some parchment around it, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 375, and cut the cookies into 3/8 inch thick slices. Bake on parchment for 12-16 minutes, switching front to back halfway through. The rims of the cookies should be brown. Slide the parchment onto a rack, and while the cookies are still warm, frost using an off-set spatula. For frosting, mix 11/2 cups of confectioner's sugar with 1 tablespoon of room temperature cream cheese that has been mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. I drizzled in a couple more drops of water to get the right consistency. The warmer the cookies are, the more glaze-like the frosting will be.

                                                                                    Enjoy!

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Mar 24, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                                      Those do sound terrific, and I have saved the recipe. I would find it a pain to have to have 1 T cream cheese for the glaze, frankly, because it's not something I eat or keep on hand. Do you think it's essential to getting the right flavor/consistency? If yes, I guess I'd just need to bake something to use up the remaining CC.

                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                        roxlet Mar 24, 2012 02:07 PM

                                                                                        I'm not sure -- maybe to make it a bit more semi-opaque? We always have cream cheese in the house, so it didn't faze me. How about a tablespoon of yogurt, and maybe add additional powdered sugar if the glaze is too thin. The glaze should not flow of its own accord, but it should be spreadable once it hits the warm cookie.

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Mar 24, 2012 02:25 PM

                                                                                          Hmm, thick Greek yogurt maybe - and I almost always have that around - but that would probably be looser/meltier. The cookies sound v. good, so I may have to try it sometime. Thanks.

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                            buttertart Mar 24, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                                                            Perfect chance to try the Japanese cheesecake, Caitlin! The original recipe calls for 7 oz...

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath Mar 24, 2012 06:47 PM

                                                                                              Alright, then! I did save that recipe from one of your posts. If/when I make these cookies, a Japanese cheesecake shall follow.

                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                          maplesugar Mar 24, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                                                          Caitlin the lemon glaze from Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Loaf Cake might work here - very lemony and opaque & no cream cheese involved. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in... Otherwise I might just sandwich them with some lemon curd with/instead of the glaze.

                                                                                        3. re: roxlet
                                                                                          buttertart Mar 24, 2012 04:48 PM

                                                                                          Jeez those sound great!

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                            roxlet Mar 27, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                            Yes, they are very delicious, and verrrrry lemony.

                                                                                          2. re: roxlet
                                                                                            maplesugar Mar 24, 2012 09:14 PM

                                                                                            Thank you so much! I won't have much time in the kitchen til late next week but these are first on my list!

                                                                                      2. buttertart Mar 24, 2012 05:04 PM

                                                                                        Shout out to Ms. McGrath: didn't you mention using walnut oil in a cake sometime? I tried searching and came up without. Thanks!

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Mar 24, 2012 06:49 PM

                                                                                          Perhaps you're recalling when I made a hazelnut version of krisishere's almond bars with hazelnut meal, hazelnut oil and browned butter? I've not not used walnut oil in a cake (not that I wouldn't do, but haven't).

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                            buttertart Mar 25, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                                            Conflating that Greek walnut cake 9which i must make) with that, maybe?

                                                                                          2. re: buttertart
                                                                                            peppermint_sky Mar 25, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                                                            I have used walnut oil in a carrot cake. Yum.

                                                                                            1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                                              roxlet Mar 27, 2012 12:42 PM

                                                                                              I'll have to keep that in mind. I bought some walnut oil, and I'm looking for ways to use it before I open it knowing that it can turn rancid quickly.

                                                                                          3. r
                                                                                            Roland Parker Mar 24, 2012 10:11 PM

                                                                                            Made a Slovak nut roll (orechovnik). I came across the recipe on a food blog called Dramatic Pancake last week and decided straight away to make it for the weekend. I've had various versions of the nut roll in Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic and was quite happy with the results.

                                                                                            An interesting feature of the roll is that you start out by making the yeasted dough which is rolled out as if you were making sticky buns. Then apple sauce is smeared across the dough before the ground nut/sugar topping is added.

                                                                                            The apple sauce helped keep the rolls moist and tender over successive days. I must remember this the next time I make sticky buns as I imagine the apple sauce would be a good and healthier substitute for the ubiquitious softened butter.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Roland Parker
                                                                                              buttertart Mar 25, 2012 09:06 AM

                                                                                              Thank you for this, must look this up. I've made a povitica (sp?) which is yeast dough rolled out very thinly and rolled up with nut filling, the roll cut in 2 and twisted together, then baked (Gourmet magazine recipe) which was very good.

                                                                                            2. peppermint_sky Mar 25, 2012 08:51 AM

                                                                                              I'm thinking about a bar cookie that is a slim layer of brownie topped with coconut --- black bottom coconut bars (Martha Stewart) here:

                                                                                              http://www.marthastewart.com/337367/b...

                                                                                              But I was thinking that I might want sweetened condensed milk in the coconut layer? I read a Mounds brownie recipe that kattyeyes makes and she combines 1 cup unsweetened coconut with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. Her version nestles the coconut in between the brownie, whereas the recipe above looks like a slim layer of chocolate topped with the coconut. I may just try the Martha S recipe as written, although I would prefer a bigger batch. I always share with friends, so 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 doesn't generate enough to share, and keep some at home too :)

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                                                peppermint_sky Mar 25, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                                                                Anyone else made a coconut-brownie with some input or a great recipe to share? thanks.

                                                                                                1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                                                  Emme Mar 25, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                                                  i make a layered caramel coconut brownie -- i layer brownie, then caramel mixed with toasted coconut, then more brownie, sprinkled on top with coarse sea salt.
                                                                                                  caramel for me is 105 g of white sugar with 2 tbsp water, cooked over heat til golden. stir in 43 g of butter til melted, and 60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy cream til smooth. i toast a good amount of finely ground coconut and stir into caramel at a high proportion of coconut to caramel.
                                                                                                  i tend to use either a chewy or fudgy/chewy brownie variation.

                                                                                                  1. re: Emme
                                                                                                    peppermint_sky Mar 26, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                                                    Thank you, Emme. Which brownie do you like to use here?

                                                                                              2. buttertart Mar 25, 2012 09:13 AM

                                                                                                I finally baked the rest of the blended sablé and browned butter cookie doughs, rolled into rolls about the diameter of a quarter, chilled tightly wrapped in the famous pt inside rolls, then cliced about 3/16" inch, baked (convection) 350. Verdict? Very close to the ur-cookie but need to be a bit crisper. Will add a bit more flour and beat the dough a bit longer next time.
                                                                                                Also have James Beard's freeform white loaf x 2 rising. Had Greek yogurt that had frozen and separated, so walloped the heck out of it in the fp and used it i/o buttermilk.

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                  buttertart Mar 28, 2012 06:21 PM

                                                                                                  I guess they're a hit -- I went in search of an oatmeal cookie and found a tin of these, lovingly stacked in perfect rows. :)

                                                                                                2. Chocolatechipkt Mar 25, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                                                  Just baked a big batch of walnut divines (chewy choc chip cookies with more nuts than chips)

                                                                                                  Dorie's perfect pb cookies will come later this week, and I'm also going to try empanadas.

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                    kattyeyes Mar 25, 2012 04:32 PM

                                                                                                    Ooh, empanadas. Always reminds me of that Coke commercial, HA HA HA! I would love to see what you come up with.
                                                                                                    http://www.tvspots.tv/video/20137/COC...

                                                                                                    Once again, I have leftover egg whites to deal with from making gelato. So, this week, it's either my variation on those killer flourless chocolate Payard cookies or coconut friands (a.k.a. friendly little coconut cakes, as my friend Patty calls them, HA HA). Decisions, decisions. If so, I need to figure where to get molds fast-fast.

                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                      klynne Mar 25, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                      I know it is not baking, but the other way leftover egg whites get used around here is in pisco sours. But that is usually the same day. And only a couple. Or a few...

                                                                                                      I want to try the friands next!

                                                                                                      1. re: klynne
                                                                                                        kattyeyes Mar 25, 2012 06:27 PM

                                                                                                        HEE HEE HEE! "And only a couple. Or a few..." I like how you think/drink! Cheers!

                                                                                                    2. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                      buttertart Mar 25, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                                                      Those walnut things sound awfully good -- recipe?

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                        Chocolatechipkt Mar 26, 2012 03:14 AM

                                                                                                        Here you go! The original recipe was in one of those cooking mysteries and used pecans. I was all set to make them with pecans, but I'm up in Ct this week and the $7-8 bag of pecans I usually get at WF was $12-13, so I switched to walnuts.

                                                                                                        Andrea's Pecan Divines
                                                                                                        (from Fudge Cupcake Murder, with some changes by me)

                                                                                                        1 c unsalted butter, melted
                                                                                                        1.5 c sugar
                                                                                                        3/4 c light brown sugar
                                                                                                        2 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                        2 tsp baking soda
                                                                                                        3/4 tsp salt
                                                                                                        2 eggs, lightly beaten
                                                                                                        2.5 c unbleached flour
                                                                                                        1.5 c semisweet chocolate chips
                                                                                                        2 c med. chopped pecans

                                                                                                        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

                                                                                                        Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Then, using a hand mixer, beat in both sugars.

                                                                                                        Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, and mix. Add the eggs one by one, and mix thoroughly.

                                                                                                        Add half of the flour and blend well, then add the chocolate chips and pecans, stirring to incorporate them thoroughly. Then add the rest of the flour. The dough will be quite stiff, but mix it well til it's fully blended.

                                                                                                        Chill the dough for about 10 min. before baking, or else it will be too sticky to work with easily.

                                                                                                        After 10 min., drop the dough by teaspoons (I made teaspoonish-sized rounded balls) onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. You should be able to fit 12 cookies per pan.

                                                                                                        Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 min., or until just lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool 2 min. on the cookie sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

                                                                                                        My yield: about 5 dozen

                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                          buttertart Mar 26, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                                                                          Those do sound divine! Thank you, Cckt!

                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                            Chocolatechipkt Mar 26, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                                                                            You're welcome! They're among my top choc chip cookies. :-)

                                                                                                    3. r
                                                                                                      rstuart Mar 26, 2012 07:42 AM

                                                                                                      I made chocolate peanut butter bars for work.. there is a strong possibility of what is delicately called "a labour disruption", so I figured we needed a sweet distraction. Surprisingly good, and I was able to pull together quickly so I could watch the Mad Men premiere!

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                        buttertart Mar 26, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                                                                        Lotsa mad for Mad Men here...me too.

                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                          klynne Mar 26, 2012 11:43 AM

                                                                                                          Could you share a recipe, please? I was planning to bake something peanut butter + chocolate in the next couple of days and bars sound better (and easier) than the cookies I was considering.

                                                                                                          1. re: klynne
                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                            rstuart Mar 26, 2012 12:33 PM

                                                                                                            My pleasure.. Klynne.. I found the recipe here:

                                                                                                            http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-cookie-bars/
                                                                                                            Very quick and easy.. and quite moist. I cut it into about 30 or 40 pieces though...
                                                                                                            I have also made some FABULOUS, decadent peanut butter brownies in the past. here's the recipe...
                                                                                                            http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/10/pea...

                                                                                                            Buttertart; I was glued to the TV last night!

                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                              klynne Mar 26, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                                                                              Thank you! Choices are always good. I, too, will take these to work. No impending labor unrest, but we have been awfully busy lately and morale could use a peanut butter-chocolate infusion!

                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                klynne Mar 27, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                So, I made the SK recipe (because I had everything on hand and did not have PB chips for the other recipe). Everyone, including me, enjoyed them!

                                                                                                                I did end up overbaking them a little. My oven ALWAYS seems to need the longer baking time specified by a recipe, but these were already slightly overdone when I first checked them. They still disappeared in a flash, and tasted great. I used bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips for the ganache. Yum!

                                                                                                                Thanks again!

                                                                                                                1. re: klynne
                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                  rstuart Mar 28, 2012 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                  Yeah.. that's a really decadent, wonderful recipe! Glad it was a hit!

                                                                                                          2. GraceW Mar 26, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                                            I made these no-bake too-good-to-be-true peanut butter bars... (usually I leave out part of the butter and use extra peanut butter for more protein)
                                                                                                            (well it was from an old cookbook, but it seems the same...)
                                                                                                            http://allrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-b...

                                                                                                            I also made Monster Cookies--they have oatmeal, peanut butter, m&ms, and chocolate chips, and well also some butterscotch chips.. and no flour. Just a mess of awesomeness!

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                              rstuart Mar 27, 2012 07:47 AM

                                                                                                              Grace.. those look great.. my favorite peanut butter bar recipe is from Nigella's How to Be a Domestic Goddess.. although it is even less healthy!

                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                peppermint_sky Mar 27, 2012 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                Thanks for the reminder on Nigella's no-bake peanut butter squares, rstuart! I made a batch about five years ago and I still remember how quickly they vanished, and that they are reallllly decadent (yet simple to make).

                                                                                                                http://www.wchstv.com/gmarecipes/pean...

                                                                                                                1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                                                                  GraceW Mar 27, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                                                                  I live alone. I think I'd be too scared to make them for myself alone.

                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                                    rstuart Mar 28, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                    They are so, so good.. but yes, whenever I made them (and it's been a few years for me too...) I had to get them out of the house ASAP..

                                                                                                            2. Caitlin McGrath Mar 27, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                                                                              Double recipe of Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies with browned butter and walnuts in a 9x13 pan, with minor alterations to use what I had in the house (dutched cocoa in place of natural, half brown sugar). Dark, chewy, fudgy, not overly sweet. Gobbled up appreciatively at a meeting

                                                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                kattyeyes Mar 27, 2012 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                That is a killer recipe. I can still see the stack of brownies pictured on the cover of Bon Appétit last year in my mind's eye. YUM.

                                                                                                              2. Emme Mar 27, 2012 10:31 PM

                                                                                                                Undoubtedly sad due to being on a cleanse, I decided to cheer me up by baking some baby cakes -- did a Yellow Cake hollowed and filled with a white balsamic custard and topped with Caramel Powder - made caramel and powderized it using tapioca maltodextrin (man I love that stuff!)

                                                                                                                1. Chocolatechipkt Mar 28, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                  Empanadas ... first time making them and they were really good, if I do say so myself. The dough was flaky and used cream cheese, and the filling included ground turkey, almonds, raisins, olives, and crushed tomatoes, among other things.

                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                    sandylc Mar 28, 2012 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                    I have puff pastry and brioche doughs chilling, along with a sponge and soaker for a whole wheat sandwich loaf getting good and aged. Tomorrow I get to make stuff from them.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                      buttertart Mar 28, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                      Fun!

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                        sandylc Mar 28, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                        Yeah, we baking types have interesting things to get excited about, huh? Talked the hubby through pizza dough for dinner tonight - now he might not be quite as impressed with my baking skills. I revealed to an outsider how easy dough can be!

                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                          buttertart Mar 28, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                          Shhhh...it's a secret!

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                            Emme Mar 28, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                            that's like sharing how to make the No-Knead Bread... the cat is out of the bag... and thoroughly non-plussed.

                                                                                                                      2. GraceW Mar 28, 2012 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                        Part of family is Jewish and part is Christian... so I am planning to make: Easter-Matzah Toffee.... meaning:

                                                                                                                        I will make Matzah Toffee.. and then put Easter candies on top. I am not a blogger, but if I had a baking-blog, I would make this as a feature recipe. I am still excited to make it!... in a few weeks.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                          Chocolatechipkt Mar 28, 2012 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                          We do both, too. Love the matzoh toffee!

                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                          burgeoningfoodie Mar 29, 2012 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                          For those of us in the southeast, I'm looking for two items to use in baking... one is Maple Sugar (for a pie) and the other are maple sucking candies.. they are an amber color (like a lollipop) and shaped like a maple leaf.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                                                                            Chocolatechipkt Mar 29, 2012 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                            Are you looking for places to buy them? I'm sure there are local sources that I can't think of at the moment, but Amazon has both.

                                                                                                                          2. PHREDDY Mar 29, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                            Home from work early...am making Brownies ....so simple , makes the house smell great and everyone....and I mean everyone likes them....warm, gooey, chocolatey...a little vanilla ice cream later...and you know?.....I might tell the wife I have a headache tonight!

                                                                                                                            1. kattyeyes Mar 30, 2012 06:05 AM

                                                                                                                              Flourless chocolate cookies. AHM NOM NOM NOM!

                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                buttertart Mar 30, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                ME WANT COOKIE (said in Monster voice).

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                  kattyeyes Mar 30, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                  Me understand completely!

                                                                                                                                2. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                                  rstuart Mar 30, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                  Katty... gorgeous! Are those the kind with nuts or without??

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Mar 31, 2012 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                    Thank you, rstuart (and Kt, too!)! This time no nuts, raspberries or white chocolate--just 1/3 cup of chopped dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                                    Here is an old link to the recipe that demonstrates the beauty of having online baking friends!
                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6519...

                                                                                                                                  2. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                    Chocolatechipkt Mar 30, 2012 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                    Those look great!

                                                                                                                                  3. Emme Mar 30, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                    And let the Passover baking begin...
                                                                                                                                    Will be test running a few things this weekend, and next week have to cook for a few clients (in home) -- (the concept of "turning over the kitchen" still baffles and eludes me... i understand it in concept, theory, and tradition, but in practice... oy.)

                                                                                                                                    Today, going to make some pistachio paste.
                                                                                                                                    Planning to do a Pistachio Dacquoise with Lemon Curd and a Honey Pistachio Buttercream
                                                                                                                                    Also, some almond cranberry mandelbred
                                                                                                                                    Flourless Chocolate Cake (of course)
                                                                                                                                    contemplating Matzo Crack... or perhaps a variation on it

                                                                                                                                    Made some macarons last night with leftover egg whites. I generally never use the french meringue method, but i was, alas, lazy. Worked just fine. Sandwiched with a brown sugar vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, and now they're chilling and softening in the fridge... fingers crossed for the theory of slightly overbaking and allowing to sit and absorb filling to soften...

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Emme
                                                                                                                                      Chocolatechipkt Mar 30, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                                      Yum yum yum ... can you email me some please?? :)

                                                                                                                                      I need to get going on my Passover baking, too.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                                        Emme Mar 30, 2012 11:03 PM

                                                                                                                                        if only... :) but in spirit!

                                                                                                                                        made my pistachio paste today.

                                                                                                                                        decided to make Maple Mini Cakes, which I will frost and give to the kids next door tomorrow.
                                                                                                                                        also made a test run of a passover cake using matzo cake meal, potato starch and whatnot. I have to find out whether my clients are willing to use baking soda... it is in fact kosher for passover, but i have no idea whether she and her family still choose to eschew it. i'm going to cut into that cake tomorrow, but i have a feeling i will be remaking it with baking soda to see how differently it comes out...

                                                                                                                                        also made some pie dough, as i'm test running a recipe for an upcoming pie contest.
                                                                                                                                        and lastly, some cookies'n'cream fudge... because sometimes you just have ta.

                                                                                                                                        tomorrow... Passover PB & J bars... or maybe cocoa PB bars... or cocoa PB & J bars... ah decisions.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Emme
                                                                                                                                        b
                                                                                                                                        burgeoningfoodie Apr 3, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                                        Me 3 please post any recipes you deem successful. Need to add to repertoire.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                                                                                          Emme Apr 3, 2012 08:51 PM

                                                                                                                                          for a client today in her kitchen (sigh), i made:

                                                                                                                                          some really great almond butter and jelly cookie cups (baked in mini muffin tins, kind of a nut butter dough base filled with jelly (that melted) and a little more dough) -- i'd fill them less full next time. and wish i had had a silicone mini tin, because no matter the spray, it's still more annoying than popping them out.

                                                                                                                                          mini pavlova

                                                                                                                                          lemon curd (to go with the pavlova)

                                                                                                                                          flourless chocolate cake

                                                                                                                                          chocolate toffee matzo

                                                                                                                                          raspberry meringues

                                                                                                                                          mandelbred -- i use almond meal as part of my base -- some with dried cherries and white or dark choc chips, some plain, some with nuts

                                                                                                                                          chocolate chip cookies

                                                                                                                                          almond muffins

                                                                                                                                          cocoa hazelnut bars

                                                                                                                                          flan
                                                                                                                                          ...and a partridge in a pear tree... she told me she had a double oven. she did not. she had two *racks* in her oven... who doesn't?!

                                                                                                                                          tomorrow, i'm doing mini pistachio dacquoise with lemon curd and a honey pistachio buttercream; another flourless chocolate cake, more toffee matzo, more macarons (these always disappear so quickly!), and some almond white chocolate mini cakes (to put my homemade almond paste to good use.)

                                                                                                                                          oh, and i have to finish two cupcakes -- my twin neighbors are going through potty-training, and i told them i'd make them cupcakes if they kept going as they're supposed to... she wants hello kitty, and she asked me to make her brother a rock star cupcake. so, hello kitty in fondant is drying right now; she'll get whiskers tomorrow. the electric guitar is drying as well. it will get strings tomorrow...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emme
                                                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                                                            rstuart Apr 4, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                            Some pesach baking? A friend of mine who just finished cleaning her house for passover told me she loves the cooking part, hates the cleaning..
                                                                                                                                            Yeah.. that is not a double oven!

                                                                                                                                      3. GraceW Mar 30, 2012 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                        I am kind of addicted to making these.. even though the amount of brown sugar, means you cannot really cut them at all. They just are super soupy-doughy in the middle... but still very tasty.

                                                                                                                                        (It is from Keep It Sweet.. which is not my blog. FYI)

                                                                                                                                        Chewy Gooey Cinnamon Toffee Blondies
                                                                                                                                        Recipe type: Dessert Author: Lauren of Keep it Sweet Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 37 mins Total time: 52 mins Serves: 24
                                                                                                                                        Ingredients
                                                                                                                                        3 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
                                                                                                                                        1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                        2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                        3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                                                                        4 large eggs
                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                        1 8-ounce bag (~1 1/3 cup) toffee bits
                                                                                                                                        1 cup cinnamon chips
                                                                                                                                        Instructions
                                                                                                                                        Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
                                                                                                                                        Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray; set aside
                                                                                                                                        In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat and stir constantly until melted into a thick golden brown mixture; set aside
                                                                                                                                        Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside
                                                                                                                                        In a large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla until combined
                                                                                                                                        Whisk in brown sugar butter mixture
                                                                                                                                        Slowly whisk in flour mixture just until combined
                                                                                                                                        Stir in toffee bits and cinnamon chips
                                                                                                                                        Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 32-37 minutes or until top begins to crack and a knife or toothpick comes out clean
                                                                                                                                        Allow to cool before slicing into a 6×4 matrix

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                                          rstuart Apr 3, 2012 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                                          Grace.. I think that you mentioned these before, and I printed out the recipe post-haste. Alas, I discovered that cinnamon chips are not available in my downtown Bulk Barn.. will have to wait until I next visit the suburbs to stock up! They are not as widely available in Canada as they are in the States...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart
                                                                                                                                            GraceW Apr 3, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                            I recently made them again with toffee chips (As directed) but with milk chocolate chips and I left out the cinnamon. Given that most people like chocolate more than cinnamon (I love cinnamon!!!), people actually liked the chocolate versions better.

                                                                                                                                            You are warned however that post-baking they don't really even turn into cookie-texture... it's more like chewy-dough-texture because of all the brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW
                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                              rstuart Apr 4, 2012 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                              Hmmm.. also good to know. Dorie's Greenspan's blondies or Mark Bittman's (via Smitten Kitchen) are my "go-to" blondie recipes.. but I'm always up for trying more blondie recipes. And I always have toffee chips and chocolate chips!

                                                                                                                                        2. k
                                                                                                                                          klynne Mar 31, 2012 04:55 PM

                                                                                                                                          Lemon-blueberry scones.

                                                                                                                                          I wanted to make blueberry pancakes for breakfast, but did not have enough milk. I did, however have cream... hence the scones.

                                                                                                                                          1. buttertart Apr 1, 2012 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                            Onward and upward into April here...

                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8418...
                                                                                                                                            PS that pie pan was my mom's, and the scratches are the evidence of thousands of her pies enjoyed out of it.

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